I lay in bed on a gorgeous Saturday morning and my phone buzzed on the bedside table. ‘Coming to the gym, pet?’ I read blurry eyed and yawning. It was my Nan, Pat, 69.
‘Yeah sure. Meet you there in an hour,’ I text back.
When I opened the door of my sexy gran was swinging her body around dancing pole in the middle of the floor, effortlessly, while the room filled with laugher.
“Hey Nan,” I said throwing my bag onto the floor.
“Hey Vanessa, this is my beautiful Granddaughter Vanessa everyone,” she said hanging upside down from the pole. I gave a little wave. “This is your Nan?” the instructor asked in astonishment. “Yep,” I said with a smile on my face.
I have always been used to my crazy Nan. She’s a character alright and I can honestly say I have never met anyone like her before. She’s far from the stereotypical Nan, sitting for hours in a comfy chair in thick woolly jumpers with a cup of weak tea and a pile of knitting on her lap. My Nan is the other end of the spectrum.
Pat is out at least four times a week partying until the early hours. She’s always down at her local pub, The Canny Man, and she likes nothing more than her traditional Wednesday night quiz with the lads. She’s a classy lady, but she doesn’t mind getting a bit dirty from time to time.
She always looks stunning in trendy colourful dresses, thick red lip-stick, expensive heels, and of course, she’s never complete without a glass of champagne – her drink of choice. “Are we partying tonight Vanessa or what? You can stay at mine after and we can have a slumber party,” she asked as she finally planted her feet on the floor.
“I’m kind of tired to be honest Nan, can I take a rain cheque?” “C’mon girl! You’re only 22! Where’s your get-up-and-go? Come out with your old Nan.” “Yeah okay, I’ll come along,” I relented. “But no flirting with the young lads tonight, Nan. And you can’t stay out late either.”
“Ay, I can’t promise that, doll,” she said, giving me a little wink. We had our workout and… well, I say workout, but Nan just danced her socks off while the rest of the group looked on in amazement. She was actually the one that got me into polercise. She said it kept her limber for what really mattered in life: having fun with the lads.
She’s always been a devil for the lads. Even granddad knew that. They were together since they were 16-years-old. They were married at 19 and this year it would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. When she first saw him walk past her hair salon window over 50-years-ago, with a pair of scissors in her hand, she said: “I’m having him tonight girls,” and the rest was history.
Sadly Grandad died aged 59 of prostate cancer. Nan had looked after him for years, but he knew exactly what she was like and he wouldn’t have changed her for the world. They gave birth to my beautiful aunty Lawrain, 48, who is a hair dresser, and my dad Robert, 50, who’s an electrical engineer just like my granddad.
Although Pat is now seeing someone her own age, I’m not sure he knows quite what he’s got himself into. Sometimes, she’ll share a selfie on Facebook with several of my friends and strangers on a night out, with the catch line of: ‘this woman is an absolute legend’ – it’s so funny. She’s a local celebrity and people get really jealous when I tell them that’s my Nan.
Every time she’s out, even if it’s in a restaurant she will always climb on top of the table and start to dance. Everyone loves her, she’s such a popular character and has such a positive outlook on life – she an inspiration and I wouldn’t change her for world, apart from maybe calm her down a bit.
“Ooh what shall I wear tonight pet?” She said throwing all her fancy dress clobber around her bedroom. “Up to you Nan, I’m wearing this black dress and heels,” I replied, pulling it out my overnight bag, showing her. “I can’t choose between the sailor girl, the army girl or Mrs Whip Lash, what would you pick?” she asked.
“Oh just picking from three tonight are we? Hmmm, go for the army girl, that one’s your favourite.” “Right you are, army girl it is.” “Could you pass me my boots and my ammo please?” She asked. Mrs Whip Lash was what she called her leather suit, but she also has a naughty Easter bunny suite, a police uniform, a tartan outfit, a saucy Mrs Clause for Christmas and a French maid’s outfit.
Sitting down stairs having a few drinks before we left, Nan cracked open a bottle of Cava and poured two large glasses – she was looking amazing in her army outfit, with a gun strapped to her thigh and ammo bullets around her body. “Mmm tastes sweet. Just like your Nana,” she said sipping the champagne, giving me a little wink. “Nan!” I laughed and continued to drink my fizz.
It was finally time to leave and as always I braced myself for the night ahead with my fabulous and famous Nan. Flagging down the bus by sticking her leg out into the road, we hopped on it en route to Cavendish night club in the centre of Edinburgh. ‘This bus isn’t going to know what hit them,’ I thought to myself as we stepped on.
“Hello bus people!! Why is everyone so quiet? We need some music,” my Nan screamed. She wasn’t even the slightest bit drunk and she’d already started singing. “Hey big spenderrrrr,’ at the top of her voice, as she walked up and down the aisle of the bus. Everyone loved it and people were singing along and even dancing with her.
Everyone on board the bus was in fits of laugher, and I’m pretty sure it would have been the most eventful bus journey of their lives. We finally arrived and once again she stole the attention of everyone in every bar. We usually end the night with a convoy of people following us as they want to hang around with Nan Pat.
After a long, funny but tiresome night keeping an eye on my Nan, it was finally time to head off home. “Right Nan, it’s 2:30, we best be getting back now,” I suggested, feeling a bit fatigued. “Exactly, Vanessa. It’s only 2:30. The night is still young, just like us.”
And after some hard negotiation, I finally managed to drag her away from the group of lads she was chatting with, and before we knew it, we were snuggled up together eating a pizza on the sofa. “Magaluf is going to be so much fun isn’t it?” Nan said with pizza sauce all over her top.
“Yeah, I can’t wait,” I replied. “Me and my two granddaughters partying it up in Spain. I can’t wait either.” Nan has been to Thailand, Magaluf, Ibiza, Dubai, and Ireland to party, and in July when she turns 70, she’s going to Mallorca for a month to celebrate her birthday in style.
“Oh, I’m popping to the old people’s home tomorrow to see some of my old pals. I’m taking in all my makeup, doing their nails, their hair, shaving their faces etc. Do you want to come?” She said. “Umm…”
“Then we can grab some lunch and go for drinks after?” Nana said, unarming herself and throwing her ammo to the ground.“Yeah OK,” I replied, looking at my Nana is absolute awe. “I’ve nothing else planned, so I might as well come shave some faces with you.”
My Nana is always putting other people before herself; she’s the most selfless person I know and would do anything for anyone who asked.
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