Grandpa & the Teapot

Frederick Alexander ALLAN - 1949

Ahhh, Grandpa …

Growing up with Frederick Alexander Allan provides an endless flow of memories to share… Here’s just one little snippet.

After the death of his beloved Elizabeth Mary (nee Murray) Evans, 7 Jan 1953, Grandpa came to live with us and spent the last 13 years of his life surrounded by four active, noisy, growing children and a multitude of their friends. I realise now that it couldn’t have been easy for him but remember mum saying that his grandchildren kept him alive.

Ahhh, Grandpa … 

Every morning, as I tip my spoon into the condensed milk for that early morning “cuppa”, memories of Grandpa’s tea making and drinking rituals flood my mind.  I can see those arthritic, careworn, knobbly old hands clasped around the pot of freshly made tea, his feigned expression of surprise, the flapping hands, the sucking in of breath and the almost inaudible, “Well I’ll be blowed…”

Sometimes the unkind thought … “well of course it’s hot, you silly old fool” would flash across my young brain. Watching the blood pulsating in dad’s forehead, as he battled to control his anger, and Grandpa’s self satisfied smile was confusing to a small child.  Mum’s refusal to acknowledge her father’s behaviour and husband’s growing anger was even more confusing.  Why didn’t she do something about it?  The adult me understands.

The next step in Grandpa’s ritual was to lift the pot, by it’s black bakelite handle, and see-saw it backwards and forwards until satisfied the brew was to his liking.  Finally he’d pour the steaming hot liquid, from a great height, into his huge white cup embossed with “Father” in gold copperplate lettering.  

In my mind’s eye I can see mum’s aluminium teapot sparkling with loving attention and the use of Steelo, steel wool pads.  How many cups of tea were poured from it’s spout?  How many tears were assuaged with a cup of the rich brown beverage? How many times did Grandpa perform his pantomime? Whatever happened to mum’s beloved old teapot?   

As a youngster Grandpa’s behaviour often annoyed and irritated me, the aggravation increased with the teenage years… now the remembering brings a “smile to m’ dial”.

Ahhh, Grandpa …


(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~ Finding Family


6 thoughts on “Grandpa & the Teapot

  1. Pingback: Aa – is for ALLAN, Frederick Alexander | Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

  2. Hi, My name is Jennifer helen nee Edwards Klaver, my mother is Patricia Valmai nee Behenna Edwards. I am very interested in the family history and would love to get hold of the books written about my family. I am married to Bill Klaver and I have a son Mathew Klaver and daughter Tara Klaver and they have children. I hope to catch up. Yours Sincerely Jen Klaver

    • Hi Jen, How exciting to hear from you 🙂 Yes, It was wonderful to meet with your mum and Auntie Maureen and Uncle Morrie just a couple of weeks ago. It’s been about 50 years so we had lots to catch up on. I believe you live in Victoria now? … Will email direct. Thanks so much for writing. Hope you’re enjoying my blog.

      • Hi, I live in Gawler, South Australia. My niece Donna lives in Melbourne. I have enjoyed reading about the family its very interesting, and I loved what was written about my dad Ray Edwards, Life hasn’t been too kind to me I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins lymphoma nearly 8 yrs. ago I’m in remission now hopefully it will stay away! Anyway I’m going to keep reading bye for now! Jen xx

  3. Oh, dearie me Jen. I think I may not have emailed you direct, as promised, or maybe it went astray? So very sorry if this is the case … but no worries I’ve just sent off an email which should be hitting your InBox right about now 🙂
    So glad you liked my childhood memory of your gorgeous dad, my Uncle Ray and your beautiful mum, Auntie Pat who was so special to my mum.
    Happens that we don’t live all that far away and I do love Gawler. It’d be great to catch up for a coffee pretty soon, eh? Thanks SO much for getting back to me.
    Much xxx from your Cousin Catherine 😀

  4. Hi Jennifer, Im wondering if your mother was married to a Graham Behenna? Also do you know if they had a son in 1950 that they adopted out? Kind Regards Kylie

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