Letters From Lockdown 8: Amy Penn

To Grancha Dinky,

It’s been almost 3 years since you left us and I can honestly say I still remember it like it was yesterday. So much has changed since so I thought it was about time we had a little catch-up.

I’m nearly 21 now and I’m finally realising that I don’t have to argue with my dad about everything, I can remember a few years ago when we’d argue over something stupid and I’d storm out of the house and drive to yours and nan’s flat late at night for a sandwich and a cuppa, mostly because I knew nan would end up telling dad off but also because you’d always make me laugh.

Speaking of nan, she’s doing well, even though this lockdown is driving her crazy, she’s keeping busy, she’s watching The Crown, deep cleaning the flat every day and still ‘running around like a blue-arsed fly’ as you’d always say. She’s checking up on us all every day and we’re checking up on her and looking after her. She knows you’re always watching over her as well, that yellow rose growing in the garden wasn’t very subtle, but then again you were never very subtle, you were always the life of the party. Best jiver in Corpa and always up for a laugh. I can remember our last trip to Padstow together; it was New Year’s Eve and the clock had just struck midnight, we were all getting ready to join hands and sing auld lang syne together but you’d already been carted off to have your photo taken and share a glass of prosecco with a group of women in fancy dress. We still go to Padstow every year, it’s not the same without you but I always feel closest to you when i’m there than I do anywhere else. I’m finally learning to drink pale ale and I always make sure to have a few for you in the London Inn every time; however, we have all given up crabbing on the harbour in Baltic conditions after we all nearly froze to death that one year!

Last year was a really difficult year for me Granch, I was quite poorly, I had a lot of surgeries and spent a lot of time in the hospital. Although you would have been the best visitor ever, sneaking in sweets, my favourite chocolates, and pirate DVDs from one of your dodgy mates, I’m so glad you weren’t there to see it. You always hated seeing me unwell and I know that It broke you’re heart knowing that you could’ve never fixed me. Deep down I know you were there. You were there messing up the signal on my TV, you were there through uncle Sean when he went to the wrong hospital with my chicken nuggets, you were there when my dad called me ‘Amy Tell-em-all’ after I told all of the nurses all of the unhealthy snacks he’d bought me back from Tescos and you were there when the nurse came in and told me ‘goodnight god bless’.

There was one-week last year that wasn’t sad or scary at all and it was the proudest I have ever been to be your granddaughter. During the summer I volunteered at the British Transplant Games as a Photographer. Seeing all of the athletes and knowing that because of my grandad three people are getting a second chance at life to achieve amazing things brought me to tears, I was so overwhelmed and proud of you and how you managed to teach us such generosity and kindness through your life.

At the moment things are pretty crazy, there’s an international crisis going on and lots of people are getting ill, there are food shortages in the supermarkets and we all have to stay home. We’ve spoken about you quite a lot in this time, we’ve all said that you and nan would be fine because you were always so obsessed with buying massive joints of meat when they were on offer on the supermarkets. we can all just imagine you saying to nan ‘its alright Margarita, I popped to Tescos the other day in the freezer there should be two legs of lamb, a kilogram of bacon, six-packs of sausages and three great big lumps of beef’. Because of this its probably no surprise to you that nan was cooking all 8 of us Sunday dinners for months after you passed. I know that you’d be spending quarantine sat on your reclining chair watching all of the cooking shows and telling nan exactly what you wanted for dinner that week. I know that it would be driving you nuts that you couldn’t go on your long walks into town to get the paper and some new books from the charity shops. You’d be okay though we’d get you a kindle to keep you reading those Jack Reacher books that you loved so much, and you’d have nan waiting on you hand foot and finger like you always did to keep her busy.

We all miss you lots and we know you’re watching over us and keeping us safe.

Love you lots,

Amy (Amy tell-em-all/ Nightmare Amy) xxx

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