“went down to pick up Mormor at London. When we came back she gave me a bludy smart jumper”
The word “Mormor” is probably an unknown quantity for most subscribers to this blog, so please let me explain.
I am half-Danish. Not the die-hard Brit most of you think I am. As Eddie Izzard once said of himself, I am “pan European”. My mother was born in Denmark in 1929 and grew up during the German invasion of Copenhagen, cocking something of her own snook at the unwanted infantry by being something of a rebellious fearless schoolgirl, bless her.
In Danish, ‘mother’ is ‘mor’ and the grandmother on your mother’s side is known as your ‘mormor’, literally mother’s mother. My Danish grandfather – long since divorced from my mormor – was my ‘morfar’ (mother’s father). No prizes for guessing what a farmor or a farfar was!
Anyway, my grandmother – mormor – would travel over and stay with us every other year. In her later years she created all kinds of grief and havoc that I can barely even think about anymore. In the 70’s however, she pretty much still had full control of her faculties, even if she could nevertheless prove to be a difficult and argumentative house guest for me and my parents.
I suspect my mum, dad & I would have caught a train north to Waterloo Station, taxi’d across London and met mormor at Liverpool Street station, where she would get off the boat train that had come in from Harwich Parkeston Quay that morning. My mormor would then expect – without question or request – my Dad to carry all her luggage to the taxi rank where we would grab another expensive cab across the city (my grandmother would never travel on the underground – it was “beneath her”, in every sense of the phrase) and get whatever the next train was back to Eastleigh.
It would appear that on this trip she brought with her a gift for me. No less than a ‘bludy smart jumper’ , the specific details of which, like so much else, have been totally lost in the mists and alcoholic destruction of time.
I’ll guess however that a jumper (sweater) that I considered ‘bludy smart’ in the seventies would now be something I would sharply recoil away from if I saw it hanging on a rack in the thrift store.