A week ago my nan died.
Nobody cares that much, she wasn't that nice of a person, and whilst the source of multiple entertaining stories (such as the one that's about to follow), she was mostly just a vicious alcoholic bint. Shirley was a much much worse person, but she died long ago, and even less than nobody cared about that
By alcoholic, I do truly mean alcoholic. The woman used to carry around a 2litre bottle of Gordon's Gin in her handbag 'just in case the pub ran out', which was a significant likelihood in her presence. When she was told by her doctor that she had to drink less gin or she'd die, but she could have some red wine instead, she changed from 2 litres of gin per day, to a litre of gin and a litre of red wine. Not quite what the doctor had in mind I guess, though to her credit, the woman drunk at that rate since her teens, and lived to seventy-something. We reckon her internal organs were just permanently pickled, hence her longevity, despite a predispition for falling down marble staircases on cruiseships because she was so f*cking trollied.
But anyway, to the point of this post. My nan died. The funeral is on Thursday. Now as I said, nobody really cares about this, however EVERYONE is going, due to the high chance of some WWF Smackdown-style action breaking out midway through the minister's eulogy. There are some complicated reasons for this, as I shall explain below:
My nan had 3 daughters, Sue, Sandra, and my mum, Lyn. This was the first mistake, the sisters were... well sisters, they covered for each other about boys, and then sold the other one out the next day. They also did not have the best relationship with their 1950s/60s alcoholic-london dwelling-married to a sailor-mother, who in turn, had a very sour relationship with her own mother, my great nan, a truly amazing, formidable, and inspiring old woman, who died a few years ago god rest her eternal soul and all that. My mother in fact has several deep rooted psychological issues/traumas due to the severity of her relationship with my nan, and moved out when she was very young to go live with my great nan instead it caused so many problems. Obviously, this did anything but improve the relationship.
My mum married a man, Barry, and had 3 kids by him, 2 girls and 1 boy. However this man, despite being lovely in public, was a rather abusive husband at home, and so my mum left him, met my dad, and had me. This would not be so much of an issue, if it weren't for the fact that Barry's brother, Brian, married my mum's sister, Sue. Thus my family is actually doubly related to each other, and has a lot of animosity between the various family units within it that alternately hate/feel betrayed/generally don't talk to each other. Sue in fact, did not speak to my mother for the best part of 20 years.
Sandra and my mother continued to get on fairly well, until about 5 years ago, when an issue with my cousin Marie (Sandra's daughter) blew up into something disproprtionate, and then Sandra stopped talking to my mother too. At my grandad's funeral (coincidentally, a year ago on thursday), my nan got herself so trollied she ended up in hospital having fallen over and smashed her hip, at which point my mum got so angry she stopped talking to my nan entirely - don't misunderstand, my nan didn't drink cause she was grieving, she drank because she's selfish, and was bitching about leaving the house even on the way to her husband's funeral.
All this makes you wonder why anyone is going to the funeral in the first place, continue on, dear reader, and discover the joys of having north london chav family members and how they make your life so much more interesting:
Upon my nan's death, Sandra rang Sue to tell her the news, and tell her not to go to the house; she'd taken care of everything and the funeral would be on 4th June. Sue then rang my mum (not completely out of the blue; Sue had briefly spoken to my mum upon my grandad's death too) to pass on the message. My mum said well she had no intention of going down to my nan's house anyway, and certainly wouldn't be attending the funeral, fair enough. A few days later, my mum discovered on her desktop, a scanned in copy of my nan's will, which I'd taken the liberty of copying when I'd been preparing all the relevant paperwork concerning my grandad's death last year. My mum rang Sue and mentioned this, and also that my dad and Sue's husband Brian, are the exectuors of the will, as indeed they were for my grandad. Sue rang Sandra and said "oh Paul (my dad) has the will as the executor and has emailed me a copy." Sandra blew a gasket and went completely off on one. Sue rang my mum in tears confused and not understanding. My mother, went hmmmm, this doesn't seem right, Sandra's up to something. So Wednesday last week my mum picked up Sue in the car, and went off to Basingtoke to my nan's house. Sandra, who had been checking in on my nan weekly for the last year whilst no-one else was talking to the woman, has had a key to the house. The house was empty of all the good china and expensive jewellery, and all the financial documents relating to the estate had been removed and the folders emptied, and a WHSmith DIY power of attorney script was lying around in the study (it's almost as if she wanted us to know....)
Well, that explains Sandra suddenly going off on one when it turned out we had a copy of the will. So Thursday, I went back with my mum to Basingstoke, and broke into the garage - the side door had had a freezer pulled in front of it so it couldn't be opened, and the main door had been locked shut. I also superglued the front door shut, so Sandra's key is now useless. My mum and Sue had had the foresight to borrow keys off the next door neighbour for the side door, and then switch they keys to some similar looking ones, before returning them, so my mum currently has the only access to the house, excepting Sandra breaking and entering (like I clearly haven't already) by smashing glass of some sort and thus being a little obvious.
Whilst there is legal recouse, nothing can currently be proved about Sandra's actions, any such action would be deducted as exectuor's costs from the estate, thereby reducing the value of what is already very little considering anything worthwhile has been stolen. On top of this, the stuff stolen by Sandra, the moving of heavy freezers in front of doors etc, would have required help from either Sandra's husband, or her sons, my cousins, Paul and Neil, and given no-one has heard from anyone on that part of the family since, we're assuming they're all in on it in some way.
So, EVERYONE therefore, is attending the funeral, and anticipating a complete throwdown to occur. The situation will be highly entertaining, and Sue, who as mentioned, didn't speak to my mum for the most part of 20 years, and I suspect after this concludes will return to doing so, has asked my mum to attend and 'stand next to her', because without my nan, whatever she was like, they wouldn't have their children and grandchildren and isn't family great and important and all that jazz.
Like I say, my nan was not a nice woman particularly, and won't really be missed that much, but she certainly provides the basis for a hell of a lot of interesting stories. Watch this space for updates...