This is my granddad (who I call Gandy, no I wont explain it) and this week, he turned 70. My gandy is my mum’s dad and one of the most characteristic people I’ve ever known. Growing up, I remember watching cowboy films with him, Saturday night tv (y’know, back in the days when it was actually good), singing silly songs with him and getting shouting at for ‘bouncing’ read: running up the stairs.
I’m from a pretty close knit family and despite now living 200 miles away from my grandparents, my bond with them and love for them has never wavered. I couldn’t be in Liverpool to celebrate his birthday with him so have decided to write this post about him and to let you into the world of ‘Gandy Dennis’.
One of the phrases on Tumblr about perfect couples is ‘otp’ meaning one true pair. My nanny and gandy are far from perfect, I don’t believe any sincere couple is perfect but their marriage has spanned over 45 years, produced 4 children, 11 grandchildren and stayed strong the whole time. Nanny and Gandy aren’t a couple, they’re a unit, they come as a pair at all times and if there’s any one true pair in my life, it’s Nanny and Gandy.
Our family has been through a lot and that’s just in my lifetime. Together they have faced the good, the bad and the ugly. They are the absolute centre of our family and all of us love them beyond words.
When my mum first saw the above photo, she said to me ‘we’re all genuinely happy in that photo, no forced awkward smiles’ and it’s true, whenever we’re in my grandparent’s house, we’re all at home. I have moved 17 times in my life but I have always had their house to call home and it’s the same for the rest of us. I asked some of the family to send me their favourite things about and memories of Gandy and this is what I got:
when my dad used to bet on the horses, on one particular race his was neck and neck with another coming up to the winning post, aside from the usual obscenities screamed at the jockey, he got out of his seat and put his hand on the TV screen trying to push the opposing horse backwards……alas, and unsurprisingly, to no avail, and since he had lost money we weren’t allowed to laugh but we did anyway.”
I always remember getting to their house and being scooped up by gandy, placed on his knee and sang to. And anytime I have an uneasy night, well that’s what gets me back to sleep. Also watching Big Break with him.
– Jenni (cousin)
When Gandy threw cake in my face on his birthday when he was SO drunk! He told me to smell the cake that was in his hand and (of course) I trusted him, then he shoved it in my face haha! I think that was his 60th
When I was a kid, he’d go in the mirror and say ‘you’re a handsome bastard Dennis. Now, 30 years later, he looks in the mirror and says ‘you’re still a handsome bastard Dennis
A good memory of Gandy is when I got to ride in his wagon with him when I was younger Was a great day!
He always says to Nanny ‘you’re lucky you were fast’ implying that you had to be fast to chase him down and when he got given a picture of them from before their wedding he teared up and said said ‘told you yer nan was fast’
He once asked if I could get any of the army shoes. When I asked him what size, he replied. Anything from 8-12!
So, happy 70th birthday to my favourite whisky-swilling, egotastic, bizarre, thoughtful, typical scouse Gandy. I love you so much and so does everyone else. Thank you for all the laughs, the stories and for being the best kind of granddad anybody could wish for.