My great-grandmother is 100 today, and she is such an inspiration!
Oh - don't get me wrong! I don't mean she is such a wonderful person that we will all miss when she finally does pop her clogs! O-o-o-h NO! Let me be clear - the only reason she is still alive and kicking (and other things besides - believe me!) is because she is too damn evil to die! My favourite way of expressing it is - neither God nor Satan wants her!
But, she is such a wonderful inspiration to me, honestly! ;-)
If ever I need to dream up a character that is spiteful, deceitful, malicious, vicious, and thoroughly all-round ill-intentioned, I have the perfect role model.
Being fair, though, maybe it's her Romany blood that gives her that edge of evil - although I know many Rom in our family that are wonderful people - so can I really count that in the make up? Or maybe it's the pseudo-Victorian English Christian values she was imbued with, that cause her to hate men and despise sex as an activity derived directly from the bowels of hell! Or does she, really? Hmm! I have to think about that one!
I do have to thank her for the lurid tales of life, some she tells, some she experiences - such as accusing a newly married, young vicar of sexually molesting her - this when she was a haggard old crone in her 80's, and he barely out of his 20's - or of asking my mother, just a few days after my father's early death, why she was still upset! I mean - who ask's that kind of question?
Of course, her own husband was exiled in disgrace from the family - a pariah cast aside like excrement in the gutter of life - for having the temerity to even suggest that she give him a blow job! Poor guy spent the rest of his life repenting that, until he was ran down by a drunk driver in the mid-1970's, never having had the chance to demonstrate his undying love to her again - and being deprived of all contact with his own children and grand-children.
And she had the unmitigated gall to weep at his funeral!
And the tales go on, and I am now having such fun documenting these into a"real-life" novel. I have a working title, but I'm not ready to share just yet. But I will...