Yvonne Kachel’s Stories

What about your inheritance?

Have you ever wondered what you have inherited from your parents and your grandparents?

I don’t mean goods and chattels, rather your physique, your intelligence and your outlook on life.

As most of us are interested in tracing our ancestry, I decided it was worthwhile to trace just WHO was responsible for me, the way I am and the body that I inhabit.

I didn’t have far to look. There he was sitting up on the ancestry tree, playing his concertina, singing songs and generally enjoying life. HE was the culprit, my Grandad.

So what did he do?

Well, for one thing, in 1908 at the age of 14, his constant curiosity led him to follow the Brighton Salvation Army band across town and into the Glory hall where he begot religion. In a big way!

That curiosity then led him into becoming a missionary, leaving good old England behind, and travelling to countries as Malta, Gibraltar and Ireland, to spread the WORD.

Now let me tell you about the physical aspect of my Grandad. He was not a large man; in fact he could be called dapper. His eyes were a deep blue, often filled with mischief and merriment, and he sported a rather large moustache, and carried himself in an upright military bearing.

So, wouldn’t you think that someone of his physique would have chosen a sweet, slim and petite wife? Can I emphasise the word PETITE???

But no, my Grandad had a secret; he was drawn to large women!!

Whereas Grandad hailed from a Saxon family who were all small, deeply mired in the history of England’s wars, and fairy tales, he lighted upon my Grandmother; she who carried the genes of Vikings; with all those blood curdling stories of raids, raucous behaviour, and other unmentionables; usually carried out on English Soil.

Was my grandmother PETITE? Not on your Nellie; she was big boned, blessed with a large bosom, and stern features.

Now look at me, what chance did I have? Most of my great uncles on Grandmother’s side were over 6 foot, blue eyed and blond.

So here I sit before you, a model of the misadventures of my Grandad. I have followed in my Grandmother’s footsteps, carrying the large bones (as we like to say) and the fair hair and blue eyes of the Nordic race. Alongside the large bones came the large bosoms; a weight that may have seemed perky when you are young. But with age, everything seems to slip, and those bosoms have rapidly sunk before my eyes!

You will notice that I have chosen to call my female ancestor “Grandmother” which is actually quite formal. At the tender age of 7,I with my mother and my two brothers travelled to England from Australia where my grandparents finally retired after years of missionary work in India and South America. In their years abroad they had produced 3 daughters, all blessed, if that is the word to use, in their grandmother’s likeness. My mother did not escape the genes, and my female cousins, who live in England, still bear “The Look”.

For 5 years I was able to enjoy my Grandad’s humour, his delight in the Arts, music and drama. For 5 years I discovered that my Grandmother believed children should be seen and not heard, or condemned to do the dishes every night as punishment for loudness or cheekiness.

I also discovered that my Grandad was subject to sternness and rebuke from this woman who rarely smiled and ran the household with an iron fist.

Now I have discovered another inheritance. It also belonged to my Grandad. It’s called “getting even”. In the nicest possible way of course! Like frogs placed in the large potty grandmother used at night, as the toilet was located on the 3rd floor of their house. The screams in the middle of the night were not disconcerting if you knew they were coming!!!

So, as much as I have to admit, whilst my Grandad has a lot to answer for, he also has given me a joy of life, and a curiosity that has led me in all aspects of my career and my life.

Now, to look at what my parents gave me.

That is a whole new ball game!!!!