J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

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Following on my from recent post of Mumisms, I bring you Grandmaisms.

My Grandma was a real character. A true piece of work. One of a kind. Instead of mourning her death, I am celebrating her for the naughty, feisty, unique woman she was. The woman who was winning tennis tournaments into her seventies, hiking and drinking her way around Paris in her 80s, and arguing with determination in her 90s.

Grandmaisms. I hope I’m able to get away with as much as she did when I’m that age, and have as many people that love me enough to let me.


1) “If you don’t hurry up and get married you’ll grow over”

This was advice to me when I was 19 and had recently been through yet another break up. I didn’t like to tell her that, despite once again being single and still (nineteen…) unmarried, “growing over” was unlikely to be top of my concerns list.

2) “It’s good you’ve got a big bottom. Boys like a good sized bottom”

Said to my cousin when she was anxious about appearance worries, as most teenage girls are. My grandma was a tiny, slim woman with a tiny bottom, but she was ever going to let my cousin think that that was the only attractive body type.

3) “When are you going to lose that baby weight?”

However, she also did not hold with anything she perceived as laziness, and considered natural body shape acceptable weight, but baby weight to be unacceptable. I was given strict instructions to get back to my own shape. Three weeks after giving birth.

4) “Do you think that man is a homosexual?”

My grandma loved and accepted my uncle in a way that many of her generation struggled or refused to do. However, she also knew that asking questions like that made my dad squirm with embarrassment. So she asked. Loudly. A lot.

5) “Have you moved your bowels?”

Apparently asking if your teenage granddaughter has been to the toilet is rude. Asking if she’s moved her bowels is not. Again loudly. And in public. And in front of boys. A lot.

6) “How do you expect to get a boyfriend if you don’t know how to knit?”

Another piece of dating advice for cousin, when lamenting her singleness. Because knitting is top of every guys “want” list when they’re flicking through Tinder.

7) “Why on earth would you do that to yourself?”

In response to my nose piercing. My cousin’s dyed hair. My dyed hair. My hair cut. Really anything that changed your appearance. No point pretending you approve of something, much better to just let rip with exasperation.

8) “More sugar?”

Visiting grandma means so much sugar on your rice crispies that you can eat it from the bottom of the bowel in great big spoonfuls. It means your mouth being so bunged up with wine gums that you need to brush your teeth for a month just to clean them. It means visiting sweet shops before lunch because that’s much more fun.

9) “Do you want to go faster?”

Ice skating, roller skating, riding bikes, swings… whatever it was we were doing that visit, she was the first one to assume that higher or faster than our mother would have been comfortable with was by far the best option.

10) “Of course I can do it myself”

Whoa betide any man who suggests he needs to carry something, move something or lift something. She did not hold with such nonsense. She was a strong, determined woman and inspired me to always do it myself… partly because I’d get it in the neck if I suggested I couldn’t.


Goodnight Grandma. You kicked serious ass.

You can check out all my contact info an links on, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!



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