An excerpt from Harriet of Hare Street. Although not a biography, much of the novel is based on my mother’s experiences as a child. Her grandfather was a seaman, a ship’s engineer with the General Steam Navigation Company.
“Speaking of grandfathers, when’s Gampy coming home from sea?”
“Child, why do you still call him by that babyish name? Can’t you say, ‘Grandfather’, like any normal thirteen-year old?”
With a sigh, she replied, “Because he likes me calling him Gampy. He says thinking about me keeps him sane while he’s at sea all those months. I can’t wait to hear more of his adventures.”
Her mother pinned a stray lock of greying hair into place and sat down. “He makes up most of them.”
“You always say that, but I believe them, especially the one about the pirates. That must have been exciting. Fancy, actual pirates climbing aboard his ship! And the tale about the black cat appearing from nowhere in the middle of a storm. They all thought it was the devil.”
A tut and a shake of the head was her reply.