26 December 1975, Boston
This has really been the most trying Christmas ever. Granny Braid is losing her mind and Grandpa Braid has lost his hips. You’d think between the two of them they’d constitute one decent grandparent, but it doesn’t seem to work like that. How much more jolly it would be with the Nelsons. But I suppose it’s because they’re so much more capable that they’re spending Christmas in their own home.
We have been practically confined to the house since Granny and Grandpa arrived on the 23rd and, since then, the place has been like a sanatorium. Every downstairs room is strewn with half-drunk cups of tea and there are biscuit crumbs all over the furniture. I sit down to watch something on TV and the sofa is gritty with ginger-nut granules. Granny reacts to everything with a look of extreme surprise, as if to say: “Gosh, I’ve put my dentures in upside down again. Oh look, there’s bread sauce all down my front. I look like I’m in a porn movie!” If she hoists her eyebrows any higher I swear they’ll disappear under her wig.
—William Peskett, Boxing Days: A Short Story, 2017