Grandma Dorothy's white hair was rinsed pale blue, pink or purple at the hairdressers. "My hair used to be thick and dark, just like yours", she told me as a child, leaving me wondering if I too would go lilac in old age.
She and Grandad Wilf lived in a bungalow near a stony beach by the sea. Her oil paintings of roses and holidays hung on the walls, and a clock tick-tocked on the sideboard, keeping us kids awake at night. Grandma Dorothy made her own jam and stored it in jars with paper lids in the larder. There was an apple tree and a bird bath in the neatly manicured back garden, and squidgy white sofas in the 'sun room' where they snoozed after lunch. The greenhouse - Grandad Wilf's hideaway - was full of buckets, watering cans and seed trays. It smelt of soil and home-grown tomatoes.
We used to take bets on what colour dress Grandma Dorothy would be wearing, when we drove to the south coast to visit. Her dresses were always bright, often floral, and she wore them with slippers and an apron while she cooked lunch. Her teeth fell out after the war, probably because of having babies on food rations. But she had false ones, and the brightest and most genuine smile I have ever seen. I'll always remember her laughing eyes as she hugged us when we got out of the car.