Gran and Maudie
Dennis was brought up by his motherís parents after she went to
live in Calhoun, Georgia, with an American Tech
in 1947. Dennis corresponds occasionally but has not met her since. His
paternity is uncertain. He has lived all his life in the converted railway
carriage known as The LNER.
He plays the banjo
which he learned using the Bert Weedon Play
with Yourself for a Day method. He also makes up songs: his most famous
is Ladder to the Moon but there are many others, some of which are
available in Dennisís shop.
Gran is Dennisís maternal grandmother. The long-time widow of a
railwayman, sheís 92 years old and - as Dennis puts it Ė Ďincompetentí at
the Royal Family and embroidering mottoes on cushions. She often stitches
mistakes, e.g.: Bless this Horse
and A Miss is as Good as a Male.
As a gifted
whistler, Gran has several sets of dentures for different
tunes and she reserves one set solely for when she whistles The Dream of Olwen.
Her basic, everyday teeth are known as her egnezols
because she was sucking a lozenge when the dentist took a mould of her mouth
and the word on the lozenge came out backwards on her teeth. The egnezols are
used for chewing, informal whistling, crimping pasties and extracting
Maudie Deeks is Dennisí fiancťe.
Sheís always at the front when
they go tandem riding, which may have something to do with Dennisís
Ďtroubleí. Whatever the reason, heís quite happy with the arrangement and has
written a song about their shared passion: Pedalling
With Maudie on the
Maudie runs Mr
Thrusselís coalyard office near her home at Swaffham Market. A diligent and neat worker,
she wears a clean bobble hat to the office every day. She lives mostly on
Ambrosia creamed rice and tinned spaghetti cooked on a paraffin stove beside
her bed. Oh, and she knits the bobble hats herself.
To hear Dennis telling Mr South about Gran and
the LNER, you need The LNER, Me Gran, The Flying
Squad and the Four Rs from
the album Thaís
All In Ya Loif.
To read more about
Dennis and his world, please click away to your heartís delight on the various links on
the left. If youíre new to Grunty Fen, a mugful of something strong might