Once we got to Walsall, we went straight to Dad's parents, who lived behind the undertaker's shop in Stafford Street, so we had to go through the shop, past the chapel of rest to get to the living room at the back. I never remember that room as anything else but stuffed full of family and friends. After a noisy welcome there and a lot of chat, we would carry on to the next, which was a maiden aunt (my godmother) further up the road on the Wednesbury Road. The main thing I remember there was the quietness, the lace runner on the table and the scratchy horse hair sofa (the end of which folded down so you could put your feet up). The next port of call would be my other grandparents in Dartmouth Avenue. The garden there was huge, and Grandad grew a row of peas just for me to eat, straight from the plant - I suspect it was to protect the rest of the peas from me so that everyone else could have some. The Christmas visit was actually to collect them and bring them back to our house for Christmas.
Christmas dinner was, of course, turkey from our local butcher. Each year, we would order a small turkey from him (he raised them himself) and it would turn out to be so big that it would not fit in the oven without removing bits. Boxing Day was cold turkey and pickles, including pickled cucumber and onion (must go and make some), with my uncle and aunt joining us. Then Mum and Dad, and uncle and aunt would spend the evening playing Solo Whist for halfpennies and pennies, very competitively and very loudly.
How did I get from Grumpy Old Men and routes through Brum to parents playing whist? could have something to do with the Bailey's to celebrate finishing the last card.