One of my favourite stories that my mother used to tell to me was one about my paternal grandmother, Elsie Beatrice Blagdon.
We were quite poor when I was small, and I can dimly remember visiting my grandmother's house with its outside toilet (she wasn't exactly rich, either). Later, my mother recounted to me one of our first visits there without my father.
Grandmother asked where mother's "scrounging bag" was, to which my mother, puzzled, asked "what is it?".
"Ye never come here without yer scrounging bag, my love," answered Grandmother, and proceeded to open all her kitchen cupboards and pull out whatever she could find - a cabbage here, a packet of biscuits there, a box of cereal and so on. She piled them all up on the kitchen table and tucked them into a large empty shopping bag. Yes, it was charity (and my mother was a very proud woman), but by calling it a "scrounging bag", it got around the pride and made it seem as though my mother was looking out for herself, rather than having handouts given to her.
We have continued the tradition, which is now layered over with a laugh, and when I was away at school, was called a "care package" - a box of totally unrelated goodies that my mother would put together for me to take back with me after I visited. She never forgot Grandmother's kindness to a young daughter-in-law who was too proud to ask for help.
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