For John Hadjicostas, In Memoriam.

For John S. Hadjicostas, in memoriam. John Hadjicostas – or as I called him, Grandad – passed away this morning at Southend Hospital. The man that we thought was invincible, who survived strokes, heart attacks, and cancers, has gone. I spent summers down at his guest houses on the seafront, folding bed linen and washing up and eventually cooking breakfasts, listening to his stories of growing up as a boy in Cyprus, and drinking Aldi lemonade. It was at the dining table of 12 Hartington Road that I had brawn for the first time, ox tongue, squid (he told me that it was an onion ring) and various other culinary delights. He taught me to fry an egg, to use an old fashioned laundry press, and how to spectacularly lose my temper. He taught me how to raise my middle finger, at Boxing Day dinner in a party hat, telling me he’d give me a pound if I stuck it up at my mother across the table. I did, and he clipped me round the head for swearing at my mother. We both laughed then, but I still got my pound. The last time I saw him, he was hunched in a chair in the Castle Point Ward at Southend Hospital. He sat there quietly, not the Grandad I knew, but soon found his voice to grumble and growl when the lad in the adjacent bed started chatting up his […]

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