When I was a little boy I was force fed religious dogma and idiom by my school. Of course, my grasp of the English language probably matched that of many of my peers and there were words I was unfamiliar with. One such word was “grace”.
I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant. Not being a shy type, I asked my learned friend Paul Midgley what grace was. He said he was unsure this, on reflection was probably because he was an Anglican. So, I thought about it. What could it mean? Well at school we said “Grace after meals” and usually after meals we had pudding. So perhaps that is what grace meant. Grace was a type of pudding. It seemed to figure because we also said something along the lines of “Hail Mary full of grace” and well, if Mary was like anybody normal she might have had too much grace after her meal so as to be full. This I suggested to Paul who agreed with my idea. He also agreed because it was just as plausible as my explanation of how when you died you went to a petrol station to lie under the petrol light (“May petrol light shine upon them” is what we said at school, at least that’s what I thought we said).
The grace theory also tallied when my Nan gave me some creamy Ambrosia rice pudding for my desserts one weekend. It was so yummy. What was this I asked? “Ambrosia!” she said. So, as any school boy would, I looked it up in a dictionary.
ambrosia [am-broh-zhuh] –noun
1. Classical Mythology. the food of the gods.
2. something especially delicious to taste or smell.
3. a fruit dessert made of oranges and shredded coconut and sometimes pineapple.
Of course, this wasn’t item 3. The Ambrosia in this case was the brand name [http://www.ambrosia.co.uk/]. But it seemed to tally. “The food of the Gods”. Perhaps this was grace. It made sense. Grace after meals. Being full of grace. Amazing grace. Sweet grace. Mmmmm grace….seemed in my imagination that grace was a Delicious yummy milky yummy pudding. Yummy.
Once I asked the dinner lady if we could have some grace for pudding. I can’t remember her reaction or answer but I imagine she probably thought I was a bit weird.
And so spin forward 30 years and whenever I hear the word “Grace” I think of this delicious pudding. Of course I know now that this is complete nonsense, but as a child it was completely plausible. When I hear or see the word, my mouth still salivates and my mind fills with images of this glowing creamy goodness in a bowl.