This is where (like at an AA meeting) I stand up and say, my name is Ailsa Abraham and I AM Nanny Ogg. For anyone unfamiliar, this fabulous person is one of the three witches portrayed in his inimitable style by Sir Terry Pratchett in his Discworld series.
The trio of Weatherwax, Ogg and Magrat (note spelling) shows me that Sir Terry knows witches inside out and back to front. From the wonderfully fluffy Magrat, the archetypal newbie (bunny-hugger, velvet-wearer, aspirational willowy flower-bedecked heroine) through the matey, drink-and-fun-loving, foul-mouthed Nanny Ogg to the austere and powerful matriarch, Mistress Weatherwax, he has us all down to a T.
I take it as a huge compliment that so many people have told me I must have been the inspiration for Nanny although this cannot be true as I have never had the blessing of meeting Sir Terry.
Let’s just look at it for a moment. Middle aged? Well unless I plan on living to 114 I think it is safe to say that I am into late middle age. Overweight? My dress size is a state secret but I’ll admit that I can’t buy off the peg in fashion chains these days. Matey? My family have taken to accompanying me into shops because they know that if left alone I will get into conversation with someone and end up listening to their life story, it’s what happens (it’s an Ogg thing). I have slightly more than Nanny’s one tooth left (but not many). Singing rude songs and swearing… well, yes I have been known to do that on several occasions (change that to “on a regular basis”).
More to the point, I am the down to earth, sleeves rolled up witch who will kick the asses of the younger ones because that is how I learned and that is what they are there to do – learn. I am kindness itself to anyone with problems but I won’t shrink from telling people when their mess is their own making, while still pulling them out of it. I AM Nanny Ogg and I’m more than happy to be so, I can’t be anything else. Critical – you bet! Read Witches Abroad and tell me that this is not also completely in character. No plans on changing in the near future, even if I could.
Phew, that was fun…. now, I will admit to having a strong urge to neck a bottle of bananananan daquiri in one and sing several verses of the Hedgehog song. Only those who have read the books will understand this.