Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Gallery - Grandparents

I was very lucky growing that I had two sets of wonderful Grandparents but sadly only My Nan on Mum's side is still with us. 

Dad's Parents, Tom and Grace were Londoners born and bred. Grandad worked as a lorry driver for a sawdust company in East London. These were they days when the butchers would still use sawdust on their was big business back then and I remember visiting his workplace with my Dad often during the 1970's as he worked there too for a while. I still think of Grandad every time I get a whiff of wood chippings and I picture him smiling as he leans on a garden fork with a mug of tea in his hand or underneath the bonnet of one of my Dad's cars as they worked on many motors together. 

 (Nan & Grandad during the 80's, This is how I like to remember them)

Nan on Dad's side was a very talented dressmaker and it is from her I get my love of sewing. Nan could make absolutely anything and would whip up a dress in no time at all. I picture her curly hair, with her glasses on strings hanging around her neck along with her tailors measuring tape either sitting at her sewing machine, working on her lovely garden or baking a yummy cake constantly asking to measure me up for a new skirt.Nan also loved to write and I'm sure she would have loved all this blogging stuff had she still been alive, she most definitely would have been a blogger.

Mums parents, Pat and Tommy (Sam was his real name) were Green Grocers with two shops in East London and some of my fondest childhood memories were spent at the shop. I loved it there and everything they stood for as genuine shopkeepers who cared for their customers. I picture Grandad sitting in front of the fire after a hard day at work, cat on his lap, newspaper in his hand with the faint sound of the News in the background on TV. I miss his jolly Irish voice, his many stories of Ireland and his love of gardening.

 (Nan & Grandad with four of my Brothers and two of my cousins 1990)

Nan on Mums side is thankfully still with us and if I picture her back when Grandad was still alive I see her fussing over him, cooking him lovely dinners and bringing him cups of tea as he tends his roses. I sit beside her as I watch her unrolling her hair from her curlers that she has had in all night covered by a headscarf, her hair emerges immaculate as she then applies her face powder and lipstick. Nan is a strong and feisty woman who suffered so much heartache during her childhood losing her own mother during the blitz as a bomb ripped through the bunker that was supposed to protect them from the continuous bombing. She was only thirteen the day she watched her mother die.

As I remember the massive role both sets of Grandparents played in my life I feel sad for my own kids who have never really experienced having traditional Grandparents. They had my Mum before we lost her but Papa's Mum lives a long distance away and they dont really see her very much and as for Grandads, well thats a whole other post. They dont have a Grandad as Mine and Papa's Dads both totally neglect their families. It is such a shame that they have missed out on all the great things they could have learnt from having Grandparents in their lives.

 (A few months before we lost Mum - Granddaughters Mummy, Mum, Nan & Granddaughter and me on the end)

So now Papa and I are now Grandparents ourselves and we love the role of Nanny and Grandad and the relationship is an important one for us. We totally adore our five year old Granddaughter and strive to give her many fun, happy memories of time spent with us. I hope as an adult that she will look back at her time with us with just as much love and as many happy memories as I have for my own Grandparents. I just wish Mum was here to see how her Great Granddaughter has grown...She would have been so proud.

Pop over to Sticky Fingers for this weeks Gallery theme of Grandparents and check out lots of Fab posts.


  1. What a lovely post. Your grandparents on both sides sound like great ones to have. I still can't believe you are a grandparent yourself! It must be another wonderful family experience to have xx

  2. Nice memories em xxx

  3. What a lovely post full to the brim with memories!

  4. Your maternal nan sounds like mine down to the head scarf and being feisty. My nan still lives in her council house where she raised her children, only now instead of a lovely community it's full of v unsavory people. At nearly 90 she goes and gives the local druggies a telling off. I wish she'd move but she loves her garden. She's a character.

  5. I can picture you being the most awesome Grandma in the world certainly came from great sounding grandparenting stock :) xxx

  6. What a lovely set of grandparents to be blessed with, and I'm sure your granddaughter is just as blessed with you..., but you don't look old enough to be Nanny and Grandad! Nat

  7. What a lovely evocative post about your grandparents! It's lovely that your grand daughter is obviously going to have so many wonderful memories of the time she spends with you. x

  8. Love this post. Your photos are great. Wonderful memories too. The smell of wood chippings reminds me of my Dad! (he is a carpenter!) x

  9. Ah the glasses on a necklace around the neck, maybe the pointy cornered ones? I remember those too.
    Lovely post and I'm quite envious that you get to spend so much time with your granddaughter; mine lives in Italy and I'd love to be more present in her life

  10. Lovely post and special pictures.
    Loving the look of your Nan in particular but a real sense of family in your post which I like lots

  11. awww that was lovely. You don't look old enough to have grandchildren. :) x

  12. I enjoyed reading your memories very much, especially the dressmaking part! My Italian Grandma was also great at sewing but sadly that skill completely passed me by...

  13. Love how your post is full of so many gorgeous memories of your Grandparents. It's so sad what your Nan experienced at such a tender age and losing her Mum like that. Got tears in my eyes reading your post. xx
    p.s. So wonderful you clearly love your Granddaughter so much - she is so lucky to have you and Papa.

  14. The granny/grandpa relationship really is a special one, isn't it? Really enjoyed reading this post.



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