Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Gallery - Eyes

The obvious thing to go with for this weeks gallery theme would be my Granddaughters eyes, because unusually she has two different coloured eyes, but I've told you about that before. So I thought I'd go with something completely different and tell you about my Granddad's Eastend shop, through my eyes, as a four year old child. My memories of this time are vivid, as if it was yesterday. My Mum and Grandad are no longer with us, but their memory lives on.

Granddad's Shop Through My Eyes As A Child



Its the early 1970's and I'm a small child living in the Eastend of London. I'm sitting at the breakfast table eating toast, Bay City Rollers are playing in the background on the radio and Mum is smiling as she leans forward to wipe jam from the corner of my mouth. She gently combs my hair and tells me to get my coat because we are going to Granddad's shop. I jump up and run to the front door, eagerly waiting for my Mum to sit me in the back seat of her sporty, green Mini. The short journey fills me with anticipation because I love everything about my Grandads Greengrocer's. 

A dusty mixed aroma of potatoes, apples and furniture polish greet me as I push open the big green doors. The bell rings and I hear my Grandads infectious laugh. I quicken my pace as I'm eager to discover what Grandad is laughing at. I'm guessing he playfully joking with my Nan, as he always does.

Grandad spots me and as I run to him, a big smile spreads across his face, he reaches his hand over towards the apple counter, and picks me a bright green golden delicious. He polishes the apple on his immaculate, white overall and reaches into his pocket for his small pen knife. Grandad then cuts me a slice of the apple and presents it to me as if it were a prize trophy.

I look up to him with adoring eyes. He is a big, strong Irish man with rosie cheeks and thick, black wavy hair, smartly dressed and wearing a shirt and tie underneath his overall. He smells of Brylcreem, old spice and imperial leather. I climb up and sit on a stool beside the big, clunky weighing scales. I watch Grandad as he greets his customers and I notice that he has a special way with people, he never fails to make them smile, even complete strangers.

Pensioners come into the shop regular as clockwork to buy their weekly fruit & veg, always eager for a chat, they scrape their pennies together for a cabbage or two and then in comes a tired young Mum, overwhelmed with bags and children, she looks harassed as she buys a bag of spuds. Grandad always gives them an extra bag of fruit, telling them that it was damaged stock that he couldn't sell. I admire his kindness and that he doesn't let them know he is helping them. He looks to me and winks. At that moment I realise that my Grandad is a very special man.


9 comments:

  1. Great post Emma, and dont you look just like Ellie in the top picture. xx

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  2. Lovely story and your Grandad's eyes glow with kindness from this great photo.

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  3. What a treasure trove it must have been as a 4 year old. Lovely story and amazeballs retro pictures. If you know me, you know I'm a sucker for a childhood memory.....!

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  4. Wow what a poignant story, I lived in the East End for 12 years and you've captured a time which doesn't really exist so much around there anymore, but it still has a magical atmosphere, as does your post. Love it.

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  5. Great post, your Granddad sounds lovely.

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  6. What an evocative post. Wonderful that you have such lovely memories of him and the shop.

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  7. A very special man indeed... Lovely post. xx

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  8. What a great post and a lovely sounding man. Gorgeous x

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