Thursday, August 29, 2013
Granny and Granda Bow
This is a photo of my granny and granda on my father's side. I think it's a lovely photo. It's exactly how I remember them. They lived in Staffordshire and we'd visit them for two weeks every summer. As soon as we got off the boat, or plane, and landed on English turf I could smell the difference in the air. Young noses are sensitive to subtle changes. The scent in the air brought with it the memories of previous years and the excitement of what lay ahead. My grandparents home, in particlar, had a distinct smell that I loved. The house had a pantry, a proper pantry with a beaded curtain. I used to love following my dad in there in the evenings when he went to fetch a can of beer.
Our holidays in Staffordshire were wonderful. Wednesday was market day. The walk up to the town centre was up hill but totally worth it for it's quaint wee cobbled streets and market square. There was a small new age hippy shop that sold incense and cladagh rings and wooden figurines of Indian elephants. I'm pretty sure it was where I always bought my mum her holiday gift. There was a stationary shop called Partners (maybe now it's called Staples?) and every year we'd use our holiday money to buy all our new stationary for school. We could spend hours in there looking at all the funky rubbers and sharpeners.
We'd visit relatives, and people who weren't really relatives but we called 'Aunty' anyway. We would visit our uncle who had the coolest house with a massive organ and a bar in his living room. Sometimes, I would go with dad while he had a pint at the pub and play in the beer garden. Northern Ireland didn't have play areas for kids at bars. This might be because we take drinking very seriously, or the weather just doesn't permit. We went to a reservoir called Tittesworth that had the best park in the whole world. I remember certain years there was drought and the reservoir was all dried up. And then, of course, the highlight of the holiday was going to Alton Towers. Granny and Granda didn't go on any rides except the Swan Boat which just drifted peacefully along the lake. Now that I am an adult I can see that they took immense pleasure in watching all their grandchildren so happy and excited and that was enough for them. It's nice to remember the simpler times.