Home: Time with Grandma

One thing I always love about going to stay with my family is spending time with my Grandma. I miss her enormously and I wish that I lived close enough to see her more often. Letters and phone calls are all very well but there is nothing like spending time together. We lived with Grandma until I was 4 years old and she’s been a strong character in my life ever since. We’re very close and we just “get” each other. Her house is as familiar to me as my mum’s house is and I always feel relaxed there. She has a lovely garden and its great for taking photos in. More recently she’s been less able to manage the garden as she has done in the past, so on Sunday we (that’s me, my mum and my brother Patch) went over there to cut the grass for her and trim some bushes that had grown too large. I say we, Patch did the work while we three sat on the bench on the patio!

Irish Mollies – I think these tiny dark velvet pansies are beautiful but Grandma thinks they are a bit of a pest as they grow unstoppably in her pebbly drive!

This is us sitting in the sun. It was the only day that the weather was lovely (and that was really just for the morning) and we were all really hot sitting there! It’s a lovely sun trap.

On Monday my mum had to work, which was an ideal opportunity to spend the day with Grandma. I packed up my yarn bag and then unpacked it right onto the table and was happy as anything all day. We chatted a lot and Grandma was a bit mesmerised watching me turn yarn into squares!

We also got the old photos out to look at. I don’t think I’ve looked through Grandma’s ones with her before and there were lots of ones that showed different aspects of the photographs in my “baby albums” that are as familiar to me as my hands are. Here I am, Christmas 1987 (so 18 months approx) with my brand new pram. That pram stayed with us until only a few years ago really but without the cover or the hood, just a box on wheels!

And here I am again, around the same time, looking cheeky and happy with only about a tenth of all the teddies I used to have. I was a fan of teddies.

It’s strange looking back at my first four years of life because it just feels like a totally different life. Different house, town, county, people, everything. My sister Rachel was born 6 weeks before we moved from Surrey to Northants, and Alice and Patch were born two and four years after that so all of their childhood photos and memories come from a different place than mine. It’s a bit odd. I also don’t really like looking at the photos of my childhood after we moved to Northants, they seem more alien to me than the ones from Surrey.

It got me thinking about how much more prevalent photography is now, how much cheaper it is to own a camera and produce photos. I have a ┬álovely lot of photos from my childhood and I’ve always been really grateful for that. I’m determined to do the same for my baby; I know how much I love my early photos and want to do the same. It always makes me a bit sad when people don’t photograph their children, or don’t make any effort to take decent photos. Photos that are in focus for example! Perhaps that’s just me …

It is funny thinking about your own childhood and your unborn baby in the same brain-space. It’s taken me a while to realise that my baby is not me and I will not be able to give the same childhood that I had. I know that sounds really stupid and obvious, but I think I just had a set template of “this is what childhood is like” in my head and it takes a while to realise that my baby’s childhood will take place in different circumstances with different people and what have you. It’s hard to explain but I’m sure you know what I mean.

I can’t wait for Grandma to hold my baby. (She’s excited too, also because she gets to come and stay in the nice hotel again!)


9 thoughts on “Home: Time with Grandma

  1. Hi Heather , loved this post. Your own photos are excellent…love you grandmas garden. The ones of you as a toddler are very sweet too. I’m sure you will take some beautiful shots of your baby when it arrives ,and as it grows.
    Jacquie x

  2. Louise says:

    You’re so lucky to have digital photography. My children are only 18 and 16, but I would have loved to have the ability to check my photos as I went, rather than having to trail to the pharmacy to have the film developed (at great expense) … and then be disappointed with the results! You’re going to have so much fun!

  3. Lovely post! It’s precious that you still have your Grandma. I miss mine. It’s great looking at old photos and going back to old memories. You can get some beautiful record books now for babies which I’m sure you already know about and that is a lovely way of keeping photos and recording all the important milestones and funny things they say. I have done that with both of mine and they are lovely to look back over. Mine are still only 3 and 5 so plenty more exciting milestones to come!

  4. This is a lovely little story about your Grandma. I miss my Nan and Grandad so much. I think that is the worst thing about moving abroad. I speak to them every week on skype which helps a lot and I guess I did not see them that often when I lived in the UK (they lived so far from me) but now it has been 9 months since I saw them last!

  5. I love my grandma too and miss her a lot, she has been gone for over 10 years, I was so glad she was still here when my kids were born and they adored her.
    Lovely garden and I have to say it’s not fair, your grandma has black pansy’s that grow like weeds and mine wouldn’t live for long!!!!! and I love black pansy’s. Ahh well :)
    xx Sandi

  6. Catriona says:

    Your baby will have a loving home with parents and family who love her/him. You have great friends where you stay who will give you support and your photography skills will ensure lots of little and big moments of your lives together are recorded.I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and she taught me all my crafty skills, to read and to tell the time. I was her solace in widowhood but I benefittded as much as she did. Happy days!

  7. What a lovely post! I miss my maternal Grandparents who we were very close to. They lived a few streets away and I had an uncle 2 months older than me (18 year age gap between him and his nearest sibling!!), so we spent a lot of time there. We even lived with them for a while when some work was being done on our house. Your baby is so lucky to be having a Great-Grandma – my Great-Granny was my favourite granny of all when I was little.

    There are no photographs of me as a newborn baby – I think I am about 3 months old the first time I appear in a photo. My parents didn’t own a camera so were dependent on other people taking them and then passing over the prints! I do find it quite galling, though, that there are photographs of both my older brother and my younger sister as younger babies! They obviously did not try hard enough where I was concerned!! xx

    p.s. love the ‘growing over-naptime’ bump in your next post…. just you wait another couple of months… just when you think it can’t get any bigger…!!!

  8. Selena says:

    I have a pic of me pushing an identical pram, with almost identical curtains in the background, you just made me grin so much seeing you pic! :-)

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