We have come to UK for a 2 week vacation. My baby brother is getting married on July 19th in a castle down in Bristol. So there will be many blogs on the trip and I thought i would break them down, so bite sized chunks of the trip not one big BANG.
First up was literally the first thing I did upon arriving home to Kent, Thanet, Margate and me Mum’s. DK had kindly come to pick us up at the airport along with Mum, how lovely was that. DK drove Ollie and I to Mum’s where we literally dropped off the suitcase and then went over to Nan’s.
Nan has not been too well of late, and then sadly had her best friend and neighbour (our Margaret) pass away. So being 94, recovering from illness, and losing her best friend she has decided to move in to a home. That meant there was a need for income to fund this move – can you believe it is not covered free. So my Nan’s house has been emptied by Mum, DK, John etc. with an amazing update to the kitchen to be rented. So the mad dash to Nan’s was to see it empty before the new tenants moved in literally that day.
So starts the sad and happy – and I will share that through photos.
This is now what my Nan & Joe’s (Grandad) living room looks like.
- Roasting chestnuts we had collected from the woods in the fire on the coal shovel, whilst watching Dr Who. Yes the fire there was originally a coal fire with the coal shed out back;
- Joe asking me to get up and go behind the curtain you can see in the picture to change the channel. It was Redifusion then with only 3 channels that you changed with this huge dial, chunk, chunk, chunk…;
- All the nick-hacks adorning the wall from their travels and then in latter life mine and other family members;
- Christmas’ sat round the fire – a favourite when I got a huge box of Action Man toys;
- Joe’s cubby, the area only he was allowed. His chair. The remotes for the TV (eventually). A man cave within the confines of the living room;
- Looking through the photo albums time and time again, never a dull moment listening to the story behind the still you are looking at; and
- Laying on the floor playing board games with the family.
- The conker tree that once stood in the middle here, my practice climbing frame for many years;
- The magnolia in blossom to the top right of the picture;
- The rose I brought in a pot for mother’s day one year for Nan probably 30+ years ago, that is still flourishing now;
- Watching the blue-tits in the winter, feeding at the table and then getting up the morning to collect the milk to find they had been at the cream (remember gold top?); and
- Eating biscuits and drinking tea in the sunshine with Nan and Joe saying hello to every single person that walked on by.
- The pantry stocked with easy to reach goodies – my favourite being the Bourbon biscuits;
- Joe’s chair, only he was allowed to sit there, everything in easy reach from his paper to his radio;
- Learning to cook in this kitchen with my Nan and my Mum – yep this is the origins of IsLifeARecipe – being an ex-Brownie (yes it is true) I was constantly being asked to produce my Angel cakes for boot fairs and fund raising fairs; and
- This is the place where we used to come in to from the allotment, laden with produce to be prepared and cooked. Potatoes, tomatoes, beans, strawberries, gooseberries, pumpkins, turnips, swedes, rhubarb and more. Amazing.
- The greenhouse, now gone – leaving the earthen square you can see;
- A pile of bits and pieces and and old motorbike – Joe, my Grandad, was a hoarder – but in a good way;
- Going to the shed to collect coal in the scuttle for the fire;
- Going in the greenhouse with Nan and Joe with a salt cellar – why? – so I could pick fresh tomatoes off the vine take a bite and sprinkle some salt – simply the best tomatoes ever;
- Practicing for fancy dress parties, preparing the look and the walk – one fond memory being the scarecrow costume; and
- Where we started and finished our foraging treks to the seaside with prawn and shrimping nets, wellies wobbling loose on the way, red rubbed legs on the way home.
- This as my bedroom after Nikki had moved out to Mum’s room;
- Sitting at the window waiting for Mum to come home;
- Exploring the cupboard, full of Joe’s treasure; and
- Sitting with Nikki after I had purchased my first ever single record, Vienna by Ultravox, and listening to it over and over so we could write all the lyrics down and then sing along to the record on Top of the Pops.
- This being Joe and Nan’s room and then sacrificed when Nikki ‘matured’ and needed her own space;
- I then remember it as Mum’s room with some wardrobes and a sheet on a slider to act as a divide – hey presto two rooms – Nikki had her privacy, Mum had hers and I had my own room too; and
- That this is actually where yours truly entered the world, yes Mum did not make it to the hospital and Mr Brian was later born in this very bedroom.
My brother Darren did an amazing thing. Whilst clearing Nan’s house they found the paperwork from the MOD regards Nan’s medal award for her services in WWII. 1939-1945. So he applied on behalf of Nan and then passed a piece of paper to her for signing with some other bits and pieces. Then literally the day we land the medal arrives so after visiting Nan’s house off we jolly well trot to Nan’s new home and say Hi and have a cup of tea and Darren hands over the medal. A tearful Nan, bless, looked delighted to receive it. Well done DK, nicely done brother of mine!
So here is Nan’s new home – sadly it is a home.
It is indeed lovely, truly it is, but it is still ‘a home’ not ‘Nan’s home’.
So we dragged Nan home to see us.
Baby Jude fell in love I think, he was holding hands, smiling and wiggling is arms when Nan held him, and how cute is this photo of the happy couple. Delightful!!!
Today was a lovely day.
Invited to Nan’s new home for a Tea-Party.
And what a Tea-Party it was.
Sandwiches, rolls, scones with jam and cream, cakes, Pimms, coffees and teas, strawberries and cream and ice creams. All served up with live music from a really really good band.
It was excellent. Who was there;
Nan of course, John & Janet, Nikki, Mum, Mary, Ollie, Amy, Jude and yours truly.
Major family reunion – just lovely, sat in the sun chatting, laughing, soaking in the music and enjoying the food.
A lovely snap below of Uncle John, Nan and my Amy.
Flip to the other side of the table and here is Nikki, Aunty Janet, Mary and Baby Jude.
A wonderful group shot taken by Ollie- happy days.
And then one back of Ollie – clearly enjoying himself glued yet again to his iPad.
A quick shot of the band – seriously good. Covers of course, but every single one seemingly performed in their own style. They really were excellent.
And final one for the party, as Nan had to disappear as she was tired.
Son and Daughter with Mum – and a cheeky Amy, the Great Grand-Daughter.
Then John shares some amazing photos of the yester-years. We all laughed so much as you will see the same face my second-cousin Jeffrey in literally every photo.
2nd from the left is my GrandDad, Joe – a dashing chap indeed.
Second-cousin Jeffrey, far right.
Now who is this very sexy lady – with, yep you guessed it second-cousin Jeffrey.
It is actually my Mum.
Woo Hoo, Ding Dong!!!
OK left to right.
My Uncle John, then Yep second cousin Jeffrey (who else) and then 4th from left my GranDad Joe.
Here is my gorgeous Mum again, with Bob the dog, GrandDad Joe and yep you guessed it second-cousin Jeffrey. This is in the back garden of Guildford Avenue – the very place I used to pilfer the tomatoes from the greenhouse some years later.
I love this one.
Oh yes my second cousin Jeffrey, ha ha it is unbelievable isn’t it, and my beautiful beautiful Nan. Mrs Winifred Twyman. Looking good Nan, amazing in fact!!!