This weekend just gone has given me such a boost. I drove the two hours to Christchurch, Dorset to see my Grandad and his wife and it warmed my heart and made me smile.
The weather was lovely, I ‘brought the sunshine with me’ as my Grandad said when I arrived and bounded into his bungalow (yep, you’ve guessed it, they live in bungalow land). They live a 10 minute drive from the beach so Saturday was spent walking along the windswept shores of Southbourne Beach and enjoying a delicious Dorset cream team in the Miramar Hotel overlooking the seafront.
I was utterly spoilt in the way of endless offers of cups of tea from my Grandad’s wife, an amazing roast dinner on the Sunday and just sitting in the sunshine at some beautiful cafes and restaurants, watching the world go by. Dorset really is a beautiful part of the country. The quayside is so pretty and the beach stretching from Southbourne along to Bournemouth and beyond, as well as the view of the Isle of Wight in the distance, makes it a must-go destination when the sun comes out!
I wanted to mainly write about the fact that, if you’re lucky enough to still have Grandparents, you should make the effort to see them whenever you can! Yes, we all have jobs, social lives, busy schedules. You may think being with your Grandparents isn’t the coolest and not how you want to spend some of you precious time. But I’m not 13 any more. I’m beyond the embarrassment of their eccentric ways and love to be in their company and hear their outlook on life. Enjoying the simpler things – like a nice meal, a refreshing walk, a board game or even some good old conversation – made me want to do more of all of that! They find pleasure in the smallest things. I took home some fresh herbs from the garden that my Grandad’s wife had grown – a real joy for her to see and cook with whilst I stayed there. My Grandad gave me a book to pass onto my Dad, something he saw at a jumble sale and knew my Dad would like. All these little pastimes and small gestures have big impressions and I could feel my heart filling up.
They are the closest link to my past and their generation have seen so much evolve since before I was even an idea in my Mum’s head. It’s so interesting to hear about how my Grandad worked in engineering up in London, met my Grandma at a dance, went youth hosteling and travelled the waterways of the UK on the canal boat he used to own. I learnt about family members I didn’t know existed, little snippets of life pre-me, memories of my Grandma who I miss dearly. I left feeling completely warm-hearted and filled with love for my family.
See your Grandparents whilst you can, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and they are so precious.