It’s nine years since my Gramps passed away, and it would have been his 79th birthday. Funny to think he’d have been so old! It makes him seem so young when he died.
The things my Gramps taught me:
- 7 x 7 = 49. He was obsessed with times tables and Pythagorus. He liked things to make sense. He was an ordered and rational man, and yet he still bet on the football pools each week.
- There’s no substitute for butter. Hovis with Country Life butter for breakfast, with a glass of orange juice. No simpler or finer breakfast.
- You might not achieve what you want in this generation, or the next, but one day, someone will live out your dreams. It might not be you, but the foundations you lay are as important for others as they are yourself.
- You can get a whole biscuit in your mouth very easily.
- A shirt can come in many colours and a real man can get away with lilac, pink and yellow.
- Family are more important than any other thing in the whole wide world. They might not be there when you need them, but they’re never more than a call away and they’ll always love you, no matter what.
- The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.
- Get your kicks when you can. You’re a long time dead. He taught me this by not doing this. He saved for 40 years and never got to enjoy retirement.
- Smoking is not good for you!
- Photography is an art.
- The fuchsia is the princess of all flowers, with her ballerina skirts.
- France is a marvellous country.
- Map-reading is a lost art.
- A map can tell you many stories.
- Reading isn’t just for girls.
- A real man can walk a little dog and not look like a wuss.
- Your family will always have faith in you.
- You don’t need an expensive car to get from A to B.
- You don’t need an acre to enjoy your garden.
- Enjoy the sun whilst you can.
Whilst I love photography and gardening, my Gramps lives on in me. When I work hard, that’s a testament to him. When I use my mouth more than my brain, I can hear him chastise me. But, most of all, I see his smile whenever I imagine him, and I remember what an amazing man he was. You don’t need to be famous to be magnificent.