I often say that My Grandad was a man of many sides. Today, in this blog post, I’m going to focus on the side to the man that I knew. Now, Don’t get me wrong he was far from perfect He could be an arse, but despite his occasional arseholeness – I loved him and always will.
The reason for this post by the way- is actually because I came across some photographs the other day (the cats fault but that’s another post in itself) and I found pictures of my grandad I’d never seen before – and I think each photo tells a story of the man I knew and the bond we had. This blog as ever is a way of me to express myself and I want to say right now in case I get all rambley or emotional -basically what I’m trying to express is I miss my grandad and the side of him I’m honoured to have known.
Firstly- if you don’t know me in real life and you’ve just joined me here you probably wont know the relevance of the title to my grandad.
My grandad, or Jack as he was to everyone else, was a funny one. I don’t just mean funny as in odd ( although he was that too), He actually had a wicked sense of humour which I don’t think some people would have realised to look at him.
The title is in reference to something he said one christmas. My dad and I are allergic to turkey, so each Christmas we have duck. We used to see grandad on Christmas day – and whats really funny is at our house the year before he ate duck (and pork, and the WHOLE of what was on his plate, and raspberry ruffle sweets after!) – and he didn’t make any comment aside from “that was lovely can I take the [pork] crackling home”. Then the following year he asked what was for dinner… when mum said duck…. he said ” I don’t eat duck…” to which mum replied “well you ate it last year”…. and his reponse? “i didn’t know what I was eating then”…. which actually, written down doesn’t sound that funny, but coming out of his mouth and the whole context of it just caused us all to laugh- I laughed so much I cried.
His eyesight was pretty much gone by the time he went, so thinking about it he was right he didn’t know what he was eating.
Talking about his eyesight, although its not nice to mum, something that will always make me giggle is how he would use his hand like a puppet and every time mum went out the room and [in grandads eyes] nag him… he’d mock her. She almost caught him a few times, but there was nothing wrong with his hearing let me tell you that. he knew when she was about to walk in the room!
He used to bring out my cheeky side. He used to be adamant that he wouldn’t open his presents until he guessed what they were (which Is funny because he couldn’t see them anyway). We got him some highland biscuits, and he was shaking them and looked in my direction with a wicked grin and said is it something he can eat and I said quick as a flash ” yeah grandad youre ok mum didn’t make them their edible” – sorry mum, glad you found it funny though!
My grandad used to make me laugh even if I felt sad or scared or tired or grumpy.
He let me see a softer side to him. I miss him.
I miss this man right here, holding me as a baby.
I miss the way he used to grin, that special smile that would reach his quite sizeable ears and the way his eyes would crinkle as it reached them.
I miss the way he’d point at the telly and tell me that movies like shrek or whatever animation was on, was a load rubbish and that I should watch a PROPER film (a western film of some description was in grandads eyes, a PROPER film).
One of the earliest memories I have of Grandad is making mini apple pies with him. Mum and I travelled up to Nan & Grandads on the Friday, and we got out the frozen pastry that night, putting a tea towel over the top…and I’d go in to the kitchen, he’d lift me up and i’d poke it to see if It was ready yet.
I didn’t even really like apple pies but it was exciting to be making something with him.
He let me do anything I wanted in that kitchen. I created some awful concoction with all kinds of crap in – if I remember rightly it had coffee granules juice milk and grapes and all manner of disgusting things mixed together , we called it chefs surpise… poor auntie carole was the one who tested that mixture! the woman deserves a medal for doing that!
My mum had a rule when it came to me and playing as a kid- no real food when playing with toy kitchens.
So when I had a toy kitchen gifted to me , before it came to my house it was at nan&grandads. It was just Nan and Grandad… and what did grandad do? He let me play with real food in my toy kitchen. What a trouble maker… whats funny is that mum didn’t know this until a few years back, she said “I never let you do that” … No mum, you didn’t…but grandad did!
I wish more people got to see the grandad I knew.
The grandad that would laugh.
The grandad that would make me jelly and ice cream just how I liked it ( hartleys jelly pot, drain off the jelly, make a hole in the middle and put a scoop of jelly on the top and the ice cream starts to melt and run through the jellies core).
The Grandad that would hug me tight and kiss my cheek.
The Grandad that would play with me.
The Grandad that would smile and laugh when I spoke to him.
The Grandad that taught me how to bet on the horses from a toddler…(never one to stick by the rules, start them young and all that)
The man who was on the diabetic ward in hospital but had us asking the nurses if he could have a KitKat and some dairy milk – and it HAD To be those specific things…
The man who toward the end in the cold wore a hat that made him look like deputy dog.
The man who took me by the arm to walk back to my house when it was icey – and to this day I’m not sure if it was so he didn’t slip, or to make sure I didn’t slip!
The man who is pictured here – holding my special hat ,and me.
The man who would both annoy me and make me smile at the same time.
The man who yes, could be an arsehole, but ultiamtley was my grandad.
The man who one Christmas gave me this little photo to keep – which I will always treasure.
The man I loved and always will.
If I ever have a son in the far far future, their middle name will be jack. After this man who I will always love and always miss.
I didn’t realise just how much I missed him until I found those pictures.Grief is such a funny thing isn’t it? it creeps up on us when we least expect it – and just when we think we’re past it … it taps us on the shoulder. I wish he could see me now, especially as I’ll be 20 this year, I wish he could see how tall I am! I already towered over him from the age of about 10, but now I’m super tall so I wonder what he would ve said now. I miss you grandad – love you always xxx