Apr. 8th, 2013 08:39 pm
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
[personal profile] llywela
There's a for sale sign in my garden today. Times, they are a-changing. And so I find myself reminiscing about the past, and for that reason I'm going to have a 'dear photograph' moment - but for a different house.
In 1978, I was one and my sister was four, and Sunday afternoons were spent at my Nanna's house.

It was a house full of family. My Nanna and Bamp lived there - Mum's dad and stepmother/aunt.
Nanna3 Grampy Tarr1
My Great-Nanna and Great-Grampy lived there too, Mum's grandparents - it was their house, in fact. They'd been the first people in either of their families to actually own their own home, but both of their daughters lived there with them after their marriages, because they needed the rent to help with the mortgage, so this was the house that my Mum grew up in, alongside the cousins who later became her stepbrothers. One big happy family.
302 - GGWards2
And my other Great-Grampy also lived there, by the time I was a child - my Bampy's father, who'd moved in after his wife died.
They all lived together in that house, which I remember through the eyes of a child. I remember the cramped little kitchen where everyone used to congregate, full of food and tea and chatter. I remember the attic I used to hide out in, full of books that once belonged to my mum and her stepbrothers, that I used to read over and over. And I remember the garden, which was my great-grandparents' pride and joy. I remember the pear tree that we never ate from, because my sister was allergic to pears, and the greenhouse where the evil rabbit lived, and the vegetable beds, and the cherry tree that I used to climb and sit in, surrounded by blossom, and the swing that always had a grandfather on hand to push.
302 - GGTarr and Deb
I remember the wooden fence out front that my Great-Grampy had made himself, where he used to stand with his little dog Toby to watch the world go by - and I remember playing with that mad, sweet little dog until he was about ready to collapse from exhaustion.
302 - GGWard1
I remember the front garden full of roses, and that's the one that really hurts because that garden hasn't been tended since the house was sold, 25 years ago now, and it pains me every time I pass and see the state of it, so overgrown and unloved. My lovely Great-Grampy would turn in his grave if he could see it now.
302 - GGWard2

This is me with my Bampy, Mum's dad, who'd had a nervous breakdown when he lost his wife and newborn son in one fell swoop, but later recovered to marry his former sister-in-law, although he never enjoyed good health again. I loved that hoody, by all accounts, even though it made me look like a hunchback!
Me with Grampy Tarr1
And me with my lovely Great-Grampy, who was born in Norfolk in 1899 and moved to South Wales with his parents as a teenager and put down roots here, but never forgot where he came from - and never lost that accent. He had Parkinsons disease, which is why he always looks a bit severe in photos, but he wasn't really like that at all, he was lovely.
GGWard and Me
And here's me and my sister with our Dad, back in the days when he still had hair, playing in the front garden on a sunny summers day in 1978, at the very beginning of those childhood memories still to be created.
302 - Dad, Deb, Me

That hedge is still there, and the path still looks just the same, but the rest of the garden...well, it's a jungle these days, left untended for too many years. We lost my Great-Nanna when I was only a tot, and then all the grandfathers went one after another, boom boom boom and all gone, when I was around eight or nine. My Nan re-married (again) and sold the old house, full of memories, and life moved on. But I still pass that old house regularly, when I visit my parents, and I always turn to look at it, remembering days gone by.

Date: 2013-04-09 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
What a shame that the garden isn't kept at least tidy, if not properly tended. My Mum's parents loved gardening and had a large garden with lots of roses and fuchsias to fill it with colour, plus a wonderful plum tree which cunningly disguised the old bomb shelter. :)
At least you have lots of photos and memories.


Date: 2013-04-10 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great post - and what a fab Dear Photo picture too, you can barely see the join!


llywela: (Default)

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