May the fourth
04/05/2013 § 7 Comments
be with you!
The 4th of May has always been a special day – it was my grandfather’s birthday. He was a kind, gentle, wise old man. He was my Gaga – a made-up name from before I could say Grandad, I suppose. He must have been 72 when I was born and always lived with us (or we with him), I’m not sure which. He was very tall and ramrod straight, self-contained and quiet.
My grandmother had spied him walking to work in London, in the late 1800’s. She’d thought he was a policeman, because he walked so tall. She set her sights on him – I’ve no idea how – and they married. My mother was born when he and she were almost 40 years old, so maybe having children later in life isn’t such a new phenomenon. Nana died when I was 4 years old, so I grew up knowing him and feeling secure in the quiet knowledge that I was very much loved.
He loved his daily routine of a late breakfast, his newspaper, a light lunch, a very long afternoon walk with his walking stick, pottering in the garden, watching the cricket on a tiny black & white television, listening to the radio – always the news. I never remember him being ill – not ever, not even a cold.
He taught me to count – buttons in my grandmother’s button barrel. He was a huge help with any of my school history project when a wealth of interesting facts could be recalled with ease. He’d worked at a high level in the Board of Trade, as it was then, and had stood for Parliament in 1929.
I loved him dearly. He died when I was 18 and he was 90.
I’ve searched and searched for a photo, but they must all be at my home in Wales so I’ll think of him today, in a wealth of happy memories.