Saturday, 31 December 2022 16:52
I just came across this photo whilst emptying one of the many boxes I have had to go through to sort out my stuff from our relocation to a totally different part of my country …So I now live in a beautiful little town called Ludlow in Shropshire .
This post has nothing to do with my new location, it is about memories of my Grandfather on my father's side of my family. The Photo, taken around 1957/8 shows me with my grandad, so I would have been about seven or eight years old, we are standing outside a hotel restaurant in Ostend, Belgium. I am not sure who took the photo, it is basically not a very good technically, probably taken using a Kodac Brownie box camera, but this little peice of paper means a lot to me,
I had seen him at some of the family get togethers Christmas parties and seen my Dad meeting up with him for their regular Sunday drink, but I had never actually sat down a spoke with him…my first memory whilst in our hotel was watching him sitting in the resturant and watching him eating prawns, he wasn't peeling them he was just putting them straight into his mouth !
"eeeeeeyuck grandpa your meant to take the head and the legs off "
"oh I cant be bothered with that lark ", he replied and then he turned to a plate of sliced tomatoes got a fork full put a mountain of pepper on them and stuffed them into his mouth
"eeeeeeyuck grandpa - tomatoes with pepper ? "
"That how I like em" he said between picking a few prawn legs out of his mouth that had lodged between his tobbaco stained old teeth.
My friendship with this man who I found fascinating had begun I guess.
Every morning he would walk down to the paper stand that sold English papers, which was about half a mile from the hotel and I would go with him just chatting and asking questions, it was funny that I had two brothers and my sister on holiday but I cant remember them coming for these morning walks, he would tell me some or his war stories and how poor he was as a kid and just general chat , I am guessing he was enjoying talking to me and glad of the company. When we returned he would sit in the resturant and have a couple of beers and sit and read his papers. This routine when on pretty much every day.
Grandad fought in World War One in the Army, I dont know much about what regiment what battles or what he achieved …on conversations with my father he mentioned that dad never really spoke about it. During out holiday there we decided to go on a coach trip to view what was known as 'Hill 60'