Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Just a Line From the Old Place

That was how my Gran started her postcard home in 1969 and when I scanned it recently it brought back memories of another holiday.

 Mablethorpe 1967, the year I joined my Grandparents on their annual holiday to the Lincolnshire coast. Grandad loved the sun, but my Gran, who was a very large lady, preferred the shade. The lady on the left is my Gran’s younger, widowed sister, Ellen, my great-aunty Nellie.

All three were very loving and generous, but Nellie, who had never had children of her own, would always be buying me little treats. I only had to gaze at some cheap seaside souvenir in a shop window, and she’d have her purse open before I could turn round; “Aunty Nellie’ll buy it for you.” It gave her as much pleasure as it did me.


There are a few abiding memories of that holiday; one was that I had a terrible bout of hay fever which made me feel very low, and another was that I shared a bedroom in our rented cottage, with Nellie, who snored so loudly, that it felt as if the room was shaking. Between us we generated a cacophony of sound; Nellie’s snores and my sneezes and coughs.


I also remember Grandad trying his hand on the rifle range at the funfair and of all of us eating ice cream cones, outside the seaside chalet which we also rented for the week. The chalet had deckchairs and a primus stove for making cups of tea or coffee. I’d forgotten this until I unearthed a postcard my Gran sent me a couple of years later. They missed me making ‘elevenses’ as the morning coffee ritual was known. She also made reference to something else I’d forgotten; my puppy love for the local lifeguard. Gran had obviously shared my good taste and reminded me of it in the postcard.



Another memory is of Grandad offering me a puff of his cigarette, something apparently he had also done to my mother; naughty Grandad! I adored him and was devastated when he died the year after the postcard was sent.  Because Gran was not very mobile, it was Granddad and I who did the shopping, and who were snapped together by the ever-present street photographer. In the last picture I’m applying suncream to Grandad’s forehead. He’s taken off his glasses and paused from reading the paper. The final memory is that I made that blue cotton floral trouser suit I’m wearing, on Mum’s old Singer sewing machine.


Why not join us on this week’s Sepia Saturday and see what other memories have been evoked by letters and postcards home.


22 comments:

  1. Aww, I feel like crying. I'm now missing my own grandparents who faithfully took me along on summer trips to visit "my cousins in the mountains," as I always called them. We always stopped for a bathroom break at Zion's Crossroads where I selected a Nutty Buddy from the freezer of ice cream treats.

    Your grandfather is so cute -- he looks like a grandfather should look.

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  2. What a great vacation - being spoiled rotten by your doting aunt and puffing on Grandad's cigarette. My grandparents joined us at the beach for a few days each year. I can remember being shocked after walking in on my Grandmother changing into her bathing suit - at the sight of an aged body....now my own shocks me, so I put my bathing suit on in the dark. Your grandfather was handsome!!

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  3. Until now, I didn't know that Little Nell had a thing for lifeguards. I should have kept up the surf rescue lessons!

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  4. Happy childhood memories about Nellie and grandparents. My blog is also about a lady named Nellie. Was it a nickname or her real name, do you know? A lovely trouser suit!

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  5. There is something about the Lincolnshire coast that is both unique and special. I have not been to Mablethorpe for years and, if you hadn't mentioned it and scanned those splendid cards, I might have found myself thinking that I had imagined the whole place. Great memories of your grandparents. I never knew mine, nor did Alexander ever really know is. I am trying to encourage Alex and Heather to avoid this situation when it comes to their children!

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  6. What a delightful post with treasured pictures. I'm not sure how old your Mum's Singer sewing machine was? I've had 3 newer & newer sewing machines of my own over the years, but I've gone back to using my grandmother's Singer - so simple! No fancy buttons or levers or pattern disks. It just sews a straight even stitch. Wonderful simplicity!

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  7. Wendy's right -- you have a proper-looking grandfather! LOVE the pantsuit...

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  8. English seaside holidays always sound so quaint and fun to me.

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  9. A fine post when it brings back memories of holiday with grandparents for me as well.

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  10. What lovely memories - there's nothing else like summer at the beach. I like how your grandmother turned the postcard sideways to write her message.

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  11. I remember when my cousins, sisters and I spent the night at my grandparents, we slept on a fold out cot in there and if I woke up in the night it was so difficult to go back to sleep because his snoring was so LOUD. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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  12. Mablethorpe. What an attractive name for a town, a name you wouldn't forget. In my youth holidays were always spent visiting relatives. But during the year there was the occasional overnight stay at a hotel in Melbourne to visit the theatre, mostly the musicals.

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  13. Oh this was just wonderful! Great treasure of photos too!

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  14. How much fun it all looks. Everyone relaxed and happy in each other's company. Great stuff.

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  15. This brings back memories for me too, although as far as I know my grandparents were not of the beachgoing kind (but they lived in The Hague, so Scheveningen beach was nearby). Your grandfather looks to have been a kind (and photogenic) man, I'm sorry to read he died so soon.

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  16. Wonderful post, Nell, and such great memories that you shared. Thank you.

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  17. Is Aunt Nellie your namesake? This post brought back memories of when we visited my grandparents in Pacheco, California and went to the beach near San Francisco. It was COLD! and that was in the summer. But it was always fun to see the grandparents and be a little bit spoiled by them.

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  18. What a lovely collection of memories, which are now preserved for future generations.

    I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you.


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  19. So wonderful that you have those photographs to fill in the color for your memories. Good post!

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  20. Oh, this is so sweet! Thank you for this post. It sure makes me think of my grandparents. Is that how you came up with your blog name, after your Auntie? So sweet.

    Kathy M.

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  21. Amazing the memories found in old postcards and photos. Your granddad looks a jovial kind fellow.I have been short of time for participating in Sepia Saturday as I have been trying to publish a book. One day I will join in again.

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  22. Just caught up with this post, Nell. So glad I did.

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