Sunday, 1 May 2011

Storytelling Sunday

It's the 1st of the month and that means it's Storytelling Sunday over at Sian's house.  This month, my story is more of a "I wish I knew" type of story.  The I wish I knew more about the love my paternal grandparents had for each other story.
Grandad J died when I was only six, so I don't have many clear memories of him, but I do know that he was a true gentleman, supported his widowed mother financially until her death (Grandad's father died terribly young during the Influenza outbreak of 1918; Grandad was only 9-years-old) and was a fireman in his "spare time" during WW2 (his day job was a reserved occupation).  My grandparents lived in NW England, an area that was hit hard during the war years: Shipbuilding & associated docks and the huge port of Liverpool must have made his "spare time" incredibly dangerous.
Nana J was a huge part of my childhood: always beautifully dressed and hair done and make up on.  We were never in any doubt that we, her grandchildren, were the apples of her eye.
I love to look at these photos of them, because the love they shared is so obvious to see. I wish I'd had the foresight to ask Nana more about her life with Grandad, but I was fairly young and my parents were probably concerned that too many questions from a youngster would be too upsetting for her.  And now of course, it's too late.  
My Nana has been gone over 20 years, but I still think of her everyday. Why?  Because of Chanel No. 5;  DH bought me a bottle a few years ago and when I sprayed it, it was as though Nana was there in the room with me.  In that moment, I learned the name of the scent she'd worn.  Something that would not have happened if DH hadn't decided on the spur of the moment to bring me "a bottle of something smelly".  

If you'd like to read more stories today, pop across to Sian's blog where you can read her lovely story and find the links to plenty more.

23 comments:

furrypig said...

that was a lovely story and made me reminisce about my own grandparents thanks you for reminding me of them xxx

Amy said...

My 'smelly' memory is of Oil of Ulan - a face cream .. I have been known to by a jar just to remember Grandma by :-)

Ruth, you do your family history so very well - this layout is such a treasure :-)

Sian said...

Beautiful story, beautiful layout Ruth. You have such an instinctive feel for family history and connections and all those things - it gives your story a real warmth I love.

Thank you for joining Storytelling Sunday. It's always so good to see you.

alexa said...

How wonderful that a chance event enabled you to connect again with your Nana: smells are so evocative. And a reminder to us all today to ask questions!

Kirsty.a said...

A lovely story. Grandparents are very special people

Cheri said...

My Mom also wore Chanel No. 5. It's an unmistakable scent.

Karen said...

Today must be a day for remembering grandparents. The love your grandparents had for each other so clearly shines through on your photos. What a lovely lo to celebrate that love.

Rhona said...

What a lovely story today and how wonderful that a smelly gift brings back such happy memories day after day. xx

JO SOWERBY said...

my great grand dad lott died in the influenza pandemic too and worked on the railways in liverpool at the time. he left his wife and 5 young children who had to be fostered out as my ggmother had a breakdown and went into a sanitorium,
Jo xxx

Gail said...

What a lovely story and beautiful layout Ruth. Funny how certain smells bring back memories.

Miriam said...

This is lovely. Our olfactory nerve is amazing isn't it? A certain perfume or scent can take me right back to a time or place or person. To go right back to my grandmother it's Lily of the Valley or 4711 (anyone remember that?) my mother-in-aw has some and I always take the top off to remember Nana for a moment!

Jinnag said...

Thats wonderful - I have a tiny bottle -I remember it sat on my gran's dressing table. I only have to open it and she is right next to me again. Love your LOs and the way you tell your family story. J x

debs14 said...

It's strange the little things that can bring back such a strong memory isn't it?
Lovely story and fab photos to illustrate it.

angelfish said...

What lovely photos to have of your grandparents, looking so obviously in love:)Thanks for sharing them and your story with us.

scrappyjacky said...

What a lovely story,Ruth....and I always find scents so evocative....and they can immediately take me back to another time.

Alison said...

Lovely story...I always wish I had spoken to my grandparents more and found out more about them as people, and not just as grandparents!
alison xx

Becky said...

What a lovely story. It's strange how scents can 'bring people back' to you, and wonderful too.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What lovely, loving pictures! And your words give them such life.
Thanks for sharing,
Rinda

Jimjams said...

Serendipity rules! Lovely story TFS

JennL said...

love your story, especially those photos that capture the love perfectly.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Such a sweet story, Ruth! Yes, you can tell from the photos that your grandparents shared a very special love between them. I the story of how a scent takes you back in time is quite touching. Well done, you!

♥♥ Liz ♥♥ said...

They are lovely pictures. They were most definitely in love. It's a great story about the perfume. I didn't remember that....just the Oil of Ulay as it was called back then.

S said...

Wonderful story and layout. The nice thing about a group of pictures is that they will tell a lot about the subjects regardless of why and when they were taken in the first place. Well done.