It is the school holidays. Two glorious weeks of freedom for kids. On my walk today the grandparent contingent was out in force with backpacks, tricycles and scooters, bottles of water and fizzy pop, healthy snacks and packs of chocolate biscuits. Strollers and buggies and pushchairs of all descriptions with big brothers and sisters in tow. Bags of day old crusts of bread to feed the ducks and geese round the lake. Boys on bikes in raggle taggle groups, flushed with a sense of adventure and 10-year-old bravado.
Next time I’m going to sit and take photos of the dogs and their owners. The old man with a pug, a young fit guy with a greyhound, the sheepdog herding his ladies, two oldies both going grey and losing their sight but loving the sun, me and Mr G.
Joggers and walkers, occasional wanderers and bird watchers make up the crowd. The ice cream nam is back with his van selling ’99’s and lollies of all descriptions. Cones with toppings, strawberry or chocolate sauce, day-glow sprinkles and chocolate flakes. It doesn’t matter about the cold breeze on this side of the lake, it’s never too cold for ice cream for little eyes.
My boys used to have days out like this with their grandparents. Nana and Grandpa would roll up with bags of treats and whisk them off for days at the seaside, walks in the woods, meals out at the Little Chef. Days with my grandparents were much more low-key. Neither set had cars in those days of the late 50’s/ early 60s so time with them was more likely to be making a tent by hanging a sheet over the clothes horse, or spending hours watching the tortoise, Jimmy, eat dandelions in the garden. My Grandpa used to take me to the cemetery to see the graves of his parents and grandparents, we would chat away walking through the fields to get there, Id hold his hand and listen to his stories of ‘when he was little’.
The magic of grandparents is their difference from our parents. The possibility of different rules and treats, the hope of a less complicated relationship than they maybe had with their own children. Of course for some families grandparents are the main carers for the children and kudos to them, but I think the sweet sensation of being to hand the little darlings back must be part of the joy of these days out.