Gan Gan is the name of my daughters grandfather, my father~in~law. He is a wonderful man, funny, kind, generous and full of anecdotes and stories of his past. My daughters adore him and have many happy childhood memories of days out with him.
We used to live in Lincolnshire, just down the road from both my father (aka Papa) and my father~in~law (aka Gan Gan). This meant we could pop over and see them at any time and had many family gatherings which we took for granted. Now, living in Derbyshire, it’s not quite so easy to pop over for a cuppa and natter.
Getting across to visit isn’t as cut and dried as it was when the girls were younger and we had no pets. Being adults the girls have different work / further education commitments to consider and so it’s tricky arranging to go out for dinner with the three of them locally at any one time, let alone a trip over to the ‘Shire. If we do manage to get all of us assembled at the same time to visit then we also need to find a dog sitter for our furry boys. This means visits are curtailed to just a few precious hours, between the journey too and from the ‘Shire of 4+ hours travel.
Over the past fortnight we have visited twice, once with 2nd born daughter and then the second time with 1st and 3rd born daughters. We hope at some point to manage a full house although have no idea when we will be able to orchestrate it.
Gan Gan has a lovely garden, a patio area with water feature where the birds visit to both eat and drink, then there are steps leading down to the lawn area with bushes and plants around all sides and a border to the back with plants obscuring the green house at the far back.
Sadly my mum and Dave’s mum have both passed. However, both our fathers have found love again, my dad with M’Julie and Daves dad with Norma. Due to time constraints we usually visit one side of the family at a time. Sometimes we can arrange to get both parties together in a restaurant for lunch but not very often.
My dad is ten years younger than Dave’s dad, plus M’Julie is younger than my dad and so the pair of them live very active and full lives making visits tricky to arrange.
Dave’s mum passed early in our relationship but she saw us engaged and happy looking towards our future together. She was a fabulous woman, I don’t think there was a single person who disliked her. This was clearly noted when on the day of her funeral the church couldn’t accommodate all the mourners and so they waited to pay their respects outside in the church grounds.
Norma is also a wonderful woman with huge generosity and love to give. She is a great Grandmother to my girls, looking after them, playing with them and loving them as her own flesh and blood from the moment they were born.
What is so lovely about this second marriage is that Sheila (Dave’s mum) is never forgotten. Conversations include her and it is if she is still with us. Norma from the very beginning made sure that no one felt that she was replacing Sheila, far from it ~ instead that she was living alongside her memory and there was room for them both.
We love Norma as much as we loved Sheila, she exhausts herself to ensure we are looked after and because we knew she would do this we decided to pack a picnic to share when we visited so that Norma could just sit back with Gan Gan and be catered for. This meant we could have all the time to chat and be together, eating our picnic in the lounge off our knees.
I took my camera for the second visit to capture the beauty in Gan Gans garden. It made them chuckle seeing me on my knees peering and photographing the plants and I was happy to have the opportunity to have somewhere other than my own garden to photograph.
I didn’t spend long outside because I wanted to be with the family too ~ so it was a brief lap around the garden to try to capture its essence.
I hope you enjoy the following photos as I take you for a tour around Gan Gans garden..