Inspired by Meaghan's post of old photos of her mother, and also questions about my connection to Spain, I decided to do a post about my maternal grandparents. You see, they are originally from Spain, hence my Spanish connection. My Mum and Aunt were born over here, but technically I am half Spanish (I used to get into many arguments with kids at school who told me I was only a quarter Spanish because my Mum is really English although she's not, she's just born here.)
My Nana had this huge biscuit tin that was full of photos of my Grandparents and other family in Spain. I used to get so excited whenever we got to look at it and I'd spend forever asking 'who's this?' and 'where's that?'. My Spanish family seemed so intriguing to me as a child, rather exotic and mysterious compared to the little northern industrial town I grew up in. Now, that tin is in my possession because I loved it so much.
This is my Grandad Pepe. This photo was taken in about the early 50s/late 40s I think. Doesn't he look so suave? This is my favourite photo of him ever - when I was little I always used to think he looked so smart, he had to be a gangster or something.
And this is my Nana & Grandad together. My Nana and Grandad's story is quite romantic/sad. My Nana's own mother died when she was young and she had a horrible stepmother. When my Nana & Grandad started courting, my Nana's stepmother decided that Pepe wasn't good enough for my Nana. They still carried on courting despite this and even got engaged. However, under the regime of Franco, my Grandad was very unhappy and decided to emigrate to England. (Well, originally he wanted to go to South America, but it was too expensive and hard to get there, so after a stint in Paris, he settled in England). My Nana & Grandad were still engaged at this point, and were actually engaged for 9 years (a very long time back then!). They got married whilst my Grandad was in England and my Nana back in Spain. They didn't have a real wedding ceremony, but once the papers were signed, my Nana was allowed to move to England to be with her husband. They've been married for nearly 60 years now. Sometimes I wish I could see the love letters that they sent to each other whilst seperated. The closest thing I've got is a photograph of my Nana sat on a boat and on the back in Spanish she's written 'I wish this boat could send me to you'.
Once settled in England, my Grandad got a job working in the mines and my Auntie and Mum were born in the 50s. The photo above is a photo of my Mum & Auntie, on holiday in Spain. My Mum is the youngest one, doesn't she look cute? I really like my Auntie's coat too.
This is a photo of my Nana, Grandad, Auntie and Mum, on a visit to family in Spain. My Mum is the little baby on the left with a dummy in. The old lady in the middle is my great-grandmother, my Grandad's mum. My Mum says this is the only time that she met her and it makes me so grateful that I grew up so close to my Nana & Grandad.
I've been to Spain to visit family twice, and I am so excited because in March I'm going again. My Nana & Grandad don't go as much anymore, because they're getting old, so I am really excited about a big family holiday, with my Mum, Sister, Brother-in-law, Nana and Grandad (my Dad has to stay at home to look after the dogs!).
Do you have any interesting or romantic family stories?