If you read my blog then you might know that over Christmas my Grandad sadly passed away. I don't usually share such personal stuff on the blog but for some reason I want to right now. Sadly I lost both my Grandads last year. They both lived up in Liverpool (where I was born) along with the rest of my family and growing up we made trips up to see everyone a few times a year. As an adult I didn't see them as much as I wanted to/should have and my other Grandad, who I hadn't seen for a little while, passed away before I got a chance to see him. Weirdly it was around the same time last year.. as I'd just won Best Photographer in the Wedding Ideas awards and my Mum told me that Grandad had been told before he died and had been really proud. This still makes me so incredibly happy and so sad all at the same time.
With this Grandad I feel lucky that we had made the trip up to Liverpool just before Christmas so I have two very special visits in my memory. My Grandad was a complete character. He liked to make things and to paint things.. to as far back as when my Mum was little. I remember my Mum told me that he made her an ice rink in the back garden.. he made my Nan an exercise bike and the pedals hit the floor as they went round... he made himself some stilts.. he had roller blades (that he adapted of course).. and everything.. and I mean everything.. was covered in parcel tape. He loved to paint and would paint portraits of my Nan.. our dog, George Best (he looked a little ape-like).. and of course the Mona-Lisa.. who we discovered was given a smile in red paint only recently. His armchair was at a 90 degree angle to the tv so he had to completely turn his head to watch it but he never changed it.. and he could tell you who was shooting and kissing who in any Western. At my 21st birthday we all went to the pub and as he left he threw up in the bush outside.. he'd had about 5 pints of Guiness and 2 whiskeys but "It must have been that cheese sandwich that did it". The first time Pete met him.. within 5 minutes he had shown Pete his foot.. and every single time I left whether I was 10 or 29 he always stuffed a tenner in my hand.
I have so many fond and funny memories of him and through my whole life... him and his house have been a constant.. he is my family.. the house is my family history. It hadn't actually changed much at all from when my Mum was a child but now all that is going to change. The house is council owned so it has to be cleared, given back and then they will renovate it for a new family.. so I wanted to take some photographs. I needed to.. I wanted to capture everything.. my Mum's Captain Pugwash wallpaper that is still on the wall, the red hallway carpet that used to be in our family home but was later given to Grandad, the view from the landing window that my Mum used to look out on to the road when she was waiting for my dad when they were courting, his kitchen filled with bits and bobs that felt so huge when I was little, the baked beans that a member of the church had kindly given.. and he then gave to us as "I don't like Baked Beans", his pipe that he would fill with tobacco and then would use about eight matches to light, all the trinkets around the house that me and my sister would play with for hours when we were little, the clock on the wall that he was given from Ford as a retirement gift, his paint box, the calendar he marked off everyday, the zimmer frame that he had added a little tray to so he could bring things in from the kitchen, his clothes neatly folded drying above the cooker.. every little thing is so important.. and I don't want to ever forget..