Friday, 29 October 2010

Positive Distraction !

Oh the plans of mice and men! Yes, I did say that my blogging would be more frequent then it may have appeared to have lapsed. I have been distracted this while and full of expectant joy.

Nothing at all to do with the Irish Lotto which reached the dizzy heights of €16,000,000 last week to which I generously donated €4.00 in preparation of being the lucky winner (was not). Plans had been roughed out in my head of likely recipients amongst my friends and relations. Those ideas are now on hold; the party though is going ahead.

We shall have a joint celebration dedicated to newness. The extensive modernisation of this cottage and now… bang drums, blow whistles, trumpets and clash cymbals; for I have become a Grandpa to Master Oliver, who was born on Wednesday 20th of October at 21.02 weighing in at 8 lb. 12 oz, in Warwick Hospital, England. Oliver is precisely 9 oz heavier than his mother was at her birth which is an event that I remember with the greatest of clarity.

During the process of Oliver's birth, although in Ireland, I was mentally and emotionally carried back in time. To a small cottage hospital on the edge of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, where the promised gas & air was not available and seemingly hadn't been in operation for months rather than hours. This event provided me with my bonny blue eyed daughter, with whom I have a great friendship along with lots of laughter, so much so I would not be surprised if she views me as an eternal hippie.

For this birth my presence was not required. Yet it seemed to me that I was there, due to the very frequent mobile text messages, that passed between Oliver's parents and myself throughout that long day. In fact I felt a couple of twinges pass across my belly below my navel this being the travails of the expectant grandpa.


Yes, I am to be referred to as Grandpa, not grandfather or even as granddad as those titles seem in my mind to be rather austere and severe. My intentions when with him are to have fun together to sing and skip along roads. Plus the memory still has a variety of Mel-spun bedtime stories that I used to tell to my daughter. Of course they will need modernising with a bit of cosmic light and instead of trips to mysterious islands it will be visits to planets etc.

The strange thing about my family is that I am the first living grandpa on my father's side since 1903. Both my father and his father died in their early fifties

and neither of them lived to see any grandchildren. It was because they both passed on early that I decided to remove myself from the rat race at the tender age of 48 and have some years of leisure with pleasure. Now almost twenty years later the life style continues. Not that I spent every year as a cloud counter!

There was a transition period though as I sorted my interests. First was an involvement with holistic health, which oddly took me into Development Education people issues, the third world and the study of wealth/work sharing plus gender matters.

I am not in total agreement with today's politicians who think that because people

are living longer that their working life needs to be extended. I feel that the decision

needs to be left largely with the individual and in any case there are physical and mental agilities needed in some positions that pre-determine a working life. With tongue in cheek : I personally believe that no politician should be allowed to serve for more than twenty years or past the age of 50, he/she should then be returned to the workforce. Persons who retire though do need to keep physically and mentally active for as long as they are able.


  1. Grandpa Mel,
    I think Oliver looks a bit like you sans the beard! I was scrolling very fast hoping I would see the wonderful picture of your daughter and him and I got to see Oliver's dad also. I love photos so bring them on !

  2. Congratulations Grandpa and well done to Mum and Dad. I am sure you will have lots of fun and little Oliver is lucky to have a Grandpa like you. I agree with you about the retiring 'con' that is going on, all of my friends (and we are in our 50s) certainly do not want to work longer than we have to, that we want to work longer is just poppycock from the government. The goal post for me has been shifted from 60 to 66 and because I am a public servant they are going to muck around with my meagre pension too!

  3. COngratulations, Granpa! This is wonderful news and how nice that Oliver will be the first in his family to know his grandpa. Best wishes to the new parents!


  4. such a pleasure to meet your new precious grandchild, Oliver, I wish you and your family joy and wonder...

  5. Congratulations all round. You will be a solid but tender Grandpa, I'm sure.

  6. Agreed on the subject about working to suit your physical and mental abilities.We are not robots.
    Your grandson is lovely, well done upon becoming a grandpa.
    Found your comment about eggs on the blog.Selling by weight,hmm, difficult if the egg suppliers involved are my mum in law's hens. They refuse to regulate their egg colour,size and shell strengh.Good for them.


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