Posted by: kathandroger | December 18, 2016

Granddads runny nose.

He was called Arthur Cooper, and he was my maternal granddad. He had worked all his life as a farm labourer in Bedfordshire and lived in a little semi detached house, without water and electriciy, where he and my grandmother raised their four children. The toilet was at the other end of the garden in a little hut, and he grew all his own vegetables and kept chickens. He also had a little workshop with lots of tools. We lived in London, and a trip to see my grandparents took all day, involving several buses and a long train journey. We did not own a car then, but it was still a journey to paradise. My granddad was a hero to me; he knew how to catch rabbits in a snare, and he won several county shows with his flowers and vegetables, and the countryside was another world for a nipper from inner London. He was a small man with a big nose, little round glasses and very hairy, large ears. He smoked a pipe and always spoke very slowly and carefully. I loved him dearly although we only met once or twice a year, when he would take me fishing to the river, and knock conkers off the tree for me. But best of all he would let me use his little workshop for knocking nails into pieces of scrap wood to make little models of ships and cars. He always praised my feeble efforts, and carefully showed me how to do things better. As he grew older and he became a bit more frail, the lessons still continued whenever I visited, and he always seemed to have a drip on the end of his nose when he was by my side giving me encouragement. I have been working in my workshop making Christmas presents over the past fortnight and it was only a few days ago that I realised that I had a drip on the end of my nose. Granted it has been cold, but it is more likely to be a reflection that the very old man I used to work alongside is now almost me!

The bits and pieces that I have “rescued” from the house over the road have been put to good use. The twin grandsons obviously needed some sort of toy they could both use together. After a rummage around, and old car axle stand and a few lengths of galvanised pipe were retrieved, and after a bit of welding and a coat of paint they now have a seesaw.img_3618-2The height can be changed easily, the top is detachable, and the waxed oak seats should not cause too many splinters.

I also found a lovely old waggon jack, maybe a hundred years old, but still in working order although very dirty. This with an old wheel from a big pulley, a bit of bent heavy metal, and an old soup ladle, has made a presentable lamp. img_3619-2The only downside is that both presents weigh a ton, and getting them into the car and to the UK is going to be a bit of a game. But thank you Arthur Cooper for all your help so many years ago; you started it all.


  1. What a lovely tribute to your granddad, and I am sure he would be proud of your efforts. I’m certainly impressed! I love the lamp especially.

    • It’s sad that we only appreciate people properly when they are gone; there are so many things I would liked to say to him now!

  2. That see-saw is great…. they are really going to enjoy that!!
    Did you get your lateral thinking from that side as well?

    • Tim, it is not lateral thinking, it is behaving like a child again but having the tool to play properly!

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