|This is one of the few photos I have of my grandma as she hates having her photo taken.|
My Grandma has a twin called Joan. They are 83 in a month’s time, but every time my grandma visits her twin she gets told off. Told off for doing too much.
My Grandma wakes up every morning at 6am she makes herself a pot of tea and makes breakfast for her and my aunt. When my aunt has gone to work, my grandma walks down the road to get the morning papers. Joan tells her off. She could have those delivered.
During the morning she will go and work on her allotment. Here she grows everything – from tomatoes in her poly tunnel, to strawberries in their cage and potatoes that she puts in by hand. Joan doesn’t understand why she bothers. You can get all those vegetables at the supermarket or even have them delivered to her.
But that allotment isn’t just her working hard, it’s a little community. They all help each other. While my grandma will give everyone jars of homemade tomato chutney and excess strawberries, in return she gains eggs from the chickens and fresh raspberries. But it’s not just produce she gains. She gains the friendship and communication of the fellow allotment owners. So many old people live in isolation, but here she has a community looking out for her.
During the afternoon she will clean the house. Taking pride in the dusting of my late Grandad’s bowling trophies. Again Joan tells her off. She could have someone in to do that. My grandma’s argument against every telling off is that while she can do it, she will. She is very active. She cycles round the village and bakes cakes for everyone.
In contrast, her twin Joan has never been active. Their careers were so very different and this has continued into their older age. Whilst my grandma worked in the orchards picking apples, my great aunt worked in a shop. Whilst my grandma enjoyed every aspect of PE and sport, Joan did everything she could to avoid it.
I can see the benefits of being active and my grandma inspires me to do this throughout my life. She is fitter and healthier than her twin. More than this she has a greater motivation to do things for herself. She has told me how much it will frustrate her when her body declines and she can’t do things for herself, but at 82 and as active as she is, she is an inspiration.