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Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Marching Song

A story for Sian's Story Telling Sunday (more information here) and links to today's stories can be found on Sian's blog.

When my sister and I were little, for many years we would go and stay with our Nana and Grandad (my Dad's parents) every Friday night whilst my parents went out with their friends.

Pippa and I would arrive in time for Friday night tea, which Nana always made a treat for us. We would be allowed to stay up and watch 'It's a Knockout' or 'Steptoe and Son'. Then it would be bath time in their big old bath before bedtime. Pippa and I ended up sharing a single bed for many years as she had nightmares and didn't want to sleep in a bedroom alone.

Anyway, on Saturday mornings, before our parents came to collect us, Nana would sit at the piano and play for us. It would always end up with us asking for the 'Marching song'. I don't know what this piece of music actually was, but as soon as Nana started playing it, Pippa, Grandad and I would start to skip and march, out of the lounge where Nana was playing, into their large hall, round the hall, back into the lounge and up and down the lounge. This was such a tradition and if the rest of the family, including our cousins, were there then everyone would join in.

Unfortunately Grandad died when I was only 13 and Pippa and I no longer stayed regularly with Nana as we were more grown up and could be left on our own for a couple of hours on a Friday night.

However, skip forward to February 1988, and Nana's 80th birthday.
 Nana cutting her birthday cake with from left to right
my Mum, Aunty Sandra, Cousin Caroline and Uncle John

We had been out for a meal to celebrate, my immediate family, my Dad's sister (Aunty Sandra) and her family and Hugh. We finished the meal and went back to Aunty Sandra's for a cup of coffee and to continue the party. 'Nana, please play the marching song!' we begged. She protested that she was too old and that her arthritis was too bad, but we kept on and said that Hugh had never heard her play, so in the end she gave in! She played the marching song in Aunty Sandra's dining room and we all, including Hugh, marched, skipped and generally had a wonderful time.
Nana is hidden behind my Aunty in the green,
the man in the tye is my Dad and the lady laughing is my Mum

 The lady in the black is my sister,
again you cannot see Nana, but you can see her hands!

That was the last time I ever heard her play the piano, although she lived for another 10 years and saw me, my sister and my cousins married and welcomed 3 great grandchildren into the world.

I have many happy memories of both sets of my grandparents and feel very privileged to have those memories.

Don't forget to have a look at the other stories here.

23 comments:

Amy said...

The story is fantastic - and, how wonderful that you have the photos too!

JO SOWERBY said...

these are the photos and stories we love to scrapbook, the stories we want others to know and remember. i love this story, it is such a wonderful illustration of family fun.
jo xxx

Sian said...

What a lovely, lovely story! And those photos - what proof that taking pictures is worthwhile. They are brilliant.

I always think that the best stories breed other stories - and this one reminds me of my own Grandma who came to my wedding in 1988 and then died exactly 10 years later, to the very day.

Thank you for joining in Storytelling Sunday today Becky.

Jane said...

lovely memories and photos.

Scribble Monster said...

What great photos and a lovely tale. x

scrappyjacky said...

What a wonderful story,Becky.

Jimjams said...

How fab to have such a close and loving (and talented) family! Great memories TFS

Ladkyis said...

Oh I love this story, and I am desperate to know the marching song!

Ifa said...

Fond memories. I am learning to play the piano and maybe, I can one day start my own merry making tradition.

angelfish said...

Such a lovely story and all the more wonderful to have photos to go with it:)

Lynn said...

This is such a lovely story, and bought back my memories of me and my brother spending the night at my granny and grandads - I think I'll save that for another story telling sunday.

Mary B said...

How lovely to have those happy memories and a lovely family tradition

debs14 said...

What a lovely story, sounds like your nana was a lovely, fun lady who has left you some wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing!

Alison said...

What a great story...bet you're glad to have had these photographs!
Alison xx

Gem's Crafts said...

What a truly lovely story. I love that you even have photos to go with it :)

Karen said...

It's a wonderful story, Becky! You're so lucky to have had such a close relationship with your grandparents. Mine lived quite a ways away, so there are only holiday memories.

furrypig said...

how great to have the photos from that time, your story has stirred up memories of time spent with my Nan when I was a child, I loved staying with her.

Sue Althouse, a.k.a. midwestgirl said...

Your story left a smile on my face. My grandmother said her aunts had something called the Laughing Song, which I never heard, but she remembered with great fondness. Thanks for sharing! (and stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!)

Ginger said...

Loved your story and it's great you have some photos of these memories :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a beautiful, touching and humorous story (all rolled into one). Perfect for Storytelling Sunday.
Rinda

favouriteworkofart said...

Beautiful story so well told.

Gail said...

What a wonderful story and so nice that you have pictures of it.

Wanda said...

How wonderful that you were able to relive a childhood memory when you were an adult. And I'm sure your grandmother was thrilled that all of you remembered it. Great story!