This ECHO is yet another scarf from the American company of that name. I have already told you the history of the couple who started the company nearly a hundred years ago. (I featured one of their silk scarves in Blog 23 on December 13th 2020.) How time flies, despite this pandemic. I told you then about Rob Roy in his cave by Loch Ard. I could not find the cave on a recent visit to the Scottish Trossachs, so I am giving up on folklore and will resist telling stories of Robert the Bruce or William Wallace. Nevertheless, these Scottish heroes have associations with the town of Stirling and set my mind thinking about a visit there many years ago with a very young granddaughter.
You will see my scarf is draped over a painting done eight years ago of my four granddaughters. It was not painted by a professional but a friend of one of the girls. It was their gift to me on my 80th birthday. The scarf is a skinny silk one designed with bands of tartan, leather belts, buckles, gold chains and ropes. I could get carried away here and envisage myself locked up in some castle with all these restraining elements featured on my scarf…..maybe even Stirling which is quite a fortress.
This set me thinking about an unexpected individual gift we gave to our eldest three granddaughters and is worth sharing with you. My husband and I thought it would be a great idea to take one grandchild at a time on a special holiday. I was reminded of the value of this after my eldest remarked on her memories of Andorra prompted by last week’s blog. This was our first experiment and we also took along my widowed mother who was known as Little Granny. This child, now a mother herself, reminded me how we giggled listening to Little Granny having a long conversation with herself in the bathroom unaware of her eavesdroppers. How unkind, when I think now how I chat away to myself! I had forgotten about that but granddaughter remembered all sorts of things I had forgotten.
There was another visit with the middle granddaughter to Scotland which prompted my memory today. There are photos lurking in dusty albums of a little girl sitting on a big canon guarding Stirling castle. Each girl got thoroughly spoiled especially by Grandpa, mostly in the icecream department. I think he was indulging his own passion! This child had another trip, based in Norwich, when the highlight was a nature trail to find otters…..that was Busy Bee’s passion. Maybe the young lass was not too impressed by the shy otters so we also visited Great Yarmouth’s Sealife Aquarium to see bigger and more spectacular creatures.. More icecream of course as we were at the seaside. Any excuse!
We come to the third granddaughter in this family. She was given the choice on what she wanted to see on her special holiday. Quite bowled over by her decision! She wanted to go down a coal mine! Definitely not on my wish list, nor Grandpa’s! As loving grandparents, we arranged a trip to Wales. Down a coal mine we went with helmets, lamps but no canaries to test the atmosphere. I am quite sure a bird would have keeled over that particular day. The air was pretty foul. I am slightly claustrophobic, my husband had a dodgy heart. Not our most enjoyable experience but the youngster loved it. I can only think some genetic link to my own grandfather’s gold rush mining days played a part in this choice. I am glad to say she is now a barrister and not a miner.
I come now to my youngest fourth granddaughter who missed out on the special holidays as my husband died when she was very young. She did get the ice creams though. We have an icecream van by our back gate and Grandpa would sometimes look after this whilst the vendor had a toilet break. I am sure all four girls retain memories of dripping cones. Not everyone has a grandpa who knows the icecream man and the driver of the Kew Gardens shuttle train!
So I guess I owe my young art editor, the fourth grandchild, a trip. I wouldn’t want her to miss out on building up her memory bank. Done the castles, Pyrenean ski slopes, wild life, coal mines, ear piercing……..what next?
I am off to Cyprus next week to see Secret Valley and Aphrodite Hills again. They are golf courses. Could I possibly hear an echo from the past and remember how to putt? I might even get inspiration for a holiday treat for that fourth grandchild. Despite being in her twenties, an icecream cone will be included.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 69.