Home – A Celebration

March 29, 2023

My Grandma has lived in the same house for 70 years. So I took some photos.

I think I’m becoming increasingly sentimental. There’s a couple of things that might explain this – one is that our family lost someone very unexpectedly last year, and the other is that I’m acutely aware that, come September, I’ll be one of those parents whose children all go to school. That feels pretty monumental.

Anyway, this post isn’t about me. It’s about my Grandma. She’s the matriarch of our family, especially since my Grandad passed away ten years ago. She’s 94, and has lived in the same house for seventy years. SEVENTY. Just stop and think about that.

Grandma's stairs

Can you even begin to imagine the memories etched into every corner, folded into every curtain, buried in every carpet? My uncle was born here, my Grandad died here, I spent every Saturday of my childhood running around with my cousins here. But that’s just scratching the surface.

I recently had an overwhelming urge to document this incredible home, and all the things it has seen, by taking photos. I don’t think my Grandma, or even other members of my family, really understood the purpose of taking these images, of trying to bottle the textures, the colours, even the smells of this familiar space. But in years to come I’m confident these images will stir up all sorts of emotions and memories of the remarkable lady I still get to call Grandma, for all of my family.

Grandma's kitchen
How many meals have been cooked in here in the last 70 years? How many meat pies, boiled puddings, roast dinners?
Grandma's pantry

Now here comes the even more interesting bit – a few weeks back I shared a load of these images on my social media, as I just felt they told a real story of how our homes are little time capsules of nostalgia. The response was overwhelming, not just on my business pages but also on private photography groups where I shared the same story. People from literally around the world were commenting on my post, saying how moving they’d found these images, and how much they wish they’d taken similar of their own grandparents’ homes before it was too late. People I don’t normally chat to were coming out of their way to tell me how much they’d loved the photos of my Grandma’s house.

Which is lovely! But what I found surprising was how none of these people know my Grandma, none of them have been to her home or seen her decor. And yet, there is something universally emotive about the images of her home – whether it’s because they remind people of their own grandparents, or something else entirely, I’m not sure.

Door handle
Toilet dolly

Ultimately, I think these photos serve as a reminder to all of us to document our loved ones before it’s too late. Not just the people themselves, but the spaces in which they lived and in which they loved. Home is a powerful word, a powerful concept, and should never be undervalued.

The final, word, of course, should go to my Grandma, who, on being shown the images I took, told me: “They’re fine. A bit different”…

Like I said, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t get why I took these or why they are so important.

But blimey, I’m glad I did.

Grandma's photos
Grandma's living room
Grandma gloves
Grandma locking door

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