24th March 2017

Visiting my grandad

Then

Visiting my Grandad had always been a special occasion. Ever since I was just a little boy, during the school holidays me, my older brother Ned, my sister Molly and my mum would load up our grey family car and we would drive down to Dunedin to visit him. Dad would normally stay home because of his work, thus making it harder for my mum to drive down alone with the My brother and I and my sister. Mum has always been a good driver and somehow during our journey, she would manage to drive and stay focused on the road, me and my siblings in the backseat literally screaming at her.

“Mum! are we there yet?” No matter how many times I would ask her this, I would always get the same cool but sharp response:                                                                                                                                       “Just five more minutes”

“Mum you said that ages ago!” Eventually, after I had asked the question many times over, our car would drop over the brow of the hill and drive into port. It was a short drive up the rundown cracked street to Grandad’s house. Pulling up outside on the road, my brother and I burst out of the car and run up the grassy path towards the house, leaving all of the bags and shopping for mum and my sister to carry.

That night when we were all settled down, Grandad would usher us all into the kitchen. “Teas ready,” he would say in a low grumbling voice. “I’ve prepared some of my special carrots just the way that you like them.” Now let me tell you about my Grandad’s carrots, they are just purely amazing, just one bite and you are in heaven, they have a soft yet crunchy outside and are as sweet as sweet can be. On the plates, I can see a steaming pile of soft buttery mashed potato, and off to the side, there is sliced mutton smothered in a rich silky gravy. Looking around the table, everyone is engrossed in their food, the only sound that can be heard are soft murmurings of conversation between my Grandad and Mum. After dinner, my brother and I are tucked up in bed for the night. beneath Grandad’s best fluffy duvets, we fall fast asleep dreaming of wonderful things.

Now

“Honk Honk!”, I hear the sound of the horn as I rush to grab my bags. Ahh, I think to myself that must be Mum, once again me, Ned and Mum were going down to Dunedin to see my Grandad. Except for this time, as well as my dad, Molly wasn’t coming with us, she’s overseas working, after all, she is all grown up now. On the drive down there’s an airy silence amongst the car, almost as if we had driven along this road too much like this road had given us everything that it had. No chance for Mum to get distracted, no kids in the back screaming. Nothing just the heavy sound of My brother snoring. Staring out the window I watch as the scenery changes before my eyes, From the dry barren rocky outcrops that are Central Otago, to the lush green landscape and the low-lying familiar paddocks that are Dunedin. Pulling into my Grandad’s drive, I see the old Dry cracked road dying almost as if it had given up hope and had just accepted its fate. Pulling up outside, I see Grandad’s short well kept lawns, the Luscious green path leading up from the road like a little lantern guiding you through the night. Carrying our bags up along the path, I think back to when I was just a little boy and I would sprint up that little path eager to see my Grandad, and then to now when I would happily help my Mum.

Sitting on my bed, I think back to when I was just a little kid when my brother and I would snuggle into these duvets, we used to love them, they were so comforting to us. Now to me, they feel old and unwanted. Like they would want to get up and walk away, they are the milk that is past its used by date. Snapping back into reality, I hear that soft croaky voice again.                                                                                                             “Tea’s ready my darlings.” Sitting down at the table, I let out a little smile as I look at my plate and see a familiar site. The mashed potato, Grandad’s best carrots and the mutton. It’s all there topped off with a heavy handful of that smooth gravy. Except for this time, it doesn’t taste the same as I remember, the carrots don’t have their same old sweet taste that would make your mouth water. The mashed potato isn’t light and fluffy but instead, it is lumpy and dull. The mutton used to be my favourite part, but now it is dry bland and tasteless. I force it all down, trying to please my Grandad. We all do and it seemed to work because looking over at him, the plates are empty and he has that same old cheery smile plastered onto his face. Walking down to my room, I lay down on the creaky decrepit bed and stare up at the ceiling. This room used to provide me with so much fun, so much enjoyment. But now it is weak and aged. This room can give no more wonderful dreams, it is all dried up.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Ollie, you have two different narrative perspectives here- is this deliberate? It sounds like a reflection in the first and then in first person in the second. I feel like it would have more impact to be in first person the whole way through.

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