This morning I received a surprise delivery - a large pile of books which had been loaned to someone (and then forgotten about) several years ago. Amongst them was one book which I have searched the house high and low for. I am thrilled to have it back, I knew it was good, but it is even better than I remember.
It is a simple soft cover A4 size book on local history, which was put together by the village hall committee for the millenium, then distributed to every household in the parish. It gives details of the history of Little Bunting and the villages which surround it and is full of old photographs, names and faces. Some people I know, some I don't, and others who are now alive in memory only.
So, the tale of the two Grandpa's...
I don't think it is being too unkind to say that the people we purchased the house from were party people. They even had a party here the night before they left. It was obviously a really good party, for they were not nearly ready to move out, despite the waiting vans and removals men.
We had to wait outside in our cars and with our own laden removals vans, as they packed, and prepared to leave for their new life in France. They were slow, hampered by hangovers. The grandfather of the family (he'd lived in the granny flat) was very apologetic. My last sight of them was as they drove quickly down the road, giving us a merry 'toot' as they passed.
I'm sure you can imagine the chaos which awaited us within the house and outbuildings, so I'll stick to the story.
In their haste to leave they hadn't had time to begin clearing through the cart shed and garage - packed to the gunnels with suitcases, trunks, boxes, piles of this and heaps of that.
We gradually got it cleared out, all except for a small, strong cardboard box which had clearly been sent through the post at some time. The top lid had been opened, but that was all. Rather than just throw it into the skip, we investigated...
...it was an urn full of ashes - their other Grandpa!
They had forgotten all about him and he'd been in the garage for years, judging by the date stamped on the box. Poor old Grandpa.
We tried to contact the family to see what they wanted done with him, but to no avail. In the end we decided to take the urn down to their solicitor's office. We left him with the receptionist and hope they sent him on to his family.
The local history book had been left behind in the Granny flat, propped up on the mantle piece, where we would be sure to see it.
A little farewell gift from the Grandpa they did remember to take with them.