Hi everyone! Today is Friday, and as such it is time for my first Feature Friday! This week’s feature is ‘Blogspiration’, where I talk about a blog I’m inspired by, and write a ‘response’ to a post of theirs.
Today’s inspiration comes from Christian Dequita’s blog, A Backpacker’s Diary. Chris documents his backpacking adventures with beautiful photos and inspiring and insightful commentary and prose. The post that I drew particular inspiration from, though, was his recent post about his grandmother, Lady Violet. I could see the way he wrote about her that he thinks very highly of her, and loves her deeply. With this in mind, I decided to write a piece about my own grandmother.
My grandma comes from the small Spanish village of Ronda. My family have humble beginnings, which I looked down on when I heard the exciting tales of my friends’ rich heritage. Now I see how stupid I was, as the perseverance and work ethic of my grandfather has been passed down to me, and I hope that my origins remind me to stay humble and to always work hard to achieve my best in life.
My grandmother first met my granddad when he went on holiday to Spain (a luxury back then). He was a young man from a small mining valley in New Tredegar starting a career in law, she a bellboy in the hotel he was staying in, when they fell in love. He came home, learnt Spanish in three months, travelled back to Spain and asked her to marry him. I tell my friends this story every opportunity I get, because I simply can’t imagine anything more adorable or romantic.
When I was born, they decided they should be referred to as Grandad and Abuella (Spanish for grandma), but as a child I could only say ‘Aba’ and it stuck. There’s a bit of disparity in the spelling of it: me and my younger sister spell it ‘Aba’, but my grandad spells it as ‘Abba’ (like the band).
We all tease my Aba for being a bit mad. It’s a mix of a culture clash and hereditary nuttiness (my mother is starting to be like her, so I’m worried for what I’m going to be like!). Some phrases have become family jokes. For example, my mum didn’t realise ‘aubergine’ (eggplant for all you Americans reading) was not pronounced ‘over-gene’ until she was corrected in university (explanation: b is pronounced like a v in Spanish); I once told Aba she was mad as a hatter, to which she replied ‘mad as a hat’; and, of course, her insistence that you shouldn’t put cheese in mice traps because ‘I don’t want to give the cheese to them!’
My Aba never really had what you’d call an education, which I didn’t really understand when I was younger. She grew up during the Spanish Civil War, which she doesn’t talk about, so for me a lot of her early life is shrouded in mystery. These things remind me how thankful I am of the democracy I live in, and the free education system in place. Both need a lot of improving, but I should be grateful they even exist!
Well Aba, you once told me I should write a book on you, and your life has been rich and exciting enough that I could! Unfortunately, I do not have the time or the talent to do it justice. I hope a blog post will do for now 🙂
(Please don’t redistribute my photos or use them as they are personal photos.)