Christmas Day

When we go to Grimsby, we always stay with Emma’s mum, Joyce, and Ron (her husband, and I suppose my step-father-in-law). We also visit my aunt, who moved to Grimsby in the early 1990s to be near my cousin Rosemary and family. Growing up, my family made the trip to Grimsby every year for New Year’s Eve to be with my cousin Rosemary’s family. Unfortunately, we just haven’t seen them for the last five years or so. Last time we were in Grimsby, we had seen David, Rosemary’s husband, who’d come to pick Aunty up and we promised him that we’d visit next time we were up, so we did this evening, after we’d had a nice Christmas dinner at Joyce and Ron’s house.

It was great to see them all again. All David and Rosemary’s family were there – the three we had looked forward to seeing every New Year – Lynda, Neil, and Peter. Lynda (who was chief bridesmaid at our wedding) was there with her husband, Andy and their two kids, Lauren and Mason, who we’ve never met. Neil came over with his girlfriend and family and Peter was there too.

The atmosphere there was great. They still welcome you with genuine gladness and were roped (gladly) into playing a quick game of Winkle’s Wedding and Bingo – something we always used to do at New Year, albeit not too seriously. David is a keen model train enthusiast and has built an O gauge model railway in the area that was my Uncle and Aunt’s granny flat until they went to live in a retirement home. I’m not into model railways, but I had to admire the sheer amount of work and attention to detail that’s gone into what he’s built with the help of four of his fellow enthusiasts.

David and Rosemary put in a huge effort to making the Christmas holidays special for any visitors, and particularly family. As we left, Rosemary said to me quietly that she was sure that my mum would have loved the scene, with lots of children, pedominantly little girls, enjoying themselves and playing together in a big family get-together. I had to agree, as a lump came to my throat.