I have been thinking about my Nana and Bampa a lot, lately.
We used to visit them on a Sunday, about once every 2-3 weeks.
Nana would always lay out a proper tea and there would be sandwiches and little cakes and lemonade, and ice cream so cold that it steamed.
And there would be the smell of Bampa’s pipe that I can’t quite recall the scent of, but it would be there in the house.
We would have to wear Sunday Best to visit.
I remember I disliked dressing up, but I was made to do it.
Sometimes we would walk to the shop on the corner.
Sometimes we would be allowed to play in the parc on the swings and slide and roundabouts.
Bargoed, their little town, in that valley, surrounded by its coal heaps and mines and slag heaps and mineral railway and coal-buckets.
It’s another world.
Even though the images are clear in my head, the pictures are of a time long gone.
In the last 30 years alone the world has changed almost beyond recognition.
How would our rapidly evolving world look to them? How comfortable would they be in it?
We used to visit my Dad’s sister, Auntie Mair as well.
She lived some way distant. To get to her house we would have to go past the railway viaduct in Ystrad Mynach.
Her little terraced house backed on to the railway at the end of the garden.
She had cable television (!) from Redifusion, and an outside toilet.
Nowadays I wonder about these two things co-existing, but back then I didn’t give it another thought.
I was far from being a perfect child. I like to think I have fewer imperfections these days.
I look at how we live now, at the country we live in and at how we conduct ourselves.
And I look at the world, and the damage and destruction and devastation we have inflicted, and are continuing to inflict on it – and on us.
I look at our leaders and see how they wear their faults and failings as if they were badges of honour.
And I wonder, I truly do wonder how Nana and Bampa and Aunty Mair and all of their generation would regard this world now.
How would they look upon us.
I can’t answer my own question with any great detail.
But I feel I can say, with some certainty, that they would be unimpressed.
As am I.