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Learning To Switch Off

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posted October 12th 2018

Geoff

Geoff

I’m a retired photography lecturer and a writer for many years. I have found that being a grandparent has been a fulfilling and loving experience that has enhanced my enjoyment of life. It’s important to stay active and immerse yourself into new things always. That’s my philosophy. I hope you enjoy reading my contributions and welcome your comments. For further work from Geoff visit: drivewrite.co.uk modphoto.co.uk

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On the day before writing this we’d just had a little foretaste of the Winter to come. It was very chilly. My wife was a bit cold so suggested putting the heating on. I protested that it was not that cold and that we certainly didn’t need the heating on. In the end we compromised (what marriage is all about) and put the heating on.

I’m On The Phone
The next day, picking up our granddaughter from school, the weather was more clement so we stopped off at the play area so that she could let off steam. A couple of school friends appeared and they had a good time. It was a tad warmer, but not too hot in the sun, when suddenly my phone chimed in my pocket. Automatically I reached for it and checked my messages because that’s what we do these days.

When we arrived at our daughter’s house, our granddaughter Ava reached for the TV remote and selected some children’s channel or other; something irritating, I don’t remember what. Whatever happened to Bagpuss that’s what I want to know?

Anyway, the point is this: In the same way I reached for my phone in the park, so the child reached for the TV remote and it was then that I had an epiphany. How often do we see adults and children both walking along ears or eyes glued to smartphones? How often are we attracted to the easy way to peace and quiet by virtue, if you can call it that, of the television.

Winter Is Coming
Excuse the Game of Thrones reference, it’s the influence of television you see. Yet even though winter is just around the corner there is absolutely no need to hibernate. In the Summer we can go to the beach with its shades of blues and greens and turquoise as our backdrop and watch families relaxing under their brightly colour umbrellas, not playing
or sunbathing but gazing at devices. It’s all a bit sad and we’re all guilty of the sin of not looking at our world. In ensuring we don’t miss anything socially we miss what is going on around us.

As grandparents, we were not born to this. We know better, don’t we? So why not make a pact with the family and learn to switch off the high-tech and get back to the basics of fun. Let’s put the gadgets away for a while. Winter has a lot to offer. We can all remember what it was like to play in the leaves and snow, wrapped up warm against the cold. Grandparents are not the final arbiters of what our grandkids do and say but what we can say is, ‘look, it used to be like this’.​

You could go on a winter picnic. Take blankets, sandwiches and hot soup in a flask. Maybe go out into the countryside out on a family photoshoot and take silly pictures of winter landscape japes. Try a wet weather walk in wellies or draw smily faces on the snow-covered windscreens of neighbourhood cars. How they’ll laugh! I’m sure if you put your mind to it you’ll come up with something; there may even be some great ideas here on The Grandparent Hub. We don’t need technology to have fun, we just need each other.

Geoff

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