Powys: A Day in the Life




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Social conditions


Many of the diarists were grandparents who took an active role in caring for their grandchildren while the parents worked.

These are extracts from the diaries of two of theses grandparents detailing how they manage their days.

  • At 7.40 our son dropped off his three children - Dewi aged eight in October, Owen - four in November and Cari who'll be three in February. We then all had breakfast. Tom, my husband, Dewi and I had boiled eggs. Owen and Cari had hot buttered toast, followed by a tub each of fromage frais. The children drank blackcurrant juice while Tom and I had tea.

    At 8.30 our daughter who teaches at the local school called for Dewi and Owen, and took them to school with her own two children - Rhian - 9 in November and Hywel who'll be five in February.

    Because it was such a lovely day Tom, Cari and I decided to go to Abergavenny . . .

    We had lunch in a little café in the main street. At the next table were a husband and wife who were holidaying nearby. They were very interested to hear us speaking Welsh to Cari. It turned out that the man was Irish but had been living in England since the age of 13 and had all but lost the Irish language.

    After lunch we walked through the market hall with its various stalls, down to the cattle market where we saw some lambs being auctioned.
    Illus. By Rob Davies

    We returned home via Crughwyel, Bwlch and Brecon. Cari fell asleep in her car seat. We went to the school to pick up Hywel and Owen. When we got home we had a cup of tea and the children had a packet of crisps each and a drink of Ribena. For a while they watched some children's programmes on the TV in the lounge. However, Owen fell fast asleep on the settee, so Hywel and Cari went outside and played on the swings and slide on the back lawn for a while and then decided to do some drawing and colouring on the picnic table.

    At 4.45 our son picked up his children to take them home and soon after Hywel was picked up by his father.

  • Drop a paper for neighbours on way home, arrive in time to give Rowan (grandson) his breakfast. I am one of the "army" of grandparents who look after their grandchildren. My daughter leaves for work almost as soon as I am home.

    The day now picks up a gear or two. Start the washing machine off, put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, make bed and clear up around the house, dust and hoover kitchen, hall and dining room, amusing Rowan and keeping an eye on him all at the same time! Pop him into his pushchair to put washing on line then walk dog and baby up Rhiew Lane for 20 minutes. Park them both outside in the sunshine to have a sleep. Jets scream overhead frightening Rowan - have to rock him to sleep. Sit down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper for half an hour.

    11.45am Rowan wakes so get his lunch and feed him then have a salad sandwich . . . Change Rowan and myself and go to nursery in Llandrindod at 2pm. Rowan will soon start going there one day a week so we have been introducing him to it over the past month. They are very busy today with mums (and grannies) bringing their little ones in for photographs, so we don't stay too long . . .

    Call into daughter's work for her to see Rowan for five minutes then drive home and he falls asleep. Unload car, put groceries away and sit down with cuppa until he wakes. Feed him again then get evening meal ready while he sits in his highchair watching grandpa cleaning the car.

    6pm Daughter and son in law arrive home from work. They are living with us whilst having a house built. We have our meal and talk over the day's events - particularly Rowan's activities and achievements. At nearly eleven months he is very active, almost walking and learning new things every day.

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