We sadly lost my Grandfather a couple of months ago. He was an intellectual giant. I will tell you more about him in another post. Today I want to share a discovery we made after his death, one that surprised and sort of amused us. I guess I have already given the game away in the title of this post. Allow me to explain more about my Grandfather and how he entered the vlogging community.
Since we lost my Grandfather, I have been recollecting our many visits to the home he and my Grandma lived in. Playing on my mind is my perception of him when we were little ones. I remember him giving me my first taste of whiskey when I was a little girl…and I am sure my Dadda objected, but Granddad (who was difficult to restrain) said it is good for little children to get used to alcohol so they don’t go off the rails with it later in life.
I remember he would ask us questions and then he would throw back his head and chuckle at our responses. He would always encourage our learning and recommend that we read more. He was a “perpetual student”….completing one degree after another. He loved history, the classics, the romantics, literature, poetry. I would sit at his feet and he would recite from memory some Tennyson or Milton or a poet I had never heard of…he was quite remarkable academically. I have recollections of countless occasions when we have received lectures from my Grandfather on history, politics, classic poetry, literature or art.
Just after my Grandfather died, I had the notion I would type his name into an internet search engine. Imagine my shock at the discovery that at the age of 89 he was a vlogger. Not just any vlogger. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world have been following his posts. I only started blogging three weeks ago. My Grandfather has been secretly blogging and vlogging for years. Nobody in our family knew he was a famous vlogger.
I have just watched one of his video posts. He is sitting in a creaky chair which is apparent every time he moves. I can see he is either struggling with his memory or just thrown by the camera. Yet it reminds me of my Granddad…it brings back memories of all the times I have sat at his feet and heard many such discourses from him. He had a library in his attic….but the library spread and eventually has consumed the entire house.
My Granddad was quite a man! He was a big character. He may have upset more than a handful of people in his time….but he has thrived on debates and stretching his mind. He enjoyed life. He enjoyed food and wine. He enjoyed travel. He loved learning. He loved books, he has a house packed full of them. He loved my granny.
Grandfather loved a good argument. When I finally realized that I came to terms with his behaviour. For years he had caused me great anxiety because he seemed to upset people. My lovely Dad was sometimes really provoked my him. One of my younger sisters was very offended by him. My Aunt Janine was so infuriated by him she refused to visit him. But when it became apparent to me that he argued with his neighbours, he argued with the milkman, he battled with the council about the lean-to which was more of a garage he put up on his drive, he fought with the local education authorities over my aunt’s education, he constantly sparred intellects with my uncle and my brother, he seemed to look for any subject to debate on…well yes, I could see he was thriving on the chance to stimulate his mind with a good argument. I never allowed him to offend me.
I saw granny shaking her head and telling him he was being naughty and then when their best friend Jilly (a business woman and a bit of a bombardier) would come to visit she would have a big hearty debate with him and both Jilly and my Grandfather would end up with huge jolly guffaws…the rest of us were lost, we had no idea what they were talking about half of the time and whether we could take them seriously.
My mum is as mild as milk. She has grown up with his larger-than-life character. It fascinates me to see how he has influenced her. She was just as shocked as I was when I showed her my Grandfather’s video posts. At the end of many posts there are comments from intellectuals who have watched his vlog and have perhaps voiced a different opinion. It created an opportunity for Granddad to have a fresh argument. We can read the debates he has been having with students and professors and writers from many countries. He must have loved it!
It is quite remarkable that he had a secret life as a famous vlogger all this time that we never knew about. Just think, now that he is no longer with us, whenever we want to think about him we can watch one of his video posts and listen to his lecture.