An Interview with Grandma Smiles

I am very fortunate that I have many people in my life that inspire me but for those of you who follow my facebook page, (if you don’t already you can visiting you will know that my 93 year old Grandma is a huge positive force in my life. So, this month to celebrate Mother’s Day I have interviewed her. The idea behind this is to highlight that actually, being healthy is pretty simple. It’s not about dieting, green smoothies, or the latest superfood supplements. It’s about; seeing the world in a positive light, noticing what you’re body wants, not feeling guilty if you eat an ice cream and getting fresh air, everyday.

Do you exercise everyday? “Yes, I walk up top, everyday and back. (she means up to the hill from her house to the market square) That’s my exercise you see. I used to do ‘this and that’ you know but with a walk everyday now I feel as though I want to rest.” We prompt her and say you do all your washing and ironing don’t you and she responds saying, “I don’t do it Monday or Thursday as they’re bingo days. I’ll do it any other day but definitely not bingo days!”

Have you ever been on any kind of strict diet? “No, I don’t need to. My weight doesn’t waiver about much it just stays. It’s ideal that way you know. I never think about that at all. It’s one of them things I never worry about is putting weight on, because I go out every day and walk. I have to have that walk.” 

Have you ever followed a strict exercise plan? “I used to do but it’s a few years back. I don’t do it now. I did my ‘up and down’ exercises with my hands and all that you know. But erm, I do feel now that I do get exercise now anyway and I look after myself that way, I never sit around much very long. I’m always up and down and doing things.”

What are your hobbies? She laughs and says, “bingo! I do bingo twice a week”. We prompt her on her other hobbies, “Oh I love reading and knitting! Yes it keeps my fingers supple! Ooh I can’t go without my knitting, I do that on a morning till lunchtime. Then, in the afternoon I either go to the centre or walk up top and get a paper. I can’t stick in at all! It is good exercise because it’s all pull going up.” (she means uphill!)

What makes you happiest? “Oooo, lot of things. The first ones my family around me. There’s never a day goes by, somebody turns up. Well I might go two or three days but someone always comes.” Then she begins to talk about the other day when Leigh (my cousin) took his new baby, Ella round. “I had Leigh here the other week with the baby, oh she’s coming on, she’s lovely!” She then talks about her friends too at the centre (where she plays bingo) and goes onto say, “I don’t know what i’d do if I still lived in Leeds now, I don’t think i’d be here. I’ve come on a lot since i’ve come over here.” (she now lives in a smaller place called Knaresborough.

What’s your favourite food? “Ooh I have lots of favourite things with food, I don’t have anything special. I always enjoy my breakfast, cornflakes. I sometimes ponder and think, what shall I have for my dinner. It’s actually usually whatever I have in that I have to put together. So, I don’t really have any specials, I don’t know. I always like greens.” We ask if she likes any naughty food, “it’s just biscuits that are my weakness. I do buy ice cream because when I go to centre sometimes they have these little boxes with ice cream in and I usually have one or two of them in but only if I fancy it, With them being a long box I usually just have half of it. I don’t stop myself eating food like that, if I fancy it.” She then goes completely off track and randomly says, “I’ve only just had my hair permed, can you tell?”

How much do you eat in an average day? “For breakfast I always have cornflakes with all bran sprinkled on top. I don’t have much for my lunch at all. Just a sandwich and a couple of biscuits. I like my dinner at night time, I usually have it about 6 o clock.” What would you have for dinner? “Tatties, carrots and greens, something like that. I always get them tinned steaks, I put them in my dish and I like the thick gravy and there’s plenty of meat…It’s easier than going to the butchers, and having to do it all myself. They’re always nice, you never see any fat in them.”

What keeps you active? “Walking up there everyday.” She means the market square up the hill from her house. “There’s always something I have to go up for. It’s most days in the week where I take exercise.”

If you could give somebody else advice about how to stay active and have a full healthy life, what would your advice be? “Get out as much as you can and walk. If it’s only a short walk, do something in a day. Make sure you get out in the fresh air. If there’s a day when I don’t go out you can bet your dollar i’ll start sneezing and coughing. I just think to myself, come on Rose get yourself in the fresh air.” We ask, does that keep you feeling happy getting out everyday?, she replies, “Oh yeh, I have to get out, it doesn’t matter what it’s doing (she means the weather), I take my umbrella and go.”
Then she pauses and says, “It int long since we had snow is it!”