Honour Spotlight: Valerie & Paul Jackson (aka. My Grandparents)

When it comes to grandparents I am the luckiest girl in the world. I am lucky, in that I have a complete set; they are all living, breathing and having a major impact on my life. This post is dedicated to my Dad's parents Val and Paul Jackson. They are two of the most incredible individuals I have ever met and they inspire me so much. When my Mum was sick for a long time, it was Grandma and Grandpa who came over and became our parents for 6 months and ever since Mum's amputation they have appeared everything Thursday to help with the housework. I love seeing them regularly, I love that they are a part of my life. Whenever I am spending a significant amount of time in London I am always welcome to either stay at their house or pop in for a cup of tea and late night crumpet before going on my way.

My Grandma is the most gentle, selfless person I have ever met. She is always so willing to help, to clean, to iron, to cook. Last Summer when I was auditioning and later rehearsing with NYMT she would always make sure I had a proper breakfast and a lunch big enough to feed the 5000! Every Thursday I make her a cup of tea and we talk about my week and my future and I ask her about Sheen and her church. This weekend I watched as myGrandma practically ran the church service, she made the teas, she stewarded and she also helped in the creche. When we were living in Germany Grandma would send us video tapes with Blue Peter and the Tweenies on them because we all complained so much about having to watch German TV. She's also still keeping up with her German and does the crossword everyday! Last night when I got in from the theatre she had collected all the Saturday newspaper magazines because she knows how much I love reading them. When Annie died my grandma sat at the kitchen table and cried with me. She is more than a relative, she is my friend.

Grandpa is a fascinating person. He has travelled all over the world and knows London like the back of his hand. He's taken me to so many auditions and during the NYMT days we had our little routine of walking to Barnes station hopping on the train to Victoria and having a quick coffee in Starbucks before walking up to Westminster under-school. We would often walk back to Waterloo instead of getting the tube and on the way he wouldtell me story after story about London, about his travels, about people he's met and I love it! He inspired my love for Classic FM and we both went to Proms in the Park to see Katherine Jenkins and eat an M&S picnic just to enjoy being outside and listening to beautiful music. He's also a closet actor and can still recite his lines from a production of Macbeth he was in aged 14! Again, he is always willing to help. He is unbelievably kind and ridiculously generous - there are so many things and opportunities that would have passed me by if he hadn't stepped in.

This weekend I stayed with them overnight because, once again, I was up in London being a wannabe thespian and it just made me realise what a privilege it is to know my grandparents so well. They are so excited about me going to uni and today they took me out for lunch just to mark the occasion. I love them with all my heart and it's an honour to be their granddaughter.

My seafood risotto this afternoon included this little fella :-)

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