There’s No Such Thing As Boredom

with missy the dogMy parents divorced when I was very young and for the majority of my childhood I was brought up in a single parent household. My mother worked full-time and my father was working equally hard but in a city 70 miles away. School holidays were spent in various locations, but generally we spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents in North London. My Granny and Grandad were very much a part of our lives and a great influence on who I am today, not that I realised that at the time. And one of the things my Granny used to say to me (because Granny’s love their sayings and mottos right?) was ‘there’s no such thing as boredom’.

My little brother and I would sometimes spend two weeks at a time over the school holidays at Granny and Grandad’s. We would play with toys from the downstairs cupboard, run around the huge garden, watch old Disney films on VHS, read old newspapers, bake flapjacks, play on the grand piano or spend hours on the swing at the back of the garden under all the apple trees. In hindsight, it was a wonderfully idyllic time.

playing the piano in 1985

But my Grandparents were very strict over the time we were allowed to watch television. Apparently it would make our eyes go square if we watched too much. Being the little ruffians that we were, and my lil bro was a massive telly addict, we wanted to watch a lot more telly than our rationed hour or two a day.

“But we’re booooorrrrrrred!”, we would moan. Hoping that our whining and moaning would change our Granny’s mind.

“There’s no such thing as boredom”, she would say.

And sure enough, after a whole bucket of reluctance, we would find something else to do. Playing with toys, making up imaginary scenarios, playing cricket or rounders in the garden, getting the paddling pool out, playing hide and seek for hours (it’s a higgedly piggedly house), baking, writing letters to our parents, drawing, learning chinese brush painting (my Granny took a night class), singing on the swing, taking the dog for a walk, reading books, reading newspapers, staring at the atlas for hours, playing and trying to learn the piano, watching my Grandad tinker with the car, more dog walking, more baking … and so on. We had quite an activity filled time at Granny and Grandads.

Today’s topic for #BEDM is ‘Motivation’. To me, motivation is about remembering those words from my Granny. There is always something to be done. There is always a way to be creative with time. And motivation is an attitude to life.

My Granny and Grandad are now in their 80’s and they are more active than most 20-40 year olds I know. They have spent their past 20 years of retirement playing golf and bowls. My Granny is a knitting and crochet extraordinaire. My Grandad is a huge photography enthusiast. They have the most beautiful garden, all tended to by their fair hands, their house is spotless, they have the most adorable Cockerpoo puppy, plus they have a very active social life. When they go shopping my Grandad purposely parks as far away as possible to make sure they walk a good distance. They’ve never been overweight and despite the various illnesses and whatnot that comes with older age, they keep on going, keep being active.

Because there’s no such thing as boredom.

with Granny and Grandad

My Grandparents are huge inspiration to me and they keep me motivated every day.


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  1. Lauren Hay
    9 May 2014 / 3:02 pm

    That’s really great and what amazing grand parents you have! You’ve definitely given me a bit of inspiration (and motivation) for todays BEDM!
    Lauren |

  2. 9 May 2014 / 3:30 pm

    Aw, what a lovely post!

  3. 9 May 2014 / 3:57 pm

    Awwww. they’re lovely. x

  4. Emma Critchley
    9 May 2014 / 6:45 pm

    They are lovely! How fantastic to have such inspiring and kind Grandparents in your life. I also can’t believe that they are in their 80’s 🙂


  5. 9 May 2014 / 9:34 pm

    I cannot understand being bored. I can’t imagine ever being bored.

    Your grandparents sound lovely.

  6. 9 May 2014 / 9:39 pm

    Inspiring 🙂 x

  7. Siobhan
    10 May 2014 / 8:20 am

    Your grandparents sound awesome, I can see why they inspire you so much. Go grandma and grandpa Rosalilium!

  8. 10 May 2014 / 9:53 am

    Great post Elizabeth! I had a similar relationship with my grandparents and we often spent time with them as children and were never bored. I actually don’t understand when people say they are bored. There is too much to do in life!!

    • 10 May 2014 / 7:18 pm

      Life is filled to the brim! It’s crazy when people don’t see that.

  9. 10 May 2014 / 10:14 am

    Wow, your relationship with your grandparents mirrors mine-I could have written this post, it sounds so similar! My Grandad died a couple of weeks ago, my Nan died before but my sister’s eulogy could’ve been this post, it is do similar! You are blessed to still have them x

    • 10 May 2014 / 7:20 pm

      Sorry to hear about your Grandparents, we are both lucky to have known ours.

  10. 10 May 2014 / 10:14 am

    This is just lovely. They sound fabulous!

  11. 10 May 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Oh Elizabeth, this is such a gorgeous post – one of your best ever, I think! My grandparents (on both sides!) are the same – although they go one step further and say ‘only boring people get bored’ 😉 Harsh, but true I think! It’s definitely something I’ve taken on board but I wish I’d appreciated it more when I was young! Hindsight is 20/20, eh?

    • 10 May 2014 / 7:19 pm

      Thank you Amy, I’m so pleased to hear that. I really want to WRITE more, you know?

      I love that saying is well… so true.

  12. Elizabeth Holdsworth
    11 May 2014 / 11:08 am

    What a lovely post – and I completely agree with your grandma! My mum has the same kind of attitude, and in fact, I find myself saying very similar things to my kids too, so it’s clearly catching! I think that often the most creative times arise out of boredom, so it’s good for kids to feel as though they are bored because then they start to use their imagination more, which is often stifled through too much tv.

    As for me, I’m sure sure I’ve ever been really and truly bored (expect at work!) because there’s too much I want to see, do, read, experience!

  13. 11 May 2014 / 10:13 pm

    Lovely post. I really enjoyed reading about your grandparents and your childhood. It has made me think more about how I was brought up and my motivation. Going to try and take some advice from your grandparents!

  14. David Sellers
    16 May 2014 / 3:44 pm

    Yup….definitely one of you best posts x

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