'And with the grandchildren arriving thick and fast, life became quite hectic at times'

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'And with the grandchildren arriving thick and fast, life became quite hectic at times'


Peter recounts stories from his life after retirement, in particular time spent travelling and the arrival of his grandchildren.


Peter Layton


Trinity College Dublin




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Life changed completely after my retirement. I loved travel,gardening,and handloom weaving,Linda was not a particularly good traveller,but we managed a couple of trips together to Germany. She did enjoy it. We travelled to our various daughters in England (Patricia) Gillian in Newcastle,and Heather in Scotland. That is where they ended up after they finished their studies. And of course they got married,and we were there,of course,and the grandchildren arrived pretty regularly,starting with Lucy,in 1984,until there were nine of them,Suzy being the last in 1994. Naturally we were most involved with Julia's four- Jenny,Paula,John,and Suzy,as they lived in Holywood nearby. Their parents,David and Julia were both working full time,so we got a chance to see a lot of them,especially when it got to their 11 plus time,with preparation. How I remember ---four a day,five a day,nine a day---,mental arithmetic,I quite enjoyed it,and needless to say,they all passed. Now most of them have finished their studies,Lucy Jenny,Peter and Nicola have degrees,jobs,Paula has just finished at uni,and is expecting her results,John and Simon have another two years at uni,and Suzy will be taking her A-levels next year,while Kirsty has another year to do with her fashion studies. I don't know how I keep track of them. Lucy and her partner (or ought I call him boyfriend?),have just bought their house in Guildford,Jenny has bought one in East Belfast,who will be next? Your guess is as good as mine. So we are becoming a family again,in Great Britain and Australia. My brothers four children,one of them married in the USA,with two children,the others all married in Australia,with thirteen children between them,my sister's one boy,now almost 60 years,with two children,one of them getting married this month to an American girl. So the Lehmann family has changed into a Layton-Southgate clan. There are still some Lehmann's and Einsteins in the USA of course. Now there was a chance of travelling,Linda and I to Germany,and to the various daughters and their spouses in Scotland and England respectively. And back for a few visits to the I.o.Man. And with the grandchildren arriving thick and fast- life became quite hectic at times. Now that the youngest granddaughter is seventeen,they all seem to have grown up far too quickly. And the garden seems to grow larger every time I cut the grass,(or so it seems),weeds are definitely predominant,but living in ones own place has its advantageous. Less travel now,especially as I no longer drive a car,at 90 my family decided I was no longer fit to drive. The majority view won. I am fortunate that I can still get about,and make full use of my bus pass. Linda cannot get about so well,so the grandchildren,or whoever is available,has to take us shopping once in a while'long may this state continue!!!


Irish Research Council for Arts,Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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