O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree,
Your leaves are so unchanging 🌲

 

 

Adverts and movies, give the perfect impression of how we all wish our trees looked liked.🎄
Not just how they look but the magical feeling of all the family gathering around the tree decorating.
Even our memories play games and make us remember how wonderful it was to decorate the tree all together. To stand back, turn off the ceiling lights and see the beauty of Christmas come alive in front of our eyes.
In truth, who’s home is really like that?

My memories are of my step dad, loosing his cool when lights that worked perfectly before they went on the tree, didn’t work as soon as they clung to the branches.
Mum would be secretly pulling her hair out as we demanded to have our toilet roll Santa in full sight.
How we would all bicker about who’s turn it was to put the star on top of the tree.
It was far from how we all imagined it would be and somehow the tree would look picture perfect the next morning after Mum had redecorated it while we slept soundly in our beds.

Now I’m the Mum who dreams of the perfect tree, the best beautiful memories for my little girl.

Yesterday we decided to put up a tree, Marly-Kate, Rich and I went shopping for the perfect tree which couldn’t be larger than 5ft.
It was hammering with rain and we were as soggy as the field full of trees.
Marly-Kate picked the tree and all thoughts of size flow out the window. Rich straps it to the roof of his van and home we drive. Marly-Kate busting with excitement.
Well it all went horribly wrong from there.
The tree filled most of our lounge and was leaving puddles of water all over the floor.
Axe in hand, Rich goes about cutting branches off, trimming her down to size.
Finally she’s small enough for her position and it’s time to put on those lights that I had spent an age untangling.
Lights are on and finally looking as pretty as they will ever look.
Marly-Kate has a blast hanging all the decorations and we step back to see her masterpiece just as our kitten takes a running jump and lands in the middle of the tree 🤣
That’s when the laughter escaped as the lights went blank, never to work again.
Now the movies don’t do our tree decorating justice.
As I finally sat down last night with a huge mug of hot chocolate with all the trimmings, Rich and I laughed and laughed at the tree with no lights and the branches that are already turning brown and leaving a nice pile of pines under the tree.
Maybe our tree is far from perfect but the memories truly are perfection.

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
How dead are your branches. 🎄

My angel standing by

Angel Standing By. 💗

 

I gaze outside my window
And wish upon a star.
I open up my heart
And let my thoughts drift afar.
A tear rolls down my cheek
As I reminisce the past.
You hardly got to live.
Your life went by so fast.

And all because someone else
Made a dumb mistake.
I don’t understand why it was
Your life he had to take.

But now there’s no way I can bring you back
No matter how hard I try.
Because now you’re up in heaven
As my angel standing by.
(Karen Ashley Murray)

I’ve been thinking about grief a lot lately especially with the anniversary of my mum’s best friend yesterday.
He wasn’t just my mum’s life long best friend but he was a father figure to me.
As a young child I prayed that he was my dad. He treated me as I was his daughter and I worshiped the ground he walked on.
We had this special bond, a bond that only death could take away from us.
My mum had the same bond and even all these years later I can see her heart-break all over again as she remembers the extremely cruel way he died.
I have hardly ever spoken to anyone about the man who loved me as his own, who called me princess, who would have moved mountains for me.
I don’t think I even ever told Ross how much he warmed my life and how devastated I was when after months of suffering and pain he finally draw his last breath.
I had only ever seen one person die before, well I found the old gent dead on the toilet. 🚽
This though was a total different kettle of fish.
I loved him, in my eyes he was my father, the father I longed for, my friend and in ways my hero.

Twenty years on, I still grieve for him, I miss him desperately and I would cut off my right arm just to see his smile again, to hear his laugh and to try to understand his very dry sensed humour which I never fully understood as a child, now I roar as we reminisce his jokes.
What I would give to spend my summers in his swimming pool or to run over the sand dunes, desperately trying to beat him to the top.
For him to take me shopping for all the latest music 🎧.
I’ll never forget that huge tape shop he would take me to and I could pick what ever I fancied, it was a music crazy teenagers haven.
When summer would end and I had to fly home, with the most incredible sun tan from 6 weeks of pure relaxation and fun, I would beg my mum to marry him so everyday would be to me the perfect childhood.
When we walked through our front door, there would always be a parcel waiting for us, a box full of pirate vhs tapes. All the latest movies that were months away from being released. Jane and I would run to my room and snuggle up under the duvet and watch movie after movie, roaring with laughter ever time a head would pop up on the screen or a cough, sneeze or scream would over power the buzz of the muttered voices.
We didn’t care how bad quality they were, they were truly awful, all that mattered was they were a gift from my wannabe dad.

Grief and grieving doesn’t have a time line, you just can’t wake up and not feel the pain anymore, it never goes, somehow though you manage to keep living with the pain etched deeply into your heart, soul and memories.
I’ve now learnt how to look back and smile through the tears, I’ve learn to treasure the memories and for my wannabe dad to live on through them. I will never forget him, I will always be grateful to him for giving me my happiness childhood memories, for giving me a carefree summers, but most of all for giving me a glimmer of what father and daughters relationships can and should be like.
Sleep peacefully my angel standing by.

Who has the songs to sing to me when I am blue?

Who has the tenderness of a mother?
Who has the wisdom of a schoolteacher?
Who has the tricks of the magician?
Who has the ability to see the world through a child’s eye?
Who has the stories about Mum and Dad?
Who has always loved me no matter what I do?
Who has the songs to sing to me when I am blue?
Of course, it is my Grandma,
And I love you and you blessed my life!
(Catherine Pulsifer)

I’m constantly being called a granny because I crochet. But if all granny’s warm hearts like my granny sure did, I don’t mind being called a granny at all.

My great gran was the most exceptional lady I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Her warm heartfelt hugs as I snuggled into lap as she read me poems, story’s and sang the most enchanting Irish songs, in her sweet Irish accent, there was no place I would rather have been.
Her sweetie pot filled with humbugs next to her comfy armchair always filled so that her grandchildren could have that sweet treat that our parents would only allow on pocket-money day.
She would sit and listen to every word we spoke no matter the rubbish that would pour out as mouths.
She truly listened and even though she was a Victorian child at heart and the world had changed in front of her eyes, she would do her up most to try to understand the modern world and help to put life’s troubles into prospective, she would put the world to rights just by being her and opening her arm to give us the hug that protected us from the monsters under our beds.
She loved with her whole heart, her time was solely ours, her love unconditional.
There is truly no one like a granny.
She was my first ever heartbreak and I miss her terribly, her smile, her wisdom, her voice, her hugs.

While people take the piss that I make crochet blankets, hats or what ever they ask for, I do it out of love, friendship and respect for the person I’m gifting it to. With every piece I create, a sense of pride fills my soul and I feel as though I have actually achieved something.
Since life grow extremely hard, I feel I really don’t have a purpose, I have this humongous hole in my life, that can only be filled by the love of my life, with that emptiness eating away at me I have to try to do anything to give myself a little peace, a little sense of achievement, a little pride. Creating a keepsake, an heirloom that I call, a hug in a box, I feel I’m giving out a little love, that in person, I struggle to give. So even though people tease me, call me granny, I really don’t mind because granny’s give the best hugs.👵🏻

People have searched for centuries to find the right way to say “I love you”

People have searched for centuries to find the right way to say
“I love you”
But I found, no words are really needed.
A look, a touch, a smile, a kiss, can say everything, we as humans are incapable of saying.

Let me tell you a true story, about a boy and a girl, who’s love was pure and unbreakable.

The girl worked in a hotel on the Isle of weight, working to bring much need pennies home to her parents, which would help feed and clothe her 8 siblings.
And a boy who worked on the steam cruise liners, making as much money as possible to give his love all her heart desires.little did he know, all she desired was him.
As Eileen carried out her daily tasks, her one true love Reg would swim five miles around the bay, just to wave hello to Eileen the girl he would marry.
He would swim everyday to wave to her upon the shore or just to catch a glimpse of her beauty, to let her day be filled with the overwhelming feeling of being loved.
A love that only grow as the grow older, a love that would bring a daughter and many years of marital bliss.
A marriage cut shot by ill-health and the passing of the Eileen’s only love.
A love that brought her peace upon her death-bed as they once again were reunited.

Love doesn’t need words, love hold no boundaries, love is beautiful and fills you with warmth, tenderness and belonging.

We may better understand who we are.

“If we know where we came from,
we may better know where to go.
If we know who we came from,
we may better understand
who we are.”

It’s a journey that I’ve been making for many a year now.
My family’s history fascinates me.
Who where the people who gave us life?
Who where the couples whose love grow the seed of the future generations?
What are their stories?
What were their struggles and their joys?
Do I hold any similarities?
Do I have the same passion, the same will, the same beliefs?
Do I carry their strength, their determination, their spirit?
Who are they?

This is a journey, a quest even, that I have traveled since I was a wee 18 young girl, who needed answers to the most impossible questions.

It’s a journey, I’ve cherished, I’ve pulled deep into my heart.
An unthinking bond with spirits of our past.
I unconditionally love these people who gave me a change to live, who fought wars, battles, the slums, the blitz, the potato famine, the workhouse, the hardships, to give us the future, to give us life.
Those people are my heroes.

I’ve shared many a journey with my ancestors, I’ve discovered family shames, secrets, heartbreak and joys.
I’ve traveled their timelines, feeling every emotion with them.

There are a few family’s that pull on my heartstrings more than others, a connection so strong I’m baffled by its pull. The need to unearth every possible part of their history.
Some have been harder than others, some proving impossible to uncover but they have this hold over me, they have me hooked, line and sinker, I need to find out every tiny little detail about them.
What they looked like, what their personalities were, where they lived, how they died and where they were laid to rest.

One family whom has this hold, are my great, great grandparents on my mum’s, mum line.
They lived a life on the stage, singing, dancing and doing comedy. Yes I have a good few comedians in my family. How awesome is that. I now know who I got my dry, crude sense of humour from.

My great, great-grandmother had three children, two boys and a girl.
Two were born in a workhouse, the other was born actually in wedlock.


I can only imagine the shame that would have been brought down on her, I’ve lived that with you great, great Granny.
Why hadn’t she married the man who she loved?
Was it really a case that her father wouldn’t let her marry her sweetheart?
I sincerely believe that to be the case.
She married a few days after her father had past away.
She finally was able to love and cherish the man she loved. She got her happy ever after.
They had hard battles along the way, true heartbreak.
Her little girl died at the age of three.

This heartbreaking, devastation wasn’t known to the family until I pulled up the 1911 census.
The 1911 census is very different to the others, it’s the first to be completed by their own hand, it has much more information listed and there in black in white was her story of heartbreak, a heartbreak only those who have felt it, will truly understand. 😭


I could not leave it there, I needed to know her name and what had happened to this poor little tot.
And that’s where her journey entwined with mine.
I spent hours searching records, putting the pieces together and I found a birth that could possibly be hers, also a death that if I was right, would uncover her tragic story. A story that pulls so deeply at my heartstrings.
I ordered these two certificates not really knowing if I had discovered the right documents, it was a long shot, one worth taking. Thankfully I did and I now know her name, her birth date, her residences and the reason why she was cruelly taken from this world, leaving a hole in her parents hearts only fit for loving her.
I couldn’t leave it there, I needed to know where she was at peace.

That began a new journey in trying to find her resting place and you know what, I found it, I found this sleeping beauty’s place of rest.
She is buried at Islington cemetery, in a grave with 14 other people. How very sad that is.


Now at least, I can lay flowers on her grave, and she will know that she isn’t forgotten, she’s remembered and loved.

My dear aunty Eleanor, you will live on in my heart and you will always be remembered.
Sleep peacefully aunty El.
In our hearts you will remain, until the day we all meet again.

Flashback Friday

After a fab start to the week and a weekend full of great company, fun, games and freedom, the week hasn’t ended the way I hoped it would, well it is Friday the 13th!!!
I really did have great hopes for the week and even with the storm that took out the phone lines, I was pretty content in writing a blog post on my phone and walking through muddy fields until I could find 3G so I could post it. I guess its all part of moor life, a part I love about being there.
I’m cut off from the world. No phone signal, and internet that only works when it decides to.
Even though I love technology, it’s a welcome break from, being able to be got hold of. When the body and mind needs a time out, it’s the perfect getaway.
The weekend was great, even the weather didn’t stop us, stepping back in time and finding freedom of mind as well as freedom of our souls.
It really was a delight, care free, until that moment I fall off the swing and landed in freezing cold water.
That moment changed everything.
Not only did it send my mind into overtime but my body went into shock as the cold took hold.
So my plan of a fun-filled week, doing not much but enjoying the freedom that Devon brings, I ended up, spending most of the week wrapped up in front of the fire with hot water bottles, pain killers and pile of blankets over me.
My mind was free to play every trick it could, every emotion reared its ugly head and I felt pain deeper than I have let myself in a while.
All those emotions I had pushed deep within my soul came flooding out, grief surrounded me as I fall lower than I have been in a long time.
Life carried on around me as I spent days staring into space reliving every moment, I’ve forbidden myself to think about.
I’ve had to workout all over again to suppress all those feelings, gain strength and put a smile firmly back on my face. I’ll admit, it’s been hard, extremely hard but I got there and took that journey home.
I never thought that I would ever feel grateful to return to the rat race we call life. Here I have to get on, I have no choice but the busy myself.
Life goes on no matter how you feel or how you are coping, you have no choice, you have to get your butt out of bed and live your day the best you can.
You have to answer the hundred and one emails waiting for you, you have to do all the tasks that have built up since you were last at home and work your way through that mountain of washing you brought home with you.
It’s what I need right now, I need to feel as I have a purpose, I need to busy my mind with the endless crap that running a family home gives.
I need to dull out the pain by doing all those brain numbing chores.
I need to remember that life doesn’t just hold heartbreak, it’s beautiful in its own way, it holds memories that I don’t want to forget, that I never will forget.
And that leads us to this weeks flashback, to memories that bring a smile.
So without further ado, I’ll wish you good health, a happy home, a smile on your lips and freedom that the weekend ahead may bring.
Enjoy guys.
Stay safe, stay true, stay you.

🌹🌹🌹

Life without friends is like life on a desert island…

imageI wanted to say thank you and sorry also for the weekend.
It was lovely to all get together and spend time with you all for Sammy’s birthday.

Visiting the Isle of Wight for the first time in like forever brought peace but also some very painful but happy memories.
Drinking hot chocolate in my favourite cafe was a trip down memory lane.
I did chuckle to myself over a finger of fudge 😃

And it brought a smile to my face, yep a real one not forced.
I wish I could bring back those feelings again, when the world was mine for the taking.

Watching you all, walk almost skipping along the sea front, splashing each other like you all have no cares in the world was a beautiful warm feeling but also sad because I couldn’t join in and feel freedom.

image

As I wrapped up warm, sat in the car, I thought about how many wonderful weekends we have spent there, without a care in the world, and as I blissfully fall asleep with the memories floating around, I had the most care free sleep I have had in a long time, one where he didn’t haunt my dreams.

I don’t know how you all got back in the car and drove to Freshwater without me even knowing it.
Waking up to the view of the most delightful beach as the sun set was like stepping back in time, to when life was easy and pain wasn’t the ruling factor in my life.
I want to say thank you for giving me a feeling of hope and peace but I also want to say sorry that I couldn’t join in, in your antics.
I know you all understand but I still have to say it.

At times like those, I really miss having good health.
It makes me realise that the things I took for granted really do matter.
Watching Al set up his camera to capture the moment, to frame the beauty of the sea and all its hidden gems, it makes me feel sad that I can’t jump in the shot at just the right time to put a ghostly figure in his photograph.
It makes me sad that I can’t look for a different view and catch the shot of the day.
What one eye sees as beautiful an other eye sees perfection.
I miss those days of stealing his thunder, lol. (Not going to happen with my mobile)

image

I miss capturing Sammy and Lee, sneaking a kiss or walking hand in hand across the sea’s edge, in their own little bubble, captivated by their love for each other.
I miss seeing their faces alight as I show them the stolen moment I caught on camera.
I miss seeing Brett and Cassie acting the clowns, and plotting how they can get everyone drenched.
I miss the way I would lose myself as I watched the waves come tumbling into shore, wondering what secrets, life’s and regrets have been lost to the sea.
But what I miss most of all, is our dear friend Porter being there.
How we would all sit round the fire and watch the flames as he sang “Amazing Grace, Chasing Cars and We are sailing.”

How he loved the Island, how his passion rubbed off on us all and made us all fall in love with his place.

I really thought it would be harder going back there but it almost felt like he was with us.
I’m sure he was with us in his own way.

As night fall upon us and we sat around the fire, talking for hours about him and our memories, it just felt right to write a little letter to him and throw it out to sea.
It was the perfect end to a lovely day. (Thanks Sammy, great idea.)

image

Thank you all, so much for sharing your tears, laughs and memories with us all and bearing with me as I struggled throughout the day and evening.
I couldn’t ask for better friends.
Thank you xxx

Close to perfection

A new day, rain on the window panes, wind soaring through the branches of the trees, the bubbling brook turning into a fast flowing river.
Nature is at its best, teaching us that he is in control.
Mud sticking to our wheelies as we struggle to stay upright as it takes hold, not letting go.
Rain drops running off our noses, hair soaked, along with everything right down to our toes.
Autumn is definitely upon us.
As we strip down to bare essentials and warm ourselves by the fire, this moment is close to perfection, as we giggle at the sight that we will forever behold in our memories.

Hold on

I’m not sure if I have shared this before, I think I must have, I feel the need to share it again, with two suicides in the last month, friends that are struggling and the winter months ahead that seems to bring with darker moods, I really do feel like I should share a little of my journey. Hopefully it may at least help someone, anyone who feels lost, alone and scared of the emotional torment they are facing.

🌹🌹🌹

There comes a time in one’s life that no matter how happy you are, how good you feel and you have the world in your hands, Darkness takes over.
Not to long ago my life was turned upside down by postnatal depression and panic disorder. Lucky now I have mostly beat my battle against these illnesses.
But if my words can help just one person to over come depression and find the strength to fight, know they are not the only ones who are going through this, that you will come through it, I don’t mind putting it out there for the world to see.

Looking back now, I see that my own pain caused many others to feel pain to, and even though at the time, I could only see my own, I am deeply sorry for any distress I have caused. I never meant to hurt any one.

Life was on a good roll when depression hit for no reason, there was not a single trigger, I guess I had been strong for too long and been isolated and out of socialization for many months and when it came to the crunch of getting back out into the world, I couldn’t master the strength to face it.
I will never understand why I fall so deep and I let the darkness take over my life, why I hurt and cut myself. All I knew at the time was every cut let out the darkness, every physical pain, took away the emotional pain that filled my body.

Getting help is one of the hardest things to do. But trust me, it has to be done. I swear that without the support of my absolutely gorgeous, kind, caring, loving other half, my family and friends, I would not be here today. Yes it got that bad that all I wanted to do was end my life.
I see now that life is worth living and the fight to Live is worth it.

Nothing is that bad you can’t carry on. You will always find the strength to battle on.
And if in dealt look at you friends, family and see the pain in their eyes and remember that if you leave them that even though your pain my be gone, you have left many with heartache and loss.
Can you really do that to the people you love ?

Talk to your closest friend or your family, tell them how you are feeling and they will help you through.
True friends will always be there for you no matter what and as I learnt through the bad times you soon find out who cares and who doesn’t. And even though this adds to the depression, it is a good thing, you will see people walk away but you have learnt a true lesson about friends and what you have left is the valve of friendship, you have no more snakes in the grass.

My advise to you, is to talk.
Talk is the key, even if that is talking to a stranger, also listen to their advise.
Happy pills may be the answer to. I always disagreed with those until I was made to take them.
They put my in a bubble which helped me get through the day.
So in a way they saved me to.

When in dealt about yourself, grab yourself a pen and paper and write two lists,
one of what good you bring to others and the world and the other what you think your faults are.
9 out of 10 your first list will win. You can even do this with friends and you will watch that list grow.

The main key is to believe in yourself. Stand tall and grab the darkness by the balls and say NO MORE.

Hold on and life will once again look beautiful to you.
Live, love and learn.
Isn’t that what life is for ?
Enjoy the ride with its ups and downs and remember to laugh and smile, because these two things are soul savers.
Nothing beats laughter.

My final advise to you all is, that when you see a status on here that seems depressed please think twice before calling that person crazy or thinking they are just wanting attention. That person could really need your help. Be a mate and take two minutes out your day and show them your there. I’m sure at some point in your blissful lives you will need a friend to. Be a friend yourself as you could save a life.

Missing piece of the puzzle

Some times in life we all need a little help, be it with life skills, cooking, learning or love. The main thing is that we shouldn’t be scared to ask for it.
That’s what I’m doing right now.

If you have been keeping up with this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been asked to research someone’s family history, well that’s where I need a little help.
It’s not that I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing, I do, I ran my own research business back in the day and have researched a fair amount of trees.
It’s like s drug, when you start you can not walk away without being dragged.
It’s an addiction for sure.
Anyway, I’m doing pretty well, I’ve got back to the 1500’s on one line and smashed the others, it’s looking good if I do say so myself. (we all deserve a little self praise every now and then)
One line is proving to be a headache and if you know anything about family research the one word will explain why.
Ireland 🇮🇪

So we have this Irish family who packed up their life’s, their homes and everything they’ve known. They left the potato famine behind them.
One travelled much further than the rest and headed of to the states.
Can you imagine the fear, the excitement, he must have been feeling, what an adventure he was on.
Why he decided to travel so far, we will never know. Why he returned back to the UK, I have a better understanding of, bless his heart, he had definitely lived through it.

At present I can not find a ship log or an documents confirming his move to the states, Canada was his port of call. While he was there, I know he married and had two boys, who I know joined the forces and fort in the Second World War which took both their lives. They died alone, in a foreign country which was a stranger to them. Their body’s were laid to rest in foreign soul. (That’s kind of heartbreaking)
Their mother died and their father returned to England and he went on to marry and live a full happy life.

So this is where I need a little help.
With all the documents I can access, I can’t look into the American/Canadian records.😩
Well I can but I would need a lotto win to be able to.
So can you gorgeous Americans get to records easily without costing the earth?
Would any of my American friends, like to give me an hour of their precious time and have a look to see if they can find anything, which may open up a new lead???
I know it’s a lot to ask, but trust me I wouldn’t be asking if I really didn’t need the help.
My mind races with the unknown and it’s driving me mad, I need to know what happened to this Irish gent who had his life torn apart, who lost the love of his life and his family.
He went through so much and his life story is lost.
I have this overpowering need to find it.
If you are interested at all in helping me patch this beautiful heartbreaking story together, please get in touch, I’ll be eternally grateful to you.

Update – while watching Rich in the Great North run yesterday I finally managed to find his ship log back to the UK. My excitement was a tad full on, lol 😂 but boy wasn’t I more than a little chuffed.
Can wait to find time to see what doors that opens.

Wake me up……

Summer days and the living is easy, smash, bam, with a blink of an eye you’ve missed it.
New, washed, ironed uniform is at the ready, school bags packed and a lunch box waiting to fill with carrot sticks, and all things healthy (school rules suck).
The rain starts creepy back in, as do the darker evenings and the mornings somehow seem cozier, so much harder to drag our ass’s out of bed.
Alarm clocks placed over the opposite side of the room, saving it from the fate of being launch across the room when it rudely makes you jump out of your skin with its high pitch squeal also making it impossible to hit that much-loved snooze button that I’m sure we all favour.
How we hate that little invention that was made for one purpose………to torture.
Smiles disappear, replaced with frowning and uncontrollable sobbing 😭 even the occasional stamping of feet, not just from the little girl who will looks incredibly smart in her pure white shirt, shiny black shoes but also from mum who wants one extra cup of coffee before dragging herself out the door and doing that dreaded school run, full of judgment, stuck up mothers with faces full of makeup and the perfect hair while you try desperately to fix your jeans so your pj’s that are creeping further up your butt cheeks don’t give away that you rushed out the door without removing those normally every so comfy pj bottoms.
Then comes that ear piecing ring of the bell 🔔, a stampede of running children tripping over each other to be the first inline, a hard tug of the jeans that risks exposing those pjs, as tears begin to flow uncomfortably, making it look as if you’ve forgotten that tanner lady 😜 as your darling perfect child try’s her up most to hide behind you, holding on for dear life.
Please wake me up when September ends!!!

🌹🌹🌹