Posts tagged postaday20113

Daily Post – The Little Things..

It’s the little things that mean so much. I love that statement because it is those little things that have touched my life more than anything else. It’s a smile, a touch, an image, a beautiful piece of music, a song, a word, a kind act… those things that make everything ok. I don’t wish take anything away from these moments they are the moments that make life worth living. I crave them, yearn them, notice life around me, look and listen for them. It’s all about being positive and I like to think I have a positive and loving heart but there are so many little things that have plagued me, taunted me, haunted me and …. eat my garden!

I went out to water the shoots, plants and flowers that are responding to the beautiful warm weather. The roses so far look amazing and healthy, marigolds that the children planted last year are in bloom. Along the border the blue of grape hyacynths is a joy to behold and the herbs are in flower, mint strong and green, oregano, chives, sage and rosemary and thyme nearly ready to use, ferns unfurling their fluffy fronds, hostas uncurling their pointed spikes,lily of the valley leaves cupping their tiny buds and the miniature narcissus …. bare; nothing but stem and leaves, my primrose is flowerless and the primula – little clutches of miserable leaves and bloomless cups holding onto life with desperation. It’s the little things, those tiny little buggy things that are the negative influence around me.

On my walls, minute snails nestle in the crevices, under leaves small green caterpillars seem immune to the cold winter weather, in the soil grubs waiting to grow into weevils and each one doing its best to destroy all my efforts at growing strawberries and a little piece of country in my garden. I watch them as they creep nearer and nearer my goji berry and blueberry bushes and wonder .. why they don’t eat weeds. I mean that I wouldn’t mind. Overrun with cats there aren’t any birds to help rid my garden of pests and it is only a matter of time before I put my hands up and either let them chomp their way through everything or get out the bug sprays against all my efforts at being green.

Hmm sometimes it is the little things that have biggest effect for sure and I know which kind I prefer…

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Postaday2011: What do I want to accomplish with my blog?

What a brilliant title for a blog entry and one that gives me so many ideas for writing. You know, at first I got caught up in the draw to be noticed, a bit like good old Facebook. Your success was the number of friends you have, never mind that half of them were so obscure as to be insignificant in your life, if they are on your friends list, they count. I think not! A friend, to me, is someone who is touchable, reachable, at least knows something about you that you can’t read on Facebook and someone you can call on for a night out, a meaningful chat, a hug, a friendly word, someone who knows you personally, I could go on and give you a million definitions of a friend but at the end of the day they are more than a name on an internet list…

I began much the same, other bloggers were boasting large numbers of readers and ‘like’ clicks, I wanted to be like that and when my readers rose from four or five to seventy odd once I was so excited and wanted to write more and more. Then I noticed other bloggers were getting hundreds of hits and it suddenly hit me, I would have to be amazing and work really hard at achieving that. My computer life is far less than is necessary to read and reply to that many readers, in fact it is a miniscule part of life for me because my family and real people that I know and love are extremely important to me. Besides, if someone dropped by my blog I would consider it so rude not to reply, I could be all day on my computer! No, I decided there and then that my blog was for many reasons but none of them to achieve popularity in cyber space with people I shall never meet.

I don’t want to sound at all ungrateful to all the lovely people that I have ‘met’ through my blog, those wonderful people who share similar lives or journeys, that it is a pleasure to share with are so important to me. I love to read their blogs and read their comments and would miss them but to me those few are far more precious to me because I can spend time getting to know them through my blogging and theirs, whereas, if there were’ hundreds’ would any of them be as special? I think not.

Mainly I write my blog for me, my children and friends who like to keep tabs on me. I keep a copy of it all and this postaday challenge will give me a year of thoughts, tipsy ramblings, actual events and well, my life and me daily for a whole year. I am notoriously hopeless at keeping a journal but I have always kept everything I ever wrote, even if it was just a few days of a holiday. It is fantastic to look back and see what I was up to, what I was feeling and best of all remember the moments when I was actually writing them. They serve as a strong memory link for me. I wrote some of my first poetry as a child and I have them still, every time I read them I am whisked back to that time and remember exactly what I was thinking when I wrote them. A bit like certain smells or perfumes that trigger a thought or memory from the past, my writing does the same, only better.

My children are scattered all over the world and although we keep in touch regularly, they all tell me they feel more in touch because they read my blog and know how I am feeling. How much more of a reason would I need for writing a blog? Hearing that made me feel so emotional, I never thought of that. When you live with someone you know the little idiosyncrasies, moods, silly stuff we do and how they are feeling but once we all scatter and have families of our own, we lose that intimacy. That is my second best reason for writing my blog.

Thirdly, I have friends who say the same and query when I miss my blog. I find this so really touching and it makes me realise just how many people out there actually do think about me and care. It’s a warm feeling and I love it.

Lastly, but not at all least, are the people I have never met who pop by and comment on my blog. The biggest compliments I have had was like the one I had yesterday.  When I have finished a day’s work and I need to relax I can read your blog and either escape or be inspired. This is something several people have written to me. I love that so much, not the just compliments but the fact that the mindless meanderings through my butterfly mind can actually be useful to somebody else. Can help them to forget a stressful day, can inspire them to rethink their own thoughts and take a breath or unwind. My blog can actually be meaningful in a positive way! That is awesome!

So, I am glad I gave up on being popular to many and am absolutely thrilled to be comforting to my children, inspiring to other bloggers, offer an escape for a few moments from the busyness of life and most of all give myself a book full of happy memories that I can recall at the turn of a page. I thank everyone who reads my blogs and who take away something from them for themselves, that is precious, that is what life should be like. Letting me know that is like returning the gift tenfold. The pebble in the pool or the smile to a stranger syndrome? It all helps to make the joy and love of life go round. Thank you all.

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Postaday2011: The nest is not so empty!

Eeek! late again and not making the bewitching hour in UK time! Still at least I am posting. Today we invited Thomas, who is Julia’s father, for dinner with us. After all it seems silly if he is staying in the UK and we don’t get to meet him. I was a little nervous at first but I then thought that of how many times I had been for a meal with people I didn’t know and began to relax. I needn’t have worried because he was such a lovely man. What I also noticed that he must have been as nervous as I was because his hand trembled a little as we ate dinner.

The meal was good and he seemed to enjoy it, it was really lovely to meet the father of our young guest. It was funny to see the difference in the two girls. Before, Amanda seemed to be the stronger one, taking responsibility for her friend, not always to her agreement. We said nothing, well Harry did, bless him, to the point and caring as he is, was doing a great job of being a grandparent, again. There have been times of silence between the two girls which must have been so difficult for Julia, who is basically more the guest than Amanda, then tonight the tables turned and Julia was more confident and Manda the quiet one.

As we chatted over the meal, I was able to totally reconnect with having Tabby at home, my last fledgling. How absolutely lovely it was to hear music, maybe not my type, coming from the upstairs room. And when they went from being silent with each other one minute, the next they were giggling and laughing like nothing had happened. It was so really lovely to have young people in the house again. I was concerned at first that Harry wouldn’t cope with it because he hasn’t really ever been there for his own family, not that they mean any the less to him than mine do, but he was a Navy man and not always there for them. He missed a great deal of special stuff and it is interesting how my family has seen him realise how much he missed and how much more loving he feels toward his own.

It really is so wonderful seeing him blossom and realising just how much his lovely daughters mean to him and at the same time have my empty nest filled, even for such a short while.

I have always been so really proud of the artistic and dramatic achievements of my own children. Those precious recordings, songs written by the artist, dramatic events that record a cast iron memory forever in my heart mean so much and have made up a really special part of my life. From the oldest to the youngest, each of them have excelled or achieved something that I look back on with eyes full of tears and a heart bursting with pride, wanting to capture each moment as a lasting gift to myself. That pride is something so really special to me, a gratitude and a gift that surpasses no other.

Today I heard my granddaughter sing for the first time. It brought back every one of the memories of my own children. She sings with the same confidence as her Daddy and uses similar techniques. I wanted to post the recording on here but it wouldn’t accept the format. I will have to find a way to change the formatting of her song and those of my own children to post. I am always saying how talented they are, I just want to show everyone else too.

I think this week is going to go too fast for me, not that I haven’t got my little grandchildren to enjoy which is a pleasure immeasurable, but it is so nice to spend time with and have our house filled with teenagers again.

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Postaday2011: A day to ourselves.

We hadn’t planned a day to ourselves because each time we do something always changes and we end up so busy. There was a list of things to achieve and we did some of them and added an impromptu visit to a friend as well. I put dinner in the oven, well a joint of beef anyway, and we went out knowing we had two hours before the meat would be cooked. We visited an Art and Craft fair in a nearby village. The sun was shining and it was the first time I had really been out this year apart from a bit of shopping, which I consider a necessity.

The art was fantastic, such a huge selection of pictures using so many different mediums. The quality of each picture was amazing and I could have wandered around all day just admiring them. The craft was also brilliant, there were so many beautiful crafts there from spinning, lace making, mosaic work, weaving, wood-turning, wood carving, cards, jewellery, stitch crafts and painted ceramics, so, so many clever people. It was a joy to see their work and to get ideas for both painting and craft stuff, it certainly inspired both Harry and myself.

A friend of mine was supposed to have been on the door and we assumed we had missed her. Which is the reason we popped by her home to say a very quick hi, not forgetting our time limit and the fact we also wanted to go into a store for a picture frame on the way home and before our Sunday joint was burned to a frazzle. I hadn’t seen her and her husband for months and we were persuaded to have a cuppa with them. As she is also an artist and a writer, there was so much to talk about and I just love their huge country garden with all the birds and wildlife. Somewhere I could spend forever in.

My friend’s husband was a horticulturist and I remembered as we were leaving to ask about the caterpillars and bugs. He tells me they might not be caterpillars as such rather saw fly larvae instead. My poor daughter will be disappointed. I spoke to her but a lot of them have escaped so maybe it will be ok. Anyway, I digress, I was given the name of a good product that would help to remove them from my garden. Tomorrow I will attack .  I shall be relentless as tonight another bunch of flowers from my primulas were eradicated..

My poor little violas are looking sadder and sadder but I did see a lot of ants nipping around. I bleached the patio area and sprayed for weeds and I suspect they moved house under cover of darkness, maybe to beneath the violas.. another path for attack! I do hate doing this but I feel I have no choice. Everything is being eaten and destroyed apart from the weeds, it is heartbreaking for me, especially when I try so hard.

One good thing though. I grew sweet peas and morning-glory at the side where usually little grows and I left the plants in to seed, along with the frame to support them. Since the sunny weather the bed is full of morning-glory seedlings, so many that I have to thin them out and in between them are little sweet pea plants popping out of the ground too. I will make sure there are enough supporting canes and twine and let nature take over that piece of garden. I feel sure she does a better job than I do.

We left the store visit to after lunch but I didn’t get my photo frame because they were out of stock, apart from that I achieved everything I wanted to. Moving the furniture in my studio can wait and as we had the day to ourselves we just relaxed. I read some of my book and did what was necessary for the morning then chilled, very lazily, in front of the tv this evening. Perfect! What a lovely day!

Oh, and despite being home half an hour later than I had planned, our Sunday joint was cooked perfectly. A little over medium roast. It should have been 77c and was 78, how good was that?

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Postaday2011: escape to the sea…

Bit of a fib there, not really so much an escape to the sea as escape into my painting. I am about halfway through my panoramic seascape and already I am as amazed as I always am when I paint a picture. I get to some bits and struggle, get fed up and leave it to have a cuppa, when I go back to it I am completely thrilled with the way it looks and wonder who snuck in and made it good for me. I will never stop appreciating the wonderful gift I have. OK it will never make me rich but I love the thought that after I am gone from this earth I will have left something lovely behind that some, somewhere enjoys owning.

Rather than a long blog today I am posting the painting so far… this is just half of it and it still needs a bit of work, and two of the original photographs I am trying to copy.

The following picture is of the first two photographs in a set of four. If anyone has any constructive criticism, I shall be really glad to hear it. There is always room for improvement.

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Postaday2011: hidden talents

Well this is the first time I have been able to blog for three days. We have had a virus on the computers and although mine has been ok, we’ve not taken any chances. Thankfully we found a guy who could fix Harry’s computer and check mine for a reasonable price. So now I have some blogs to catch up.

Apart from computer problems the last few days has been absolutely manic. H has had a couple of days off and we have just been whisked off our feet with things to catch up with, family and household stuff like carpet cleaning and furniture moving and organising. Oh and my daughter’s scan. We are having another little grand daughter in the summer. Such a joy to spend time with Maica, trying to keep her amused and avoiding a tantrum while at the hospital, plus a long car journey for her. Her thoughts on telling Grampy that she was having a baby sister and what she was going to be called? ‘ I think it is Pinga!’ Ok so we are having a penguin….

As for hidden talents, that is one of those things that every single one of us could put our hand up to. Most of us have gifts we can talk about like writing, art, sewing and things like that but for me the hidden talents are those that are rarely spoken of. How many of us are happy to sit and chat to an elderly person at the bus stop or in a supermarket queue? That is such a talent and gives such a priceless gift to someone who might be lonely… How many of us support a charity or school, hospital or a cause that is close to our heart? For me those things that are done quietly and with love and sincerity are talents. Gifts that we are prepared to share, gifts that include love, caring, generosity, thoughtfulness and so on, are often hidden talents that are so very precious.

I guess my hidden talents have long gone, health problems have robbed me of many of my senses, like hearing and taste and smell but some time ago I used to sing. I sang at school, oh a million years ago, and as I got older I sang in the church choir. I have sung a wedding solo and at a christening, solo in churches but mostly I have loved choral singing. My most treasured moments were singing with the ‘Big Chorus’ at the Albert Hall in London. Verdi’s Requiem and Handell’s Messiah. I have also sung at parties and really enjoyed myself but these days my voice is not what it was and my hearing loss doesn’t help but many people do not know that I was once a singer. I class this as my hidden talent because it was one that I took the most joy in and one that I miss so very much. I sing at home some days when I am on my own and really enjoy it but I think my other talent, my favourite one, is the way I have all my memories stored neatly in little boxes. There for me when I need them, for me or to share, so that I can relive some of the most happy times of my life… but even my most treasured talents will never compare to those that give the little things in life, those priceless little gifts that make the sun shine for someone who needs it. That is real hidden talent!

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Postaday2011: favourite activities outside blogging.

Where do I begin on this one? I am using this prompt which was for Reading week, merely because it relates to me more than the blogaday one.  It is a hard thing to write about because I just have so many activities and hobbies. As much as I love reading other blogs and writing my own, my day is full with so many other things. I used to sit on Facebook and chat to friends but it got to the point that it became trivial, if there was no one on there I was playing games and was slipping on the other things I liked to do. I’d check for messages, maybe reply to a few but I soon realised that actually nobody missed me if I wasn’t on there. Where is the connection with blogging? I can hear you ask. Well, it’s simple, none! There is little connection between Facebook and blogging apart from me learning to balance out my time.

I love writing, always have, I even have poems I wrote as a child, and at school I remember helping out other members of our English class when homework involved poetry, so writing has always been there in my life. I also love blogging. I have mentioned before  about just how dreadful I am at keeping a diary. My entries might last for a few weeks and then I would start slipping and miss some so I always ended up with a few entries in the front and one apologetic one at the end of the year. Silly thing is I would love to go back and see what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote them. I still do but it doesn’t help me become any good at journal keeping, so blogging and particularly ‘Blogaday’ has really encouraged me. Having other writers out there encouraging me has been brilliant and reading other blogs and admiring the tremendous talent out there is really fantastic. I could spend all day on here but I have to limit my time because I like to join my family in various activities too. So for me, although participating as much as I can, blogging isn’t a priority to me. As I have arthritis, everything I do takes a lot more time than it used to, so even sitting at my computer takes its toll on me.

My other activities include, painting, writing, housework, knitting, gardening, reading, music, crochet, all sewing and dressmaking, cooking, entertaining, did I mention housework? haahha I have so many hobbies and loads that I have trouble doing. Nature and nature walks used to be a big thing in my life so did my dog, but life moves on and now I stick to those I can do easily. Having such a large family, I am always busy. So I guess my other favourite activities and blog writing have to fight for time. I do my best always and keeping up with a blog every day has become so motivating for me so I guess my answer would be, I don’t have a favourite activity I just like being busy.

Here are a few pictures from today when I had Maica to entertain me while her Mummy did a photoshoot.

Having finished baking some delicious chocolate chip cookies, Maica insisted on washing up. I reckon she did a great job.

I think she liked the cookies so much she preferred them to her lunch..

Teddy had to watch while she did her painting too.

I only spent around 6 hours with her but I look back and wonder how I managed with eight children!! I am exhausted, but we had a really wonderful day. Maybe I am getting old and maybe I should be sticking to reading and writing on WordPress.

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Posta2011: A short story

The Dawning.  By Marie Fullerton                                     word count 1137

   Jan looked around the Bistro; little vases of white and yellow flowers in the centre of each table stood out against the pristine, green tablecloths. She had seen the same cream walls and dark wood beams in a small bar she had visited in France. The canopy above the window outside sheltered most of the diners from the glaring sun but on one small table in the window corner, the sunshine streamed in. Jan took her cup and sat down there. She allowed the sun to play on her face as she watched tiny particles of dust dancing in the light through the window. Her mind wandered aimlessly. Enjoying the break, she sipped her coffee slowly.

          “Hello Jan, this is a surprise.” Jan jumped at the familiar voice that had intruded into her thoughts and looked up to see Mark standing in the doorway; he held his arms wide as if to welcome her. She stood up and smiled weakly. He hadn’t changed, the same old Mark.

          “Mmm, not forgiven me yet I see?”

          “What do you expect?” She allowed her coldness to confirm his suspicions but her hands trembled as she watched him saunter across the floor and join her at the table.

          “Let me buy you a fresh coffee; this place is new, I’ve not seen it before?”

          “Yes, fairly new,” she smiled as she added, “ I hear the food’s good.”

A family with two small children came in noisily and joined another couple already seated at a large table at the back of the room.

          “Excuse me,” Mark twisted round on his chair and called the waitress without noticing them.

          “Two coffees and two Welsh Rarebits, please love.”

As she came across to take the order, Jan widened her eyes and looked directly at her over Mark’s shoulder, shaking her head with the smallest of movement, she fleetingly touched her lips with a forefinger.

Mark turned back round to face her.

“I can’t eat alone, you must eat with me.”

Jan checked her watch,  

 “I only have half an hour. I’m not hungry, a coffee will do fine.”

Ignoring her statement, he asked, “Now, what have you been up to?”

          “Since you walked out on me you mean?” she cut in coldly.

          “Ah, come on Jan, we agreed to a trial separation.”

He leaned across and picked a hair from her lapel and watched as it drifted to the floor. She was beginning to get irritable as she relived all the emotions that Mark had unleashed in her on his leaving. But then, she had done all right for herself. OK, she was still single but she liked it that way and she’d done a lot that she wouldn’t otherwise have done; she’d gone to college for instance.

          “So where did you go?” She asked out of curiosity.

“I was in Australia for two and a half years and then…”

“You mean you went … on your own!” Realising she had raised her voice, she dropped it again and whispered, “Why, after all our plans, why?”

 “I’m sorry, please forgive me?” Her heart leapt at a sudden thought.

Mark looked down and brushed imaginary dust from the tablecloth.

“I dunno, I guess it had all been getting too much, I, I really don’t know. I nearly wrote to you several times but, you know how it is!”

          “I do?”

          “Two Welsh Rarebit and two coffees.”

Jan smiled and nodded her head at the waitress. “ Thanks, Emma.”

          “Ah,” said Mark triumphantly, “still eating out I see, not learnt to cook yet then?”

          “Meaning precisely what?” His assumptions tangled in her stomach.

          “Well, you were always pretty hopeless at cooking, you have to admit it. Even that dog wouldn’t eat it, remember?”

Jan recalled the picnic; how the sun played on the river’s surface. A small dog that she had thrown a stick for had jumped in and scattered the sparkling water. They’d fed it a sandwich and Mark had given it some of her quiche. He’d cut a small piece and, unknown to her until they’d got back home, had smothered it in pepper before throwing it for the dog to catch. How he’d laughed as it ran away sneezing. He’d laughed for days afterward every time it came to mind, ‘it’s only a joke about your cooking.’ he’d said.

“Long time ago now, come on, eat up.”

He picked up his knife and sliced the toast in half, in half again and again until he had eight little slices on his plate, he then picked each piece up with his finger and thumb before eating them noisily. Jan watched and sipped her coffee in silence.

          “ Eat up.” He repeated.

“I did say I didn’t want anything.”

“ You didn’t mean it, come on, eat with me.” Mark was insistent.

“If you want it you have it, I’m not hungry.” She watched as he slid her slice onto his plate and proceeded with the cutting ritual as before.

          “ I went through Italy, had some really good food there. Mmm, love this.” He added and stuffed another slice into his mouth. 

The mocking voices of insufferable people echoed through Jan’s thoughts. The warm smell of toast materialized the tiny kitchen of their flat, friends sat around chatting, Mark’s friends. Geoff had said something and she turned to listen. The toast she was making for everyone caught fire under the grill. Someone laughed and from that point on it had been a standing joke. ‘Visiting Mark and Jan, we’d better bring a take-away.’ Mark had laughed too.

“Pity you never learned to cook, you never know, I might not have had to go so far for a decent meal.” Mark was laughing at his insinuation.

His voice scattered the images. Jan sighed.

          “Mark, look, I have to go, I’m sorry, I’m working.”

He finished the last slice of Jan’s Rarebit and felt in his coat for his wallet.

          “Oh damn! I’ve left my wallet…”

          “It’s OK, have this one on me, I owe you that much.” Jan got up and walked across to Emma, she whispered something and they laughed.  As she turned to leave, Mark held his arm out for her but she brushed him aside and chose instead to walk before him. Outside the door she turned.

          “When shall we meet again?” Asked Mark.

His arrogant, self assured face smiled at her and the knot in her stomach untied. Jan leant across, gently kissed his cheek and smiled back at him.

“Actually we won’t; I won’t, and by the way, I’m ok and doing very nicely, thank you for asking”.

Mark opened his mouth to speak. Jan gestured with her eyes to the sign above the door, held up her hands in front of her, winked, and walked back into her Bistro.

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Postaday: Describe my dream vacation

With all the things I am interested in my dream holiday is difficult to pin down to one place. It would drive me nuts just lying around on the beach all day and visiting touristy foreign places would bore me silly and annoy me as the crowds well, crowd me. So I guess it would have to be somewhere reasonably quiet with history. I mean old history that my ancestors might have known. Personally, there are so many great places in the UK that I have still yet to visit and many would say but that’s not a holiday! but to me nothing would be better than walking round an ancient town and visiting all the museums, especially those with ‘ living museums’ like we have in Gosport.

 I love doing research and taking photographs and of course, reading. Castles and countryside are of great interest to me and the big 180 degrees of sky in all its many moods. Being able to find pictures to draw or paint is also important. Our last holiday was in Cornwall. What a fantastic ruse for a holiday – research for my book! Mousehole Harbour was somewhere I had wanted to visit for years, especially as one of our favourite cartoons was ‘Mousehole Cat’ which was based on a true story. On getting to Mousehole I was filled with such wonder, not just in feeling the atmosphere that had been created in the book but also on discovering the other histories of the place. A walk around the villages took us to another time almost. People sold home made produce on little shelves outside their cottages, plaques gave interesting facts about people who had lived there years ago. Ruined buildings had such great stories and many a local were only too pleased to share the stories.

We travelled all round the coast of Cornwall from the north to the south, me getting my fix of coastlines and skies, and going to places that most people wouldn’t find interesting at all but we loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to go back again. The tiny cottages that you climbed steps up to get in fascinated me because the door height was tiny. I mean really tiny. What was the history there? did the tide come in so a high step helped keep the water out? Another amazing thing was the narrowness of the roads. Obviously built when only horses were the means of travelling but we sat there on a bus holding our breath as the driver negotiated these roads with only millimetres spare to squeeze through. The place reeked with stories and oldness and I could spend months researching the history of each of the places we went to.

I think the best thing was when I met my Mum’s first ‘boyfriend’.  Now in his eighties, he told us such a sad and beautiful story. He loved my mum and everyone had thought they would marry but my father came along and whisked her away with promises of a new life. Bill got involved with motorbikes to get away from missing her. It was a serious accident on a bike that lost him his leg, right up to his hip. He never married, he hoped and hoped his Gwen would come back to him. Had she not gone he would still have both legs. He still waits for her and still loves her, no-one would every be anywhere near as good as his ‘Gwennie’. Bill is a lovely man, a great character, it shows in his face and I felt so sad for him. What a beautiful story of love. I took a photo of Mum for him and I think they do write to each-other but their lives are worlds apart. In spite of this, he still waits, spending his time now making and painting little model soldiers. I think he has to find a place in my book somehow, but I will write him a happier ending.

So I think the answer to the question of my dream holiday has to be the holiday that gives me something to see, think about and feel. Places with history and folklore that can be researched. Places of peace and quiet with time to reflect on the normal pace of life. Places that have beautiful architecture and interesting people who are pleased to share their stories and have the time to do just that. Northern Ireland and Cornwall did just that for me but I know there are so many other places, towns, villages, mountains and valleys, highlands and lowlands that wait for me out there. And I want to see them all and find out their histories. So, boring as it may seem for a lot of people. My dream vacation would be right here in the uk.

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Postaday2011: Something I never believed in…

The subject for this blogaday entry links in so well with yesterday’s. Thank you to a couple of not so good teachers, I left school at 14 having never sat an exam. My self esteem was low and was told I am never going to achieve so I might as well leave. I was fifteen in the summer holidays which was the legal requirement for leaving full time education in the sixties. I was handed a slip of paper with an interview date on it for a shop assistant in a town centre chemist and wished good luck. I got the job but hated it. I moved to another position in a stationers and then onto factory work where I could earn double the money. I was happy there and remained making fuses until I had my first child.  I even went back to do evening shift after he was born.

Those days from school coupled with lack of parental support left me never knowing there was more out there, I never knew I was intelligent. I loved being a mother and I went on to have eight children over 21 years. I had a dream fulfilled when we lived in the country for thirteen of those years. The experience was so much better than I could ever have imagined. Even though I feel sad at having to move to the town, I give thanks every day for the wonderful times and memories I have of rural living.

I wrote in yesterday’s blog about getting a degree in my fifties and the career I ended up with. That all came about because as we were nursing my elderly father in law I needed something to break the time. My husband had to leave work to help care for him in the end because it became a 24/7 task. I went to a ‘back to learning’ class in adult education at the local college just a couple of mornings a week. Local that is at 8 miles away from our country village. I achieved a good mark which really triggered off a faith in myself. I met a girl there who was using the course to brush up her English before going on to do a degree. It was her that dared me to apply to University College Chichester. Reluctantly, I did and after writing a book review, I was accepted. I went on to get my 2.1 Bachelor’s degree and then to do another three years teacher training whilst I taught on…..the very course I had started on.

If you had told me at any other time I would end up in higher education, let alone teaching, I would have laughed. That seven years of higher education gave me a self esteem and confidence I had never experienced in my life before. It changed everything for me. It also showed me the value of good education and support. We all need someone to believe in us, I was blessed to have people around me who did see my potential and supported me all the way. So the one thing that I never believed in before I experienced it properly later on in life was good teaching. A lot of people have failed at school due to poor teaching standards back in the fifties and sixties. Not all teachers were bad, I hasten to add, but it only takes one and any other number of circumstances to prevent a child from achieving. Thankfully the standard of teacher training is high and there is no excuse for poor teaching methods any more. It took me a lot of courage to try but I am so glad I did.

Unfortunately, arthritis stopped me teaching before I got my last years training that would have given me my PGCE, but I gained so much more because I did what I did. I gained self confidence and a belief in myself as well as some wonderful encouraging friends.                                                                                     

These days I write, working on a couple of novels, and I sell my paintings. Neither of which I could, or would, have done before I went back to ‘school’ because I never believed I was good enough. Thank you to Janis, Harry, Sharon and Bobby.

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