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I spent last night thinking about all the things that make me smile, just simple everyday stuff really but made me sit back and count my blessings.
We aren’t well off but we do well on what we have, we grafted long and hard at the beginning of our marriage and the sale of Dave’s pest control business then set us up and put us in a position of being comfortable. We don’t have spare cash to throw around but instead have tied it all up to hopefully provide for us in the future. My hubby is canny with the pennies (unlike myself who admits to being absolutely rubbish, if I have cash in my pocket I will spend it and so need his control where finances are concerned). He is quite simply a great husband, a superb fit for me and he understands my quirks and more importantly embraces and accepts them. He is oil to my water but we somehow gel and it works. He is also a very involved and hands on father which is so incredibly important for me. BUT most importantly he recognises the control freak in me and remembers the golden rule that I am ALWAYS right, even when I am wrong.
I then went on to thinking about my mum and dad, how they were such a huge part of my children’s lives in their formative years. I am very much like my mum in many ways and miss her indescribably, however I look back at my photographs (of which there are so many) and see her and dad with the girls and although she is no longer with us those precious years we had with her have given us some wonderful memories to hold on to and look back fondly with broad smile. Every now and then, when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror out of the corner of my eye I see mum. As I get older I seem to be looking more and more like her ~ that comforts me.
I said in an earlier blog that I had been going through some photographs to take to our family therapy session and it underlined so absolutely how much joy the girls have brought into our lives. No matter what they were faced with (and their childhood was full of hospital admissions and illness) they continually found joy and mischief in life. I can’t remember the house ever being absent of laughter ~ if one of the girls was sick the other two rallied round and cheered her up. They were and still are immensely close and for that I am joyful and proud. My three quirky, beautiful, individual daughters make me feel hugely blessed and I am so lucky they are all so close ~ I think that is partly due to them being so close in age with only 15 months between Keisha and Tasha, then18 months between Tasha and Tara.
Still thinking about the girls all the photographs above were before they became really sick. Both Tasha and Tara had chronic issues, Tara with her bowels and Tasha with her chest. Which meant they had to spend large chunks of their younger years in hospital but although chronic these illness didn’t cause anywhere near the distress ME and mental health issues have raised.
Since the girls became more sick, which escalated since the early part of 2010 we haven’t been able to venture abroad for holidays. Instead we have bought a static caravan in Filey, close to the sea, where we can go to chill together in our home from home. BUT, one particular holiday prior to 2010 sticks in my memory, it was the summer of 2007 and we had saved up and gone to Corfu on a two week all inclusive holiday. It was just fabulous with long hot days spent in the swimming pool and evenings getting involved with the “entertainment” making the girls laugh as we went on stage playing the games and making fools of ourselves. This is a photo of us all at the beginning of our Greek night…
Then, because it was the middle of the night I started to feel the need for a snack ~ but because I am trying to be good and lose some weight (as you can see above I used to be really rather slim!) I had nothing naughty in (boo!). Anyhow, I remember my ultimate treat when young was the good old fashioned Texan bar, it was chocolatey chewy heaven in a bar. I am gutted that you can no longer buy them ~ I even emailed Rowntree to ask them to reconsider and start making them again, sadly the reply was that there is no demand for them any more (gutted). If you ever had one you would know the sheer delight in taking a bite and seeing how long you could make the strings of nougat stretch before they snapped!
I also LOVE trees, always have. Sitting under a tree or walking among the woods makes me feel a deep calm. The only other place that has the same effect is sitting on a beach watching the sea. I have decided on having a tattoo on the back of my neck and between my shoulder blades, not an enormous one. The design is not complete yet but I like the idea of something based on the photos below, I will go and chat to the tattooist at some point over the next few months and get him to design me a bespoke tattoo of a tree but to somehow incorporate a family symbol into the design too.
Randomly, thinking of my lovely Nanna Morton, who was a real card ~ she had a habit of keeping a spare pair of knickers in her handbag in case of an emergency (she had a colostomy). She was rake thin and hilarious, a real personality. She lived with us almost all of my childhood (I think if I remember correctly she moved in with us when I was about 3 years old and stayed with us until she died when I was in my late teens). Nanna used to eat those sickly sweet Lemon Puff biscuits and custard creams and boiled onions with butter on toast. I don’t really know why I am sharing this but it seems important. We used to sit and watch Val Doonican and smoke sneaky cigarettes together. I helped care for her, bath her, help her with her colostomy bags, something she didn’t like doing herself, we had a special hat pin we kept close by to puncture the bag if it blew up with wind. She also acted as bouncer at Chloe’s 18th birthday party (a house party due to me caring for mum who had Shingles at the time). This is her, I think you can see the mischief in her smile.
Talking about Chloe, she is my Big Little Sister aka Lowly CT she is 15 months older than me but smaller than me, beautifully petite. I adore her, we are close but also fight ~ especially when at boarding school. I remember throwing a rubix cube at her head and she locked me in the large communal wardrobe at the bottom of the dormitory. When at home I pushed her down the stairs (I’m not proud of that) which caused her to stop breathing for a little while and turn a strange shade of blue. To retaliate she pushed my head through the banister stair rods causing three to snap (we carefully pulled them back together and positioned the paint flakes to cover the cracks) ~ dad only discovered the damage fairly recently and we both confessed at his 70th birthday party! She will kill me for sharing these photos with you, but I don’t care ~ she is and always will be very special to me, despite our fights, Lowly CT I love you.
Sadly I am not as close to my younger brother because he is four and a half years younger than me and we went away to different boarding schools (me from the age of 11 and him from the age of 7). However I often think about him even though we rarely speak or see each other. He is now very happily married to Debs and has three healthy children. This is my bro’ with his wife…
So, I have shared with you my night~time musings and my trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.