Thursday, 21 July 2016

Oooh hello....

I was looking at a friend's new blog and came across this space that I have neglected rather badly. How on earth has six years passed since I last rambled on? Back then I had five fish and a fiance, now I have two dogs and a husband. Who knew!

Back then the world seemed fairly sane and yet now? Well I was on the search for normality, but i think I am probably more normal than I ever realised! But it is really fascinating how we change as we grow older. I think there is truth in all that wisdom we gain along the way, so that we look back and say I probably could have done that better. But in the end,no regrets because its wayyyy too late to regret anything. As they say, you've made your bed and now you have to lie in it. Of course you could also jump on it or even hide under it.

I think i have been hiding somewhat. I'm not quite a recluse, but I don't do anything like i used to years ago, not even six years ago. Who knows where anxiety starts. Who knows why doing simple things has become such a major issue. Who knows why I panic at the thought of going to new places? Years ago, long after I had passed my driving test, I finally learned to drive and to go to new places. I felt like a new woman where nothing was too difficult. I took my history course, and drove all over Cheshire visiting historical buildings and researching for my assignments. I was never afraid to go off on my own and just discover. Now I have to plan everything in tiny detail. I need to know where I can park, where the toilets are, how tightly packed rooms are because I must be able to get from A to B without having to touch anyone or ask anyone to move. Frequently I do dummy runs to places so I am familiar with everything. I will spend time on Google Street view seeing how roads lie and what buildings will be near where I am going so that there is a familiarity that can help to prevent the panic I feel when i am out and about. I have developed 'safe' places. Places that I know well, where i know the procedures, the escape routes, familiar faces so that the stress when visiting these places is at a minimum, so I can appear 'normal'

I think maybe not many people know me any more. I appear to be one thing and yet that is just a front, a great act. Even i can start to see why i often feel totally exhausted with the job of just living.

Oooh so that was interesting, not sure where that came from but its probably good that it did. I haven't even mentioned my crochet addiction, or my yarn hoard - but there's time!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Moving forward

Ooops I am very sorry the holidays appear to have got in the way of my blogging. Been to Penrith and Farnborough near Banbury since I last wrote! I'm sorry sometimes I seem to get in the way of myself if that makes sense?

My last blog was about meeting my auntie who I had not seen since I was about 10. Sure enough some time back in August we all met up at the Tudor Rose for lunch. I had no idea what to expect. My cousin brought his family which we felt made it easier for me to slot in. It was almost my Aunties birthday so their focus was on her.

Funny thing is she has always been my Aunty Jean, I have never thought of her as anything else. I mean just as my cousins mum. And Uncle Raymond was always just that. I think he was a bit surprised when I asked him if it was ok to call him that, but he grinned and said of course I could.

In the end it was just a family outing with both my Aunty and Uncle reminiscing and telling tales that even my cousin had not heard before. There were no recriminations. I could so easily have asked why they had made no effort to see me in all those years. Then again, I had gone to college only two miles from where they lived and had never tried to see them so I suppose it was all pretty even in apathy or awkwardness.

As we walked back to our cars I was quite touched that she linked her arm in mine and could see she was genuinely moved at our meeting. I must admit I felt a kind of peace as if some of the parts of my life I always felt had not been filled, or had been left in limbo were being healed, pulled together. I;m not sure meeting my father would have the same effect, I think my Auntie was the one to pull together my roots.

Last week we met again, this time for me to show her some of my research into the tree. I took a load of photos of my brothers and children at different times so she could see how we had all grown up and also to spot the family likenesses. We talked about all the certificates I had purchased that revealed so much information about our ancestors. It seems the healing process was a two way street as my auntie read about the deaths of her parents finding answers to questions she had previously been unable to ask. 

When we start looking into our family history, we never know what we might conjure up or which myths we will dispel. I know that my journey has been a fascinating and very rewarding one. I'm not sure where the story will go next for me and my aunty, there are a lot of toes I have to be careful not to step on, but so far it has been a very positive experience and one I am glad I worked for.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Oh the embarrassment!

Yesterday we had a small family celebration of my son's 19th birthday. Which is actually today, but of course he wants to go out with his friends!

We had a lovely meal at the Spice Club in Moreton. I dont usually go there as my best pal Julia prefers the Surma which is a bit further down the road. However she was nearly put off by the water there who gave her back the knife she had used for her starter so she could use it for her main course - without cleaning it!

Anyway, I digress, as usual!

When the meal was over I called for the bill and my sister in law and I heckled over who should pay what. She said she would put in the money for the tip so the plate was filled with cash and off the chap went. 

Shortly after he came back and as he offered up our change, I said 'No its ok that's for you' He thanked me. It was only then that I realised that there was only ten pence on the plate (10p). My sister in law had the tip money in her hand! I was mortified! I'm still chuckling now!

I hate to think what he must have thought of us as we left. I pushed my SIL forward to hand him the tip and hurried out giggling. My children despair of me. But I don't think I will be changing soon!


My brother has fallen out with me. its not the first time a brother has fallen out with me. I must be a really horrible person! No I am honestly you should smell my breath at the moment. We had a curry last night for my son's birthday, but that's another story!

I have three brothers. We are oddballs. Then again arn't most families full of oddballs? Isn't that what makes the world go round? We all suffer from depression in varying degrees. It stems from my father side of the family and it seems the black dog is continually plaguing one or other of us. its amazing we ever get together considering how many dark clouds hang over us.

I am not one for arguments, I hate raised voices and aggression. It stems from a few not nice things that happened in my life, but basically I do not cope well with people when they get animated in an angry way. That's me, my problem and usually I manage to steer clear of situations that might cause me to go into panic or shut down mode.

Unfortunately my younger brother took offence at something that was said on Facebook, or rather my failure to acknowledge that he was my brother. Its all very silly as he was in the wrong in the first place with a very aggressive and foul languaged post. However now he feels betrayed by me and as such has removed not just me, but my family from his facebook pages. Now I know that people do lots of silly things when they are angry and that they generally regret them afterwards, but his gripe was with me, not my friends and family and so his actions hurt. What was just a petty little comment seems to be turning into all out war and I don't like it. Its all so totally unnecessary. 

I thought the whole thing would blow over, but instead my mum has been upset, because of course she acts as the peacemaker. She doesn't need the agro. Noone does!

I'm a bit of a stubborn old soul. I don't really believe in apologising when I do not feel I have done anything wrong. However I have sent my brother a text apologising for the fact that he feels I have let him down. Its all so petty. I have enough problems in my life without having to cope with petty squabbles getting out of hand.

On the plus side, the sun is shining, I am getting some new posh Egyptian cotton bedding delivered shortly, and it's Friday which means Neil will be winging his way northwards in a few hours. Love and peace folks! Namaste x

Friday, 25 June 2010

me and my ipad forever

I know that money does not buy you happiness, but sometimes it can honest! This week I took possession of an ipad. Its wonderful. Its amazing. Its fanbloodytastic actually. I am so thrilled.

When i first got it I took it out of the box and did not dare to turn it on. I was scared I might do something wrong and break it before I had even got to see what it can do. I sat it next to me on the sofa and continued using my laptop. Actually I am still on my laptop. The one thing I have discovered about my fantabulous new toy is that it is not really suited to those of us who can touch type, or at least nearly touch type. well you know, use more than one or two fingers when we type!

I didn't really buy it to replace my laptop anyway. I do work and emails and stuff on it and the diddy 16 gigs of memory would not really go very far if I used it for anything more than a toy. But its soooo cool. Of course the first app I downloaded onto it was 'Talking Carl' this has to be the funniest app ever. Its a little red square thing with googly eyes and a big mouth. If you rub his tummy he giggles. If you poke him in the eye he says ow. If you talk to him he repeats everything you say in a higher voice. If you laugh he laughs. Its one of those totally addictive gizmos that has everyone laughing and having a go. Even Neil when he phoned me talked to Carl and heard his voice coming back at him. Cue much hilarity! When my friend Julia brought her friend Ali round Julia ended up singing Mama Mia just to hear Carl sing back. I tell you if you are ever stuck for something to say, then bring out talking Carl because he will have everyone giggling like loons. And if you are REALLY naughty  then yes Carl does repeat your swear words in a very high pitched voice too. I know so childish, but sooooo funny!

Second app I downloaded was a calculator. A jumbo one that fills the 9.7inch screen. It has jumbo buttons and great for when I am working as I don't have to squint at the little numbers on my usual calculator. Well of course, you spend a fortune just to have a jumbo calculator! I probably could have bought one for a fiver in Staples, but thats not the point. This is my coveted ipad. My gizmo. My wunder gadget!

The great thing about the ipad is that of course it is an ipod too and it has itunes. But more than that it has a built in speaker so that if, like me, you cant use ear phones, then you can still be part of the iclub and listen to music wherever you are. At the mo I have downloaded and am listening to Split Enz. Remember them? I Got You and all that? Ooooh its so exciting!

Before, the iworld had left me far behind, but now I'm right up there with the best of em. I has me an ipad and I loves it! If you are very nice to me I might let you have a play :-)

Oooh oooh and just before I go, let me tell you that I bought my ipad a skin. A pink skin! ha! So there! I would show you a picture of it, but I'm not too clever at this uploading malarky. Just imagine a little fat lady with a great big grin and a pink ipad.

Oh and of course money cant buy you love, not happiness, I am rubbish at remembering sayings! have a great weekend xxxx

Monday, 21 June 2010

All things family

While waiting for Neil to drive home last night I cast my eye over my family tree. I've been studying it on and off since 2003 and while we are not exactly a very exciting lot, its my family and I get a buzz out of doing it.

My maiden name is Priestman it is apparently German if family folklore is to be believed. My middle brother even found a family crest, although I think perhaps the American branches may have invented that!

My parents divorced when I was eight so although I knew my dad's mum, i never did know much about the family history, which is why it was great to investigate it. I never did finish off a lot of the rellies though, so last night I did some fevered research to discover when they all popped their clogs.

One good piece of news was that my Great grandfather Edward was 82 when he shuffled off this mortal coil. Unfortunately his son George William died young at only 57. Fortunately this is not a new trend, as my father will be 74 this birthday. His Great grandfather George was 75 when he died. I'm hoping for a little Priestman longevity!

The one thing I have found really frustrating is that I cannot always find my people on the census. We know they are meant to be there, but often it is in transcription that they get lost. Now as the Priestman's of my branch were from London, its not so easy to do a street by street search!

Edward Priestman was born in 1860 His mother has the quite groovy name of Elizabeth Mary Catling Mead. I can find her husband and two daughters on the 1861 census, but not her and her infant son. In 1871 I cant find any of them, but I did happen upon a ten year old Edward Priestman visiting a grocers. I wonder if he had been set to work as a delivery boy!

My biggest challenge is linking the London Priestman's to their many relatives up in the North East, as that's where the majority are in the 1800's One family tree has gone back to the 1600's but I am a long way off settling my leaves on those branches!

Still it is good fun, and even better when you have juicy gossip like I found when I did Neil's tree. Might share that with you another time :-)

Thursday, 17 June 2010


If I may just put it on record, I love the flags that are currently adorning many houses round here. 

I drove down to RockFerry today to pick up my mum. She lives in a little side road and they have even strung bunting across the road between two houses. It looks almost like Christmas, but with lots of flags instead.

As I drove down the streets, house after house had flags outside. I passed one couple leaving their house, turning round, and grinning like loons at the enormous England flag they had hanging from their front window.

It makes me sad that the one time there is a huge display of patriotism is when our football team are playing. Wouldn't it be great if the same joy was shown on St Georges Day? What is wrong with being proud to be English? What can we do to make our National Day more of an event? And if people don't want that particular Day, then why not another day?

I love the way the Netherlands has a Queens Day. Why can't the Queen's Official birthday be the day chosen to wave our flags? Of course she is not just Queen of England so there could be the argument against using the St Georges Cross, but there must be some way of showing we are proud to be English.

Just have to hope England do well in the World Cup as then the flag of cheer will be around for a while!