Adoption, Families, Family, genealogy, history, Home, Inspiration, love, Motivation, real life

The elusive family

Isn’t it funny that something you have been searching for a long time, was right within arm’s reach all along?

It’s a problem probably only a few of us can appreciate. When your adopted, that feeling of not belonging in a family. Looking for something else, that elusive feeling of being part of the same tribe, familiar looks and the same DNA. I’d dreamt all my life of belonging.

What a load of old tosh!

My maternal grandmother kept saying that if I didn’t behave she would send me back to where I came from. That didn’t help the feeling of not belonging. My dad was the youngest of his siblings, he married late and they didn’t adopt me for another 10 years. My mum was in the middle of her siblings, two older and two younger. So I’m now at a disadvantage before I start, the youngest runt of the cousins. All older than me, being closer together than I was.

I moved away when I was 19, most of them were married and established with their own families by then. I lost contact. It didn’t worry me.

I didn’t ‘belong’ anyway.

I did find the youngest cousin on my adopted mother’s side on a genealogy site – he was 14 years older than me and luckily was the family historian. He had made up a great tree of 4 generations back, I learned so much from it.

My adopted father’s side was different. I had lost touch altogether. I searched social media in the hope they were interested in the town they had lived in till they moved away. And then one day – there she was. My dad’s niece, commenting on a link to the village she had grown up in. The cousin who I had been a bridesmaid for, whose mum had taught me to make French omelettes when I was younger in her kitchen. I tentatively sent her a message, and opened the flood gates of communication. She had been hoping to find me, I had been hoping to find her.  She too is the family historian, thankfully. She has so much useful family information, photographs and anecdotes, conversations and personal memories. She remembers my dad fondly her uncle Trevor.

We met. Her husband and my husband sitting on the periphery of the room like two china cats- while we caught up on 50 years of lost time. It has been an incredible experience, and one I am so very grateful for.

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I was looking to belong
to mix with those who looked like me
to mix with those with shared the same DNA.

We’d laugh at the same jokes
we’d share the same parentage
well one at least!
We’d belong in the same tribe.

I found some who came so close
I reached out, and almost got to touch
but just as it was offered
it was snatched away.

Fear I’d got too close?
Fear I’d find out?
Fear of a family secret?
Fear of a past history?

Rejected again I kept searching.
Then the unexpected happened.

I found someone!
Someone unexpected, from my past
someone who knew my life –
intimately.
Knew my family secrets, didn’t judge.
Was happy to have me back!

All those years of fruitless searching
for the family who wasn’t to be
to finally find someone
who had been with me from the very beginning!

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history, Home, Inspiration, Laughter, love, real life, Spirit and soul

Billy Joel

What evokes memories for you? For me its music and songs.

I hear a song, or a particular singer, and it takes me instantly back to a time when those songs were being
played on the radio, or on an old record player. It drags me back to a different time, and often a different kind of life.

I was washing the dishes today, when I thought I would listen to some songs by Billy Joel. For those of us of a certain age, those songs will take you right back to the 70’s & 80’s! His songs were so very innocent, to me at least. All about America and the different types of people who lived there, the Italians, rock and roll and Jazz.

In the early 80’s I shared a house with a group of people from all walks of life. A university student & a guy who was a small time drug dealer amongst other things. A chef and his girlfriend who worked in a restaurant in Putney, South West London- they lived a topsy-turvey life, working evenings, and late into the night. Coming home anywhere between 11 o’clock and midnight. We can’t forget they didn’t have those late night licences and opening hours then.  Neighbours would turn up – and the party would begin -the mad mechanic called Steve and the guy who was an artist and a writer who looked like cat weasel with his wild grey hair and beard and his amazing knitted jumpers, they were the few I remembered! Have you ever tried to sleep when there is a ‘party’ going on? Me neither I’m a very sociable person when I want to be.   Of course it was very bohemian life style – mattresses on the floor, and old leather sofas. The loud music and the ‘cigarettes’ being passed around. They soon got fed up with asking me to partake, I wasn’t interested. Very naïve of me their life style – but I was a 20 year old, not long out of the Welsh valleys.  In fact I have to say I had no idea about that life style.

What a short interesting time in my life that was. We all moved to the YMCA in Surbiton in 1981 after the lease of the house expired. A short life lesson learned for me I know. And as Billy Joel is still playing, it again takes me back to that house where I celebrated my 21st Birthday and learned to appreciate neat Jack Daniels.

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Animals and birds, Family, real life

The advantage of being on the ground floor

Hubby and I are away at our favourite holiday destination.

I knew we would be in the hotel near the water, and hoped we would be on the 1st or 2nd floor, with a view across the lake. It wasn’t to be. We were at the back by the forest area.

I was disappointed! No sleeping with the blinds open, being woken in the morning by the call of the ducks and the geese. Oh well!

We’ve got this instead. An added bonus.

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woman

Don’t forget who I am

Don’t forget who I am
with all these changes going on.
Don’t forget I am a daughter
A wife and a mother
A grandmother, a nanna.

A woman!

Don’t forget we fought for these names
we fought for the right to Vote
we fight to sit as women at the table of men.
Each day we fight to have our voices heard.

Don’t forget who I am
when others want to make changes.
While others want to progress their ideas.
I’m not saying that is wrong
I’ll stand up with you and for you
but don’t forget who I am.

Don’t forget who I am
Don’t lose me in the melee
Don’t undermine my importance
Who I stand for. And who I have become.

Don’t assume my ideas are wrong
That I’m fighting against you.
We are equal in respect, and in hope
That each one of us won’t be forgotten
in the war that is equality!

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Animals and birds, Families, history, Home, Inspiration, Laughter, real life, Spirt and soul

36 Steps

13 steps from the street to the house,
13 from the back of the house to the garden,
10 from the garden to the lane at the back.

A treacherous journey between the grey walls of hand hewn rock,
and green moss.
Slipping and sliding over wet slabs of paving.
To the house,
to the garden,
to the lane at the back.

The outside lavvy, a cold and scary place
spiders ready to jump,
just as you settled in for your constitutional.
The cold wet chain hanging from the white porcelain tank.
Daren’t spend too long,
not even ½ pennies worth!

Ivy covered walls to the garden,
The first step too tall for little legs.
The 2nd 3rd and 4th much easier.
Then up to the top –
you felt you had already climbed the mountain!

The sloping garden, no grass
but full of plants and flowers.
A fir tree to climb
and a shed, with a coal hatch never used!
The shallow steps up to the lane.
And freedom.

Blackberries to pick
Floxgloves to wear on fingertips
Chickens to tease,
horses to feed,
paths to climb,
newts to catch,
tadpoles in jars.
And mountains to slide down on trays!

Those were the days of my youth!!!!

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divorce, Families, Family, Inspiration, Laughter, loss, love, marriage, New life, real life, Spirt and soul, women

Life after divorce.

I married relatively young. I was 22 when I married. I was 27 when I divorced.

I had known my husband since I was 19, and during those 8 years of marriage I had settles into a life of friendship and solidarity with those around me. They were mostly his friends. I made my own circle of friends with those I worked with. But we tended to socialised with his friends and their wives.

We went to weddings, saw babies arrive and shared their lives of both joy and sadness.

Then just like that it all disappeared. On 16th October 1987 our marriage was dissolved – as the official paper work says – and on 10th December 1987 that was it. Final. The final piece of paper was issued, and my marriage, and my life as I knew it was ended.

My girl friends who were married to my then ex-husband’s friends all disappeared as if I had never been part of their lives.  It was before the days of technology, if you wanted to meet with someone you rang them from your home phone. When they were home from work. There were no mobiles, no social media.  No easy way of contacting someone. So when I left my relationship – I left the old way of life behind.

Of course you have the wedding photos and holiday snaps in an album to look at. And that was the difficult part, as it was painful reminder of how full my life has been before my divorce. Those women had stood by me through the joys of wedded life and the pain and sorrow of infertility. Then after the separation – the breaking of ties with my past life.

How could I ask my female friends to stand by me, while their husbands stood by my ex. It was an impossible ask, and so they fell away like autumn leaves from a tree. I would not ask for divided loyalties. And they would not have to know the horrors of my final months and the sadness I had to endure.

Then 20 years later, when lives were very different and I had certainly moved on, a face from the past appeared. One of those lovely old friends of time from long ago, someone who had helped me to learn to drive, who sat with me while I drove us around for practice.  She was a friend of my new neighbour, what was the chance of that? As the time has gone on, we have met as a group, and I often talk of my ‘old life’. There is no animosity, only sorrow that things turned out the way they did. And shock that I had gone through my last year as a married woman to her friend in such harrowing circumstances.

And luckily she is still friends with another old friend from the group. And by the help of social media I am in contact with this very dear friend. We attended each other’s wedding all those years ago as young women and helped one another through the tougher times. And the first thing she said to me was ‘I have never forgotten you’. It brought me to tears, for all those lost years and lost laughs and memories.  

I won’t lose these friends again. We can’t catch up on my lost years of friendships – but going forward that friendship has a different feeling.  

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Animals and birds, Families, Family, Food

The highs and lows of a family holiday.

Life is the same isn’t it? Eat sleep repeat.

Broken up by some drinking, and lots of laughter! And a few disasters. The same that happen at home – so the family and individuals know how to respond.

It’s everyone who steps up to the mark and helps when you staying together. Making sure there is food for everyone. And the home is clean and tidy. Supporting the two littlest family members, through the fun times, the tears and tantrums. And yesterday the panic of a asthmatic 5 year old. But she rallied round to play another day!

Today is another adventure! We aren’t thinking of tomorrow….

Spot the mum. Watching cautiously while her offspring wanders off independently.

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Inspiration

Let’s try this porridge again.

It’s foggy, very foggy in fact. If it wasn’t for the ducks, the comfortable pillows and duvets, and the tub of porridge – I could be anywhere. But I’m not! I’m in a hotel looking out over a lake that is there somewhere.

The porridge is a sort of tradition. I try one each time I’m away. It stops me from wanting a huge mug of coffe and a lemon poppy seed cake from the Starbucks across the road. I’m saving myself for more goodies later.

The story of this holiday is a little different. My little family and my father in law are all in the 4 bed chalet – we are in the hotel. There simply wasn’t the room.

So I get to chill till I’m ready to surface while the grandchildren wake early. The clocks have gone back an hour this weekend – so their body clocks are on summer time.

Then the rest of the day is spent enjoying their company.

Apart from today!!! I’m going to the Spa with the girls.

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Inspiration

Exile from social media….what have I missed? Again!!!

https://patc44.wordpress.com/2018/02/24/exile-from-social-media-what-have-i-missed/

I feel like I need to go into social media exile again. I have been good! I’ve deleted pages that I’ve followed that don’t excite me any longer. That I begin to dread as I see them appear. Repetitive things. Video’s. Pages I don’t contribute to.

My problem is FOMO – fear of missing out. But what? What am I missing? Real life I think.

We are having some family time away. I know my children will be on their phones constantly. I say children 25- 30 year olds! But I’m going to have a hiatus for a week….let’s start realistically with 3-4 hours a day. I know I can do it..

As they say – see you on the other side.

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Inspiration

Not a cloud in the sky

You might think this is a usual event, but not for Wales in the middle of September I’m sure!

I’m sitting in the hotel room with the balcony door open and the fresh air pouring in. Not a jumper, cardigan or sweatshirt in sight.

Some people have shorts on.! Now that is madness. But we are in the middle of a golf course so it’s only to be expected.

It’s Monday so there no children around – not that I have anything against them, but when you want peace and quiet that’s the last thing you want.

It’s not just about the amazing food or the lovely surroundings, or the fact you can sit in the bar and watch the world go by. Ok – in fact it is.

But at the minute it’s about the cloudless sky and the sound of the birds.

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