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, 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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