Return to blogging.

IMGP0081 I haven’t blogged for a year now. Perhaps the time has come to return. Three years on from my father’s death sees me in a much better place both physically and mentally. Of course those dark days are still visited frequently but the emotion isn’t as raw. My involvement with the hospice has grown and I’m more than happy to help out. I love the fact that many of the staff are young, lively and incredibly friendly. I love the mix of people I encounter each visit.As well as working in the ward and day care I’ve been working for Family Support and each month lead a group of bereaved people in a stroll in the countryside. I love this area of work as I’ve now retired and don’t have the paperwork to drag through after speaking to any client! When I worked I Ioved the face to face contact and assessment but writing reports killed the joy somewhat! I wish I’d known as much about palliative care when Dad was in the last few months of his life. I’d have been much better equipped to deal with the progression of the cancer. There is an unbridled honesty in conversations with people who are dying as there is with people who have had a recent bereavement. I find this refreshing as I never know what to expect and I can’t help feeling that perhaps we shouldn’t wait until we reach that stage before we tell people about how we feel about them. This a start – I hope to return soon.

Week 11 – The Military

Various members of my family have served in the military.

My father was conscripted into the services in 1939. He travelled around UK, Italy, Egypt and Tunisia. He was involved in various campaigns throughout WW2 and before he died he completed a journal about his experiences.

He was in REME but attached to the RAF and spent time at Duxford when Douglas Bader was there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Bader#Battle_of_Britain

Every year I attend a service of remembrance and wear his medals proudly.

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My mother’s father served in The Royal Anglian Regiment (WW1) as did two of my uncles. Two  more uncles had to do National Service after WW2.

Another uncle was in the navy and my cousin joined the army as a boy soldier and was stationed in Germany for several years.

I attended several WW2 Commemorations with my parents and uncles. So although I haven’t joined the military my family has several links.

Week 10 – Unexplained memories

 

I have no unexplained memories.

When I was a child I was told that my great-aunt’s husband died in the war. When I was an adult I was told that he had just died. Apparently he was so disturbed by his wartime experiences that he lived for the rest of his life in an institution whilst my great-aunt brought up their two children.

Recently I’ve been having an unexplained dream. I leave school without any qualifications and I am the only person to do that. This is not the case, I gained A levels and went on to further education!

Week 7 Grandparents

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOOOxr6gxMU

My maternal grandparents died when my mother was a teenager.

We used to live within walking distance of my father’s parents and therefore I spent a lot of time with them when I was young. I can remember the first time I was allowed to cycle to see them on my own.

My parents didn’t give me pocket-money but my grandmother did. She always had freshly baked cakes and bread in the house too!

My grandfather was a really lovely man. He worked in a laboratory and used to teach me chemistry and would often set up little experiments to amuse me. He also belonged to St John’s Ambulance Association and Civil Defence and used to test me on First Aid for my Guide  badges. He was a keen gardener and  grew enough fruit and vegetables to last them through the year. Any spare produce was preserved – jams, jellies and wine.

When my father was a boy, the whole family moved to Devon as my grandfather agreed to work for the son of a vicar of Highgate who was taking over a farm. The “farmer” had no idea about farming and livestock and the business failed. The family returned to East Anglia where my grandfather found employment at Hoffmann Ball Bearings the first UK ball bearing factory in Chelmsford.

Eventually he worked  for British Sugar in their labs. After he retired he used to manage the gardens of Norah lofts, the novelist.  He used to work with her husband, Robert Jorisch  and, I learned from Who Do You Think You Are, Stephen Fry’s grandfather.

My grandmother’s mother was 101 years old when she died – she was the only great grandparent I met.

(Photos to follow.)

Week 6 Diaries and Journals

’ve always kept a diary, no commentary just times of appointments and social engagements. I have kept all the diaries since university and never cease to be amazed by the number of things I managed to pack into one week when I was in my twenties!

A lifetime in a drawer!

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I have two online journals but do not write daily only when I need to write things down or fancy commenting on something which has happened to me, a local, national or international event.

However, I discovered that writing a journal was very therapeutic whilst I was dealing with my father’s cancer diagnosis and terminal care.