Thursday, 11 August 2011

SkyWatch Friday - The British Med

It's been a while since I posted a SkyWatch - I'm forever looking upwards but the trinity of there being a worthwhile sky, having my camera with me and having a chance to sit down and weave a post just hasn't happened.  But this one is a humdinger trinity.....Husband dropped us off at a beach somewhere in Norfolk (or maybe Suffolk?) while he had to work, blazing sun, fully charged shiny new camera and now he's working late again and kids are in bed so quiet 10 minutes!

And we're off.....
 We got there incredibly early so for the first couple of hours had the beach to ourselves. Wasn't like that later as in typical British fashion each family marked their spot with windbreaks, picnic mats and deck chairs (personally we travel light and I really understand needing a trailer to go to the beach!)

FInally - what family since the invention of the portable camera hasn't got a picture of the kids stood in a sand hole? Here's ours:
(for those that know us - Euan is wearing his PJ top as he doesn't want to take it off over the henna tattoo on his arm - still crusty after 24 hours - I finally managed to get it off in his sleep two days later!).

Go look at SkyWatch Friday for people who get their act together more often than I manage to!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Beware - the self absorbed post - best left unread!

Yesterday I went to my first ever funeral - yes I've been lucky - It was the funeral of the man that gave me half of my DNA and from what I remember that was pretty much it (although I think the bad nose and big bum have something to do with him).

I would call him my 'Real Dad' but a real dad is the one who gives you hugs when you graze your knee when you're little, teaches you to ride a bike, plays Frisbee on the beach when he'd much rather be having a pint, ask's if you're hurt then instructs you to have a vodka when rung with news of a first car crash, walks you down the aisle and then provides a tear jerking speech about the love for his daughter on her wedding day, holds his first grandchild and looks at her with pride, is there what ever time of day.  That wasn't the DNA donor, that was my REAL DAD.

Apparently, so I've been told, the DNA Donor loved me lots and I began my life as a doted on Daddy's Girl, but when I was 5 he left my Mum. When I was 7 he left me, according to him, it was too hard for both of us to be separated after every, fortnightly, weekend visit.  Better to be separated forever (me, bitter, never). I'm assuming that the separation anxiety also went for his money as he never spent another penny on me after the age of 7. So the few memories and the photo albums of the two of us end about here (oh to have a tummy that flat still!):

My Mum hasn't really spoken about the break up much but I know that she felt very bitter about the Donor walking out of our life and seemingly replacing us with another wife and her three older girls almost immediately.

So 30 years pass, hearts are sewn together and the cracks covered over, then 8 weeks ago, the youngest replacement daughter rings me to let me know that the Donor is in a hospice and likely to die shortly. Now what? The stitches begin unravelling, I don't want to hurt my Real Dad, I thought I'd dealt with how I felt years ago, the pressure of only having a short time to decide what to do.  Lots of tears and hugs later I'm going to go and see him.

But, haha - he literally has the last laugh, he doesn't want to see me. Selfish in life, why would he change now (OK I realise that he was dying and could do what he wants - but I regressed to an abandoned child once again!). After 8 weeks of progress reports given by the replacement daughter, I get the final call.

So back to the funeral - with the help of Tim's hand holding me down in my seat - a story of an unrecognisable life! If I could have worked out which door was the way out, I would have left after the vicar began the ramble about how god ensures that parents care for children and their grandchildren.  Wife 5 (that I know of) of five years (good going for him), a devout Methodist, helped out the vicar with selected highlights of the Donor's life (I found out he was a keen cross country runner in his youth - that's where Anya gets it!). The vicar, with a sad sigh, wrapped up by pointing out that the Donor was a loving husband and father to youngest replacement daughter and 'Grandpappy' to her children.

So that was that then - written out of his life.  Do I care, not sure yet. Am I angry, you bet. What can I do - go and get a big hug from my REAL MUM and DAD.

PS - Tim's just read this and thinks I shouldn't let the world read it and that it really wasn't as bad as I made out. I'm hoping that I can let go of my feelings and now that this particular door has shut I can turn my back on it.  I am pleased that I've met some new/old family and that it's meant that I've re-appreciated the amazing family I HAVE got. I needed to write down somewhere how I felt and mission accomplished, I could just delete this whole post (I'll think about doing that). And one last thing - I'm not blaming the vicar, wife 5 or replacement daughter for how I feel or what was said. The problem was with what I personally heard (different to what anyone else heard), and I should have talked that through with the Donor years ago!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The view from here is just fine

I had a lovely new pretty shiny camera for my birthday.  It has a very clever self-timing-auto-shot-type-thingy  and it takes lots of pictures very quickly - so here are a few of my favourites (ha ha few....)
 They almost look as if they love each other!
 This one was taken on my birthday, the bottle of wine was bought on our honeymoon in California, 17 (I think!) years ago, as you can see it went very well!

 Anya came second in the regional young photographer competition - this has turned all 3 children into paparazzi, cameras hung from them at all times.
 Not quite Monet.
 Here's one of those self-timer-thingy-photos, we have more photos of me in the last month than in the last 5 years!
 Family party. lovely sunny garden = many portraits.
 Whole family (minus Amelia, away with her dad for 'a day together?!' and partners - Tim was in bed with flu or as Eu told everyone "my dad has bad breathe") - Granny mostly hidden by the devil-like Patch.
 Patch, two minutes later pleading for his picture to be taken - Devil-like I tell you!
 Eu spent an hour on GG's knee listening to stories. I can remember hearing the same stories 35 years ago. Todays favourite was the 3 little pigs.
 Two of my favourite cool people in one shot.
 Best friends, more sunshine, ice-cream and a paddling pool make for a perfect three year old's day.
 Yes, sunny again, more water and more fun.
 We had a great day at the Cambridge Folk Festival (all wishing we could have been there for the whole weekend again), this photo of Manrun was taken by Anya, they were one of her favourite bands, the main attraction being the smiley face painted on the accordion.
 Our own little space cadet.
 We got front row seats for the secret facebook performance by the Spooky Men's Corale (another photo by Anya), Patch liked them almost as much as the Port Isaac Fisherman's Friends after they sang a version of ABBA's dancing queen to him.
 Another photo of me (that I like) taken not by the clever thingy but by the clever Eu.

And that brings us to the end of the whistle stop tour of the overtired family life in pictures - July Episode!
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