A New Start 2011
It’s a new year now and for many of us this brings the joy of a new start. We can think back on all the lovely happy things that have happened and all we have achieved over the last year and we can also put behind us the negative experiences and people who do not deserve to be part of our lives. I am so grateful to have such amazing friends, family and colleagues who have helped me and stood by me through everything over the past year. You have all been brilliant and I am very lucky to have you all in my life.
Now to look forward and see what wonderful things 2011 has in store for us.
Most people make some kind of New Years resolutions and I suppose mine aren’t that different to many peoples. I am definitely going to try and completely give us smoking though and instead of worrying and focusing on weight and body image I just want to get more fit and healthy – by focusing on that the other will follow :)
I made a good start by taking Charlotte Ice-skating on Parker’s Piece, Cambridge on new Years Day – blimey those skates don’t half make your feet ache! We usually have to go up to Peterbourgh to the ice-rink there and we only manage that about once a year but the temporary rink at Parker’s Piece was ok – I really hope they do get a permanent one for Cambridge sometime soon though.
Lot’s of exciting things planned for this year already and which I’ll post news and more details of soon but include:
Cambridgeshire Association for Local History’s Diamond Jubilee Year for which we’ll be hosting many various events and celebrations. (www.calh.org.uk)
Cambridgeshire Community Archives growing and new groups joining, new FREE events which include training and oral history recording, video, pod casts and much, much more (www.ccan.co.uk)
Mobile Makeup Artist – I am now looking to recruit several new people to my team and will be growing my business across East Anglia, if you’re feeling the squeeze of January and would like to earn some extra cash, learn a new skill and have amazing fun then please do get in touch and I will give you more info – also please do check out my career opportunities page on here :)
And watch this space for news of my new publications along with the launch of the Cambridge Local History Book Shop!
What a week it’s been, poor Charlotte off school with chicken pox, lots of work to do and we’re also looking to move house, then my poor boy Iain phoned me to say he was with the police who he had rung because he had found a man lying on the train track by Fulbourn Tescos. He had tried to talk to the man to get him to move but the train was already coming and there was nothing he could do – he saw it all. I am very proud of Iain he acted so sensibly, he phoned the police, helped his mate who was with him, helped the train driver and covered the remains with his jacket so that passers by wouldn’t see. But as you can imagine it was a very traumatic thing to go through and see. I had to sleep downstairs with Iain the first night after it had happened as it made him feel very strange. He seems to be coping with it well, you never know how these experiences will affect people and everyone can react differently. Iain has some counselling set up for if he needs it, it certainly has been a difficult week. There used to be a Samaritans phone box by the railway at this spot as it is a suicide hotspot but when the new footpath was made the phone box was taken away and never replaced. It really needs to be put back – you only have to look at the statistics from other counties which do have the special phone box at hotspots to see just how much this helps and reduces the number of suicides at these places.
Poor little Charlotte woke up in the middle of the night last Tuesday and she was covered in spots – I couldn’t believe it as they weren’t there when she went to bed and she didn’t seem unwell. I took her straight to the doctors in the morning and they confirmed that it was chicken pox. Charlotte has hardly ever been off school with anything, in fact I cannot remember her ever being of ill but she didn’t seem to mind, she wasn’t very ill in herself but the itching drove her up the wall for about 3 days. The spots were in her hair and inside her mouth too. We used loads and loads of Calamine lotion and by the Friday Charlotte looked like ‘Stig of the Dump’ as she hadn’t been able to brush her hair because of the spots on her head and we had even had to poor calamine on her head. She is loads better now and the spots stopped itching and started healing over the weekend. I took her back to school yesterday and she’s there today but next week is half term anyway! It’ll take a couple of weeks for those spots to go completely but at least she isn’t infectious to anyone now – we were confined to the house for about a week!
Just thought I'd better give you an update on the family news, granny has come out of hospital and is doing ok. She is getting on but needs constant care and watching over, she is very strong but I think all this trouble with her heart and hospital stays has really worried her, she is a lot more anxious and is not eating much. She did manage a trip round here today which was nice and she stayed for about an hour, so I'm glad she got out for a bit. Also my little sister Georgie is getting on well, her arm is still in a sling and is going to take some time to heal properly but she is not in so much pain now :) I now have all my children living back at home, which is going really well - as is all the food! - and today it's my eldest daughter, Sophie's 18th birthday - now I feel old! She off out tonight, we all had a lovely birthday breakfast and a little lunch time party with the family popping in and out. I can't believe my little girl is has now grown up :)
We took Willow, our little Cocker Spaniel puppy to Dog Training at the weekend. Willow is just over 3 months old now so she joined the puppy class at Impington. It was really good fun, Charlotte and I watched as Russ took the role of trainer for Willow and she learnt various basic commands. There was such a variety of dogs to see there. Several classes took place at the same time in different patches of the meadow. Towards the end of her class Willow was taken onto the agility equipment and got to go over the little bridge and through the tunnel. Everyone seemed very friendly and nice at this Dog school and we'll be taking Willow there every week now to complete her puppy training. Russ got Willow some of the 'pilchard cake' which was one of the things they had to use for a treat to aid training. This seemed to work well but Willow did the most amazing stinks in the car on the way home - so if next weekend you spot us coming home down the A14 with all our windows undone and our heads sticking out, you'll know we've just been to the puppy class!
Cambridge Canine Education Group
I had a brilliant time at Ramsey 1940's Weekend again this year. I went for the first time last year and can't wait until it's on again next year. It is such a great event with loads of people in costume and loads to see and do. I was there doing 1940's makeovers for the weekend. I took my dad along for the Saturday and we stayed there all day and for the big Hanger Dance in the evening. Russell's dad and his partner teach Lindy Hop so we nearly always bump into each other at these period events. Russ and I gave the Lambeth Walk a go on the Saturday night and when I told Charlotte (8yrs) about that she surprised me by signing the whole Lambeth Walk song to me - apparently they had learnt it at school when they studied World War II last term!
Poor granny has been back in hospital but she should be out today. She's amazing, she just keeps fighting and is made of strong stuff! Along with my sisters new little baby, granny now has yet another great great grandchild as my 2nd cousin Liam Toller has just had a baby. It's amazing how many peoples lives granny has affected and help make :)
I am still juggling being a mum and working, summer holidays are always a challenge! I have been teaching Charlotte (my 8yr old) to knit, we can only do little stright lines but it is a bit of fun. Sophie (my 17yr old) moved back home last week which is great but poor thing, she can't unpack properly yet as the bedroom she is going to have, the plaster fell off of the walls! the council should be coming to fix it on the 31st and then she can get sorted. In the mean time the house has been a muddle what with the old fireplace and boiler being taken out and a new combi boiler being fitted in our bedroom, the phone and internet wire coming off the wall outside - which has just been fixed today and Iain (my 16yr old) due homw next week!!! Life can certainly be interesting! Little puppy Willow is doing great, she had her micro-chip put in yesterday and we are taking her to puppy training classes at the weekend :) In between all that I have finished off my War Ditches work, done several wedding makeup jobs and been busy with other work. More updates will follow later so keep an eye out!
I've been editing my final draft of the historical background for War Ditches and am very pleased with it, I will be even more pleased when I have actually handed it in and I can take a break from it to concentrate on some other exciting work and spending time with my lovely family and friends for the summer break :)
We now have a new addition to the family! We got a dear little cocker spaniel puppy last week, she is brown and tan and we've called her Willow :) so as I sit here doing some work I have a dear little, soft, furry puppy nuzzled against my arm :D
This week has been busy as always but I am pleased to finally get some closure on a nasty bit of business caused by someone who has harassed, tried to bully and tried to publicly humiliate me since last October. Everything has been dealt with so professionally by my brilliant colleagues who have also had to put up with trouble from this person and I would just like to thank all my friends and family who have supported me and helped me through it all. I am so glad it seems to be at an end now. The Police and the Hate Crime Group and my solicitor have been fantastic and I am confident in how to deal with anything like this again (which I hope I never have to!). I would encourage anyone who ever feels threatened, bullied or harassed in any way to always speak out. Bullies want to frighten and intimidate you, you must not stay silent and hope it goes away. Tell someone! Your true friends and family will support you and there is a fantastic network of professional organisations out there to help you too.
I went out on Friday night for a little 'new start' celebration with my lovely crowd of sisters and friends. We had a lovely evening finishing off with everyone coming back here to see and cuddle puppy at about 12.30am. On Saturday it was Charlotte's 8th birthday, so we had another nice day. Sunday we spent decorating Charlotte's bedroom which now looks really nice. The next room to tackle is my office; I actually have a whole room inside the house (rather than the outhouse/store) to have just for my office! I can't wait, it will make such a difference to have all my work stuff in one room, where I can also go to work rather than sitting in the front room on the computer where I am really having to fight the temptation to watch Neighbours and Murder She Wrote in the afternoon ;)
Exciting event to go to on Wednesday in London, more on that soon!
Well, it's been about a week since my last blog which is all down to half term taking place! Charlotte my youngest (7 years) needed constant entertaining and it was almost impossible to work at the same time, my son Iain (16 years) came down from his care home in Shrewsbury for the week to look at various places he might move into over summer - it will be great to have him back in Cambridge :) He also visited various education placements etc. so it was all very positive. In between all that my 17 year old daughter Sophie kept popping in and out (often with her washing to do) I don't think I've ever seen the food in the house disappear so quickly! I did manage to get down to London on Thursday for the very exciting launch of History Pin, which I shall blog about further soon. But my family come first and I have enjoyed the intense but happy week spending time with them all :) We all went to a friends wedding on Saturday which was held at Whittlesford Church (great medieval wall paintings in there!) and finished with the reception at Bedford Lodge Hotel singing on the kareoke.
My lovely granny (94 years old) was back in hospital on Thursday which was sad, she is in good spirits though and she's sitting up in bed and may even be home by the end of this week. It seems she's had a very tiny stroke - but was has emerged is that she may have the beginings of dementia which will give us a new challenge as a family on how to support her best. She seems so normal 95% of the time but is also happily telling us how at night in the hospital little animals keep coming in and eating her grapes, she says they're little black and white creatures, she's also told us how a lady keep bringing her baby on to the ward and putting her baby in a tiny tin... so it is very sad, sometime the things she says are very funny but it is also sad as we know things are changing, as a family granny has always held us all together, cousins, aunts and uncles etc. but it is all changing and it is just part of the cycle of life, we will all pull together to help each other through this time and most importantly help dear little granny.
Landscape Archaeologist, Local Historian & Mobile Makeup Artist