Monday, 20 March 2017

Meeting the Peters

I'm not sure exactly what it was that gave me the long overdue boot up the backside to get on and write this post, but here we are. I have a very limited, but very dear to me, number of recordings of my Nan telling me about her history; our history. That's right, it is our history - her story, but part of our big fab family archive.

I urge you to sit down with your older family members and get them to tell you stories, big events, little things, anything! All of it is important and part of your history. Because one day they will be gone and who will be able to tell their story? Will you remember? Will you be able to pass them onto your younger generation if they ask you about them? Or will you not remember the finer details? For me, the history of my family is important.

We are all armed with smart phones these days; which have a recording function on them. Of course with permission, have a chat with your elders. Get them to tell you their tales and document them. You may do what I have done and back them up to your 'cloud' for 4 years but they will still be there for when you are ready to listen to them. I have listened to these recordings many a time before I have finally come to sit down to write them up. They're a comfort to me - I can hear my Nan's voice when I need to hear it. Some may say I should just let go, but why should I?

I'll be doing the same with my parents, sooner rather than later. I have recordings of other great Aunts and Uncles from times when we have had our big fab family gatherings. I'll write those up too, because it is important to me.

This particular recording focuses on how Grandad met the in-law's, and finally purchasing Nanny's engagement ring...

We spent a week in Botley and then went to Wales. Before that we went around Southampton because my Mother had a favourite song which my Father used to sing to her - in those days, records were very expensive and hard to come by. She didn't have a record player. Her favourite song was called 'June in January'. We found it in the record shop on the High Street in Southampton. Grandad had a wind up gramophone and we took it to Wales with us.

When we got to Wales I introduced my Mother and Father to Peter, they weren't very amused as they told me not to go to Southampton but anyway but I went. So we played the record, she didn't show much emotion - she never did, she wasn't an emotional woman. But she did appreciate it because I know she played it quite often.

Grandad had a week left to do in the Army, we stayed together in Wales for a week but then he had to go back to Army to be discharged. He came back down to Wales to get a job, jobs were very difficult to get at that time - he put his name down as a long distance lorry driver with Hoovers (washing machine company) but in the meantime he got a job at the toy factory making dolly's prams - he hated it but stayed there until he got the call to come for an interview at Hoovers. He got the job. And the chappy who was the manager was in the same regiment as him!

He was off then, travelling all over the country in a Hoover lorry. It was quite a prestigious job everyone wanted it - he had his own uniform and was well paid. I carried on, that was September time. 1953.

We got engaged in the November. I can't remember the actual date. He had already asked me to marry him, actually he had already told me I was going to marry him! But now he had the money so he went and got a ring. The ring came from Samuels. £17 it was. Many years later,when I went to get it, the platinum has gone, it broke. Grandad went to get it repaired but they wanted £250 to repair it. £17 was a lot of money then.  We went to a dance - that day I got made redundant from OP Chocolate Factory. A lot of us got made redundant. I thought that was a lovely start...!

From there, I went to work in a television factory - I had to bolt holes in these discs. It was hard work and horrible but I did it. For about 6-8 months, something like that. Until after I was married actually, so I did it longer than 6 months. Got married in July and it was just before Christmas I went there. Grandad kept driving for Hoovers.

What then... Christmas time, went to all of the Christmas dances and enjoyed ourselves. Peter came to Botley to see his Mum when he was driving his lorry. Think it was February time we came down, he was best man at his friends wedding. I came with him of course - Sheila and Ken Grey. Ken was his best man, they'd been in the Army together. They lived at roundabout in Southampton, Hinkler Road in Thornhill. They moved down to Bridgewater many years later.

Anyway, we came here for their wedding and they came to Wales for our wedding. Joyce got married first, in Wales, in Aberfan. I was her bridesmaid, then I got married in July  and she was one of my bridesmaids. Sheila was the other, she took Auntie Rachel's place because Auntie Rae was in Cornwall and it was bank holiday and couldn't get time off. She hadn't met Don yet but I had.

The night before our wedding we spent all night washing glasses because all of the Aunties and Uncles were down from London and they were all drinking like billy-o. Grandad Fox got told off by Nanny because he got drunk - she told him to behave himself.

Now, the Aunts and Uncles drinking like billy-o sounds very familiar... obviously our family has passed down the ability to have a good family get together. Long may it continue!

I'll try not to leave it so long next time before I post again.

Hugs and kisses xxx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The boyo has muscles

Year 2 is going really well for William. He has a male teacher, who he is responding really well to, and his reading has come on leaps and bounds. So much so that we are now reading Harry Potter together; I can't tell you how happy that makes me as a first generation Potter nerd.

But reading doesn't give you muscles, no, no. Sport does. Will started at a local swimming club at the end of the six week summer holidays where he trains three times a week. He has a proper swimming hat, two pairs of goggles (he likes to have a choice), and super cute little swimming shorts. He'll kill me for calling them super cute - at least I didn't post a picture...

He'd been having regular Saturday morning lessons before he joined the club but as he had moved onto the advanced lessons we thought he could give the club a try instead. So far, so good. The quality of his different types of strokes is coming on leaps and bounds and most importantly he enjoys it. He can't wait to go, and we are so proud of what he has achieved so far.

He has also started golf lessons at the local driving range. Heavily influenced by Grandad Golf (funny that) and Daddy. William has a slight issue with listening, and sometimes just wants to do his own thing but he is getting better and is enjoying both pitching and putting. His cousin, Beth, is also doing golf lessons with him and they both thoroughly enjoyed a whole day session for half term yesterday.

That's the most important thing, that he enjoys it. I will try to not be that pushy Mum who forces their children to do all of the sports clubs, activities, lessons etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he will have a wobble at some point where he can't be bothered, or he thinks he wants to quit forever, and I will encourage him to think long and hard before he jacks anything in. But ultimately it is his choice. So long as Tony and I are able to accommodate his requests to join clubs then we will always encourage him to do as many things as possible. To follow his interests as I believe that that will help him become a well rounded individual.

But for now, swimming three times a week and golf is keeping him happy and occupied. Well done boyo.

Monday, 31 August 2015

A little update

Hello again. It's been a little while.
I must admit that blogging is quite difficult when your laptop decides it's had enough. But I'm back, with a shiny new laptop (which has actually been bought for studying purposes, more about that later) and ready to give this whole blogging thing a go again. A lot has happened over the past 15 months - some big, some small. But let's start with a quick update on Team Sainsbury.
William, aged 6

The boyo is about to start Year 2, his last year of infant school. Where did that time go? He is no longer a chubby faced little lad, he is growing into a young boy and a gorgeous one at that. Gappy teeth and all. His interests include Minecraft, Lego, kicking a football around and has recently started golf lessons and joined a local swimming club.
Emilia, aged 2

Our little madam turned 2 in July, and don't we know it. She loves dancing, annoying her big brother, drawing, getting messy, going for walks and being outside in general. She finally has hair, which she doesn't like me touching, ever. She goes to Nursery a few days a week whilst I'm at work, is currently being potty trained, and is the most serious 2 year old I have ever come across.
The Woofers, aged 5 and 16 weeks
Yep, you read it right - there are now two hounds in Team Sainsbury. You all know and love our Bobby dawg but we now also have Marley, our challenging bouncing Labradoodle. They both get on very well, and she has settled right in.
The 'adults'
Tony & I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in April, and also celebrated our unofficial 9th anniversary in August (you know me I don't do things by halves). Tony casually plays golf and is disappointed that it is coming to the end of the summer, however as football has started again I expect that will keep him busy (Come on you Saints). I am about to go back to college, but I will tell you more about that in another post.

That's all for now, folks. Let's hope I don't leave it another 15 months before posting. 


Friday, 16 May 2014

Mr & Mrs Chopper

One of our ex-HHR'ers went and got hitched yesterday. The one who swore she'd never get married! Congrats Slade! 

We were very excited in the office during the day, even Barry Bug had to post a status.

 The evening was brilliant, such a great atmosphere, the venue was beautiful (The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth), the Bride and Groom looked hawt and the band was SHAMAZING. They're called The Decaders and they're on Facebook here, if you're looking for a band for an event you seriously need to look at them.

It was so lovely to see how happy Donna is, and great to think that we were around right at the beginning when she first met Chopper.

Us HHR girls love a good wedding. Although in my case last night I may have had a few too many drinkies. On a school night. Whoopsies.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hi ho, hi ho.... it's back to work I go

Well that went bloody quick.

10 months ago I was waddling around whilst the UK was in the middle of a heatwave, stealing the boyo's paddling pool for my swollen cankles whilst he was at pre-school and generally looking like a whale. Now I am back to the crazy-busy Handover HR office FULL TIME. Yes, FULL TIME. Yes, I still feel the need to type it in capitals. 

I have had a shamazing time with my babies, watching their relationship (& them) grow and slacking off as my co-workers and Husband would say! Just being at home pottering around has been lovely but it is time to get back to it and get earning those pennies. As a family, it makes sense for me to go back to work rather than staying at home full time. And it works. William has been bugging me for aggggesss to go to Hedgehogs (after school club) because his best friend Jack goes, and Emilia has settled into nursery really well; so much so that she gets excited when we pull up onto the Nursery's drive. Oh, and of course, for the time being my Mum has E twice a week for Grandma time and does the school run! Thanks Mum xxx

Two and half weeks in and it's going well. Just another 40 odd years to go...

Monday, 12 May 2014

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

I miss my Nan so much I ache. 

There I said it; well, typed it. I'm not saying it for attention, I'm not saying it because that's what you do after you loose a Grandparent, I'm saying it because I need to. I need to get this out of my system and the easiest way for me to do that is to write it down here. Feel free to skip to a more cheery post if you wish to! 

My Nanny was diagnosed with lung cancer in January this year, and she was gone by the 22nd of February. Which is also World Thinking Day for the Girl Guide Association. 

I saw my Nan a lot. At the very least for two afternoons a week, but it was always much more than that. She was part of my normal routine, never a chore, always a pleasure. I am very lucky to have had such a beautiful, close relationship with her that I didn't value enough until it was taken away. I don't think you truly appreciate people until they've gone. And yes everyone says that but it's true. 

Sooo many things remind me of her, my drive to work alone passes two places that she lived in. And I only work 6 miles away from my house! I know I'll get to a point where something will make me think of her and I'll smile and have a nice, warm, fond feeling. But at the moment it's just upsetting and I start to well up. 

Grief is shit. 

I feel guilty about my feelings quite a lot. I feel guilty for not feeling exactly like this when my Grandad passed away. I feel guilty for not feeling like this when my Grandma, Grandad and Auntie passed away. I feel guilty for showing my feelings because I know that my Mum and her brothers must be feeling so much worse. Losing a parent must be so much worse than a Grandparent, therefore I shouldn't feel like this, right? 

I am lucky, however, that she met, enjoyed spending time with, and most of all loved, my babies. We all know how much she struggled after Grandad passed away, but she hung on to meet Molly, Oscar and Emilia. The new babies in our family, who all arrived within 8 weeks from start to finish. She watched them start to grow, she loved them. Recently I keep thinking about a conversation I had with her just before it all kicked off. We were in the bungalow, William had just finished his dinner and was watching Tree-Fu Tom (he had dinner at Nan's two afternoons a week after school), Emilia was playing with Smokey the Elephant with me on the floor and Nan looked at me. She said 'you enjoy being a Mother now'. Of course I said yes, but I didn't need to answer. It wasn't a question, it was an observation, she was happy to know that I was happy. It was a nod. 

Now the four generations have turned into three. I'm not the baby any more. And although this is painful now, I can't wait to watch my kids develop the relationship that they have with my Mum into what I had with my Nan, and some more. 


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Being a #MorrisonsMum

At the end of April, just as I had started back at work after a glorious 10 months off on Maternity Leave, a very welcome letter arrived through the post. I had been picked to be a 'MorrisonsMum'! 

Firstly, thank you very much to Brit Mums and Morrisons for running this campaign. I know quite a few people were picked, but it really came in handy not only at the tail end of my Maternity Leave (tight budget) but also has given me the kick up the arse I needed to get this blog back on the go. I have so many ideas, and posts that I know at least my family will want to read, that I WILL translate onto paper/ the web/ Team Sainsbury. Bring it.

So, for those of you who are wondering 'What's a MorrisonsMum?!'; I received £80 worth of vouchers to go and try out the Morrisons experience for the May Bank Holiday as they have just launched the start to a cheaper Morrisons. They've cut their prices across the store on the regular, every day stuff you genuinely need... as well as those scrummy biscuits you don't! And it's not for a limited time either, those prices are here to stay; but at the same time, the quality isn't being compromised. And that's where I come in. If you want to learn more about this campaign, please click here.

I had never shopped at Morrisons before, mainly because the nearest one to our house is 15.3 miles away and they don't deliver to us, yet. Although I was obviously aware of them - they have had some great TV ads (Richard Hammond pushing a shopping trolley through the countryside, Take That's 'Shine' in the background, Ant & Dec at Christmas) and I don't live under a rock. We normally do our shop online at Sainsbury's (no unfortunately we are not related, damn it) and then top up all of the fresh stuff as we go throughout the month. I plan our meals on roughly a fortnightly basis, with room for kind offers from the Grandparents to come to their houses for dinner instead. Thank youuu, love youuu! So, after a meal at one set of the Grandparents' houses on the Friday evening of the bank holiday weekend, off I went to Morrisons - woohoo. 

It was quite late, around 20:15, and they shut at 22:00. It was quiet, probably because most normal people were out on the town, my Mother included. The first thing that hit me was the lovely way they display their fresh fruit, veg and herbs. A lot of it were in these cabinets which jetted out mists of icy cool water to keep the produce fresh, the little things eh? Once I was over ooohing and aaahing at the mist, I noticed the vast range of fresh products available. They even had plantain which had unfortunately all gone by the time I got there but there were also so many things I hadn't even heard of!

See, pretty right?

I then ventured across to the deli and fishmonger, both of whom had the best customer service I have experienced in a long time. And it was gone 8pm at night. And it was quiet so can't have been the most fun part of their shift. I decided to become a bit of a secret shopper, as I didn't exactly need anything from either of them, but as I had received these glorious vouchers I thought why the hell not? This Bank Holiday weekend for us was all about picnics as we had a couple of trips planned. So naturally I picked up some Billy Bears for the babes and some yummy ham for us. Jeanette was very happy and friendly, and even spotted that a piece of the ham was starting to look a bit dry and without prompting swapped it for a fresher piece. It is little things like that which make you want to return. Next up, Nathan the Fishmonger was quizzed by me. I'm not very adventurous with fish, usually sticking to salmon, so I asked him to recommend me something not too hard to cook and nothing that couldn't wink or smile at me! So I came away with some monkfish and haddock. He also told me how to cook the fish and what to season them with. I told them what I was up to after they had both served me and they even agreed to have their picture taken. So here they are, wahey!

If any member of the HR/ Management Team at Morrisons read this, they should definitely receive some sort of bonus/ employee of the week award. Nathan and Jeanette of the Totton (Southampton) store, thanks!

After all of that excitement, I went about and did my normal shop. There were some really good deals including the two pictured below. It was very difficult not to be distracted by the Nutmeg range of childrens clothes but I did it! 

As mentioned above, our bank holiday was very busy taking the kids to Finkley Down Farm and Chessington therefore the picnic bag was out and in action. Lots of treats were packed including a variety of fruits, chocolate yummies and lush sandwiches. Even if I do say so myself. We had a great weekend, and our tummies thank Morrisons as otherwise we would have just had the same old, same old. 

The question is, will I return again? Probably. I won't be doing our regular shop there as although it is an exciting experience as far as food shops go and the prices are fab, it is just too far to travel. However, I have heard on the grapevine that a Morrisons is due to open in Hedge End (which is where we live for those of you not in the know) on the old Wickes site. If this is the case, it will be my place to shop. 

Thanks again to Brit Mums and Morrisons, Team S xx

I received £80 in vouchers for the purpose of this review and the opinions are entirely my own.