My first month of Blogging! I've surprised myself in that I've kept this going for so long. I'm not really a 'stayer' I soon get tired of things and lose motivation. Maybe that's why I've been married three times. No, I don't think that was the reason for the first two failures.
Life at school has been busy, at home it's been manic!
I'm very into family history, it's a fairly recent hobby that I started two years ago and has given me some of the best times of my life.
Tuesday night saw us off to a local history group, run by my second cousin who I found at the start of my research. It was his grandfather's picture in a book that really got me into all this. I can't tell you all the bizarre, unbelievable coincidences that have helped me on the way. I think one day I shall have to write a book about it, you really couldn't make half of it up.
The talk this month was about 'Bastards and Sons of Whores', never think this stuff is dull!
On the way there I collected a huge boxful of ancient papers from a local medieval farmhouse. Some of the papers related to my own family. I have taken on the task of sorting and transcribing them on to our local website, where we have people from all over the world and many still local, researching their roots, or just keeping up with the local gossip.
Some of the tales told by these papers made me very thoughtful, the sad tale of the loss of a horse when a farmer was made to take her to the Worcester Yeomanry Review in Worcester, back in the 1860's. This was a journey of around 25 miles. The mare wasn't well but the Sergeant Major said they must take her. Sadly she died as a result and this was a great financial hardship to the family.
Other papers tell of court summons for none payment of bills and others for hotel bills and new boots and suits showing that sometimes money was available.
My wealthy branch of ancestors made a fortune making Ramrods for the British Army during the American War of Independence and built a grand new house called Ramrod Hall out of the proceeds. The last member of my family to live there lost the family fortune and another fortune inherited by his wife and in the early 1900's hanged himself on the farm.
The farm no longer exists, it's under a housing estate, as is most of the area now. That's why I feel it's so important to record these peoples lives while I can and to be handling papers that haven't been touched for over a hundred years is a great privilege.
Most of us struggle through our lives, taking the highs with the lows and get through it. Not many of us feel things are so bad that we chose to end it all. I always think things will get better, I can't imagine giving up hope. Which leads to my question, What IS it all about?
My great Uncle Albert, seen at the top, wrote to his wife, just before he died, saying the next day there was to be a major push and that many of them would not survive. He didn't. God knows what awful sights he must have seen in the trenches in Ypres.
Albert's sister, my grandmother, took great comfort from her Strict & Particular Baptist Chapel and read the bible every day and attended services every Sunday.
When we lived in Cardiff one of the Manic Street Preachers came into my husband's studio for an interview. His name was Ritchie Edwards. My daughter was a huge fan and sat chatting with him for nearly an hour while he was waiting to be interviewed. Afterwards we gave him a lift back to his hotel. He was charming and polite, not at all like his public image. In 1997 his car was found near the Severn Bridge and he has never been seen since. He had a wonderful life style and plenty of money.
So what are the rules of suicide? Obviously it's not just down to lack of money but it can be. I know it's silly but I always feel I should have been able to pass on to Ritchie my optimism, the thought that things WILL get better, unless of course you're my great uncle Albert, when obviously they didn't!
I'm no nearer the meaning of life, or why some people chose to opt out of it.
Thursday saw us at the press launch of The Walsall Lights. This is a rescue home for unwanted lights from the Blackpool Illuminations. Why did it have to be the only wet night for months?
We took Mum and Step Dad, they are both approaching 80 but neither of them had been before. I've been going for 32 years. This tale was picked up on by the council Press Office and explains why the three of us could be seen out in the pouring rain, doing a 'Singing in the Rain', dance routine for the photographer. I'm hoping none of the local papers print it, talk about looking an idiot! You never wake up in a morning and think, tonight, I will do a daft dance routine in the pouring rain for the local press. Well you don't, do you?
I should know better than to take Mum & Step Dad anywhere, I've only just got over the fact that a big feature was made of them on Sky News last year. It's traditional for Baggies supporters to dress up for the last away match of the year. Last year, due to some Danish player, they dressed as Vikings. The cameras picked them up in their helmets and long blonde plaits and the commentators made a big thing of how game they were, even at their time of life. They even made sporting highlights of the week.
I suppose really I'm quite proud of them and if I'm honest I hope to grow old even more disgracefully, as I said there is no way of knowing where your day might take you, so it's always worth hanging around till bedtime.
I haven't stabbed anyone this week, which is good but there's still time.