Saturday, 1 October 2016

#Blogtober16 Day 1 Who Are You?

#Blogtober16 Day 1 Who Are You?

#Blogtober-day-1-who-are-you-portrait

Well I think I am a little bit crazy! I struggle to find time to write blog posts and have now signed up to write one a day throughout October.


Day 1 Who am I?


I am a mother of two grown up children and a grandmother to Bear. He's the inspiration for my blog and the apple of my eye. He will be two this week and to repeat a cliche where has the time gone?

I am the second child of four and I was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, a beautiful market town, but I am not from there. My home town is Stevenage, a new town that didn't have a maternity hospital, so Hitchin it was.
I passed the 11+ and went to the local grammar school. It was a girls only school and it was pretty rough! I left at 16 and went to college to study for my A levels but didn't like that and left after a year with one A level in English Lit and grammar.

My first job was in a Water Research facility and most of it was secret, I thought it would be exciting but it was quite boring (there's a theme here) so I left and spent a long time as a temp. This I loved, every week a different job.
I worked through the 3 day week when lights went off and everyone worked by candle light. It was a hard time for adults but fantastic for teenagers like me. The nights were dark, no street lights, and I saw shooting stars and the Milky Way so clearly.

I met my husband when I was 15 and we got married just weeks after my 18 birthday. We have now been married 42 years.

A week after we married we went to live in Greece. We shared a villa on Kithera, an Ionian island, with some friends. That taught me lots. How to live with no running water or electricity, how selfish friends can be, how friendly and generous the Greek people are.
We were in Athens in 1974 when they had the military coup and the air was full of hatred and tear gas. We were spat on and threatened. One day the English were enemies the next Greece's best friends. The borders were closed and Cyprus was divided. A turbulent time in Greek history.

Kithera-1974
Our "villa" in Kithera 1974

me-in-Kithera-castle-1974
Me at Kithera Castle 1974

When we came home from Greece we visited friends in Cardiff, we never left and have been here 40 years. Its a great city.

I started nurse training in 1979 and had my first child whilst I was training, that was hard. Six weeks maternity leave and studying too. I passed and started work in the operating theatres in Cardiff's largest hospital, The University Hospital of Wales. I became a Theatre Sister just after my second child was born and worked there for 32 years.



Image-me-and-my-children-on-top-of-sugar-laof
Me, my son and daughter at the top of Sugar Loaf near Abergavenny about 1990



I took early retirement two years ago with the intention of travelling and having fun. I love researching my family tree and wanted to spend more time on it. I even visited Galatas in Greece when we were on holiday to find the grave of  my cousin who had died in The Battle of Crete. You can read how I got on here.

George-and-me-in-Galatas-cemetry-looking-for-my-cousin-Charles-David-Ripsher.
George and me looking for a dead airman's grave in Crete

Anyway it didn't quite work out as we had Bear! Grandad and I look after him whilst his parents work and you can read all about our adventures on my blog.




I have linked up with HexMumPlus1 for #Blogtober16






#Blogtober16


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10 comments

  1. What a great post! A great way to introduce yourself.
    Fantastic photos x

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    1. Thank you xx I wish I had more photos of my time in Greece.

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  2. Wow you have had some incredible and scary experiences in your life. Great introduction post, well and truly put me to shame haha x

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    Replies
    1. I've lived a little bit (lots) longer so there was more to say Lol.

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  3. Welcome to #Blogtober16, what a fantastic introduction, well done on the nurse training with a child so young, I was in the same situation and quit after nine weeks of being back studying. I am looking forward to hearing more about Bear and Cardigan xxx

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't easy. A friend of mine quit too. She's sn author touring Australia now so she did OK

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  4. Ah so lovely to get to know more about you! I do loving seeing your adventures with Bear on Instagram :)

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  5. How wonderful you have had the experience of living abroad, it sounds like it must have been difficult at times though. I love the photo of you and yours at Sugar Loaf. I gave up studying when I had my first children, it was way too hard. x

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  6. Great to e-meet you! Seeing that you are a Hitchin lady made me smile. *waves from Biggleswade!*
    x

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  7. Loved knowing more about you! 42 years - wow! What an experience it must have been for you, living in Greece.

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