Crafty me

I was advised last year that I need to get a hobby, something that was for me that I didn’t have to be Mum & Wife for, my instant thought was ‘are you serious’? This person fully aware of my life recommended I add to my stresses by doing more! Great one, what else could I possibly do? I do everything as it is & my horses are sort of a hobby not that I  had time for the enjoyment much. For my own sanity it was something I had to do to get out of that boring daily circle, it took me about a week to figure something out but it was staring me right in the face!

I’ve always been good at making things, art & drawing I’m not one that I imagine sitting in an office not very well anyway I need to create! I would sit for hours when I was younger drawing many things & now I incorporate my creativity in to my surrounds, mainly in my house or down the yard or my car. With a handy hubby who owns lots of tools, I pick up things he does on the house, join in then steal his tools to make things out of spare wood & anything else I can find adding my personal touches with emblems from my craft box. 


So I knew my new hobby would have to be along the same sort of thing, I really have no idea what else I’d be good at although I’m willing to try new things.

I decided on crochet, it’s always been an interest,  I would knit a ‘scarf’ with my Nan when I was little & she managed to teach me how to crochet a basic granny square but I wanted a beautiful lace style throw for my bed, these however were pricey & knowing what I do now I’m not surprised! So I decided sod it im going to make one.

I bought a basic crochet kit consisting of various size hooks, some yarn, scissors armed with You Tube I began.

Within an hour I had made my first flower, watching carefully taking everything in, different stitches, when to loop, my brain just sponged it up like I had been doing it forever. 

The next day I moved on to the granny squares with details, patterns & boarders & by the following week I was on to Amigurumi animals & turned to written patterns & learning all the abbreviations.

Time was issue!! Not having enough time to do more, once you start something you want to sit there until it’s finished, it’s addictive & so rewarding knowing I’ve pretty much taught myself to do this, I would fit in most of my crochet making in the evenings after the kids settled in bed to help me focus on that instead of other issues. 

I now have an endless list of things I’m going to make, boxes & bags everywhere full of every single colour yarn as you can never have enough, note book with patterns of flowers I’ve made that anyone looking at would think I was foreign, I have a c2c blanket I’m currently making along with smaller projects I do between it for myself or I make for friends & family as gifts & I get frustrated if I haven’t had a hook in my hand for two days!! Lol 




These are afew photos of what I’ve created in just the 9 months of doing this & im very much looking forward to lots more!


Natalie 🎨


Rainbows New Adventure 

When it’s time for your last born to start school & by this I mean ‘big school’ not their Pre school, the one where they go all day every day & are no longer by your side. For most Mums & Dads this is a very exciting time with lots of emotions about settling in, making friends, will they be ok? Getting that important ‘me’ time back but for those that their last born is their rainbow baby it’s very different.

Having lost a child before Logan came along it makes this time of year extremely worrying, with only afew months until he starts year R I’m panicking on a daily basis, comparing this to when my first daughter started, that was a lot easier.

I am now filled with sheer terror something will happen to him, what if he walks out of the classroom unnoticed? Or the playground? What if he chokes on his lunch? What if he gets lost while going to the toilet? What if he starts crying? I’m not there to help & comfort him, this makes my heart rip inside, but most of all if he decided to try returning home & escaping. I’m sure most will read this & think I’m silly, it’s a school of course that won’t happen & it’s unheard of yes but what if? 

My life is full of what if’s because it’s those that actually come true, I now see down the line & see things that could happen, yes it’s rare but it still could!

Having to live like this is hell, most will know it’s because after loosing Hollie, I’ve become an extremely protective parent after all it’s happened once, it could again so my job is to do what I can to make sure it doesn’t while also trying to let him be a child, explore, have fun & enjoy his younger days while making the best memories.

He is very much looking forward to starting school where his bigger sister goes, so over the last few months & those to follow I am preparing him for things like stranger danger, staying where you are told, stick to pavements, looking while crossing a road, toilet trips on his own to help us both deal with this huge change however I don’t think any amount of help is going to calm or ‘fix’ me, after speaking to a doctor about my separation anxieties & the school who have been amazing at showing me it’s going to be ok I am still a wreck & pretty sure I will be camping outside the school to make sure he’s ok! 

This has been my ‘job’ now for such a long time, I’m use to one going to school as another comes along until this time there’s no more coming along, I kind of feel redundant & put on the shelf, it’s an exciting time full of opportunities I’ve not experienced & I will be keeping busy for my minds sake with working but this unimaginable, it’s something only parents like me will feel fully & I have to not let it show so my fears don’t rub off on him masking his lovely positive attitude towards his new adventure. 


I thought the fears would disappear once he arrived safely in my arms, I was so wrong….they had only just begun! 



Natalie 📚

I miss you! 

Most people that know me will be aware that my Dad, Step Mum & Little sis recently took a break from their lives in the Uk with a once in a life time opportunity to move to Austria for a year taking on a B&B, Austrian lifestyle & living the dream! 

  

  
They have been gone a little over a month now & its true what they say, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone!” Although I was well aware of these awesome people I took for granted that they were just down the road. 

I would get a lot of calls from my Dad as he was driving home from work, getting our family updates & having a catch up, we didn’t get the chance to see each other much due to our hectic lifestyles, my other sisters who are childless would have the time a lot more than me, which has always left me a little jealous. Even more so now as they book their visits leaving me behind, their funds are only to cover the cost of their own flights whereas I’d need to find enough for five! Deep down I know it’s not gonna happen especially this time of year & we have a birthday every week until April. 

I’m watching their new lives on social media & im sure photos will be added as other family members join them in making memories, yes I probably do sound selfish, yes I chose to have kids instead of a career but it hurts, i miss them! 

They have talked about using their time out there to build a foundation for their futures, I have fears that they won’t be coming back or if they do it will be to ‘tie up loose ends’ of course I will be happy for them & Olivia will have the best life out there, I would give anything to join them but I feel left behind, the offer is always there for us to follow but realistically, it’s not something I would ever be financially be able to do & I have to face that or more importantly others do, I get replies of hope but deep down we both know it! 

  

I’ve never had to face being without a parent for so long, sounds silly doesn’t it? I’m 33years old & crying because I can’t see my Dad! Well when you have a close family this is the results, so what’s next? I pretty much have been carrying on as I always had but with abit of a hole in my heart, I’m trying my hardest to put things aside for the family that are here with me, making an extra visit to the Grandparents, trying to stop the diy for one day so I can have a meal with one of my sisters because life is going mega fast & you really don’t know  what’s round the corner to change everything! It’s only in little moments, when I hear a saying you would say, a song you would sing, little reminds that you stop for a second. 


I’m sure this is something you won’t find to read Dad but least it’s out there, I need a cuddle….I miss you!! 

  


Natalie 👨‍👧

Knowle Hospital.

My obsession has started again!

Going back afew years, ok 15 years to 2001! Me & some friends discovered an old abandoned hospital near to where we lived which was the perfect setting for our ‘ghost hunting’ nights. The building was mainly boarded up, afew parts work had started & were already knocked down with a small area already converted in to shiney new houses ready for tenants to make their memories. We never got permission for our adventures but who does lol we spent every night exploring the wards getting as many photos as we could, I couldn’t stay away I felt ‘at home’ being there like something kept drawing me back.

We experienced several things which people have different opinions about but I know I saw with my own eyes someone waving at the same window as we turned up in a panic as if to get our attention with a very dark authority figure creeping up behind them as if to stop them. 

I saw an older lady with beautiful white wavy longer hair, she was in a night gown, very short in height & moved very slowly down the steps in the main block, she’s didn’t say anything just stared. 

We experienced a very high solid brick wall shake like waves after being hit with someone creating a loud bang & for us all to fall down, we were holding the top ledge trying to get a peek over but something obviously didn’t want us to see. 

We saw a man every night in the saw window siting sideways with a candle for light he looked like he was concentrating on something in his room. 

We camped out one night in the main block with a small tent, the room looked like an old security office, old curtains & chandeliers still hung in the room along with an old table & papers. We stayed awake with torches for most of the night until we fell asleep for afew hours waking early morning to find the whole room has been smashed, lights & glass everywhere with rubbish & mess surrounding us, not something three people could sleep through.

I came across old paperwork & medical records & took them, once home I created folders for these & during the day I would be found in my local library trying to find information & history on this place that fascinated me so much, why? What happened there for me to feel so many different feelings & see ‘ghosts’ why do I need to do this? I’m still unsure.

   
 
I collected lots of different things from Newpapers along with my own photos but with the building work continuing I knew I didn’t have long left of this amazing place looking this way & my circumstances quickly changed forcing me to stop everything as well as loosing everything, literally! 

Until now, my experiences were recently brought up in a general conversation with my hubby & I was quickly reeling off info with dates, names etc like it was locked away for later in my head & that was the trigger, “let’s go see it”?! 

So off we went taking a short tour in our car around the area with me pointing out what parts of the building were & where we saw each person, how it all looked, everything! Yet I only knew all this from old maps, that same feeling filled me yet again the feeling of needing to be here, what happened, who are these people still wondering around?

So we headed home to find out with the help of the Internet! 

To my surprise, there wasn’t as much information as I remember, old records had gone only basic stuff was around, why? Most patient records are now being held at The Winchester County Records Office which you can pay to view but only records of 100years & older so all those recent ones were gone.

So what is this place….it’s Knowle Hospital, renamed in 1948 formally Hampshire Lunatic Asylum. Opened in 1852 & closed in 1996. Designed by J Harris, Architect. 

The hospital was opened for metal patients & mainly run by one family (The Ford family)  for the whole time going back generations from which I have read they have done a great job with the care & dedication to their patients. 

Knowle took on many staff & admitted over 2000 patients along with 1000 in the asylum who were expected to work on the farm, kitchens or other jobs to help their community. 

The grounds had a chapel, housing for staff & leasiure facilities. 

Each patient & worker who died here also got buried here in the grounds up until 1971 & it wasn’t until 1886 that graves were decided to be marked before then pauper burials were recorded in a register but the site of burial was not marked so no link to the register. The earliest register date is February 1877 with number 897 so there are 896 unrecorded burials in the grounds. Some entries on the register for patients have two numbers for the same plot indicating more than one person was buried in the same plot but never on the same day, so some are grave sharing! The last burial took place in 1971. There have been some errors with numbers on the register but once you allow for these it shows that there are 5,578 people buried in Knowle Hospital Cemetery. 

So that explains why we saw ghosts I never imagined there would be so many though & why I feel so many mixed emotions while being there. 

Along with hospital itself, the cemetary & grounds there is also the ‘suicide bridge’ that from what I found years ago is the bridge escaped patients would jump from to their death on the railway lines below which is why barb wire now surrounds it & ‘ the tunnel’ a hole of some sort an escaped man lived in for quite some time in the woods until he got caught, however I’ve yet to find any real information on these accusations but it’s the sort of thing I feel happened when I’m around the area, I feel upset for people, pain & anger, maybe some were mistreated? 

The Internet portrays a very happy place with little information really & I may never find what I’m looking for or why I’m doing this but I know I will continue all the time I have this empty space, I’m fond of other abandoned hospitals but this one draws me in, there’s no other like Knowle & it’s hidden stories! 
This will always be an unfinished piece…. 

  

Natalie 🏚

Living with a Tween!! 

As you’re all probably aware my eldest is 12 years old, up until now parenting has been well, hard! & now it’s erm well still hard but a different kind. 

Those of you with serval children will be aware of all the different styles, ways & survival tips of not only bringing them up but how different everything you try works with one but may not the other so when you think you’ve nailed it child number two decides to drag you through hell to tell you otherwise while child three is sat there laughing! 

I’ve been warned for many years about this next chapter which is just around the corner for Kieran & as a Tween (pre teen) we are getting a fine taster of things to come! I’m pretty sure this is the part my parents were referring to when they would whisper “Just you wait” followed by a grin when we were struggling with the toddler stage. 

The only experience I have is what I did or got up to so I’m pretty much screwed, I didn’t treat my parents with much respect, shouted at them, ate all the food as it was bought, skipped school, told them I was sleeping over a friends but really walking the streets with our bottles of Strong Bow, thinking back I’m not even sure why I mean walking around the same area every time, that’s boring! 

So this doesn’t give me much hope as this brings me on to recent events we’ve been having with our Tween.

Im hated!! Utterly end of the world hated because im making him take sandwiches to school, because I stopped the friend visits after school as no homework has been done this year & the school are lecturing me! (Despite all the cooking, washing, picking up, making sure they have clothes etc I do)

“For god’s sake!” Is the only reply I’ve received since the beginning of the year, unless a phone or tablet is in use then this reply becomes “uurrgg” followed occasionally with a head bob. 

I can’t remember the colour of his eyes as I haven’t seen them in so long, the top of his head however is looking messy & greasy! 

There is now a favourite item of clothing in the form of a rather large grey hoodie that apparently goes with everything even food & it’s one of those items that wash itself seeing as the poor thing hasn’t been allowed to visit the washing machine since purchased before Christmas 2015! 

He has grown a mobile phone on the end of his right hand, this can be detached once asleep. 

All those words that he learnt as a toddler & were in use all of his life suddenly left & he is now restricted to around a 20 word vocabulary. 

The shower doesn’t exist.

They never have homework….apparently. 

Belongings like to get shared throughout the family home being left in various locations for you to trip over, sit on or just generally take up all the room, these don’t ever get returned to owners room….ever!

Then we have the attitude, wow I mean really if it was someone else my response would be very different! Calling to find out when he would be home as he’s late so rejecting Mum’s calls is obviously the best thing to do but just to make sure I’ll finish off with a tx “What’s up, can’t talk im busy” oh hell no you didn’t! Busy is when you’re trying to drive with two other children fighting & your planning dinner & finding out where the pain in the ass is! 

Attitude of I’m gonna shout how much I’m not gonna do what your asking then sit in front of you with fingers in ears & state “I’m not listening to you!” Seriously, you wanna go down that road?! 

When asked why lunch wasn’t eaten at school today & brought back home but can happily munch on a chocolate bar, “Really, oh I’m sure I ate it, yeah I did…I think”, erm not so much!

So this Tween stage is a just a taster of things to come? Surely we are there already, this isn’t something that can happen daily for the next 5,6,7 years is it? 

  


Damn, I was such a pain in the ass!  (Apologies to all I crossed paths with at 12-17yrs old)



Natalie 🏅

Fun in the Forest.

Today Im going to share our family weekend fun we had in The New Forest in Hampshire, we combined our love for Geocaching with entertaining the kids on a cheep budget so this was perfect.

I spent a lot of my own childhood camping in The New Forest at Denny Wood not far from Lyndhurst so that was definitely on the list. 

We started off with a short afternoon walk in the sun on Saturday afternoon grabbing afew caches along the way, it’s amazing what beautiful locations we find while on our travels that we didn’t even know where round the corner. We managed to do 3 miles before time was against us & had to get back to normal life & get some food. 

   

    
 

As we didn’t get too much covered we planned a longer walk for Sunday.

We headed straight for Denny Wood Sunday morning & found a cache of the same name, in the description the owner explained their love of the area too which was nice to share, we began walking & 2 hours later, it felt like we had walked the whole forest not just afew miles but we finally found it then moved on to some others where we found some beautiful land just before sunset with a heard of Deer & their babies grazing with the ponies, photos didn’t show a fraction of how beautiful & peaceful this was, we sat on a wooden bridge watching them for a while before heading back to the car to return home again very late but after a brilliant weekend. 

   

    
 

The New Forest has got to be one of my favourite places to be, I’ve spent so much time there, nothing really changes, everything is natural with little interference from ‘us’.

Looking forward to more days out here over the summer, there is no better feeling than loading the car with kids, food & petrol, heading out to the open with minimal interaction from humans. 


Natalie 🌼

Newquay 

It’s been a while since our last family holiday, Logan wasn’t very old & still in a travel cot & needing everything including the kitchen sink!

We use to do the Sun holidays twice a year at least, family time is very important to us so I book them as we returned from one! However since the new rules about taking children out of school & facing a fine we haven’t chanced it so we’ve had to wait this long to get a booking in half term.

I booked Newquay last year for the Easter hols, as it was starting to near I changed to my normal panic moaning mode & started organising care for our animals, lists, packing, cleaning the car, new tires while my family carried on a normal, clearly  I’m the only one that can do these tasks!

So the car is packed to the point of bursting, plenty of food, house locked we can go!! The dreaded 4hr drive with 3 children, what have I done? Why did I not get something closer? We had done the drive before but with only two at the time which wasn’t so bad & they mostly slept, this time not one child did! 

We hadn’t been on the road long & yep you guessed it the questions about how long & ‘Are we there yet?’ started even though it was explained to all before we left, the day before, the week before & the week before that, silly me to think that would be enough! 

Once we arrived after a lengthy drive with stop off for more food (what we had wasn’t enough either) we got given our accommodation for the week….and relax! Bliss, everything was quiet, we had a whole week together, no work, no school, just fun!! 

We began unpacking to get some sleep ready for adventures early the next day, or that was the plan!

Logan had other ideas, he didn’t want to sleep in the bed he was given or any bed for that matter or away from me! So by 3am I gave up & we fell asleep together in original bed given. 

Next morning with such a rough night we or should I say me couldn’t be arsed to move to be honest not only had I been up most of the night but had also had a rough previous four nights sleep stressing about getting here in the first place, we carried on with original plans regardless to take Logan to a dinosaur park as he loves them with a passion. We had a good exhausting day, left there late so thought yep this is it he will sleep tonight &  he did! He developed a great fondness for his new ‘holiday bed’ & slept all night every night. Us however being given a hard double when you have the biggest, softest bed complete with memory foam at home where your feet don’t hang over the edge didn’t sleep for the whole damn week!!! 

  

  

This was going on to be the most exhausting holiday I have ever experienced, the moods were getting bigger along with the bags under our eyes, we did afew days out but tired so quickly it wasn’t being enjoyed as well as our past ones, surely we deserved this well awaited break?! 

One our last day we had put off going to the Eden Project til now as we thought it was just about plants despite it being on our bucket list for afew years we thought sod it lets just go!

We had the best day out!! This isn’t what we expected at all, it was fun, the kids loved it, we loved it, it was what we had been wanting all week, finally some smiling faces just a shame it was on the last day.

   

 The drive home was awful we got stuck in traffic, again the kids didn’t sleep it off at all, I developed what can only be described as hell in my head with the worst migraine of my life so much so that I was sick when we walked in the door at 10pm.

On a positive we did mange to pop by Mevagissey for afew minutes, I use to have holidays there as a child & it was very overwhelming to return & see all my memories again, everything was exactly the same.


Looking back it wasn’t all the bad we still achieved what we set out to, spending time together, that’s all we really wanted, everything in between is a bonus. 


And in true me style I booked another the day after we came back for July, so more adventures from us to come. 



Natalie 🏄🏽