Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 34 - Easter Memories

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 34 - Easter Memories

I love Easter for many reasons, some of those being...
  • It is a time of year in which we celebrate new life and new beginnings.
  • A season where the weather is getting better, the days longer and the flowers and trees are blossoming.
  • A lovely long bank holiday...
  • Most importantly I am a Christian and it is a season in which we actively reflect and focus on Jesus's death, resurrection and the greater meaning behind that. I love celebrating the freedom we have in knowing that we're forgiven through the biggest sacrifice EVER and how much God loves me!!

This year in the lead to Easter we have been reflecting on Passover and the meaning of Passover in relation to Easter, so this year I have been challenged about the slavery story and the freeing of the Israelites from  slavery in Egypt. Passover is a festival and a season where Jews can push into God for breakthroughs in their lives, for the slaves in their lives to be freed. Reflecting on this has got me thinking about the what the "slaves" are in my life? What I would like to see "breakthroughs" in this year? Especially as 2014 looks to be a year for massive life changes...

When I was a child Easter was always a special time as well...
Britannia Coconut Dancers
(Image from: www.wikipedia.org, Author:
Kezka Dantza Taldea Eibar, 19 May 2007,
accessed 19th April 2014
  • On Good Friday we would go to the outdoor church service in the town centre, followed by a communion service at the Baptist church which we attended. After the service we would have a picnic lunch together and go for a walk in the countryside. I always loved these events.
  • On Easter Saturday we would often one of my sets of grandparents and in the town where I grew up there was a special festival which took place. The Britannia Coconutters are morris dancers which would dance around the town from one pub to the next...(you can read more about their history at their website Britannia Coconutters).
  • On Easter Sunday we would have an egg hunt and receive presents before going to the Easter morning service at the church.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

More Grave Hunting in Herne, Kent

Ok, so not much Family Tree research has been happening over the past few months, hence why the silence (other than the Book of Me) on this blog recently. I hope to get back to things again when life returns to some kind of normality...whatever that looks like!!!

St Martin's Church, Herne, Kent
(Image taken by Ruth Hogan, 24 Mar 2014)
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were doing a southern tour of some of his relatives as we do not get to see enough of them. As part of this tour we went to visit his Aunt and Uncle who live in Herne, Kent. It was great to see them but I was able to spend some time scouring the graveyard at St Martin's Herne Parish Church as this was the parish in which my ancestors lived in the early 1800s.

St Martin's Church - Font
(Image taken by Ruth Hogan, 24 Mar 2014)

The Redwood family, my great, great, great grandmother, Jane Redwood, was born in Herne, Kent in 1827. Many of the Redwood's were baptised at St Martin's Church. This is the font in which the baptisms would have taken place. My great, great, great grandmother was baptised here on 7th October 1827 at only about 3 weeks old. Jane's parents James Redwood and Sophia Homans were married at the same church on 13th October 1818.

William & Ann Redwood's Gravestone in
St Martin's Church Graveyard
(Image taken by Ruth Hogan, 24 Mar 2014)

There was one grave to the Redwood's in the graveyard which was in a pretty good condition compared to some of the others, but unfortunately since coming home and researching William & Ann Redwood it appears they were not from my Redwood lineage that I have discovered so far. I did not look for any of the other family surnames from Herne, such as Homan and Sutton, but perhaps we will go back there again one day.

It was a fun trip to see the church in which my ancestors were baptised, married and buried, as well as spend some quality time walking on the beach with my husband's aunt, uncle and their dog, Rosie.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 33 - Regrets

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 33 - Regrets

I found this prompt quite hard, one as I probably do not like to live in REGRET but at the same time some of my regrets in retrospect have turned out for the better. I also do not think I have any MAJOR regrets but in time I suppose I will...

I often think back to certain points in my life and regret the ways in which I reacted to something or wish I had done or said something different in certain situations. Most of them are not massive regrets but now I look back and realise I have learnt something from each of these experiences which have changed how I may react or what I might say in the future. Each day we become wiser and more experienced!!

There are a few friends I regret not having kept in better contact with and now have lost contact altogether... but in retrospect we cannot all keep in close contact with all of our friends from the past.

I regret eating a lot of rubbish and not doing enough exercise over the past weeks and months as I regret putting on that weight back on that I spent the whole of last year losing!!! After enjoying my Easter eggs and now the weather is getting better is my challenge to get back into shape.

In some ways I regret buying my little house, as now we're struggling to sell it and want to buy somewhere larger, but we're stuck until we can sell it... but at the same time it has been an awesome house and when I bought it, I did not expect to get married 2 years later and out grow it with my husbands LEGO collection. But then again if I hadn't bought the house perhaps we would have never got together....?!

I love drinking big creamy hot chocolate but using about 15 minutes later I am regreting it, when my tummy is reminding me of my lactose intolerance!!!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 32 - How do you de-stress?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 32 - How do you de-stress?

Ok, so I am quite a stressy person, especially over recent months but I really struggle to find the time to sit, relax, rest and de-stress.

I have been thinking a lot about what strategies I can put into place to make me a less stressy person...
  • Fresh country air is always a good one with some exercise as well - I work in a dark room all day so finding the times to get out to the countryside and enjoy a dose of sun is always good for the soul
  • Music and especially playing music is a great way to relax and de-stress
  • Generally getting away from my computer for a period of time is a good one, but I do need total peace and quiet to be able to sit down to read a book and if there's someone else in the room I find this very hard but yet it is relaxing.
  • My introverted spirit needs some just "ME" time, time away from people including my husband is needed every now and again to allow me time and space to process the big questions and chill.
  • Previously researching my family history was always a great way to chill, but recently I have not found it helpful to use it as a de-stress and have taken a bit of a break....although I do want to get back to researching soon!!!

My stress can be caused by many things...
  • Breaking of routines, for example, when the car breaks down, floods in the kitchen...
  • Disorganisation - if I feel disorganised even if I'm not it makes me stress...
  • Busy-ness (although I also love busy-ness so this is a balance I need to get right!)
  • My work can be stressful at times, I work in a hospital as an Optician, so overbooked clinics and the usual madness of the NHS can become very wearing sometimes and stressful. But I do enjoy the job which is why I put up with madness.
  • Feeling overwhelmed or overloaded by things I need to do...

I know I am stressed when...
  • I feel as if I am living on an adrenaline rush
  • I cannot sleep
  • I sleep really, really well but wake up exhausted
  • I get to the end of the day and my whole body just aches
  • I feel as if my head is going to explode with things to remember!!!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 31 - What makes me proud?

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Luke's graduation
So, what is it that makes me proud?

I am very proud of my husbands achievement of getting a DISTINCTION in his Masters degree!! I will be the proudest wife in the world when he lands himself his first animation job, which I believe he can do!!!!! He is also an amazing artist :)

I was proud of myself when I graduated with a 2:1 in Optometry at Bradford University and even more proud that I got through my pre-registration year and finally qualified even though it was a second attempt. 

My graduation

I am proud that I attempted my Grade 8 Clarinet exam even though I never passed it, I'm glad I tried whilst I had the chance. 

I love my job and am proud that I managed to get through the first year of it which was rather insane & stressful!!!

I am proud that I have been able to travel the world & experience so many different cultures even though I like to think I'm still young?!

I am house proud :)

I feel such a lucky person to have been brought up in such a way that I had the opportunities given to me to enable me to achieve these things and I am proud of my parents for giving me these opportunities in life.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 30 - First Day of School

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

I can quite honestly say I have no recollection of my first day at primary school!!!

The more I thought about it the less I seemed to remember, as I cannot even remember seeing a photo of it neither, I presume there will be one somewhere. I would have been nearly 5 years old when I started primary school and I presume my mum must have taken me with my younger brother probably in tow as well. 

My first school was St Saviour's County Primary School in Bacup which was at the time a green "temporary" prefab building (which remained for ~20 years!) in Stubbylee Park and we lived quite close so most probably walked to school.

My first teacher was called Mrs Myhill (if that's spelt correct) & the head teacher was a fun man named Mr Heys, he used to play funny songs on the guitar in assembly which we all enjoyed singing along to. Unfortunately he left the school in my first years there.

I was starting school with my friend from nursery called Charlotte, we would later move onto secondary school together and although we were not always bestest of friends, we were generally always friends.

We had no school uniform so I could have worn any clothes on my day at school.

Perhaps I'll have to ask my mum or dad some questions soon and update this post.