Saturday, 26 July 2008

26 July 1959

Aunty Gwen (left) and Mam (right)
On Sunday 26 July 1959, 13 days before my 4th birthday my Mam Jennie was killed in a tragic accident. The details of the day are etched in my memory. I could describe the car they sat us in the back of after the accident. I recall thinking the owners must be posh because they had a box of tissues, unlike us with our real hankies with cartoon characters printed on them . I was appalled at the Police Officer who suggested I play with a baby toy - you know those shape things that you hammer into a base? How old did he imagine I was for goodness sake? They fed us a roast pork dinner and I wasn't impressed as it was very fatty.
By the time we could come home it was dark and we travelled home in the back of Granddad's neighbour's car. It was an old black one and years later I found out it was Benny Graham who drove us back. The police had gone to Grandma and Granddad's and advised them of the severity of the accident. Benny was the only person with a car so he volunteered to take them.
As he approached Scunthorpe he rang the Police for directions to the hospital and they informed him that Mam had passed. He told me how he went back to the car not knowing what to say to Grandma and Granddad. Fortunately he was spared that task as Granddad touched his arm and said "It's Ok lad I know"
According to Benny, driving home I looked out of the back window of the car at the stars twinkling in the night sky and declared "My Mam is an Angel dancing through the stars" I don't recall shedding tears for her - in my mind she was still here but different and over the last 49 years there hasn't been a day go by that I have not had a little chat with her.

A few days later I was a bridesmaid for Mary our neighbour and I was angry that my Mam wasn't there to help me get dressed for the big occasion. I knew she was watching though and I took the posy of Peonies to my Grandma.
A few weeks later Uncle Harry and Aunty Nancy took me on holiday with them to Bridlington. We stayed in a caravan and were invaded by earwigs.
That's me striding out in my little blue shorts. My cousin Carole was having a shy moment bless her.
So all in all today is a bit of a roller coaster one in terms of emotions. 49 years is a long time to be motherless and as I approach my 53rd birthday I still struggle to believe I am technically older than my Mam. I do however believe that the person I have become is evidence that we are still influenced by those who have passed. There is no way that I take after my Dad and I am certain that my Mam has helped and guided me through life, perhaps even more effectively than she could have done had the accident not taken place.
I am proud to be Jennie's daughter.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Can you do anything to support or help Helen?

I watched Look North the other day - it is our local news channel and it featured Helen Miller who is a 38 year old mum of 2 on the wating list for a lung/lungs transplant. Helen is writing a blog, pouring out all her worries and concerns and really needs something to lift her spirits. Could you consider checking out her blog and letting her see how much love and support is there for her?
Click here for her Blog
xx Chris

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Creating a Dream

A few of you will be aware of my dream which I have been sitting on for months and months now. Well, the time has come to make it a reality and in preparation for this I have begun the new website for it. Normally I would keep a site under wraps until it was ready to go live but I decided to make it live as I develop it. I don't even have a logo there yet. Of course there is method in my madness as it starts to get the idea out there, and also gets the site climbing the Google ranks.
There is a new Blog attached to it but I will continue to maintain this one as this one is anything goes and the other will be solely focused on the new business.
Sorry if this is short and sweet but I am feeling rather sorry for myself. I had a bad fall today when my knee gave way- I managed to twist both ankles, graze my elbows and goodness knows whats happened with my knee as it whipped sideways - I never knew they could work sideways! I intend to spend the rest of the weekend with my feet up.
Before I forget this is the link to the new site of Reiki Gallery.
I thought a picture of this Cross Stitch I made for Pete back in 1999 was an appropriate image for this post - I love the words on it.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Blog Walkabouts

A few weeks ago I decided to go off and look at more Blogs and to be honest I had no idea where to start looking for new ones. So I set myself a little challenge and decided I would start off at the Blog that was top on my list of Beady Blogs and follow a link from it, and then follow a link from that one etc. I enjoyed what I found so much I plan to do it perhaps once a month or so.
I spent an evening doing this and really enjoyed what I found. My trail started with Crafted Gems and I was led to Aileen Clarke Crafts post about Rosa Rugosa . It is a beautifully written story of friendship and love.
From Aileen's Blog I went to Wren's Nest Cottage and a beautiful evocative post called Jimmy's Gone to Flanders which brought back so many beautiful thoughts of my Grandad Harry Hutchinson who served in the Great War.
From Wren's Nest Cottage I found a great article about mosses and ferns on Resurrection Fern. The images are superb and the article is so well written and the Blog is chock full of projects too.
My next leap took me to The Revisited Stash . Sarah is a textile Artist and this blog focuses on using recycled fabrics. I loved the mushroom which "sprouted" on her developing throw.
From there I found Winged Heels which is just so beautiful. Prayers and kind thoughts are needed for the family and her small daughter.
Onwards next to Shadows and Clouds and some beautiful photography and many interesting articles and finally to VintagePretty where you must go and read the post for 4 July titled Je Crois.
All in all I had a great time on my walkabout and plan to add these to a new Bloglist so I can keep track of them. I hope you too enjoyed them and perhaps you might be interested in doing your own Blog Walkabout.
I will update you on life's events soon - I seem to be in this cocoon of inner peace and calm, despite the fact that the next few months are going to be so busy and exciting. I'm an awful tease aren't I but I have to do something to tempt you back here :-)

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Huskar Mining Disaster 170 years on

I meant to post this on Friday 4 July as it was the 170th anniversary of this disaster which proved instrumental in changing the laws around the employment of children. On the 4th July 1828, 26 boys and girls aged 7 to 17 perished when a flash summer flood sent a torrent of water gushing down a drift which was used for ventilation in Moorend Colliery, known locally as Huskar pit. The children who had all been working down the mine when the flood struck are all buried at the site of the monument in Silkstone Church. Among the names is Eli Hutchinson aged 9.
Silkstone is about 5 miles away from where I live and it was at this church where my ancestors were baptised, married and buried, prior to the building of St John The Baptist Church in Dodworth, in 1847.
When I first began my family tree I thought that Eli Hutchinson was not connected to me as, according to records I am a descendant of George Hutchinson, who was allegedly the son of George and Mary and baptised at Silkstone on 24 April 1791. Subsequent searches for the marriage of a George and Mary have failed to reveal any such couple. However, in the Parish records are several children born to a Henry and Mary Hutchinson , all of whom fit in age wise around my George. It would appear that an error was made on the records - if I accept this assumption then I can go further back in time , but would also have to go back to the archives, this time including Henry and Mary's descendants , which I believe will include young Eli.
Regardless of whether he is kin or not, all of these 26 children have touched many lives.
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad. ~Marcel Proust

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Setting Challenges

A week ago when I was over in Doncaster at BrevonArt, Andrea asked if I had any earrings I could take in and of course I agreed to make some for there. On Thursday I went up into my workshop (which incidentally is still not organised after the changing rooms scenario) and sat there looking at my stock and it struck me I am spoiled for choice! And despite all the choice I was stuck for what to do so decided to set myself a design challenge. I chose 2 different types of shell and planned to make 10 pairs of earrings which would each be significantly different. The actual act of making a pair of earrings takes minutes, yet it took me a full afternoon to come up with the 10 pairs which I was proud of and were favourably received the following day at BrevonArt. (I forgot to take pictures so can't show you them)
Now to take a small diversion and a step back in time I have supported Greenpeace since it began in 1971 and have always been an eco warrior in my own little way. I hate waste of any kind and even if I have 2 full bottles of washing up liquid in the cupboard I would still have to fill the empty one with water and get 2 extra washing ups out of it. It is this aspect in me which leads me to offer a lifetime guarantee on my creations as I would hate to think that the world's natural resources were collected and processed to end up in the bottom of a drawer or in landfill.
Getting back up to date, after talking to Andrea on Friday I decided to set myself a new design challenge and create a range entirely with junk, discarded materials, charity shop finds etc. I realise I will have to use some new parts but plan for them to be 99% junk.

I made a start today and will give you a few clues to what I am up to. I have used this which came through the door today.

I also went to this beautiful park

and collected some of this, and will keep you posted.

And here I am with my little cotton bag and the dogs Cass and Blaize . Cass is the Lurcher, Blaize is the Border Lakeland Terrier (and was the runt of the litter and definitely not anything like she should be but we love her ) I didn't know Pete had taken this one until he showed me when we got back home.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Rambling on About Reiki and Hugs

Today I had an amazing opportunity to ramble on about Reiki and boy did I wax on about it. A few months ago I received an email from a 3rd Year Medical Student . As part of the training they have a 6 week block where they can choose to do anything and she had decided to investigate Complimentary Therapies. She asked would I be prepared to meet with her and discuss my experiences of Reiki and naturally I agreed.
Now anyone who knows me is aware I can talk for England when the subject is healing but I had decided to be led by her questioning because I wanted to come at the subject from her perspective.
We covered an amazing array of topics which included the following:
  • What motivated you to become an active Reiki practitioner?
  • How does healing occur?
  • What part does the placebo effect have?
  • What part does the mind play in bringing about healing?
  • Where does the energy come from?
  • What part do we play in creating our own illness?
We also touched upon the Legal and Ethical issues around healing and discussed spiritual matters, religions, positive thinking, the power of prayer,stem cells and Quantum Physics!
Now of course many of my responses were drawn from experience, speculation, knowledge,ideas or educated guesses but what was wonderful was, that despite our different starting points eg science versus alternative, we had so much agreement. In fact we both had a good laugh when we spoke about the Placebo effect because I said "Well regardless of whether we are practicing Reiki or medicine, if it is the Placebo effect and healing occurs then bring it on!
As with all discussions about healing though I always talk about the healing power of touch, an ability we all have but that many of us don't ever think about. If you bang your elbow what do you do after you have cursed? You hold it. If you have stomach ache what do you do? You hold your stomach. If a child falls down and hurts their knee what do you do? You rub it better- and all of these actions reduce pain don't they?
When I was studying for my first degree I included Social Psychology and recall reading some research from the 1930s. The study was about infant mortality in Orphanages as babies were dieing at an alarming rate for no apparent physical reason. A simple change was made and the babies began to survive. This simple change was to simply hug and nurse the babies. Powerful hugs eh?
I'm just reflecting back on the subjects we discussed today and wondering "Wow! How did I get to be so wise?" And the answer is simple really. I took my time along the healing path, I practiced lots, I questioned all I experienced and I read and studied widely. But don't let me saying this put you off pursuing it yourself. The key reason for me saying this is this; if you ever see a Course advertised offering to make you a Reiki Master in a weekend then think twice.

Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls.
Melody Beattie