April has been a funny old month, and in honesty it’s the hardest month of the year for me with the anniversary of my dads death.
The horrors always return, nightmares flood my dreams and my heart lays heavier than normal. He is never far from my thoughts but April always seems so much worse.
I’m the first to admit that I haven’t coped at all well with his death. Grief has many stages and I’m slowly working my way through them but it’s the longing for him to be part of my children’s life’s that I find the hardest.
How I long to see my boys playing rounders or cricket with him as we did as children. I long for dad to watch my youngest sprint the track while competing for Southampton’s Athletic club. He would be so proud, so extremely proud. How I long to hear my eldest laugh with him as their dry sense of humours drive us all to tears of laughter. I long for us to stand at the finish line of an IronMan competition, to clap and cheer him on as he crosses the line, for him to see the pride that radiates from our souls.
I know we will never have that but it doesn’t make it any easier.
I really don’t know how you even begin to learn to deal with loosing a parent especially when he was so young, he was only 46 when he died, that’s only a few years older than I am. Life is so very cruel!
He was in his prime, living out his dreams, competing for his country and loving life.
A blink of the eye later and it’s all stolen from him. Not only from dad but his family and his grandsons who never got to meet him or see his smile, hear his voice or sit on his knee.
I guess that’s why my family research is so important to me, it brings him back, it somehow makes me feel closer but it also makes my heart ache at the stories he never got to tell, the memories he never go to share. I find that incredibly hard to deal with.
April though has been a great month for making contact with long lost unknown family, and I’ve made a lovely friend in the process.
It’s funny how someone you don’t know sends you a message and within a few emails you click and it seems like you’ve known them forever.
Maybe it’s that family bond, the blood connection? What ever it is it’s kinda magical.
Thank you Val, it’s been an absolutely pleasure learning all about your family, your history and being able to see the faces of our lost but far from forgotten family.
“Do you want to go grave hunting?”
I was a little taken back as he really is not interested in family history, I bore him to death with my rambling so you can imagine my surprise. So off we went to St Peter’s, East Tytherley, phones in hand, gps on. We photographed every grave in the churchyard.
We than went to St Peter’s, West Tytherley and snapped away at all headstones we could find. Unfortunately all the photos have for some reason been logged under St Peter’s, East Tytherley, so you have to find them on the map.
We than drove to, All Saints, Awbridge, where we continued to take photos of every head stone we could find. On returning home we uploaded all our photos to the Billion Grave app, ready for transcribing. Hopefully they will help someone find their lost loved ones resting place.
We continued our mass point and shoot session the following day, my eldest son and I photographed St Winfriths, East Dean. Hopefully we will get time to photograph St John’s, Lockerley, and St Margaret’s, Wellow, in the near future.
Research wise, I haven’t really done much, it’s not been the best month for me health wise, with a tummy bug that I’m sure has come from the devil himself.
I have though been looking at the life of a gentleman called Harry Pearce, my 3rd great uncle, brother of Fanny Pearce, my great, great-grandmother, on my dad paternal line. I will be writing all about her in this weeks, 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, challenge. I’m not going to give to much away as I hope to share Harry’s story with you soon. Be warned it will pull at your heartstrings.
I have also joined an Irish DNA group on Facebook, in the hopes it will help find out who our Irish ancestors were. Basically you have to register and copy and paste all you GEDmatches into their spreed sheet, it then collulates your data and tells you the names of the people you share dna with, within the group. Then the hard work begins, trying to find the common ancestors you have in your trees. It’s proving to be an impossible task considering I know so very little and only have the surname O’Connor to go on. Will I ever be able to give our O’Connor descendants the answer to our question “ Who were the O’Connors?”
Talking of DNA, I have ordered a 3rd, Ancestry DNA Kit, which my uncle Steve, has kindly agreed to take for me. My uncles Steve and Richard are the closest match to my dads dna so I’m mega excited.
Will his results uncover the truth behind the Newell’s?
Was Alfred Newell, really the father of Estella’s illegitimate children?
What are uncle Steve’s and kind of my dads, Ethnicity?
The long wait for his results is ahead of us now, it’s going to be a long 8 weeks, but very worth it.
Now to save up for another test and somehow talk my hubby into taking one, if not I’m hoping his lovely sister Sarah will take one for me.
So what have I been up to in my own little world of crochet?
I’ve been on a mass granny square making adventure. Basically apart from one other pattern I’ve made, it’s been all about the grannies. 👵🏻
Mums, Nuts About DNA Afghan, will consist of 144 granny squares, and hopefully cover her bed from top to toe and side to side.
A while ago, I counted up the squares I’ve already made, I got a tad exited and emailed my mum saying I’ve now made 45. 😁 Her reply was only 99 to make. 😂 I think it may be a while before it is finished, lol
I’ve now Only got ? squares to make, then join them, Crochet around the joined squares, giving them a nice boarder, then finally I will be able to give mum her blanket she so deserves.
My first make of the month was Frozen by Johanna Lindahl. I made this to hopefully frame and hang on the wall, in my finally decorated bedroom, which is far from finished but I love it so far. Only a fitted cupboard to make, picture rail to go up and a floor to go down, you best get your tools out Mr Green. 😜
The mass granny square mission then started. I’ve made –
Tussy Missy 12” square, by FireCats Design.
I’ve made lots of squares by Julie Yeager, they include :-
Two, Firenze Afghan Block.
Two, Catalina Afghan Square.
Two, Clusters Afghan Square.
Two, In Treble Afghan Square.
Tropical Delight, by Susan A Stevens. I adore this square.
And for my, “Moon Stone Afghan.”
Spiro Star, by Helen Shrimpton.
Tropical Delight, by Susan A Stevens
My crochet crush for the month, hmmm that’s a hard one. There are so many beautiful patterns out there. If I had to pick one I just couldn’t, but two, I can do.
Firstly it would have to be Maria Limnell from Virkevira, beautiful “Pale Popcorn Cushion.”
You may remember Maria’s outstanding talent from my post all about her “Star of the Forest Mandala.”
Maria never disappoints and an added bonus is, she is an absolutely lovely person.
You can find her new pattern here. Unfortunately it hasn’t been translated into English but I’m sure Google Translate, can help with that.
Maria’s work is outstanding, and well worth a follow on Instagram. You really have to check out her Sophie Universe Afghan, it’s breathtaking.
The Tropitile Cal (Crochet Along) is a paid pattern but it’s worth every penny.
Crochet designers give so much time, love, creative energy and talent, into every piece they design and make. They deserve to get paid much more than they ask for their patterns, you would honestly pay more for a cup of coffee, which would be gone within minutes. A pattern will give you weeks, months, even years of pleasure. Please try to support them when you can because after all, they need to make a living as all of us do.
I have followed Johanna on Instagram for a good few years now and her patterns aren’t just beautiful, they are a dream to make, clearly written and her colour combos are second to none. She truly has an exceptional talent.
For those of you that haven’t heard of a, crochet along aka a Cal. The designers pattern is separated into parts, which you will receive over so many weeks, either through email or on their blog. Hundreds if not thousands of crochets, crochet along together and share their progress on social media. It makes the journey a little more interesting and if you are having any trouble with stitches etc, there is a huge network to support you, with the added bonus of drooling over other peoples colour choices.
I really want to make both patterns but I’m still trying to be good and not start any new projects but I’m really not sure how long I can resist them.😰
Colour combos are racing around my brain 24, 7 and I’m itching to join in the fun of the Tropitile Cal.
Last months crush, still has a tight hold on my heart strings. I surely can’t start all three? I have to be good, I have to be good. 😝
I think the sums up April’s world of crochet and that leaves me with just one more thing to share with you, my song of the month.
That’s an easy one, it has to be “ Here you me” by Jimmy Eat World. It just makes me think about my dad and always brings a tear to my eye.
I hope you have a fabulous month of May, with lots of sunshine, bbqs, laughter and smiles. We best all start doing a sun dance. 💃
Take care and hopefully see you back here soon .