Bittersweet April always brings the horrific memories of my Dad’s death to the forefront of our minds, we relive the horror and the heartbreak over and over again. Tears are shed and the what ifs only grow as the years without him spiral out of control.
It seems only yesterday we were sat day in, day out, in Southampton hospital, watching our once Ironman fit Dad fade away to only a shell of himself.
Those long endless months, sat at his bedside, were the worst of our life’s and no matter how much time passes, it never becomes any easier. The only comfort I can pull from those months of suffering is that he is at peace and hopefully watching over us.
Dads are the first man you trust, the first man you love. The first man you depend on. The first man to kiss you good night. The first man to protect you and adore you. Dads will be your first hero, probably your only hero and probably the only man that will love you for all your flaws.
Every day that passes without him in your life, hurts so deeply, and no amount of time can heal you from his loss and no one can ever replace him.
I can’t believe it’s been 22 years since we have seen his smile, heard his laugh and roared at his dry sense of humour.
A day has not gone by, that he isn’t in my thoughts and he isn’t being missed. I miss him more than words can comprehend.
April is also the month of mine and my husbands sort of anniversary, the anniversary of when we started dating, back in 1993.
26 years ago, at Romsey Rapids Park, Mark asked me that teenage question,
“Will you go out with me? “
With a simple yes, all these years later, we are married, still in love, best friends and have our amazing boys Con and Cal, completing our little family.
I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t always been easy, we have had our moments when we’ve got bogged down with the stresses of life, money worries, health problems, etc, etc. Those moments only make us stronger and more determined to fight for our love story that sadly a lot of marriage couples give up on.
It’s so easy these days to throw in the towel and give up on marriage when things aren’t peach’s and cream. Gone are the days, that you work through your problems and grow stronger through your troubles. Divorce is far to easy.
Yes life takes us all on many different roads, causing marital problems but the key is to travel those roads together, supporting each other and growing together.
Love, true love is worth fighting for and deserves to be given your all. Love conquers all, you just need to believe and give your all to making it past the hard times.
Great memories have also been made this April as Mum and I got to take my youngest Calum, prom suit shopping.
It was an absolute wonderful day, one that is forever etched in my heart and memory as I’m sure his prom will be in a few weeks time.
Cal looked amazing in his suit, he’s all grown up with an exciting future ahead of him.
His dreams are big but I know our incredible, loving, witty boy can achieve anything he sets his mind on. Go get um Calum, in the knowledge that we are so very proud of you and we believe you are more than capable of making all your dreams come true.
My Cousin Lisa married her soul mate Niki, last weekend, they looked absolutely beautiful and you could see the love and happiness ooze from them. It was so lovely to spend the evening with my Dads family but the most wonderful moment for me was when my Uncle Steve wrapped his arm around me and gave me a squeeze. It was like my Dad was back with me for that spilt second. I can’t really explain it. I love my uncle Steve deeply, he just wants me smile from ear to ear. If you’re reading this Uncle Steve, thank you for giving me that moment and for always making me smile. Please know that your loved.
My hubby Mark, was contacted last month by, Practical Photography Magazine, asking if they could featured one of his photographs in the May issue of the magazine. What a great honour and of course he agreed.
Mark has had photographs published before in our local Southampton Echo but this is his first paid publication and for one of the most well known photography magazines out there.
I’m not going to give anymore away, apart from the details of where you can get your hands on a copy.
The May issue is available at ant main News agents and online at. Pocket Mags and Great Magazines.
Marks photo is featured in the 10 chicks section.
The magazine is very popular so hurry and grab your copy before they sell out.
I am extremely proud of Mark, I really couldn’t be any prouder. He is totally self taught and his passion for night photography shows in every image he takes.
You can see more of his photos on his monthly post, Photography, the beauty of life, captured and also on Instagram. If you like his photos please give him a follow and show him some luv. 💗
🧐Family History Research.
It’s been a pretty exciting month for research.
You see I got two comments on my John Cornelius O’Connor post, which made my tummy dance with excitement.
The message were from my second cousins once removed, Stacy and her Brother Steve, who are the Great-Grandchildren of John.
Stacey, her Sister Joanne and their Mum, were in Ireland, trying to find out more information about John.
We know very little about him, as he was born at sea,
We believe off the cost of Ireland, so tracing his birth and his parents has been extremely tricky, it’s been one brick wall after another and we are no nearer to the truth.
We do know that the family left Ireland, the reason is unknown. John Cornelius, sailed to Canada, married and had two Sons.
His wife and Sons names are unknown but we know that they came to England in the war and were both at, Royal Victoria Military Hospital, Netley, Hampshire, England. Unfortunately they died there. 😢
My Great Grandmother, Eileen O’Connor, was taken by her Father, John Cornelius, to meet them at the hospital just before they died. I believe it was the first time she knew anything about them.
John Cornelius, Canadian Wife, died and John Cornelius heart was broken and he returned to the UK, leaving his Sons in Canada.
Who they were left with, I do not know.
He met and fall in love with, Ethel Wheeler. They married and had 7 children.
I assume he never spoke about his first Wife or Sons, as no one seems to know anything about them.
You can see why he’s been my hardest brick wall to break.
So when I received the messages from Stacey and Steve, I was over the moon, especially as Stacey has said that her Brother has found the names of the two Canadian Sons, who died fighting for all our freedoms.
It’s like all Christmas’s have come at once.
I can’t describe how excited I am and I’m so very much looking forward to meeting Stacey, getting to know her and hearing about her trip to Ireland and hopefully her findings. 🧐 Stacey will be joining me on Intwined and sharing her advancers in Ireland with you, so please keep an eye out.
My heart really does belong to Ireland and I’m extremely proud of my Irish roots. Even though I have never been, it’s been a life long dream to visit Co.Kerry and in time move there.
One day I WILL get there and maybe my dream, to move will come true.
My Nan, has entrusted me to a box of treasures, it’s full of photos which has been an absolute joy to look through, but also in the box were a few letters to my Great, Great-Grandmother, Ethel May O’Connor Nee Wheeler. These fascinating letters were from two of her sons Patrick John O’Connor and Brennan O’Connor.
They are dated 1945/45 and were written while Patrick and Brennan were serving in the 2nd World War.
I’m not going to give too much away as I’m hoping to find the time over the next few weeks to share a little more about them and my box of treasures.
The letters spurred me on, to have another look into the boys lives. I have ordered Patrick’s death certificate and have been researching the building where Brennan died. Thanks to the Southampton Heritage Photo group on Facebook, I know a little more about the building Brennan lived in.
My mission now is to try and discover where they were laid to rest.
I would love to be able to share Brennan’s resting place with his Daughter, Faith, when she visits the England from sunny Cape Town. I’m hoping we will be able to meet up when Faith and her Husband are visiting.
It’s all very exciting, I could burst. 🤗
Research though, has been little and far between, I’ve be desperately trying to find any information of my 3rd Great-Grandfather, Jesse Townsend. He has been a brick wall for as long as I remember and I hope one day I’ll breakdown that wall.
Jesse, at the age of 6, was in, Calne Workhouse in Wiltshire.
He’s was all alone with no sign of any other Townsend’s.
Why was he there?
Had his parents died?
Or could they just not afford to keep him with them?
Sadly their are no records for the Workhouse, only the Guardians’ minutes (1834-1930); List of lunatics (1892-5) survived and my only very slim chance of finding out anything, is a visit to the Wiltshire records office to look through the Guardians’ minutes (1834-1930) in hopes I may find something.
As for his parents, all I know is his Mother was named as Ann Townsend, on Jesse’s christening document. No father was named.
I believe, his Father was also named Jesse as on Jesse’s marriage certificate, he gave his Fathers name as, Jesse Townsend, Labourer.
I have looked for Jesse and Ann, on the census but can only find an Ann Townsend married to a James Townsend.
Maybe I need to take a trip to Yatesbury and see if the church records hold any more information.
To be honest, I have been asking my hubby to take me for years now but it just hasn’t happened for one reason or another. Hopefully it will one day, maybe when the weather warms up.
You can read more about Jesse Townsend here.
I think that about sums up my research for the month of April.
You may have read already, that I made a blanket, I named, Cascading Daisy Lapghan.
Using the, “Cascading Daisy Square” by “The Lavender Chair.” I made 12 squares and gave it a border.
You can read all about it here.
For Mum’s, “Nuts About DNA Afghan” I’ve made the following squares-
I have started to make the Casablanca Afghan by Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir, for my youngest son Calum, a present from his Nanny.
He decide on the colours of blue and white. I’m really enjoying it so far.
Here’s a sneaky preview.
I also started making a Waffle Stitch Lapghan, for our new morning room aka utility room, which is looking damn fine if I do say so myself.
My hubby brought me some Scheepjes Namaste in the colour 617, Bridge, which I’ve been saving to make myself something special.
I started making the Waffle Stitch Blanket pattern by, Amanda Crochets. It’s a free pattern but also can be brought as a ad free pattern at her Etsy shop.
The pattern is so easy and calming and with a nice chunky yarn, works up very fast.
Unfortunately the gorgeous Scheepjes Namaste, colour Bridge, wasn’t floating my boat so I had some major frogging to do. 🐸🐸🐸
I was expecting it to be burgundy but in reality it’s more of a rusty brown colour that lets off a burgundy tinge in certain lights. I’m so disappointed as I love, love, love, Scheepjes Namaste. It’s a gorgeous soft squeezy yarn, but the colour just wasn’t right. I am not a fan of brown, it’s probably my most disliked colour.
I think I made the right decision but I do feel rather gutted.
But now I get to hunt for the perfect colour yarn which is always fun.
What ever you do don’t let me put you off Namaste because it really is a scummy yarn.
After seeing my Loopy Stitch Lapghan, my Sister Hayley, asked me to make her a blanket after she fall in loves the colours.
So I have made a start on making her the Crochet A Block Afghan 2017 by Joanita Theron.
I’ve only made two so far as I’m working hard on Calum’s Casablanca Afghan by Tinna Thórudóttir Thorvaldsdóttir.
Here’s a little sneaky peak of the two squares I’ve made so far.
I’m head over heels in love with it and although you can’t get your hands on the first part of the pattern until May 10th 2019, you can download the prelude, either at Hooked On Sunshine or Ravelry.
You know what the Prelude means?
Yes you guesses it,
Phoenix is an 11 weeks long, Crochet Along (Cal), with a part released on each Friday. You can access the CAL free while it runs, once the CAL is completed the free files will be removed from all libraries and it becomes a paid pattern – So please ensure you download and save the files unless you would prefer to purchase the collated pattern after.
I will be joining in, but you probably won’t hear much more about it from me as I have big secret plans for it. I’m sure I will share with you what they are, when I can.
I must admit I’m rather excited about this one.
Vanessa has two gorgeous yarn packs
and a absolute breathtaking Yarn Cake, available in her on line shop,
Please don’t forget to check these out. They are hand made and meant to smell delicious as well as being one of the best yarns on the market. I’m going to be saving my pennies to purchase one for my second Phoenix, thats for sure. You can find them here and the Inferno Yarn cake here.
I think that about sums up my April, so until next time, stay happy, stay safe, stay you.
Too-da-loo for now.