My Earliest Memory

I’m not sure really, I don’t have any photos to help either. I was brought up around vintage car rallies; my Dad had is very own vintage car, but he repeatedly took it apart then would go a couple of years before it was in a drivable state again.

I remember being in Majorettes named Super Troupers as a young child, can remember the Pom Poms being huge, they were red white and blue (I think). We used to perform at various fetes including the schools and the Museum.

I wish I had photos.

I remember spending a lot of time with my Nan; we were close particularly after Andad (I couldn’t say my ‘G’ as a toddler so Andad stuck) died.

When I stayed overnight a lot she used to let me stay up late and watch the News at 10 , we’d sit in the dark, her real fire still glowed slightly…Moira Stewart read out the news. We’d probably have had cereal or tea and biscuits for some kind of supper.

I can’t really remember a lot about my childhood; things have happened over the past few years, I’m not sure whether my mind is just blotting things out, or my memory isn’t up to scratch. My memory changed somewhat after our daughter died, it meant a lot that didn’t involve my children has been wiped, not completely it just isn’t as clear any more.  It is really hard to explain. Some things I can remember.

Weird.

So, I’m afraid there isn’t much to share here.

 

The Red Head Diaries

xx

Fifteen of my favourite things

My family

The home in which I live. My husband with ALL of my children are my world, plus our two cats. We’re as one. It is busy, loud and often crazy here, but I couldn’t stand for it to be any other way.

Being happy

No explanation really.

Grey’s Anatomy

Sad as it may seem but it really helped me escape daily life. My husband brought me a bundle of the box sets for my 30th birthday, we had not long lost our daughter, I was pregnant again, suffering with pains, vomiting and grief, it helped give me some sanity.

Writing

I have always loved it. From English assignments, to diary writing, I may not have been very regular with that, but it has been a huge form of therapy for me over the years. I was in a volatile relationship before my first husband, and writing letters to friends, conversations helped me to get things out. I had a break down just before be split, writing really helped.  Of course it has gone on to help me through my grief and loss.

Photography

I have always loved this too. I assisted at weddings as a teen did my work experience there too. I love being behind the camera, capturing images, posed or natural.

Summer Days

Warm Summer days where you can either just remain at home, drag the paddling pool out, and the BBQ, invite friends over. Or the days you can pack the car so full, it can take you anywhere, the beach, the countryside, a theme park. Summer helps things be more open.

Making Memories

As above with the Summery Days, but what you do, the rainy days can also be just as fun splashing about in muddy puddles, or staying at home with a DVD and a board game.

Listening to Music

I love all sorts of music, I don’t really have one set of genre that I favour over others, I used to love Rock music only, but I have furthered what I now like, I’m open to so much. Music takes you anywhere, brings tears, and gives laughter.

My Job

Although I have children, I never would have imagined ever working with them. I had worked in the care industry for many; many years even contemplated becoming a Nurse. But then things changed, there was no way I could be the warm person to do that job any more. There was a job advertised not long after our youngest was born, and I entered the world of working with children.

Christmas

I have always loved Christmas, love the magic; I’d like to make it as magical as possible for them for me too. I have almost completed my Christmas Shopping for this year. The decorations, the food all of it, is perfect.

Camping

 (Although we don’t do this often enough)

We have our next camping trip coming up really soon, we’re really excited, we meet up with members of my husband’s family have a giggle, eat food and have some drink; until the next year.

The smell of “thundery” rain

When there is a storm brewing, the type with the heat, where thunder comes too, it is such a wonderful smell.

Stationery

I have a little bit of an obsession with stationery. I have so many notebooks, some have never even been used, they’re all so very pretty, I could probably find a reason to own all stationery. My favourite is my two journals with a photo of me and Melody. I received them when she was still alive.

Hedgehogs

They have always been my favourite animals, right from a little girl. I always wanted to visit Mrs Tiggy Winkle Hospital. I think they’re wonderful.

PC/Tablet gaming…The cheesier the better

I love things like Town Ship, Sims but I also love Assassin’s Creed just as much. I’m not a huge gamer; that and we currently don’t have a console, but it is another way to get lost in a world, where you can shut out the world.

“These are a few of my favourite things”

The Red Head Diaries

 

A Trip Down Memory Lane

July (170)

It is strange, the older we get the more sentimental we get about things we never realised were that important. You can go about your everyday life, when something, some place, someone triggers so many memories; you find yourself walking down memory lane.

Childhood

On an outing to have afternoon tea with a friend at a location I had grown up visiting – many, many times; we chose to take a walk around the gardens, of course it was a little wet.

The grounds are truly beautiful, but there is also this hidden world within.

(Google images)

Cricket St Thomas was home to many childhood memories, where we would spend a lot of our weekends; our family like a lot of the families in our area had family passes due to having milk deliveries, so it was mostly a reasonably cheap local place to have a family day out.

Remember pulling up in the car park, keen to run around, keen to see what things we could do, my Dad (may he rest in peace), absolutely loved going, insisted we went most weekends, I can remember having a little moan about repeatedly going, but looking back now as an adult I can see the attraction, especially with the family passes.

There was so much to see and do; so many animals – Lemurs, Otters Big Cats as well as the famous Sea lions, I remember there were regular shows involving them. There is the stunning Manor; it was once the setting for BBC show To The Manor Born. As well as the beautiful little church set within the grounds.

Memories

If we were lucky enough we’d get a ride on the railway, with two stations, it took us past the flamingos, through some woodland, I remember seeing a wooden play area, within the woods, the children who would be playing would wave as the train journeyed by. As we reached the stations and left the train behind us, we could hear the noises of the jungle cat jeep, and below was a steep d hill down towards the mill which looked out over the lake, there was a machine half way down on the railings, where you could buy duck feed; it would either not work at all, or give you lots of the feed. That is still there.

There were buildings looking out on to the lake, where at one point you could do crafts, but eventually became a little café, behind were stables, deer and horses (I think) lived there.

Beautiful picnic areas, the iron figures which were dotted around the park and the wooden play fort made this wildlife park a wonderful place to make memories.   At the end of the day we’d follow the road, which felt like it was never ending out through fields, occasionally you’d see the animals as you drove by. It was almost like leading you to a sense of calm for on the way home from such a busy day.

Closure

Some years later, the park would become home to “Blobby land”…You know the Pink and Yellow weird looking character, which starred in television show Noel’s House Party. Crinkly Bottom came to stay.

(Google Images)

A lot of the wildlife park became a village for Mr Blobby and even Noddy land had a special place too. There were still lots of things to do, and I remember the park remained busy each time we visited.

Sadly it didn’t last very long, and the new attractions began to close, things began to change.

The park slowed down, animals were moved out, and some of the rides were transferred to different parks. Before long the park closed as a Wildlife Park, turning into Lakes and Gardens, seeing the Manor turned into an exclusive adult-only hotel.

For a while after the main park closure, you were still able to visit with children, I was able to take two of mine for a short while, but it was never like how it was when I was growing up. 2009 was probably the final time we visited.

Memory Lane

Until recently, when a friend and I went for afternoon tea in the hotel, once we’d finished we took a walk around the gardens, it felt as though we really were walking down memory lane. Only nothing was the same. Of course the animals, the rides, the happiness were all missing.

My friend and I went on a Saturday afternoon; as a child it would have been busy with families, walking or sitting with their picnics. But it wasn’t.

There was an eerie feel to the park, as we walked we remembered the places which we spent many an hour at, there were parts we could no longer reach or see –  the train was long gone, the water fountain redundant, discoloured from the lack of use.

July (174)

The lake is still there, and is still very beautiful, but it is without the flamingos, or the sound of the train chugging by.

The photo to the right is where the train track used to run.

The train station abandoned, weeds over grew what was once the track bed, bushes in front of us replaced what would have been the line which went from station to station.

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The stables in which the horses once were, the area where it got busy with wondering children wanting to peer in at the animals, a bricked well stood in the middle, often parents would briefly rest there whilst the children explored the area. They were empty stables; a silence replaced what there used to be.  The further we explored the sadder the place felt, it was almost emotional I guess, seeing the places that made such wonderful memories, is now nothing but empty rusty shells.

July (162)

Walking further, what once was the food court, a place for ice cream, or a cuppa, is now ghostly, redundant chair and table stood alone and unloved.

Walking some more, more over grown area, stinging nettles framed a footpath, a bridge over a miniature lake, stood unused and forgotten.

July (168)

The iron statues which were a fun feature of the original park still live within the grounds, only now there is no children playing beside them, or copying their postures. No hugs from children pretending to include them in their play.

 

Beautiful buildings, and a forgotten land.

The Church remains a stunning building, both inside and out, tiny. My friend and I entered and lit candles for our babies, (for a donation), it was peaceful.

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The Manor too stays its beautiful self too, only rather than children playing on the lawns in front, there’s space for croquet and boules. This is lovely too. But it just isn’t the same.

It is wonderful the manor is still there for tourists, or for local adults, and that the greenery to some degree also stays, no houses have been built, other ugly buildings added.

It is just such a great shame, what was once such a wonderful place to be, which is now a place where time has forgotten…most likely never to return, that is the sad part. It could be so much more; the estate has much more to offer. Maybe one day if the hotel chain are unable to continue, or maybe if the lakes and gardens were freely open for all maybe someone could love the place (and financially able of course), to return it to its former glory we…our children can make the memories we once had.

Please take a moment to watch my slideshow..

 

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Did you ever visit Cricket St Thomas when it was open as a wildlife park? It was well advertised on the television, and there were signs on the M5 too – they didn’t change until fairly recently.

I wish I had photos of what it was like before today.

Thank you for Reading.

The Red Head Diaries