Catch up times

I’m being a bit cheeky here as I do have a post (or half a one, at least) that I am meant to upload, but I keep getting new things and I’m not sure how I want to lay it all out. Maybe it will be a two parter, as a make up for not blogging for a little while. Well, anyway, this post is here to serve as a little catch up!

I’ve been over doing it a little bit (or a lot, depending on your point of view) by watching The Hobbit films and Lord of the Rings (I am now part of a new fandom. Jolly good fun) last week. I am completely in love with the imagery and the text (although I’ve only read The Hobbit. Need to find a bigger print of LotR before I over do it even more!), so I’ve been quite content with immersing myself in that world. Something I feel I definitely needed after quite a few stresses over the past few weeks.

As a result of this I’ve been writing and creating things for myself, which has been very enjoyable. I feel a lot more . . . Secure, I guess is the word I’m looking for. Over the past few years I’ve had quite a few struggles with finding what I want to do in my life (a few of which I’ve documented on the blog if you’re interested in looking) and finally I’ve figured it out. Creative writing is something I’ve fallen back on many a time. Whether if I’ve wanted to do it as a career or just for me. As a kid the world of the Narnia books really inspired me to make stories of my own. I don’t know exactly where I’m going to go with it, but I feel comfortable enough with it to know that if I didn’t follow the creative path I would really regret it. In between that creative-ness I also hope to be more active on the blog I have with Ann so hopefully I can finish a few chapters, as I have been slacking in that department.

I have been looking at a short course on the OU (arts and languages, it seems quite intriguing) as I feel it’d be a good path to follow. Plus I do need something to help develop my writing skills. I will only find out after November if I’m okay to apply for it, so fingers crossed that I’ll be able to! See, I’m a bit more positive about these things, aren’t I?

What else . . . Not a lot really! I’ve been taking advantage of the colder weather and have been curled up under my massive quilt with hot drinks. I do love autumn. My mood doesn’t like it as much, but you can’t have everything. Oh, there is one thing that I have to mention. Today I burnt my hand (I really should not be allowed to cook myself breakfast) and it’s quite painful. I had plans to start back on sewing my hexie quilt, but as it hurts to bend my finger/hand (typing is proving painful) I doubt that’s going to happen until it’s healed. Hummm . . . I did get a lovely cheer up though, as my aunt and cousin came over. My cousin and I played with cars and drew pictures (Which elicited a “not good” from my cousin when he saw my car drawing). We also played with dinosaurs and Jenga, which apparently was very enjoyable as it involved knocking things over. Very funny.

Oh dear, this has been quite a lengthy post. I really should add some pictures to this to break up the words a bit. Shame they’re all for other posts that I have planned! I hope I can upload them soon. I’ll take the extra pictures I need and will get on that sharpish. 🙂

Well, I hope to see you all soon!
Jess x

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In memory . . .

Of three men I’ve grown to know. I’ve been wanting to do this post for a long time and decided to share it with you all today. I was going to save it for certain dates, but today seems fitting.

There are three men in my family, that I’m aware of, who fought in the First World War. Their names are George Dawson, James Dawson and Bernard Fitzpatrick.

We’ll start with James. He was born in 1894 in Pennsylvania, USA. He was a bombardier in the Royal Field Artillery and was killed in action on the 22nd of April, 1918. He was 24. James was the younger brother of George and his parents had already lost his younger brother two years earlier. Found in his pocket was this picture:
James' family
back
“From left to right (1915)
Aunt Belle 19. Dad (George) 24. Aunt Lizzie 28. Mom (George’s girlfriend) 19.
These words were on the original.
To Jim with love Lizzie 1915
and
This was in his pocket when he was killed 1918″

He lies in La Targette Cemetery and I hope one day I can visit him.
James Dawson grave
James Dawson grave 2

Next is Bernard. He was born in 1882 in Wednesbury. He was already a regular soldier and enlisted in 1914 in the 2nd South Staffs Regiment. He received mentions in newspapers and was awarded the DCM and Russian Cross of St George.
Bernard honours
bernard honours 2
He was killed in action at the Battle of Loos. He was 34.
Bernard newspaper 2Bernard newspaper
Bernard newspaper 3
Bernard memorial
I also hope to be able to visit him.  Bernard also had a brother who was killed in France, 1916.

Then we have George. He was born in 1891 in Pennsylvania, USA.
George as young man
He was in the 7th South Staffs Regiment from 1915-1917, when he was medically discharged. He served at Gallipoli until the evacuation then he was in France. He was wounded at the Battle of the Somme while a machine gunner.
George medical
He had kept on going on and off until they discharged him in 1917 when he was no longer fit to fight, due to the above injuries and his lungs.
family 2
Family
George
He still managed to work after the war and, during the Second World War, worked in a factory.

I hope this post had interested you, or inspired you to find out more about your family’s role in WWI. I’ve grown close to these men I’ve never met, through reading little notes on the back of photos, the newspaper articles or even stories jotted down in the family book. I will always remember them. The candle I light tonight is in their memory and the rest of the soldiers, nurses, factory workers and civilians who were involved in the war.

We will remember them.
Jess x

A special wall hanging

Hiya all,

Today I am here to show you the wall hanging I have made for the WWI Centenary. It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally finished it. I was determined to do so, as I really didn’t want to let down the men that had fallen in our family in the war (I’ll be doing a separate post about them on the 4th – the day war was declared in Britain). Enough of my rambling, here are the pictures:
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Here I had cut out green pieces for the hills and backed them with bondaweb. With a bit of a trim they finally fit on the white backing.
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With it finally fitted I backed it with some wadding and set to work machine sewing the hills down.
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After that I began the arduous task of cutting out several poppies to fill up the green space. Thankfully I had made a few from a few years ago when I first had the idea to make it, so it didn’t take as long as I had expected.
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It started to look really pretty and then I got daunted. I had to embroider the date onto it and I couldn’t bear to do it, in case I screwed up the whole thing. So I dived into it and kept going.
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I’m so glad I did it, even if it did go a bit bad towards the end. I really should learn how to embroider properly, but as it was the first proper time I’ve done it, I’m not too fussed. I decided that for the back I wanted a bit of colour (a green) and to do some more poppies in a cross to finish it off.
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I’m so pleased with it. At the time I preferred it to the front, mainly because it was simplistic. I added a tag at the back and set to finish it (i.e leave it alone for a few weeks).
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So after my pal left today (expect a blog post soon sometime this week), I decided I was going to finish it. As the 4th of August is looming I really felt the pressure to finish it. Mum helped me to do the binding and sew it on, then this evening I finished it off by hand. I apologise to my friends for ignoring them a bit as I powered through the exhaustion to finish it.
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The back is kind of messy (first time binding) and I need to add the hanging device (for lack of a better word) but other than that it is complete!! I’m so proud of it and as soon as I can get dad to put it up I will include it in a future blog post. 🙂

So after all the stress it was very worth it and I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at this project. 🙂 I’m sorry the picture quality and text was a bit shoddy, but I’m not used to writing in this style. xD

On another quick note, if you’re interested by this post I’d like to share with you the Lights Out project. It is from a quote of Sir Edward Grey and on the 4th of August you can turn out all your lights and leave one on. That can be the tv (to watch the coverage of events) or a candle or so on. For more information the link is here. I hope you can participate, as it is a lovely idea. I can’t wait to light my candle.

That is all for now, my friends. I will see you on Monday. 🙂
Jess  x