Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Book of Me.... Written by You... Prompt 18

First Present or Gift
Can you remember it?
Who bought it for you?
Do you still have it?
Pictures or a description
Other special gifts?

Try as I might.... I can't really remember Christmas at home..
I do remember that my Mum ( step mum )would make homemade soup, and I think a mince round or steak pie, with mashed potatoes etc,, for our dinner.

The gift I do remember was a timex watch.... I don't remember how old I was, but I think I was around 12 years old.
I remember how special I felt to get a gift that was ( in my eyes ) so expensive.
It made me feel grown up, and I couldn't believe that it was for me.

I don't have it anymore, although I wish I did... it would be a reminder of simpler times... happy times.

I also remember getting selection boxes... those were the best thing for my sweet tooth.

I would get around 3... one from my parents,.. one ( I think ) from my Aunt Helen and Uncle Jimmy, and I cant remember who the third one was from...
I wonder if they still give each selection boxes at Christmas in Scotland ?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Book of Me... Written by You... Prompt 17

This week’s (week 17) prompt is – Toys & Games

Can you remember your first toy, or game?
Do you still have it?
Who did you play with?...
Did you play board games?
Have you inherited any of your family games & toys?

I already wrote about this, but will copy and erase the old one...

When I was young, we had lots of games we played...
Double Dutch ropes, Rounders.. most of our games were outside playing..

We also played elastics.... they were all tied together.
They would go around our ankles, and boy did they sting when they snapped on you..

...we also has mottars or scraps as we called them.
You would find an old book and the mottars or scraps were kept in between the pages... I loved the glittery ones or the angels. They came in all different sizes, and you would trade or buy to get the whole set.
 Ring, bang, scoosh was another favourite. All it was, you would ring the doorbell and run like the dickens after..  :)
 The boys also played something we called bools, (marbles )
I remember having a baby doll, or a Sindy doll, which was just like a Barbie..

I also had a till ( cash register )
Had hours of fun with it...
I had paper dolls too... we would cut them out and cut the clothes out also to put on the dolls, had hours of fun using our imagination..
Board games I remember..are... well, I remember playing Mouse Trap with a friend...she had got the game for Christmas.
I played jacks
and Tiddlywinks
Ahhhh... the memories.... these really were the good ol' days

The Book of Me.... Written by You... Prompt 16

This week’s prompt is for week 16 – Message in a Bottle
• If you were to physically write or virtually write a message to place into a bottle what would you write?
• Do you live by the sea and are able to potentially throw into the Ocean? Or perhaps a river
• Do you feel strongly that you would not "litter" in this way - in which case you may complete the task virtually
• What would you like to happen with the message?...
○ Do you hope it is picked up somewhere, miles from home?
○ Are you going to create a secret email account in case it is picked up and someone
• Or would you like to write an anonymous note to someone that you know
• Or write a message to deceased loved one?

I used to live beside the River Clyde when I was a child.... now I live closer to Mountains than water.
I have to say that I LOVE the idea of writing a letter and putting it in a bottle.
I would want to travel to Vancouver ( just an hour by plane ), and while there, maybe travel on the boat to Victoria, to drop this bottle in the water, and hope that it travels to Britain..  Do you think that it is wishful thinking on my part ?
 In this letter, I would have my thoughts and feelings, but would also want to explain something to someone ( I wont say who on here ) ...
I don't know an address, but I do know a general area of where they live.... maybe the person finding this bottle would Google the name, or use Facebook to try and find them.
I know I am being vague, and that is on purpose :)
Would I write this note anonymously.... I just might..
Would I make a different email account... maybe

You know.... I think I just might do this... I don't know when... but I will

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Book of Me... Written by You... Prompt 15

This week’s prompt is – Snow!

Do you live in area where you routinely have snow?
How old were you when you first saw snow?
Do you remember it?...
Did you make snowmen?
Throw Snowballs
Sledge Rides
What is the image that first came to mind when you read snow?
What does snow
feel like,
smell like
how do you see snow
I was born and grew up in Scotland.... and yes, we get snow there.
...  I remember walking to school, and of course we wear school uniforms there, so it was COLD !! It would be icy and slippy... a terrible walk there and back.
Its also a damp cold in Scotland, the get right to your bones kind of cold... is it crazy that I miss it ??
I don't really remember making snowmen, but throwing snowballs would be a favourite pastime , especially for the boys.  
We were always told at school to stop throwing snowballs, incase someone gets hurt, and someone did.
A boy in my class got hit in the eye with a snowball, and there was a rock in it.... he lost his eye because of that.  I can still remember his name too... funny..I don't remember what I ate for lunch yesterday
I also remember going sledging... such fun, especially with friends.
Port Glasgow is hilly... you are either walking up the hill to go somewhere, or down, so no problem finding somewhere to slide :)
Here is Port Glasgow in Winter time...although, I don't know what year this was.. but I LOVE this picture.... feeling nostalgic, especially for simpler times.
This is in 2010
I live in Canada now... so still lots of snow here.  I love snow...I don't like extreme cold, but snow is lovely.  
and, we have had LOTS already this year... its a dry cold we get here in Western Canada..
The first thing that comes to mind when I read the word snow... is sitting inside with no lights on ,except Christmas tree lights, with a hot chocolate in hand and a lovely warm blanket, watching the huge snowflakes fall outside... I do love snow ~

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Book of Me... written by you... Prompt 14

This week's prompt is Special People
What 12 ancestors would you invite to a dinner party.
This week you CAN include family
What meals would you serve and why?
Can include the recipes or photo's of what you would cook

Now this one is easy... the problem is, I have too many people that I want to invite...YIKES

First off, since Christmas is my favourite time of the year, this would be what I really love, a real family get together for the holidays.   I have always wanted lots of family around, and haven't really had it... just thinking about this makes me feel excited.

I would have my Dad .. I would love to see him again... I would hug him and tell him ( again ) how much I love him. It would be so great to talk to him about every wee thing..  I would tell him how sorry I was that I wasn't able to be there to say goodbye
My Dad's mother died , when my dad was like a week old, so he never knew her...I would love to meet her, so she would be here Grandmother.
I would ask her to tell me her memories growing up... how did she meet my grandfather? Did she love Christmas like me ?   I have something else that I would say, but only when everyone is here..
There would be my grandparents on the other side... My Grandmother who's name is also Norah, and my Grandfather Tom.  I never really knew them much, but my Grandmother I heard was the life of a party, what fun she would be...and my grandfather with his smiley eyes.. I would tell them to make themselves at home. I heard they liked my dad, so I can imagine them all talking together, getting to know each other better again.. 
My Aunt Helen would then arrive, anxious to see her Mother, and also her brother ( my dad )... and then my Gr Grandfather Patrick O'Brien would come.  I would ask him about his time in service, and how it was for his family , for him to be gone.
Just then the doorbell would ring, and in would walk my grandfather's Gran Cathy Newman, and behind Uncle Gordon.
The atmosphere would be merry, and noisy with everyone talking and enjoying each other.
Next my brother Andrew would arrive... I would thank him for calling me when he did, just to tell me he loves me..
I know my heart would be full.... family is important, isn't it?
We would decorate the tree, and talk and talk....
The doorbell would ring once again, and in would walk my Uncle George ( my dad's brother ), My Mum, and my Grandfather David Newman.
I would feel happy with so much family around me...
I would have a table that was big enough to seat us all... of course, I would do a traditional Christmas dinner...

and lots of desserts
And while we were enjoying being together and talking...I would ask them if they were proud of me... have I turned out they way they would expect..... I would then bring out my husband, and my 4 children and Elisha my daughter in law... my 8 grandchildren and Chad , my granddaughter's husband to be, and also my 2 Great Grandchildren... MY would be their first time to meet them ( or most of them )
Family is important...  what a celebration this would be

The Book of Me....Written by You... Prompt 13

This week’s prompt (prompt 13) is Special People / Iconic Figures

If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special people who would you invite?

You can NOT include family in this – the special people could be famous or historical people....

What meals would you serve and why.

Perhaps include the recipe or a photo if you decided to actually cook the items!


I never get behind in my writing with this, but I don't know..... this one has me a little stumped... anyway this is what I came up with.

1.. Jay Osmond... when I was young I loved the Osmonds, Jay was my favourite... to have him come for dinner to my house..well that would just be exciting !! :)  He could sing for us..we could all join in..:)

2. Catherine Cookson.... she has been my favourite author.. Her stories were all set in England... it always made me feel like I was home again, when reading .. she would make some great conversations at the dinner table, I'm sure

3. Kenny G...  When I want to relax or de stress...I just pop in some Kenny G... I just think having him as part of our guests, would make for a relaxing time:)
4. Robin Williams.... Isn't he great !! Such a good actor, and FUNNY.... He would add some great humour to the table, but I also think he could add some great conversation
5. I'd have to say that Neil Armstrong would be a great addition to a dinner party.... I would love to hear his experiences of being on the moon, what it was like to see the earth from way up there
6.  Another author would have to be Agatha Christie... oh the questions I would ask. How she came up with the plots she did? .... and the good. She would be a great asset to any dinner table
7. And how about Sandra Bullock... she has to be one of  my favourite actress's
8. Meg Ryan is another favourite
9. Yiruma... I LOVE his music... he could play for us.. maybe him and Kenny G could do a number together :)
10. Mother Teresa... to keep us all humble, and to keep us focused on what life is truly about
11.  George Takai...for his wit and wisdom
12. JK Rowling.... her story of her life before being a writer is wonderful... she could encourage us to live our dreams too.
What would I serve...hmmm...maybe Prime Rib with mashed potatoes , yams, carrots and green beans...also a salad on the side.
For dessert..... maybe a trifle

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The book of Me... Written by You... Prompt 12

 The Year you were born:

What happened....
Historical - internation, national & local
Family events...

I was born December 1955..
A couple of songs that were the top of the hit chart in the UK were  " Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets, and also "Christmas Alphabet" by Dickie Valentine..

Some movies that came out that year, are : Disney's movie, Lady and the Tramp, The 7 Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe, and Oklahoma with Shirley Jones, to name just a few.

In September of 1955, James Dean ( Actor ) died in a car crash in Cholame, California..

At the beginning of 1955, Sir Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister in Britain, but left office in April 1955... when I was born ( in December ) the Prime Minister was Sir Anthony Eden.

Popular TV shows in Britain in 1955 were.... Dixon of Dock Green... it premiered in July
The Benny Hill Show premiered in January...and a children's show ( that I remember ) The Woodentops...

A couple of historical events that happened in my birth month in 1955 were... Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales December  20th
Barbra Streisand's 1st recording "You'll Never Know" at age 13.. December 29th

but I have to say that the biggest event that happened in the life of my family was
I WAS BORN... I was the first grandchild on my Mother's side

I'm the one on the right hand side with a ribbon in my hair...

I have enjoyed looking up this information pertaining to my birth year... fun to see what was happening at that time ...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My brother Andrew...

I am the oldest of 7 children.... but the only one I grew up with, is my brother Andrew.
As he got got older, he was Andy to everyone, but not to me... to me, he was always Andrew.
Growing up with Andrew is one I wouldn't change.   I remember when he would be out and my parents were also out... I would put his electric blanket on for him, so the bed would be warm when he got home. Scotland can be cold and damp, so a nice warm bed is a treat :)

I remember a stage he went through... he would wear a long black coat, and I cant remember if it was a red flower, or a red hankie he had on it.... I think it had something to do with the movie Godfather... he and his friends all wore that same style.

I left home at 18 years old, and didn't really see much of Andrew after that.   He joined The Argyll's
, I have a picture somewhere, I'll have to see if I can find it, and add it at a later date.
My dad told me that he had been posted in a couple of places... one of them in Northern Ireland with all the trouble they had going on there with the IRA...I think one of the last places he had been in was Germany.  Andrew was one that never told on anyone, even if it got himself in trouble.... in my dad's words... there had been some trouble with a " Freulein ".. I'm sure that I didn't spell that right.. but a " woman " there... it involved one of Andrew's friends... Andrew took the blame.... Don't get me wrong... he could be a wee beggar when he wanted to be, my dad told me that they discharged him... told him that they have enough wars going on, they don't need him starting one more.. hehe
I loved ( love ) my brother...
He eventually met and married Katrina... they had a family ( 4 children ) Donnamarie, Louise, Andrew and Emma..

This is my dad , Andrew and Katrina.....
I always knew Andrew loved me.. but of course, he didn't express it too often.  Anyway, one day in August 1993, he called me out of the blue, just to tell me he loved me... just a few days later, my brother and his children were in a house fire, where he and his 5 year old daughter Emma were killed.
My Sister in Law let me pick out the casket for my brother... the whole experience was extremely difficult...  I have pictures I want to add here, but will do it later..
My dad had passed away 5 years earlier... I suddenly felt like an orphan... alone...  I knew that wasn't true, but sometimes we cant help the feelings we have.
I still miss him... I love him, but I think he knows that..

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Book of Me.... Written by You... Prompt 11

This week’s prompt (week 11) is Military

• Did you join the military?
Were you encouraged or discouraged?
• Did a family member?
• o Regular or for a particular incident

• Did you or your family serve overseas in the line of Service either during a war or a posting

• Any thoughts, photographs, memories relevant

This first picture is my Uncle Willie in uniform

This is my Dad's brother.. William Scott Newman...
He was born 24 May, 1917, and was the fourth child ( second son ) to my grandparents David Newman and Agnes McGowan..
I don't know what regiment he was in... but I LOVE this picture of him, and I am so proud of him.
Another of my Dad's brother's is my Uncle George...
George Menzies Newman was the 7th child and the 4th son, born 5th March, 1922..
Here he is in his uniform... I also don't know much about his service, but am also very proud of him x

This next picture is of my Grandfathers 2 brother's ( My Mother's Uncles ) George and Fred McCulloch.  I don't know the dates for Fred, but George was born George on 7 March, 1915
Fred is on the left hand side and George the right.
They were fighter pilots...
George won the DCM medal on his wife Ina's birthday, and was so proud of it..which he should be.
It was put in the paper, and he sent me copies of them..

I feel so proud of him... He and his wife had no children, so he had no-one to pass these treasures on to... I remember him writing and saying that he was going to donate his medals to a museum... which one, I have no idea, but I'm in the process of trying to find out, as I would love a picture of them..
I really wish I had paid better attention at the time..
My Gr Grandfather on my Mother's side was Patrick O'Brien, he was born in 1870, and died in 1954... here is his discharge paper, and other ones
When he enlisted, he was already married with a family..

There is also a medal for him....
I would love to find out more information on my family, and really hope one day to be able to.
I am so very proud of them... very, very proud  x
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields! ...

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Coal Man...

I remember when I lived with my Grandparents in Greenock, they had a coal fire.. my Gran would get up early every morning to prepare it and light it, so it was nice and toasty by the time we got up.
When my Father re-married and we moved to Kelburn Terrace in Port Glasgow, there was also a coal fire there.  My step mum always prepared and lit the the fire.
The coal was delivered, and since we lived at the top floor of the tenement building, the coalman had to carry the bag of coal all the way up...
I miss the simpler times, although, sometimes hard... they really were the good ol' days

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Book of Me.... Written by You... Prompt 10

This week’s (Week 10) prompt is Unexplained Memories

Do you have an unexplained memory or memories?

Things and times you can remember, but you are not sure where they fit into your past

Okay.. I have been feeling a wee bit frustrated with this one, because I didn't know where to go with it,... and so while I was reading someone else's response, something came to mind... maybe not exactly what its supposed to be, but never the less, this is what I came up with.

I think I mentioned before that my parents were divorced... I lived with my Father..I never saw or heard from my Mother again ( I have photo's of where she came to Greenock to see me ) but I think it was shortly after my Father took the 3 of us children and moved back to Greenock.  Anyway, I don't remember my mum too much after that, till I found her ( after I was married ) which is a story for another time.

For as long as I remember, I had memories of my mum.. I remember bright red lips ( red lipstick would have been the fashion then ).. I remember a couple of songs.. one is" Hang down your head Tom Dooley" .. another was" Put your sweet lips, a little closer to the phone "... in my head, I was sure they belonged to the time my parents were together, but I had no way to know for sure.  The biggest memory that always came up, and the memory that still makes my heart cry... I remembered my Dad laying on the floor, begging someone ( who in my heart I knew was my mum ) he was begging her to stay... he was crying, he was beating his fists in the floor, and he was begging... I remember her stepping right over him and walking out the door... I also remember I ran behind the kitchen door crying and crying.. I also remember someone wearing a leather jacket, running after her, he said he would bring her back... I remember he got on a motorbike and drove off, but she never came back...  I could never ask my Dad if this memory was true, if it really happened, because I didn't want to upset him.   As I said already, I found my mother, and in doing so, I found that side of the family.  I told an Uncle my memories, especially that one, and he verified that it was see, he was the one in the leather jacket who went after her.. I finally had my answer, as hurtful as it feels.
There has been long term consequences because of her actions... which is also for another time...
Anyway, this is my attempt at this week's prompt....

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Book of Me.... Written by You... prompt 9

This week’s prompt is Halloween

Have you ever participated in a Halloween event?
When was it?
Where was it?
What did you dress as?
Trick or treat?

All Hallows Eve, or Halloween in Scotland in the 60's was simpler than it is now....  we would go "guising" .. we would just dress up in some old clothes that belonged to our parents... we were usually made to do a dance or sing a song or say a poem to get something.  I don't remember getting sweeties so much, we would get nuts or apples...we would also go " dookin " for apples.  We could use a fork in our mouth, or just plain dip our head in the water and use our teeth.
simpler times,  but fun times..
I don't ever remember pumpkins... I do remember ( just a little ) neep lanterns ( turnip lanterns )
We cut a face in the turnip ( just like we do for pumpkins now ), and usually turnip was on the menu the next day. :)
Since I live in Canada now, and I take care of children, I usually decorate my house up...

I have never been one to dress up too much... but I do love seeing all the children come around. They all yell " Trick or Treat "
We used to take our kids out when they were little... my husband usually took them around, while I stayed and handed out candy.
Halloween is not my most favourite holiday, although I do love getting the kids excited about it, and I love decorating for it,,, but all in all, I'm usually glad when its over.