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Archive for the ‘Slices of Life’ Category

Bright Eyes

Posted by shinymac on September 9, 2008

When I was younger I went to boarding school in Sussex. At this school, I made loads of friends who were also boarders, and who therefore were like sisters to me at the time, although the kind of sisters who I never saw during the holidays, never spent Christmas with, never remembered being born and that kind of thing.

Often, we would feel homesick, especially at night time when we’d all be settling down to try and get some sleep. These emotions would hit hardest at the start of a new term, when we had returned to our second home, and said goodbye to our real families for the next however many weeks.

I used to love singing, in fact, I still do, and I indulge in this hobby only with my kids nowadays. I don’t go to partake in karaokes anymore, and I certainly won’t be singing with The Vultures again (after seeing myself in their video finale!), so lately the singing thing has kind of taken a back burner. But back then? Well back then was a whole different ball game. After all, these people were my (fake) sisters remember, and if you can’t sing in front of your (fake) sisters, then who on earth can you sing in front of?

So I would let rip and try to cheer everyone up. The favourite number back in the days of nuns and midnight feasts, was, of course, Bright Eyes from Watership Down. Although how this cheered anyone up is beyond me, but it seemed to really work.

I would purposely try and sing it as softly as possible, gradually getting quieter and quieter, until everyone was almost asleep, and then I would stop and snuggle myself in to also try and get some shut-eye.
Everyone would say it was soothing, and I really feel like I tried to help. Whether or not this worked or not, I do not know, but right now, I wish I had a me at that age to comfortingly sing “Bright Eyes” to me until I fall asleep.


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Slices of Life: The life and times of Snuggles

Posted by shinymac on June 13, 2008

When I received one of my first ever school reports, the teacher, Miss Pearson, wrote on it that when I grew older, I was destined to become an authoress. This is definitely still one of my dreams, and I do intend to have a go at writing a novel, once I have time to really get my teeth stuck into it.

At this tender age of 5 years old, so amused and impressed with my vivid imagination were my parents, that my dad would sit me on the sofa with a pencil and a piece of paper. He would provide me with a title and I would write a story based on it.
They mainly involved squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes and other wildlife, with the occasional wicked witch thrown in for good measure.

Throughout these years, I had a best friend. He was called Snuggles, and he came with me wherever we moved to. He would sleep beside me, without being in the way, and was always there to live up to his name and let me snuggle him. He was my teddy bear, and a perfect confidante, for he would never utter a word of anything I whispered to him to a soul.

The stories I wrote would be read to him, and although he didn’t respond, I knew he had heard every word, and enjoyed every tale.
My father announced that we were moving to Hong Kong, and once again the large army boxes appeared for us to pack our lives into.
Snuggles was not going into one of these crates, he was staying with me, and he was to accompany me on my long 19 hour flight across the world.

As we left our house in Herford, Germany and pulled away in our estate car, beginning a long drive back over to England, I felt a heavy sadness. We had said goodbye to many friends, again, and we were going somewhere that, to a 6 year old, had a scary name and where I had no friends.
Oh well, at least I had Snuggles, I thought.

However, as we were about 2 hours into our drive, I started to feel sleepy, and started to look around for my little bear. I checked in my bag, no, not there. I checked under the seat in front of me, no, not there either. I started to feel panicky, and everyone else got involved in the hunt for Snuggles. There was only so much car we could search, before my parents informed me that he was nowhere to be found.

My little heart broke that day for Snuggles. It soon dawned on us all that he had been left behind, all on his own, at our old house. The new people would move in, and they wouldn’t love him as I had! He’d be so upset! And to top it all off, what about me? I needed him!

I cried all the way through Belgium and Holland, and even to this day, I could cry at the fate of my poor Snuggles.

The next bear I got, I vowed would be my new Snuggles, and the following Christmas, I did get a new bear. He was named Snuggles the 2nd, and I took him everywhere. He still lives with me, although age hasn’t been too kind to him, and he has lost one of his eyes, and has a poorly leg. But, he has been loved, and he has kept all of my secrets and returned my snuggling whenever I have needed him.

He’s been all over the world, and has been at boarding school, in hospital, seen deaths, births and marriages of family members. Not once has he betrayed me, and not once have I betrayed him, or left him in any houses when moving, and I like to think that even when I die, he’ll be put beside me.

You really wouldn’t think I was 30 would you….


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Slices of Life: The Very Early Years

Posted by shinymac on April 11, 2008

I’ve been inspired by a few blogs I read now and again, and decided to have a go at writing about sections of my life….. it may be boring, but at least it can be like a diary for my kids when they grow up, or when I’m no longer around or whatever……


In the year 1977 my dad had a diary in which he jotted down birthdays, important stuff, and dates when he was going away on army exercise.

On the day I entered the world, the entry simply reads; “Marie had a girl! BRILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”. He was obviously filled with elation that his first daughter had been born.

I was born in Harrogate in North Yorkshire, but we were sent to Germany at the tender age of just 3 months, already starting my lifelong trend for moving around, feeling unsettled and letting my itchy feet do the walking.


At around 6 months old, I had a fit. My face turned purple, I went extremely hot, and stopped breathing.

My dad saved my life by dunking my tiny, pink body into an ice cold bath, and performing CPR on me, while my distraught mother lost it and panicked in the corner, believing that she had lost her first little girl forever.


My brother was already 6 years old when I came bounding along. I think he was probably really peeved that he now had a little pest following him around and eating his toys. I ate pretty much anything I could get my hands on, as my baby pictures prove. I was a big baby, with arms that appeared to have elastic bands wound tightly around the joints.


My mother was probably even more peeved that she no longer had any freedom whatsoever in the leg area. For as soon as I became mobile, I clung to her constantly, and even followed her to the toilet. Thankfully, I have since grown out of this habit, and my mum is no doubt highly relieved that she has a bit more personal space.


At 3 years old, my mother left me at a neighbour’s house whilst she attended the hospital. I screamed and screamed until I was actually sick everywhere.

I didn’t realise that when I next saw my mum, she would have another little body with her. My baby sister, Kerry. I now had a new person to cling to, a brand new, tiny, pink, wrinkly, yet strangely alluring and extremely beautiful little girl with hair as white as fresh German snow, and I vowed I would always look after her and never leave her alone.


To Be Continued………..

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