When I think about blogging I think it’s a kinda magic!

Many bloggers are heading to BritMums Live at the weekend. There will be useful sessions on clever ways to attract and keep readers.

There is little doubt there is a science of blogging.

Howvever, let’s not forget the magical parts of the journey. Here are some of mine and I bet you recognise some of them yourself.

1. The people in my in offline world who did not really get me and then read my blog and wanted to be friends or worked out I was quite not they thought I was.

2. How when facing a crisis, the right person turns up with exactly the right advice or support.

3. The buzz when I met a blogger for the first time and felt like I was part of something after years of isolation.

4. Attending a blogger conference and just happening to be stood next to a person who would become a heartfelt friend.

5. How I got involved in working for BritMums. This happened in a very unpredictable way.

6. How when I need help with tech or design issues, a miracle worker turns up just in the nick of time

7. How when I set up Groovy Mums, it hit a nerve with the very people who needed it most.

8. How my husband realised I had a life of my own beyond the house and family and learned to love that idea.

9. How my Dad’s memoirs could via the blog reach a wider audience

10. How I have no idea where the journey will take me next and how that excites me rather than terrifies me. That shows that blogging has changed me.

So yes I think you can do all the bells and whistles stuff to good effect. However, the magic that the universe just delivers excites me even more.

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What magic has blogging worked in your life?

Today my Dad’s memoirs see himself and other Navy personnel joining the RAF at Royston.

We got our travel warrant to Royston in Cambridgeshire and on arrival were trucked to the RAF Station at Bassingbourne some 3-4 miles North Of Royston. Bear in mind sailors were like snailes in that they carried their “home” with them . Each of us sailors was laden with a full kitbag, a hammock in which was fastened mattress, blanket, mattress cover (and any items of clothing which did not fit in the kitbag) an attache case and a new item now that I had qualified in the Safety Equipment trade a wooden tool box and contents. Four items in total which has to be carried in one go otherwise risk them being stolen.

Thus we arrived at the RAF Station where were given a late supper and allocated somewhere t sleep. This meant a dormitory in a purpose bulit brick block two stories high. One dormitory on the ground floor and one of the first floor each accommodating about 20 upper and lower iron beds. Here we found sheer luxury in that the beds had what were called “biscuits” three in umber each about 2 foot 6 x 2 foot which when laid end to end formed a comfortable mattress. There were two pillows to each and bed and blankets and sheets!! Also a decent sized wardrobe/locker to put our clothes in! Luxury indeed.

The RAF Brylcreem boys were pampered. Without doubt, the RAF had a more comfortable lifestyle and a less rigid discipline than the Royal Navy. I spent about 4 months with the RAF and enjoyed the more relaxed lifestyle whilst I was there.

On the second day there we had to do a joining routine. We were given a card which contained a list of different departments but first of all we were each issued with a black sit up and beg bicycle whihc we retained throughout our secondment. The RAF Station including its airfield covered a vast area with different departments scattered around its perimeter. Armed with bicycle and joining card I spent most of the day visiting the various listed premises where the officer or NCO there had to sign that I had reported. It became clear subsequently that the reason for this was that if I had been issued with anything from a particular department the man in charge would be able to claim it back when I completed the reverse process with a leaving routine. Apart from the bed sheets and the bicycle I was issued with nothing else but nevertheless still had to have a full card of signatures.

The joining card fully completed had to be returned to an RAF Officer best described as an adjutant who was responsible for the Naval personnel on the camp. I never saw him again until I did the leaving routine 4 months later.

On the following day I commenced work in the Safety Equipment section. The person who was in charge of the day to day running of the section was a WAAF Sergeant. We six sailors more or less doubled the size of the section which until then had numbered three WAAF and two aircraftmen.

The sections’s duties consisted of care and packing of parachutes and the maintenance of dinghies. These duties did not occupy the whole time and we therefore involved in internal and external cleaning of aircraft on King’s Flight which was located here.

It is Father’s Day and I am missing my Dad. I have had a few tears but only a few. As time passes I focus on how lucky I was to have him in my life and to smile at very happy memories.

What makes a good Dad? What made my Dad a great Dad? Could I advise my sons in time on how to be a good Dad?

1. Dad brought us his own sons and then together with Mum adopted me when he was well into his forties. Without that generous spirit, I might have stayed in a children’s home.

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2. I don’t remember Dad ever brushing me away. He always had time for me. Right up until his death, he would put down whatever he was doing to focus on what I had to say. There was never a limit on that time either. From spending a full Christmas Day making a doll work to listening to me bang on to him when he was in his last year till his eyes drooped, he always made me feel that I was an interesting person.

3. He gave me one-one-one quality time so as a child we would go on walks together or converse with the telly switched off whilst Mum was gadding about.

4, He shared his world with me. He would take me with him to work whenever that was possible and take my opinions seriously. He stimulated an interest in the legal system which led to me going to Cambridge University to study Law.

5. He took me all over the UK and abroad believing I could learn something from each place.

6. He never put me down as a girl/woman and got me involved in traditionally boys stuff as well as girls stuff. I remember painting the shed with him in particular.

7. He kept me safe as a child and picked up both myself and friends in the early hours off the morning as we staggered out of night clubs.

8. When I turned my back on a legal career, he never once said it was a disappointment to him. When I got involved with dodgy bloke, he let it run its course. He let me follow my own path even if he could see I may well live to regret it. Sometimes, I have felt he was wrong in that but on reflection, I think it is actually a sign of respect for me and he was always there to pick up the pieces.

9. Let’s do a general cover-all that Dad got me out of many a financial crisis.

10.. When I became a parent, Dad looked after my son so I could return to work. He was in his Seventies by then. He took my son all over the place in his car so that my son’s first word was Rover. In the 2 years of his life, he lived with us providing my children with love, advice, discipline, lemonade and custard creams.

What did Dad provide me with that makes him an hard act to follow?

Love

Time

Interest

Himself

Security

Forgiveness

Generosity

Guidance

Not forgetting the laughter and lots of it.

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Twin Mummy and Daddy

Today, my Dad’s memoirs show him leaving his firm friend and going to RAF Bassingbourn.

Early in January, we left Raven and returned to HMS Daedalus. Immediately Ginger and I were back on the guard under the selection process. Time spent in Daedalus was time spent in awaiting transit to somewhere else and we carried out frequent checks looking at the noticeboard outside the drafting office in the hope that your name appeared which signified a move.

Ginger Jackson and I had been together now for over a year and were firm friends but now our courses diverged. After only about 4 weeks in Daedalus this time we both got Draft Chits. Ginger ws to go out to Malta and my Draft Chit said RAF Bassingbourne. I left first with all my kit and a Travel Warrant to Royston. There were give other Safety Equipment ratings on the same draft and we were at a loss as to how Naval Ratings were to relate to the R.A.F. Nobody made us any the wiser. I had what I thought was one consolation. I was aware that Royston was just outside Barnsley and had visions of getting home in the evenings and certainly for weekends.

We made our way to London and reported to the Regional Transport Officer at Waterloo. He directed us to Liverpool Street and only then did I find out that there was a Royston in Cambridgeshire where we were bound. Transport was available here to take us out to the R.A.F. Station at Bassingbourne. This was huge airfield with over 1000 R.A.F. personnel. We six were the only Royal Navy ratings there.

What are my reasons to be cheerful this week? Am I walking on sunshine?

1. Nearly two months after moving, I have the upstairs of our new home sorted. Everything is unpacked and put away sensibly. I do need a bedside cabinet for my teen’s room and another chest of drawers for ours but we are pretty much there.

2. My teen son got the most amazing report from his new school. He is in the top sets for everything apart from German which is fair enough seeing as he has never done it before. He is keen to pursue German so we are going to have to see how we can find him some extra help with that as we did not study German ourselves. Particular comments were made about his great talent for mathematics, science, ICT and his fabulous questioning and challenging contributions to class discussions. Very importantly, he is making new friends too. The new school is far better than his last one and they are looking into his issues with handwriting (I have been trying to get this nailed for almost 10 years).

3. I am really enjoying my 8 year old’s son company at the moment. I had missed a television programme I wanted to see and he was able to tell me all about it in such great detail. He loves word play as I do so we connect on that level. He brings me flowers from the garden most days. Today he told me the best thing about my dress for BritMums Live was me! This boy has serious charisma and I am sure will move mountains as he grows up. He got a special award from school for good work in science this week.

4. My daughter is growing up fast and I sense my little girl is becoming a young lady and a feisty one at that. It cheers me up that as she breaks away from the apron strings she still loves to snuggle up with me.

5. The children are enjoying their outdoor swimming pool at school and miraculously, I am remembering to send them with the right kit. On the way home, we often stop at the park and they get great exercise and I can catch up with the newspaper or a book.

6. We had a fantastic weekend in the sunshine celebrating D Day on Southsea Common.

7. The World Cup has started, My fella hates football but I like an event so we are having a pizza party for the game tonight.

8. I am enjoying writing my Dad’s memoirs – give them a go – they are a great read.

9. It is BritMums Live next weekend – time to reflect on a bit of a challenging year and to see amazing women all in one venue. Hoping to dine with some lovely ladies too. I am hoping it cools down a bit or that the Brewery has amazing air conditioning.

10. I have a new smartphone because Him Indoors decided I am so worth it.

That’s all folks. See some of you very soon!