Hello, this month, I’m going to be taking part in “Blogtober 2021” and writing 31 days of blog posts in October. I’ve joined a Facebook Group and will be taking part in today’s suggested prompt, “This is me” as it’s quite handy to write an updated post about myself. From then on, I’ll be ignoring the prompts unless I need inspiration. I find myself writing more and more paid work for this blog and other sites, so never have much time to just write for myself, so I’m looking forward to this even if I only have time to write very quick posts each day. Wish me luck!
This is Me
Oh dear, this is meant to be a short post but I realise now I’m getting older, there’s more to write about! I’ll try to keep it short! I’m Claire, I’m now 41 years old and still live in my childhood county of Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Firstly I am a daughter – sadly I lost my dad twenty years ago – but I am very lucky to live close to my mum, Margaret, and get to see her most days. The kids and I will even be going there this afternoon for lunch as it’s half-day Friday. We try to do things together as much as we can.
My big sister, Jo also lives nearby so I get to see her often too. My little sister Ceri lives away in Newport, so we don’t see her as frequently, but she’s coming home this weekend and we message each other a number of times, every day so although we miss her, we still feel very close to her.
Friend and Student
I went to university in Manchester and studied a B Ed in Mathematics. Oh, I loved those student days and miss the people so much, especially Fran, our friend and housemate who sadly died too young. I had planned to teach in Manchester for a few years after graduating as I’d made lots of great contacts throughout each teaching practice. If I’d stayed in Manchester longer, it would have been easier to keep in contact with my friends up North, especially as Social Media became popular.
But it wasn’t to be.
My dad died during my last year at uni. It was so hard to complete my final year, but I did it. He couldn’t wait to see me graduate. He’d made me promise that I’d always save a ticket for him at Graduation, which of course I always would as I realise I wouldn’t have had the privilege of university education without my mum and dad and the sacrifices they made for me. He was very much missed at my graduation, it was a bittersweet day. After his death, I knew I needed to come home and be closer to my mum and younger sister.
Another reason for coming back to Pembrokeshire, was to be with Dave. We had known each other for most of our lives as he lived around the corner- not quite the boy next door. We eventually got together in 2000, when I was halfway through Uni. So it was a long-distance relationship at first. There was a lot of crying each time we had to leave each other and running after trains leaving the station but the times we were together made up for that and I will always miss those days.
We had discussed him moving up North, but we were both from Pembs and all our family and friends were here so after uni it made sense to make a home together here. Dave had to move out at the beginning of Covid and living seperately did remind me a bit of those days- absense does make the heart grow fonder!
I love Dave so much and think of his family as my own.
After graduation and returning home I joined my local authority supply teaching bank. Teaching was an enjoyable career and it was really interesting going around the different schools. I also found it a bit stressful. It became a lot more enjoyable when the same schools offered repeat work and I’d be teaching in familiar schools and getting to know the staff and kids well.
Eventually, I got offered a long-term supply contract at one school and then a permanent contract. I was so happy and grateful and had many happy years of working there until I was made redundant (which I found devastating, I still miss that school).
Meanwhile, just after graduating and starting my career, I discovered I was pregnant. In April 2003, I gave birth to my darling son Danny. He was born with a serious heart condition, Hypoplastic left heart Syndrome, so things weren’t straightforward. It was a very hard time but we’re so lucky that he’s still with us and doing well.
Read more here: https://www.evans-crittens.com/2012/05/danny-turns-nine-his-HLHS-birth-story.html
Three years after having Danny, we had Rebecca, then a surprise baby, Caitlyn (that’s another story!), and our family was completed with Izzy in 2011. I love being a mum of four and can’t imagine my life without the “Evans-Crittens” now.
When Izzy was born, I wanted to write about it so I started a blog. I’d previously written a LiveJournal, a running blog (who was I back then?!), and very briefly a family blog and I imagined it to be like that. Just family and friends reading my posts to catch up with our family life. But blogging had changed. Now anyone from the online community could come and find your blog and read it. I met lots of new people and readers along this journey. Along the way, it’s offered me lots of opportunities, paid work, and eventually became my full-time job. I’m forever grateful for how blogging has changed my life and allowed me to work from home while bringing up four kids. I’d love to have time to write more personal posts again though. Here’s a start with Blogtober…
Read more: Our first family blog: http://evans-crittensoutnumbered.blogspot.com/
Our first post on this blog (previously hosted on blogger): https://www.evans-crittens.com/2012/02/all-change-again.html
And so much more…
Isn’t it strange how in some ways we stay the say and in others we change lots over the years? Sometimes a memory will show on social media and I don’t recognise the person I used to be at all.
Currently, I love writing, photography, reading, drawing (with Izzy), sewing (mainly cross-stitch), and crafts. I want to get more knitting and crochet done over autumn and winter, it’s just a case of getting started. Music is life – I love listening to it, going to gigs (well during pre covid days) and singing and dancing along. Films, TV, and theatre are important to me too. I can’t wait to go and watch my first live theatre show since covid soon. I love nature, being outdoors, enjoying the sun, sky, and sea. Alternatively, you’ll find me on a woodland walk. Generally, I spend most of my time working, parenting, being “Mum’s taxi”, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and not enough time tidying, gardening, exercising or reading. There’s just not enough time to do everything. I try to have fun along the way!
Three Random Things About me:
- The most important thing in my life is family. Family and friends are everything to me.
- I’m vegan.
- I practically always wear Popsy Dresses!
There’s lots more I could say but I need to take Caitlyn to football. If you want to know more, ask a question or have a nose through this blog! If you’ve written a “This is me” post leave a link in the comments so I can come and read it.
Start Blogging This Blogtober
Are you taking part in Blogtober? I meet people all the time who tell me they want to start blogging, if this is you, why not start this Blogtober! Set up a free account on Blogger or WordPress and start writing. It’s great fun and who knows where it could lead?
Happy Blogtober all!
Join in with the Blogtober 2021 Linky!
I enjoyed your post! You have a lovely family. I stumbled on Blogtober while reading a fellow blogger’s post. I made a request to join the FB group but hadn’t been accepted before I created my first post. I wish I’d joined the ‘This is Me’ theme but didn’t know about it.
I too live in a tightly knitted family. During Covid I even homeschooled my granddaughters. So, It’s nice to meet you today! ~Susan
Hi Susan, nice to meet you too. So nice to hear you have a close family and homeschooled your granddaughters. It was a strange time, we’ll always remember, wasn’t it? xxx
Hello great insight into your life
Poppy dresses are beautiful and comfortable
Hi, oh they really are! xxx
Nice to get so much about you. Sorry to hear you lost your Dad at such a vital point in your life. I lost my Dad when I was much younger but appreciated that I still had my Mum to attend my graduation. Pembrokeshire is a beautiful part of the Country and it sounds like you are happy there with your family. #blogtober21
Hi Anne, so sorry to hear you lost your Dad when you were young. Yes, it did make me appreciate having my mum there, it was just a shame as he’d talked about it so much and was the person who most wanted to be there, bless him. Yes, I do love Pembrokeshire xxx
Hi Claire, nice to meet you. Good luck with your Blogtober challenge.
It’s lovely to learn more about you.
So sorry about your dad. It sounds like he would have been so proud of you for graduating uni. I am glad Danny is doing well. Both of my girls had open hear surgery to fix holes in their hearts, they’re left with leaky valves now but are doing great.
Good luck with Blogtober x
Hi Kim, Thanks for the comment. So glad your girls are both still doing well. It’s a scary time when they have surgery, isn’t it? Up until his diagnosis, the Cardiologists were hoping his problems were due to a hole in his heart too, but then of course instead found it was unformed on left side. Thank you xxx
Nice to meet you thanks to #Blogtober21. Wow, I admire you for having earned your degree in math. I assume you used to teach math too? I wanted to study math at uni when I was about twelve, but that wasn’t to be in part because I’m blind and in part because, well, advanced math is nothing like calculus as you no doubt know.
I’m so happy your pretty grown heart child Danny is still with you.
Enjoy the rest of the month. I look forward to seeing what you’ll share with us.
Hi Astrid, thank you! So sorry maths wasn’t to be for you. I have to admit, I far preferred school maths to university level! 🙂 When I was teaching, I taught at Primary School so all the subjects which I found very interesting. Thank you, we are so lucky with Danny. Enjoy the rest of your month too! xxx