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What Is In My Handbag?

What’s in my handbag?

Well, I have several handbags, several which after a couple of weeks, and at a push months become redundant returning to the wardrobe, usually only temporarily, as I tend to rotate. A couple of my handbags have something that resembles Melody; so one has an ‘M’ keyring and another has a cuddly monkey keyring, which very briefly went to the NICU with her.

Currently I am using a flamingo backpack, purchased from Asda for £8. I wanted a backpack for in between shifts during the last summer term and for majorette competitions.

So, what is in my handbag?

Well, I am afraid to say nothing overly exciting.

Spare change of clothes for Baby Red…I must admit it has been nice to down grade from a changing bag, have used a change bag for what seems like forever, officially it is four and a half years, but we also used a small change bag for when Melody was alive too – anyway, nice to have minimal baby things on tow now.

The spotty notebook is hopefully plans for my Christmas adventures – it I still empty.

I have a Bluetooth speaker, Mr Red recently brought this for me, I love it, it is a shower one, not that I use it in the shower, but I have taken it so that the majorette trainer could use it.

Pecorama tickets from last week, I really don’t need these in my bag, but they are there.

A Cath Kidston Purse. I love this purse so much; it is a perfect size for me.

A Pen

A canvas bag, which is going to (hopefully) turn into my 2017 Prayer Flag for this year’s day of hope on the 19th August.

My diary, I actually have two but this one is my brain, my memory I would be very lost without this book.

Unicorn Notebook, using this to jot down ideas for this challenge, particularly when I can’t get to a computer, or I’m in the car.

My Camera, I love photography, I did it as my work experience and as a Saturday job when I was a lot younger, I’ve had various digital ones, my one before this was a gift from my husband, unfortunately it became tired, resulting in me being without one for a while, until a couple of weeks ago when I won one on eBay. Very pleased so far.

It is quite boring really, I’ve often got random leaflets and information in there, it is fairly organised…for now.

The Red Head Diaries

Pet Peeves

I am sure there are a few I have hiding away in there somewhere, but here are a couple at the fore front of my mind.

When people make assumptions, without researching, or asking questions.

People who pull out onto Roundabouts, filling them so nobody can pass including emergency services. WAIT!

People who put others down, or not celebrate the good things people do, belittling great achievements.

But also people who only speak, when something good in your life is happening, but when there is dark clouds, the very same people are nowhere to be seen.

The way society see children as disposable, they can be easily replaced.

People who fail to take responsibility for their children, (not about anyone in particular..before the judgement pants are being worn)… There are so many people, who would do any thing for our children, would give anything to not have one who died….Just saying.

People who have issues with gay relationships – every single human deserves love, to love freely.

People who have issues with race, we are all the same.



There is probably a whole list I could share, but right now I am stuck.

Do you have any? Big or small.

What really pisses you off?


The Red Head Diaries


My Senses Right Now


I’m not sure where this should be heading, so I will just go through my human senses, and what each of them are, well…sensing.



I broke my glasses just over a fortnight ago, they have been held together by tape and glue, days where I’d accidentally knock them, and they would come unstuck – three or four times this happened, each time I was plunged into a world of blurry and poor vision, my sight is terrible, it was never the best but it was made considerably worse by my last pregnancy.  I’ve had my eyes tested in the last couple of weeks, they haven’t gotten much worse.


Playful chatter, or gentle snores are what fills my ears of a morning, there is rarely silence here, not even at night while sleeping takes place; some snoring and often talking too. With four children at home it can be incredibly noisy; often I need to say for them to lower the volume, although I’m not a fan of silence. I love the sound of the sea, the waves crashing back and forth, back and forth, it is such a peaceful noise.


I’m trying to diet, and it isn’t the easiest, I am tired a lot –  Velcro toddler, who STILL loves her breast milk around the clock, I find myself eating shit. But I am trying, I am trying to be a lot healthier, there are so many healthy foods I have never tried before. I am loving new tastes, I just need to eave the chocolate alone…


Rain, especially the daylight thundery rain, I cannot explain the smell, but it is such a nice natural smell… which is opposite to the next smell I love, steam engine smell, either from Steam Trains or the miniature ones, or the scent from the traction engines. It reminds me heavily of my childhood, going to steam rallies, with vintage cars and machinery. The scent takes me right back there.


Baby’s skin, I love how soft and perfect their skin is. The feel of fresh, chilly bedding and the cold side of the pillow is how beds should be upon entering them of a night time.



The Red Head Diaries

A Trip Down Memory Lane

July (170)

It is strange, the older we get the more sentimental we get about things we never realised were that important. You can go about your everyday life, when something, some place, someone triggers so many memories; you find yourself walking down memory lane.


On an outing to have afternoon tea with a friend at a location I had grown up visiting – many, many times; we chose to take a walk around the gardens, of course it was a little wet.

The grounds are truly beautiful, but there is also this hidden world within.

(Google images)

Cricket St Thomas was home to many childhood memories, where we would spend a lot of our weekends; our family like a lot of the families in our area had family passes due to having milk deliveries, so it was mostly a reasonably cheap local place to have a family day out.

Remember pulling up in the car park, keen to run around, keen to see what things we could do, my Dad (may he rest in peace), absolutely loved going, insisted we went most weekends, I can remember having a little moan about repeatedly going, but looking back now as an adult I can see the attraction, especially with the family passes.

There was so much to see and do; so many animals – Lemurs, Otters Big Cats as well as the famous Sea lions, I remember there were regular shows involving them. There is the stunning Manor; it was once the setting for BBC show To The Manor Born. As well as the beautiful little church set within the grounds.


If we were lucky enough we’d get a ride on the railway, with two stations, it took us past the flamingos, through some woodland, I remember seeing a wooden play area, within the woods, the children who would be playing would wave as the train journeyed by. As we reached the stations and left the train behind us, we could hear the noises of the jungle cat jeep, and below was a steep d hill down towards the mill which looked out over the lake, there was a machine half way down on the railings, where you could buy duck feed; it would either not work at all, or give you lots of the feed. That is still there.

There were buildings looking out on to the lake, where at one point you could do crafts, but eventually became a little café, behind were stables, deer and horses (I think) lived there.

Beautiful picnic areas, the iron figures which were dotted around the park and the wooden play fort made this wildlife park a wonderful place to make memories.   At the end of the day we’d follow the road, which felt like it was never ending out through fields, occasionally you’d see the animals as you drove by. It was almost like leading you to a sense of calm for on the way home from such a busy day.


Some years later, the park would become home to “Blobby land”…You know the Pink and Yellow weird looking character, which starred in television show Noel’s House Party. Crinkly Bottom came to stay.

(Google Images)

A lot of the wildlife park became a village for Mr Blobby and even Noddy land had a special place too. There were still lots of things to do, and I remember the park remained busy each time we visited.

Sadly it didn’t last very long, and the new attractions began to close, things began to change.

The park slowed down, animals were moved out, and some of the rides were transferred to different parks. Before long the park closed as a Wildlife Park, turning into Lakes and Gardens, seeing the Manor turned into an exclusive adult-only hotel.

For a while after the main park closure, you were still able to visit with children, I was able to take two of mine for a short while, but it was never like how it was when I was growing up. 2009 was probably the final time we visited.

Memory Lane

Until recently, when a friend and I went for afternoon tea in the hotel, once we’d finished we took a walk around the gardens, it felt as though we really were walking down memory lane. Only nothing was the same. Of course the animals, the rides, the happiness were all missing.

My friend and I went on a Saturday afternoon; as a child it would have been busy with families, walking or sitting with their picnics. But it wasn’t.

There was an eerie feel to the park, as we walked we remembered the places which we spent many an hour at, there were parts we could no longer reach or see –  the train was long gone, the water fountain redundant, discoloured from the lack of use.

July (174)

The lake is still there, and is still very beautiful, but it is without the flamingos, or the sound of the train chugging by.

The train station abandoned, weeds over grew what was once the track bed, bushes in front of us replaced what would have been the line which went from station to station.

July (154)

The stables in which the horses once were, the area where it got busy with wondering children wanting to peer in at the animals, a bricked well stood in the middle, often parents would briefly rest there whilst the children explored the area. They were empty stables; a silence replaced what there used to be.  The further we explored the sadder the place felt, it was almost emotional I guess, seeing the places that made such wonderful memories, is now nothing but empty rusty shells.

July (162)

Walking further, what once was the food court, a place for ice cream, or a cuppa, is now ghostly, redundant chair and table stood alone and unloved.

Walking some more, more over grown area, stinging nettles framed a footpath, a bridge over a miniature lake, stood unused and forgotten.

July (168)

The iron statues which were a fun feature of the original park still live within the grounds, only now there is no children playing beside them, or copying their postures. No hugs from children pretending to include them in their play.


Beautiful buildings, and a forgotten land.

The Church remains a stunning building, both inside and out, tiny. My friend and I entered and lit candles for our babies, (for a donation), it was peaceful.

july (187)

The Manor too stays its beautiful self too, only rather than children playing on the lawns in front, there’s space for croquet and boules. This is lovely too. But it just isn’t the same.

It is wonderful the manor is still there for tourists, or for local adults, and that the greenery to some degree also stays, no houses have been built, other ugly buildings added.

It is just such a great shame, what was once such a wonderful place to be, which is now a place where time has forgotten…most likely never to return, that is the sad part. It could be so much more; the estate has much more to offer. Maybe one day if the hotel chain are unable to continue, or maybe if the lakes and gardens were freely open for all maybe someone could love the place (and financially able of course), to return it to its former glory we…our children can make the memories we once had.


Did you ever visit Cricket St Thomas when it was open as a wildlife park? It was well advertised on the television, and there were signs on the M5 too – they didn’t change until fairly recently.

I wish I had photos of what it was like before today.

Thank you for Reading.

The Red Head Diaries