In The Raw

As the sun slowly set on 2016, I watched from a beach on the Dorset coastline, and I thought of my dad.

west-bay-sunset-dec-2016-5-editedToday, writing my first post of a new year, I think of all that’s happened since I wrote my first ever post.  Four years of blogging.  Three years of writing my book.  Another year begins and I’m ever hopeful that this is the year I publish my book.

One of the last things Dad and I spoke about was my book; he loved hearing all about my writing.  Brexit happened while I waited to hear back from him, keen to know his thoughts. Dad watched the news avidly, always interested in the world around him.  But I didn’t get the chance.  I wonder what he would have made of Trump.

Between Christmas and New Year, I received an email from my cousin. Her mother was my auntie, Dad’s eldest sister. To my cousin, Dad was ‘Uncle Bobbie’.  She sent photos I’ve never seen of my dad as a boy, of my grandparents when they were young, of me as a little girl snuggled next to Mum, sitting on Dad’s lap, holding Dad’s hand; smiling for the camera.

I always wanted to know more about Dad, about his younger life: what he did; where he lived, how he did at school.  What happened.  What went wrong.

You can learn a lot from old photographs. I discovered, thanks to my auntie’s annotations, that as children in the early 1930s, Dad and his siblings took family holidays at Bognor Regis, Tiverton and Southend.  That they lived in Leicester during WWII.

That each of them celebrated sumptuous 21st birthday parties at long tables bedecked with crisp, linen tablecloths, around which sat family and friends dressed in black tie, cocktail dresses and furs and drinking champagne, headed up by my ‘Godfather’ Granddad, cigar in hand, beaming proudly. In fact, in most photos of Granddad, he is holding a glass of champagne.

Bittersweet. Raw. Memories of lives and eras gone by, yet kept alive through photos and words.  Especially words.

Me with Mum & Dad. Mum knitted Dad's jumper. It was orange. 1960s

Me with Mum & Dad. Mum knitted Dad’s jumper. It was orange. 1960s

Before Christmas, lovely blogging friend Tina Frisco, invited me to write a few words about my blogging/writing goals for 2017 for her Spotlight on #Blog Visions for 2017  New Year’s post, a huge honour to feature alongside several amazing bloggers.  Thank you Tina for helping me get moving after Christmas!

And when dear friend Charli Mills invited me to write the first essay for her new series, Raw Literature: Starting the Conversation, I was both thrilled and incredibly nervous. Charli challenges us to examine and look past the ‘shittiness’ of our first drafts; to explore, as she defines it,  that ‘…first lick of flame after flint sparks…’.  That moment when we find the real story and discover the writer we really are.  Thank you Charli, for believing in me.

In my essay, Raw Literature: Memoir & What Lies Beneath,  I share that ‘moment’ when I realised why I write memoir, always looking for the true story behind the story I’ve always believed it to be. But there are some stories we will never really know, and perhaps we do not need to.

Time then to get back to work. Thank you dear friends, family, online and off, who read my blog, my writing, for taking the time to leave your lovely comments of encouragement; for messages, emails, texts, something said quietly in person. I hope I show you the same kindness, love and care in return.

My 21st birthday was very different to my dads, and that’s another story.  But discovering my granddad’s love of champagne, it looks as if I have him to thank for my New Year’s mantra, found hanging on a wall in a pub, naturally…

new-years-resolution-editedI hope 2017 is kind to you all, and I raise a glass of bubbly to second that.

Love Sherri xxx

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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127 Responses to In The Raw

  1. Chris White says:

    :Very best wishes for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andy Oldham says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. I see where you beauty comes from!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post Sherri. I look forward to reading more of your offerings.

    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely New Year’s post, Sherri. You have been busy indeed. I am so happy for you in receiving photos of family you had not seen before. They do enlighten us. That is the sweetest photo of you and your parents. I’m sure this is the year you will have your book published. Can’t wait. Glad to see you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much Marlene, lovely to see you again too! By the time I got my New Year’s post out, it’s old news, ha! I was thrilled to get so many photos, I’ve got them all saved in my files and backed up on Dropbox and will get them printed out too. Wonderful memories…but bittersweet too…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue says:

    And I wish you a happy 2017, Sherri!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very moving and thoughtful post. It is a lovely photo of your parents and you and I suppose time does move on or go round in cycles. I also wander what my parents would make of current political situations. Thanks for your tip on the redrafting as I am getting stuck but need to sharpen my style to do justice to my story. Good luck with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Aargh…getting stuck is horrible isn’t it? I rewrote those early chapters several times before the story unfolded the way I wanted it to, and revisiting some ‘stuff’ that I just wanted to get written and then move on from started to get me down. But it had to be done. I hope you find your way through soon…your style will shine through. It never fails to amaze me that it’s only through the writing that we find our writing. There is no other way and it can’t be taught. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I also wish you the very best in all your endeavours for 2017 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pat says:

    “In the Raw” is definitely a good title, Sherri, for what you must be feeling in this New Year. Though it’s difficult, I think it’s where we need to be sometimes in order to be who we came here to be.

    You’re doing it, my friend. Keep going. There’s a lovely inspiring video I looked up to share again on a post I’m writing about on trust. Maybe, it will encourage and inspire you, too. God bless. Here it is:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Pat, what an absolutely beautiful and moving video, thank you so much for sharing it with me. I think you are an angel in disguise! I look forward to your post, which I know will be a great blessing to others too. May your 2017 be blessed beyond measure dear friend, filled with peace, love and light…

      Like

  8. Oh Sherri, what a treasure you received from your aunt! Old photographs can be such a wonderful connection to the past. And annotations definitely help decipher what we may know or remember! What an adorable picture of you little you with your mom and dad 🙂 I enjoyed reading your guest post and learning a little more about the motivation behind your memoir. What a journey this writing process is (and has) been for you. I love how you talked about conviction and ownership over your story—what a wonderful purpose for writing. I’ve still been bumbling about with a blog post for the New Year, so such a treat to see you up and at it again! Happy Friday my friend and hope you have a lovely weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Heather, for your lovely, as always, comment and also for reading my essay at Carrot Ranch! I struggled at first, knowing what to share about my memoir writing, but by exploring those first fruits of any raw literature, as Charli encouraged me, we discover more about what ‘lies beneath’ our writing motivations and compulsions, and it was an honour to be invited. Although I’ve always wanted to write ‘my’ particular story, I realise that I couldn’t have done it all those years ago, I wouldn’t have had the experience to do so. Yes, I was thrilled with the photos, they bring the past alive so powerfully!
      Oh I struggled with getting this post out, I know just what you mean…I surprised myself to get one out before the end of the month, lol! Ahh my friend, it has been a good weekend thank you and I hope you’re enjoying a lovely one too…and here’s to a great week ahead! I’ll look out for your post! 🙂

      Like

  9. Beautiful photos and lovely essay. (And I do like that mantra!) Love, peace, and joy to you in 2017. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I knew you would enjoy that mantra…what could be better, ha! Ahh…thank you so much Sarah…love, peace and joy to you too for the year ahead…let’s get those glasses chinking! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    No wonder you’re such a bonny girl, with 2 such good looking parents. 🙂 Thanks, as ever, for sharing, Sherri. I need to go and check out some of your sources. Looking for a happy ever after in 2017, but nothing too easy 🙂 🙂 Angst always makes better writing material. Hugs, darlin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Aww…thanks Jo…I love looking at those old black and whites. Happy days… 🙂 Ha…you make a great point…I wonder if I could write at all if things were ‘normal’…meeting that angst head on is the way forward, definitely 😉 Hugs back to you lovely lady…enjoy that gorgeous Portuguese sunshine 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a treasure your aunt has given you, Sherri. I absolutely love that photo. Your parents look like movie stars and you’re adorable! Happy New Year…here’s to finishing your memoir in 2017! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Aww…thank you so much JBean…I love looking at family photos and I was excited to share this one on my blog. I had no idea that my auntie kept all those family photos. The last time we met I was about 15, we lost touch over the years but I heard news of her via my other cousin and for a brief time in her later years, we exchanged Christmas cards. It just goes to show how important it is to keep hold of all those family archives and treasures 🙂 And thank you so much for your wonderful encouragement all these years my friend…your whip cracking has been a huge factor in getting me even this far! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mary Smith says:

    What a lovely post, Sherri. How wonderful to receive the photos from your aunt – a real treasure trove. Your dad was a handsome man!
    And I totally agree with your champagne mantra – though at the moment I can only raise a glass of the red wine at my elbow. Cheers to 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Mary! I remember parties when I was a child and all the other kids wanted to be with my dad, the life and soul even then, chasing us all pretending to be a monster, spinning us around in the air, telling stories 🙂 Bubbly or red wine, we can still say cheers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Heyjude says:

    Your parents look like movie stars – what a fab photo. So, your love of champagne comes from your Granddad – I shall raise a toast to you Sherri and wish you everything you desire this year. Let’s hope all your hard work finally pays off 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh dear Jude, thank you so much. You must be wondering if I will ever get this book written, knowing how long I’ve gone on about it! Aww….you’re so sweet, I do love this photo 🙂 Granddad had a lot to answer for, ha! Cheers to you my friend, I can hear our glasses chinking as I type… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy New Year, Sherri!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Mabel Kwong says:

    Such a raw post about your dad. He would be so proud and he looked so happy posing with little you and mum. Old photos can take us on a trip down memory lane, but we can also discover so many stories feom them too. Congrats on three years of blogging, and many more to come. Sounds like you are loved for your written work, so many writing opportunities 😉 Good luck with your memoir. A book always takes time…I am still have yet to get around to moving around on mind. You are already a published writer by sharing your work on here ❤ Publishing a book is a whole other level, but you will get there soon. Best wishes for the year to you and the Summerhouse x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thank you so much dear Mabel, what lovely words about my dear dad. I miss him, but of course, I always will. It is wonderful to have family photos to look back on, true treasures 🙂 I have to remind myself that I’ve been published elsewhere, I think of my goal of my memoir publication and drive forward on that and have to stop and then I take stock of those one word at a time achievements! And even when we aren’t writing on paper or by typing, we are writing through all that processing as we go about our day, sifting through our busy thoughts to get to the story we really want to tell. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for four years, although last year I blogged far less than the previous three. Until my manuscript is finished and ready for submission, I will be blogging as and when, but I’ll do my best to keep going! And of course, always your encouragement and beautiful, sunny smile, lighting up the Summerhouse, keeps me on track! I hope you are able to press on with your book too, that 2017 gets you closer to each completed chapter and the achievement of your goals. And I’ll be there cheering you on, as you do the same for me! Happy New Year my friend, and happy writing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Love your enthusiastic and driven spirit, Sherri. Blogging may have taken a backseat for you, but life away from it has given you real life experiences and other projects and made you stronger for it. I am cheering you on from my corner of the world ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Ahh…it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘hassles’ of life and frustrations of not being able to write when we want to isn’t it, yet we need to live to write! 🙂 You are such a sweetheart dear Mabel…thank you again so much…and I hope you can hear my cheers for you from across the globe, north and south and inbetween! 🙂 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Norah says:

    I’ll drink to that, with you, Sherri! Great post. And may 2017 be all you wish it to be, and more! I enjoyed reading about your goals on Tina’s post, and of course your article at the Carrot Ranch. I love that photo of you with your Dad and Mum. How cute you were even then. How wonderful it must have been to receive the photographs of your Dad and his earlier days. Helps to tie a few of the threads together. I look forward to reading your post whenever they come by and keeping our friendship alive this year. SMAG to you, my friend. Take care. Best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Norah, what a fantastic comment, thank you so much! How kind of you to read over at Tina’s and of course, I’ve so much enjoyed our chats over at Carrot Ranch. The few things I found from the photos and annotations were a revelation. For instance, I had no idea that as a boy, Dad and his family took holidays in the West Country, where I now live! Just one of those threads as you say that helps tie up the story as a whole, although there will always be large gaps. It reminds me too of how important it is to talk to our elderly relatives about their lives, to let them know how much we value them and their history so that we can make sure their stories never die. Ahh…likewise with your posts Norah, I always enjoy reading yours and aim to return regularly again now as I get into the swing of things…and of course, the SMAG of friendship to continue on as always, with the very best of wishes to you too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Tom Merriman says:

    More reason to write and take photographs, Sherri. Memories are good, but they have a tendency to fade away – photos and words reignite, refresh and at times reveal just a little extra. There’s always another story to tell.
    Happy New Year, Sherri… very nice first post of 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Well, Sherri, you start the New Year on a lovely foot. What a great post. Your parents made a gorgeous couple and you were adorable. I’m sure the orange sweater was cute too. I’m looking forward to reading you this year. And I hope that your book will be ready for us too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Evelyne, what a lovely comment. I took the photos to show Mum in the week, many of which she also hadn’t seen before, so it was amazing for her too, and I loved being able to ask her more about those earlier days, although of course, many were taken before she was ‘on the scene’ with Dad. But I loved it when she told me about the orange sweater. I expect the little outfit I’m wearing she also made, she did all the sewing (and taught me how to knit and sew too), although I don’t do much at all these days 😉 Happy New Year to you my friend, I hope 2017 brings you success in all your endeavours, and I look forward to reading you too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. How wonderful ! A gift of knowledge of your father, and family!! Your mum and dad are so good looking! And of course, you’re the most darling baby!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. jennypellett says:

    Happy writing year, Sherri. Hope all goes well with your memoir plans. I’ve just read your essay over at Carrot Ranch. Awesome, my dear. Looking forward to lots of blogging encounters over the next few months xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  21. dgkaye says:

    You’re a born storyteller Sherri. You have the gift. It’s no surprise, especially to writers that a picture can tell 1000 words. I look so forward to reading your book when it’s birthed into the world.
    Your mother was beautiful, no doubt you look like her. And I just visited your post on Charli’s page. It’s a pleasure to read you my friend. 🙂 xoxoxo ❤ Big hugs to you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Aww…high praise indeed dear Deb from you, a memoir writer of such high standing and one I admire immensly. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and for reading my essay over at Carrot Ranch. I found through the writing of it that it helped me grasp even more clearly why we memoir writers write the way we do, and our reasons for doing so. I’ve learned so much about the process and you are a huge part of that 🙂 ❤ And thank you about my mum…aww…what a lovely thing to say! Onward and upwards, right? Here we go, writing on and clearing those hurdles! Big hugs back to you my friend 🙂 ❤ 🙂 xoxox

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Tina Frisco says:

    Such a beautiful post, Sherri. Thank you so much for making me a part of it 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Charli Mills says:

    Cheers to your Grandpa and his good taste in bubbly! What a wonderful gift to receive those photos. And for me, what a wonderful gift of friendship and support that I hope to toast with you one day in person! Your memoir essay for Raw Literature has kicked off the New Year with a determination to honor those first efforts which you are now beyond.May this be the year for final refinement and recognition for your writing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Yes, I will share some of those pics at a later time, you will see what I mean about dear old Granddad! And there are some stories there that I would love to delve deeper into! Ahh…dear Charli, here’s to that day when it arrives, got the glasses ready and everything! 🙂 Writing my essay for your series helped me too, especially in seeing how far I’ve come from those first efforts, giving me a boost to keep chasing that finish line. Your faith and trust in me has propelled me over many a hurdle, and even when I’ve fallen, you’ve always been there to help me back up into the saddle and not give up. Thank you so much for your friendship and support personally and for all you’ve given me and many others at Carrot Ranch. Here’s to a year ahead for both of us…the year our writing takes off! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  24. Annika Perry says:

    Happy New Year to you Sherri and may it bring happier experiences and memories for you. ♥️ This is a beautiful post and yes, raw. I can feel the emotions behind the words, the unreality, confusion, striving to bring sense to events. How special to receive those photos from your cousin…how I love the photograph of you with your parents, they are so good looking and you so sweet. I wish you best of luck with your book, knowing we are all keen to read it! Yes, so often certain things cannot be put into words. Take good care of yourself. hugs. 😀♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Happy New Year to you too dear Annika! I am very slow at getting back here, but I will be catching up with you in the week, looking forward to hearing about your adventures and hope you had a wonderful Christmas, although it seems ages ago now already. Thank you for your lovely, heartfelt comment, you are very kind. Yes, I was thrilled to get all those photos, bittersweet though at times…I will probably have to go quiet here again for a little while while I get that final push done on the book, but I’ll see how things go. These days, I definitely take one day at a time! Lovely to hear from you, big hugs right back to you my friend 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  25. elizfrat says:

    What a lovely photograph Sherri and hope 2017 is good to you. I look forward to hearing more about your book.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Marie Keates says:

    Happy New Year. I hope you get your wish and your book is published this year.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Happy New Year to you Marie! Thank you so much for your kind wishes. I’m hoping things will go smoothly here too, I had yet another problem with my comments going to spam before Christmas, which slowed me right down – again! – so hopefully, no more of that!

      Like

  27. Like your last post of 2016, this first one of 2017 is another smashing read, Sherry. What a beautiful woman your mother was and what a great knitter she was as well. It’s a lovely family photo. I’m so pleased you mentioned family photos because they contain so many memories for us. They may only be sparks of memories but those sparks can lead to an inferno.
    I have a feeling about 2017 and that it’s going to be a splendid year for both you and your writing. This post is already proof of that.
    Wishing you much success and happiness.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Hugh! Lovely to see you again, I hope 2017 is off to a great start for you, looking foward to catching up! Ahh…thank you so much for your lovely comment. Mum is still beautiful today, and she did a lot of knitting at one time! She taught me to knit and sew, much to my needlework teacher’s dismay, who made me unstitch an entire article because I went ahead of the class too fast thanks to Mum’s helpful shortcut!!!! If it wasn’t for Mum, I would despise anything to do with sewing thanks to that miserable teacher! Yes, those sparks are very important for getting the blaze of memories going, I find looking at family photos fascinating. You are so kind and encouraging Hugh, I will take on board your words for this year…one day at a time, pressing on! Big hugs to you my friend…you warm my heart 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh, what a horrible needlework teacher, Sherri. Did you tell your mum what the teacher made you do? Thinking back to my days at school, I think parents were frightened of the teachers. These days it almost seems to be the other way around. I was one of the first boys to do cookery at school. I don’t know why because everything I cook comes out a disaster. I blamed it on my teacher when I failed my cookery exam. Just like my art teacher who told my parents that, at the age of 14, I drew like a 3-year-old child. They could be so cruel.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, she was Hugh. And I was supposed to be sewing a pair of trousers. She measured me wrong and they were huge! I kept trying to tell her but she insisted she was right. I’ll never forget these massive, navy-blue elephant sized ghastly things. Mum showed me a better way to tack the pieces together and to make them the right size, and when I showed the teacher, she was so appalled, she made me sit through the whole lesson and unpick every stitch by hand! It was so humiliating. What that does teach a child? I was about 12 at the time. Oh I hated that teacher and that school so much!! I told my mum and she was disgusted but as you say, I don’t think our parents back then felt they could do anything about it. Mum just agreed with me that I should not return to that class the next term when I was able to take something else. Drama I think, which I much preferred 😉 Things are definitely different today, and I would agree, too far the othe way in a lot of cases. Oh Hugh, that’s awful about your art teacher, and your cookery teacher obviously didn’t respect your desire to learn to cook at all. Those kind of teachers have much to answer for, the mark they leave in all the wrong ways. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, they certainly could be very cruel. Thank goodness we are free from those days, and look at us, pursuing our writing dreams and who would have thought! We’ll show those teachers, yes we will!! 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Ste J says:

    Well your title was certainly an ambiguous one, I didn’t know what I was going to be reading! It’s always a pleasure to read your work. A few years ago I wouldn’t really have been much into memoirs, except for the odd person but you remind me that there is so much richness in everyone’s life and it is always moving to read your posts. I treasure our chats as well both via blog and email. I hope this year is a happier and more productive one for you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I like that my title created some ambiguity…and even more that you enjoyed the read! Thank you so much my friend, great to read your lovely comment….and I know memoir isn’t for everyone, but I have a strong conviction of having a story to tell and so your ongoing encouragement means so much to me. I’m truly honoured that you enjoy reading my blog and yes, I too treasure our chats, ever grateful for your friendship and I hope that this year is a better one for us both… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Sherri what a beautiful photo you took! Gorgeous!!! I am so glad you learned more about your dear dad and have more photos of him. I love you with your mom and him! You are so cute!!! 🙂 Well, I am glad you are staying busy with your writing. I think you are just moved by history; this is probably what motivates you to write memoirs! Happy writing! 🙂 Love you! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Aww, thanks Patsy! I was quite pleased with that one, I admit 🙂 It literally was taken right at the end of the year. I said to hubby, ‘Well, that’s 2016 about to disappear for good!” The photo of me with Mum and Dad always makes me smile, but of course it also very bittersweet for me. Life’s twists and turns, eh? And I love what you said about being moved by history. I’ve never thought of my writing memoir in those terms, but as soon as I read that, I thought, yes, Patsy is right! I AM moved by history, always have been, wanting to get to the story behind the story, understand people’s motivations, wanting to find answers to lifelong questions, hoping I suppose to learn lessons from the past and come to a place of acceptance in the present. Thank you so much for your great comment, you’re a star my friend and I love you too! 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Sherri! I know what you mean about the picture bringing back bittersweet memories. Pictures of me when I was that little, of which I only have a few also, are difficult to look at because I always feel sad about how my parents’ marriage deteriorated even though they stayed together. Sometimes it just wasn’t pretty, you know? When you said you always want to get to the story behind the story, I thought, you would make a good reporter! It just made me think of that movie we watched recently about what happened to Dan Rather. Can’t think of the name of it right now. Well, have a wonderful day, Sherri! 🙂 xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Aww, I do know Patsy, exactly what you mean 😦 I think how happy we all looked, but then it all went so wrong…and as you say, it doesn’t have to be a split for things to go deteriorate. It’s good we can focus on those good times, the happier memories 🙂 I wonder what that movie was? I remember Dan Rather well… Haha…interesting what you say about being a reporter; I did always quite fancy the idea of being a detective lol! Maybe that’s why I love detective thrillers/true crime so much! Great chatting my friend, you have a wonderful day too Patsy! 🙂 ❤ xoxo

          Like

          • Hi Sherri. The movie was called “Truth.” I just couldn’t think of it at the time. Robert Redford plays him. Cate Blanchett played the news producer. Very good cast! I have always wished I could be a detective, too! I read The Hardy Boys and all kinds of crime mysteries growing up, and I am still reading crime novels!! 😉 I am busy painting again and hope you are busy writing! Have a great day, sweet friend, Sherri! 🙂 xoxo

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sherri says:

              Hi Patsy, thanks for letting me know, I need to look out for that movie, I love Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett 🙂 Sounds like we read the same kind of books growing up! So hapy to hear you’re back to painting again, that’s wonderful, can’t wait to see what you do next 🙂 I am busy writing too…let’s keep going! Ahh..thanks so much my lovely friend, and you have a wonderful weekend. Love & Hugs 🙂 ❤ xoxo

              Liked by 1 person

              • I know, right? I think we are just “kindred spirits” Sherri! 🙂 I don’t think I had ever read any type of “romance” novel until I was 19 and my first husband’s sister introduced me to Danielle Steele. Well, at the time I devoured all of her books up until my mid 20’s and then I couldn’t take them anymore! I didn’t read any romance until Nicholas Sparks came along, and even his I don’t read as much of anymore; I sill think his first one is the best. Anyway, I have completed about 6 out of 50 miniatures now. I like the way they turned out. I’ll probably put a picture of them up soon. And yes, let’s keep on going! I have also started the dog painting I am doing for my old friends. You have a beautiful weekend, too, Sherri! Lots of love and hugs to you, too. 🙂 xoxo

                Liked by 1 person

  31. TanGental says:

    Matinee idol or what? Something of the young Laurence Harvey methinks.. And here we have the nickname Sherri ‘Bubbles’ Matthews. Works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…if it works for you Geoff, then so be it, and even better, since I don’t have a middle name… 😉 I had to look up Laurence Harvey, couldn’t place him strangely, but yes, I do see what you mean! I think Dad also looked like a young Donald O’Connor and my uncle, his brother, a young Michael Caine. Or perhaps – although not in looks and not twins and just being naughty here – the Kray brothers…

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Looking forward to hearing you’ve completed that book, Sherri. And reading it, of course. This is your year!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Dearest Sherri, what a handsome couple your parents look in that photo (and you so cute). It’s such a happy picture, you would never know your dad’s inner turmoil. A terrible tragedy, but it’s obvious that you could make him smile and were the apple of his eye. You are good at making people smile, my dear friend. So, onward with your memoir this year. I will be cheering you on, all along the way, right to that finishing line. Love, hugs, and kisses, Sarah xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…hello dearest Sarah, how lovely to read your lovely comment, thank you so much 🙂 It is bittersweet looking at earlier family photos like this, definitely. I was just about to shut down my laptop which I put to one side in disgust earlier today. I had some time to catch up on blogs, great I thought, just getting into the swing of things and guess what? My comments started going to spam…again!!!! I’ve emailed Akismet…again!!!!…but so far no reply. So I gave up. Hence my reason for not visiting you yet,but I can comment here on my own blog. Anyway, enough of my moaning. Hopefully it will get sorted asap. Knowing you’re there cheering me on helps more than you know… Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be in touch very soon. Love, hugs and kisses to you too… 🙂 ❤ xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Sherri, that’s incredibly annoying about your comments going into spam. I can’t remember any of yours ending up in my spam. Maybe they did, and I’ve forgotten about it. I wonder if it’s because you use lots of emoticons — all those lovely hearts and other things. I know someone else who used a lot of those, so their stuff ended up in spam. Just a thought (as much as I love your hearts etc.) …You have a lovely weekend, too, my lovely friend 🙂 xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Ahh….thank you dearest Sarah. And here we are, Tuesday already. I hope you too had a lovely weekend…isn’t it lovely with the chill and sunshine and frosty mornings? My Sweet Robin is out and about frequently now, which of course gladdens my heart no end 🙂 It’s certainly something to consider re my splam problem. Akismet never are able to know what causes it, I am definitely not blacklisted or anything horrid like that – I should hope not, lol!! – so who knows? I wonder if it’s something to do with the way I have bursts of commenting on other sites because I’m always so behind, as it seems to happen right after. I will be experimenting to see…and I will head over to you right now, my lovely friend! 🙂 xxxx

          Liked by 1 person

          • Dearest Sherri, my robin is out and about, too. Also, a lovely speckled thrush, Mr and Mrs Blackbird, a wren, bullfinches, chaffinches, and bluetits. I just love birds, the more the merrier.
            🙂 xxxx
            PS It seems that you have diagnosed your problem with the spam, as your latest comment on the Fox Cub has got through and is displayed where it should be.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sherri says:

              Oh how lovely! Yes, I’ve seen a few of those too, not the bullfinches or chaffinches (how I love those gorgeous birds and what a delight to see them in your garden!) but certainly the blackbird couple and the very occasional wren, although a flock of what I think were long-tailed tits appeared on my hibernating jasmine just outside my kitchen window last week, so sweet! Mr & Mrs robin visited yesterday…isn’t this time of year wonderful for our gardens? Although I’m not so enamoured by Mr & Mrs Pigeon, wrecking the place…but I know I should be kind to them too… 😉 And thank you dearest Sarah for letting me know all is clear spam-wise…I’m okay again now…phew! xxxx

              Like

  34. A bittersweet turning of the year Sherri, I find there’s often a poignancy to it when we think about those we’ve lost. But what a wonderful treasure trove your aunt has given you in those unknown memories. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get to read that memoir soon, so I wish you the best of luck in getting there 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much dear Andrea, I am greatly honoured to know you want to read my memoir. Ahh…a wonderful treasure trove indeed, I have much to thank my Auntie for! I’ve been trying to make headway with my writing while rediscovering so many memories from all those old photos, and so many other stories I want to tell, especially about my dad. Bittersweet indeed…

      Liked by 1 person

  35. prior.. says:

    hello mon ami – love the photo (and so true: You can learn a lot from old photographs)
    also – nice to hear your check in…. and you just remember to go at whatever pace you need to… but you are right – that being featured as a guest blogger is a nice momentum starter…. I will be back later this week to click on some links here – but had to leave a hello note….
    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Such a beautiful photo of you with your parents, Sherri. I would also have loved to know more about my dad’s early life and what shaped him into the man he became. Congratulations on all your success and I’m sure that this year, you’ll be announcing the publishing of your long-awaited book of Memoirs. Happy New Year to you my dear friend. xx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thank you so much dear Sylvia, you are always so kind and encouraging. Men of our dad’s generation and those before just didn’t talk much about their past, which is such a shame. So lovely to see you back again my dear friend 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Mike M says:

    Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Kev says:

    Happy 2017 Sherri! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Luanne says:

    Sherri, I loved your piece over at Charli’s blog! I have been pondering where I am with my memoir . . . . I might email you.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Seyi sandra says:

    Happy New Year to you dear Sherri! A wonderful post indeed! Your picture as a young’un is a so sweet. I’m sorry I’ve not been here earlier than now. I’ve been unwell, and had to be rushed to the hospital with chest pain. I’m much better now though. So please, pardon my silence. I sincerely hope I’ll hold your memoir in my hands this year.
    God bless you my dear friend, and have a wonderful weekend!
    Much love to you. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Seyi, I am so very sorry and concerned to read of your chest pain and hospital visit…and then so relieved and happy to hear that you are much better. I am so sorry for all you’ve been through. I have had you on my heart, and think of you often, and had plans to visit your blog to see if you had posted recently, but as you can see, I have only managed this one blog post since the year began, for many reasons. I will be over to visit you this week, when I am able to return here, but I did want to reply to your message. How kind of you to think of me and continue to offer your amazing encouragment for my memoir, thank you so much. Oh I do hope and pray that 2017 goes much better for you now. God bless you too my dear friend, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We took Mum to lunch for her 81st birthday 🙂 After the events of last year, this was a huge blessing. Have a great week ahead, be well and strong and I will see you very soon. Much love right back to you 🙂 ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seyi sandra says:

        Happy 81st birthday to your dear mum Sherri! 🙂 That’s a huge milestone, my friend! I’m happy you have reason to celebrate. And you surely needed it too.
        I’d wanted to visit your blog and you were often on my mind, but I was going for tests upon tests and on a strict rest and diet (I’m size 12 by the way. 🙂 )
        I haven’t updated my website until this month so you wouldn’t have found anything new, and I would repeat this again, I sincerely hope you’ll finish your memoir this year. I also pray 2017 would be a year of peace, joy and prosperity for you.
        And this year, we’re having that tea!! Take care of yourself my friend and my warm regards to your mum, hubby and children.
        God bless you, Sherri.
        Much love to you!:)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Ahh…thank you so much dear Seyi, I will be sure to give your sweet belated birthday wishes to Mum 🙂 After last year, it was wonderful to celebrate this milestone with her. It sounds as if we have both been missing in action blog-wise, so it’s great to catch up now at long last. Again, I am so very sorry for your health woes, but greatly encouraged to know you are much better and congratulations on the weight loss. Never easy, that’s for sure. I will keep working as hard as I can to completion, Lord willing, and yes, oh to have that tea would be so wonderful! God bless you and your beautiful family my dear friend, and much love! 🙂 ❤ xxx

          Liked by 1 person

  41. Christy B says:

    Sherri, this is such a special post. You honor your dad with it. Your words are reminders to keep going with goals, such as writing a book, and that we all have more to learn about our families. Sending much love and all the best for 2017 xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Aww…bless you dear Christy, thank you so much for your beautiful comment, your message has touched my heart greatly. I send much love back to you and hope that 2017 is treating you kindly…and I’ll see you soon my friend 🙂 ❤ xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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