Monday 31 July 2006

Ephemera Blog

A fascinating and informative site.

J Parslow - Banjo Maker

The Parslow family of Kingston upon Thames appears in my family history. Ebay have a very nifty facility where it will send you an email when something of a given name is listed. The photos of this wonderful Banjo appeared on Ebay recently. This banjo was handmade at the end of the 19th Century by James Parslow 1850-1920.

There are other photos on my Flickr album, including one of the stamp from shop in Hammersmith where this Banjo was sold. By looking at a trade directory for London to see when this shop was trading we can get an idea of when it was sold.

Tuesday 18 July 2006

Strength Within: Granger Chronicles by Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith

This book, I found to be a beautifully written, thought provoking and inspiring book. The family "story" has been told in such a way that I felt as though I was walking along side the author, as the book was bought to life with memories of relatives, photographs and further research. I especially liked that the footnotes appeared on the pages they pertained to.

I was intrigued by the details of Robert McSorley. Each individual has been wonderfully bought to life and the author's proudness of her relatives shines through. There is a sense of closure with the book in chapter 9, as the book draws to a close. I found the handwriting analysis of interest and it was a nice touch to such a book.

There is something rather special in seeing not only the name of an ancestor in print in an original document, but also on seeing a sample of their writing. I notices throughout the book that the author mentions that she has inherited items from her family home, the chair with some varnish marks missing, and the bucket of nails. They don't sound much, but there is something special, a kind of pull that makes you hold onto items from the family home. Even the incidental items. We all have our own bucket of nails that we treasure. In my case one of my most treasures items is an armchair, now residing in my study. It was my grandmother's and bears the marks on the end of the arms, where she would hold onto, to enable her to get up.

There is much in the book that reflects many issues of any immigrant family or individual. I have a particular interest, not only in genealogy, but also in my Italian ancestry. Although my own Italian line, didn't leave Sicily for England until the 1950s, a branch did leave the rural community of Sutera in Sicily and migrated to the US in the early 1900s. The hardship, heartache and courage of previous generations should be forgotten and this book echo's those sentiments.

I had been looking forward to reading this book since I signed up for the book ring. In the meanwhile, I located the author's web page. The book didn't disappoint. Without Book Crossing I would not have come across this book, so thanks, not only go to the author, for a great book,clearly written from the heart and making it to my top 10 for the year. They also go to Book Crossing and the Book Crosser that shared the book. I'm going to order one for my permanent collection.

The Book Crossing Journal Entries are HERE
The author's web page is HERE

Saturday 15 July 2006

Shoes in the wardrobe!

mood: chipper
music: Seagulls making a right racket!

Part of my New Years resolutions was to have a good clear out. Last weekend I wizzed through the kitchen cupboards and bunged a load on FreeCycle. Today it was the bottom of the wardrobe and a pile of shoes. Do you know that I had shoes that I bought 16 years ago.....Mum was here, and was giving me a hand, and was horrified that I was going to place a pair of shoes bought from Clarks in Guildford to take to Oz with me in 1991 back in the wardrobe. I only saw sense when Mum said "they are so old the leather has gone couldn't possibly wear them" Mum, you were right, and about those Reeboks that I also bought to go to Oz with, in the same year. I only stopped wearing those a few years ago when I did manage to buy an identical pair......I really am a creature of habit!

Monday 10 July 2006

India, Ink.

I came across this on Live Journal - fascinating!

Address Books......

I have 7 address books. I have a wonderfully fading address book purchased from Liberty in 1988, I know the date as I date must be the historian in me! I had to find the address of some friends. Its their wedding anniversary on 11th and I needed to get their card in the post, but which address book. I eventually found their new address in the back of 2005's diary. Talk about disorganised. I rang Liberty, Do you still make the address books covered with Librerty print with leather corners I asked? No, was the reply. Drat! Mmm, I liked my faded address book, which has travelled around the world we me, been to Kenya where I got married, but its looking a little sad, faded and exhausted. No, I do need a replacement. After much deliberation I've opted for a nice leather one made by Ciak in Florence.

goucher blogs

Sunday 9 July 2006

Silver Spoon Cook Book

By Phaidon Press Limited, first written in Italy in the 1950s and now available for us all to share with more than 1200 pages. This book is heading towards my wish list!

Saturday 8 July 2006

Live Journal Upgrade

I've upgraded my Live Journal and all the bits that I found clunky and irritating have become easier to use, such as inserting and uploading pictures. I've customised it to look like Blog, and it feels much better!I'm still going to use blog, as I like the "Blog this" facility on web pages.

Thursday 6 July 2006

A day on Earth 29th Sept 2006

I've been invited to take part, what a super idea.


BBC - The Big Read

In April 2003 the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel. Here are the books that made it to the top 100.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling READ
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee READ
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne READ
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell READ
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis READ
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling READ
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling READ
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling READ
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll READ
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute READ many times!
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams READ
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell READ
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher READ
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck READ
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky READ
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough READ
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens READ
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer READ
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

oohhh, 18 out of 100! Some of these though I read as long ago as my
O-levels, and some are loitering on my enormous TBR pile! I am not
going to attempt a read challenge as simply lots of the books do not
appeal to me!

Wednesday 5 July 2006

Tioman July 1991

Having met Pete (skyring) over the weekend and chatting about Australia. I pondered on the time I spent in Tioman,Malaysia; on my way back from Australia.

This photo was taken in July 1991 with my trusty Pentax 35mm camera, long before digital was thought of.

being crafty

I came across a link to this site via

Tuesday 4 July 2006

Merrow Residents Association home

A fascinating set of web pages regarding Merrow Guildford.

I have family links to the area, in particular the surnames of MATTHEWS, ELSTONE & BUTCHER.

Monday 3 July 2006

UnConvention Release Walk

After an exhausting and very hot Saturday, those of us that stayed over met up in the hotel reception and went on a release walk. One via the Canal and one via the City centre. We opted for the canal walk, which was lovely and released lots of books. Pete, (Skyring) released one, well wrapped into the canal. I released one on to the roundabout situated along the canal.

After lunch at the Gourmet Burger Company we had a wander around the city, but it was so hot! In Victoria Square there was an open air concert & salsa dancing as part of the Latin America Festival, where Stuart could not be tempted to Salsa!

In the evening the last 8 of us headed off to Pizza Express for a delicious meal.

Pictures taken by Stuart & I of the entire weekend are HERE

And this has to be one of my favourite photos of the weekend. A photos of all the BookCrossing Live Journalers

Saturday 1 July 2006

The UnConvention

Bookcrossing UK Unconvention, Birmingham, 30 June to 2 July 2006 - I was there!!
Logo is courtesy of

The UnConvention was held next door to the Apres Bar, at the Mechu Louge. It was nice, spacious, but incrediably hot, and also a little dark. In fact, I don't recall a time I have ever felt so hot, as when I carried the goody bag inserts from weeblys car upto the lounge.......

The day was great, it has taken the best part of a year to plan this and the four of us on the committee, Vikki, Liz, Michelle and myself, had not been in the same room together until the day of the UnConvention. Three cheers to the internet and email!

There was the two author talks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the tomola, raffle and a much chattering and swapping of books. It was a lovely day. I won two things on the tombola and was presented with a bottle of Champagne for helping to organise the UnCon.

The NSS pressies were exchanged. I had done two for the UnConvention , and Stuart had done one. I also did one for the BCUK mailing list NSSSS pressie. I am blown away, by the generosity and thought that everyone has shown me via their presents. I love these NSS pressies, I love the thinking of what to buy my recipiant and shopping for the items. Its a way of giving something back to something that gives us lots of pleasure......the world of Book Crossing is more than books, it is a whole community and is one of the most friendly.

In the evening, after all the packing up was done and we were suitably refreshed andrested, a group of us headed off for a meal at the Big Wok

A full set of UnConvention photos are online at the AnglersRest Flickr album.

Thanks to everyone who made this a very enjoyable weekend. It was lovely to meet everyone.


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