Thursday, 31 May 2012

Jubilee Time Capsule - Kiva Project - 28th September 2011

The following is a post that I submitted to the Jubilee Time Capsule.

The genealogical community has always been a friendly and active one. Regardless of where perhaps you are in the Commonwealth, or even beyond, so many people have ancestral links back to either parts of the United Kingdom or a Country which has such links with the Commonwealth. 

On 28th September 2011, a lady in Queensland Australia created a team called Genealogists for Families within the non profit organisation called Kiva ( Building on the success of the conception of the team in 2011 the Genealogists for Families Team received an award for 'Best New Community Project'.

Now, 9 months later, the team consists of more than 170 people, across the globe, but predominately across the Commonwealth. The team have loaned, which is the principle of the Kiva system, more than $16,000 to across the globe, but of course part of the Commonwealth are very well represented too.

This is a fantastic achievement. One that I am proud to be a part of. This shows the value of family across the Commonwealth, it shows that in a world filled with war, poverty, uncertainty and fear that regular, working and retired people from all across the globe & Commonwealth care about others, who are in the main strangers, and come from a variety of Countries and different walks of life.

The basics of the system are this. Register on the Kiva site and go on, join the team! Read through the selection of those who need help and having made your selection make your $25 loan. The loan is repaid and you are then free to reloan your money or withdrawal it from the project the choice is yours. $25 is the cost of a Macdonalds for 3 people, yet $25 can do remarkable things, improving the lives of others.

Non Genealogists can join the team, which is open to family and friends of Genealogists. You can visit the team page and read about the project. 

You can read about the regular people that are supporting the project via the blog

Genealogists for Families - We care about families (past, present and future)

Jubilee Time Capsule - The Experience of a Lifetime - 3rd April 1991

The following is a post that I submitted to the Jubilee Time Capsule.

On 3rd April 1991 I boarded a Canadian Pacific plane bound for Toronto. The events that I recorded in my journal for the next year were in the main about my travels, the people I met, places I visited. It is only as I sat to write this piece in Commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee did I realise that I had visited 4 Commonwealth Countries and lived for a year in another. I actually got married in another but that was later!

I have no idea what inspired me to want to travel. Whilst my ancestry is focused pretty much in the British Isles and then excudes into various domains of the old "Empire" I am British, well half British and half Italian, but was born and bought up in England, not too far from 300 years of my ancestral roots.
A soon as the concept occured to me I was completely absorbed by the plans and ideas. I worked like mad to pay for airfairs and living expenses. I sat in Trailfinders in London and selected my destinations, adding in some accommodation in some hotels, as in the early 1990s youth hostels were available, but not in one of my destinations.

My journey took me to Toronto, across to Honolulu then onto Fiji. My final destination was Australia. A year later, just before my visa expired I flew to Singapore and then headed down to a beautiful Malaysian Island called Tioman. I then travelled back to Singapore and then finally made the 10 hour flight to England.

The whole experience was remarkable. I met some wonderful, wonderful people. People that I corresponded with long after my return to this Country. Some I am still in touch with 20 years later. It was an experience that changed my life and made me into a determined individual not afraid to travel alone, and capable of making new friends and embracing new experiences.

My path of travel was England - Toronto - Honolulu - Fiji - Australia - Singapore - Malaysia - Singapre - England

Toronto was much like any modern First World City. Honolulu whilst not a member of the Commonwealth held a special place in my heart.

Fiji was beautiful. I stayed in a hotel because at the time there was no youth hostel. As I checked in, keen for some food and rest I was immediately a focus of attention. Where was I from? The moment I said England, the response was "ah the Mother land". It was a sentence that was repeated time and time again. Fiji was poor. A tour of the island, recommended to me by the Australian hotel manager was a complete eye opener. He simply wrote down details of a few buses and off I went.

The bus had no glass in the windows, but there was tarpauline to pull down if it was wet. The bell to stop the bus was a bicycle bell fixed to a series of rope. People and animals boarded the bus. A sat next to a Fijian lady and a goat called annabel and the man behind me had several chickens. We passed a rubber plantation, worked on by the Fijian population. The higer paid jobs were tended by those who were from India who had been migrated to Fiji to boost the population and increase the workforce.

The biggest adjustment was crossing the international date line. So I left Honolulu on a Tuesday and instead of arriving on Wednesday it was actually Thursday!

My flight to Sydney was an early morning one. I arranged for an early alarm call - 2am as I had to be at the airport for 4am and then the flight was at 5am. The alarm call never came, although I had set my own alarm. I had arranged that a light breakfast, some bread and butter and tea would await me in the resturant at 3am. As I went to leave the room I spotted a rather large lizard on the wall next to the door entrance and knew that I had to be brave - I hate those kinds of animals! - Arrival at the resturant revealed no breakfast. I found the porter and convinced him that a cup of tea would be great before I left for the airport. The tea eventually arrived and so did the transfer at 4.30am. By which point I was fraught with worry. I arrived at the airport and made driver wait incase I was refused access to the plane, but everyone in Fiji was on Fijian time! Time is there, but is not absolute. The check in staff looked at my ticket and passport and said for one last time, from the Motherland. I apologised for the late check in and the response was not to worry, your in Fiji!

Arrival at Sydney was remarkable. The descent was over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and I felt that I had arrived. I made my way to customs and was waved through with a friendly nod from an official. I arrived at the carosel to see cardboard boxes and bags slowly moving around. That's traveling in Fiji style. I collected my bag and met my family in the arrivals lounge. 

My Mum's Cousin had migrated to Australia in 1946. He had been in the British Navy and on his way back to England the ship broke down. It was docked and fixed. He pointed to another ship and asked where it was going. Having been told Australia he boarded it and never came back to England. He met his wife in 1946 and they married and raised a family of 10 children. I was the first member of my family to meet him in more 45 years. The bond I developed with him,his wife and family was wonderful and that is a bond that continues to this day.

Over the next year, I embraced Australian life and met many many wonderful people, I stayed with people who were friends of family and even friends of friends of family. I visited some wonderful places and loved every minute of it. Of course from England, you have no concept of the distance between places. The airport to my families home in New South Wales was a 5 hour drive. The same distance as my home now in the West Country to the Scottish Borders. The Australian perspective is very very different. Over the years I have engaged in various discussions with Australian family about the Republic debate and I simply do not understand what the advantages are. In part Australian's believe what is the point of being connected to a Country so far away, but you can not change the path of history. I guess I am a traditionalist at heart.

A year later I boarded a plane to Singapore. I was so so sad to leave Australia. I remember walking up the steps at the regional airport to make my way to Sydney. The plane was full of business men taking the 7am flight to Sydney to do a days business. I remember thinking it was odd, but understood exactly why. 20 years later I boarded a plane at my local regional airport on the way to deliver a presentation at a conference in Scotland and remembered back to that day in Australia long ago.

I had arranged to meet a friend in Singapre for the last few weeks of my time on the road. We stayed a few days in Singapore at a wonderful hotel who served Singapore Slings in china vessel in the shape of the hotel. I still have my china vessel after all this time, it resides on the window ledge in the bathroom and on days when I am thinking back to my trip I look at the china and remember.

We then caught a local boat to the beautiful island of Tioman. We opted to stay in a traditional lodge. There was no running water, there was no toilet in the rooms. Showers were a precarious affair involving a shower head, a dubious tap and some water that was apparently warm. The toilet involved a bucket and a pan of water! The lodge itself held a bed and small table, that was it. The island did not take credit cards or have a cash machine or bank. We pooled our Singapore dollars together and converted it to Malaysian Dollars and immediately felt very rich because of the exchange rate.

Meals were taken at the various beachstyle cafe's and it was here that I developed the taste for tomato omlettes. The balcony at the lodge was a simple affair too. Just two wooden seats and banana's growing close by. You could reach out and pick them. I certainly never ate one, just in case! The island was beautiful and remains a real highlight of my journey. 

Having arrived back to England I had trouble adapting. I did eventually, and married in Kenya in 1994, to a wonderful man who listens to me rambling along about the most wonderful trip and something that undoubtly changed my life.

The photograph attached was taken in Tioman. It has to be one of my favourites out of a collection of several thousand that took whilst I was away. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jubilee Time Capsule

This year in the UK is the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II; and we are just days away from a really significant event in British History. Queen Elizabeth II is only the second Monarch to have achieved a Diamond Jubilee.

As part of the celebrations there is an opportunity to create a time capsule. You can read the details HERE. Anyone can take part, as long as the memory occurred between 6th February 1952 and 6th June 2012 and is about a Commonwealth Country, any of the 54 of them and can include those Countries no longer within the Commonwealth (Fiji, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe). Or the event could be a World Event and the impact upon a Commonwealth Country. You can follow the project via Twitter and Facebook.

My contribution to the Jubilee Time Capsule has been written, tweeked and submitted. I will share it here tomorrow!

Rothwell & Bowring Ltd, Newfoundland, Canada

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Ramblings from my Desk.....(6)

It has been a few months since my last ramblings post. My back problem has finally been diagnosed as a prolapsed disc and the injection I was to have in March came and went and give me about 40% pain relief, simply by blocking the pain at the nerve root.  I have managed to reduce the pain killers and returned to work, on reduced hours at the beginning of May. I have a second injection next week and if that does not prove more successful, then surgery is the only option left.

I am still not over keen on the specialist, but what can I do? I did though at the last appointment express that I was less than happy that she repeatedly does not listen to me and that whilst I am in pain, very fed up and frustrated I am not a moron. By the end of the consultation I felt better that I had expressed exactly how I felt. I feel sure that I am not in her top 5 favourite patient list!

Returning to work has been enlightening, both in terms of changes within the business, profession and my realisation that actually I have also changed. The change has got me to focus on a few things and ponder, and I mean really ponder on what is right for me going forward. Just as I returned to work something else happened on the health front and whilst I won't share it here, it was one of those moments that I hoped I would never have and for a moment or two I felt my world stop. So this is a period of adjustment and acknowledgement that there must be adjustments made. Not easy for someone who has always worked well beyond the paid hours; and whilst that is not right, it is how I have always worked.

Meanwhile, my Continual Professional Development (CPD) was called by the Regulating body and duly submitted on line via the Regulating body site. Even though I have a training background I still find the process of the on line structure tedious, but of course support the need for constant re-evaluation.

In the land of Blogging I have been busy. I have read a few books and reviewed them and seem to have had a real surge in review requests, which is excellent. I took part in the A - Z Blogging Challenge and I have to say, I loved it - you can read the various posts and the reflection posts via the tag line.

I have a considerable backlog of genealogical type posts to proof read and post, which I am hoping to do over the next few weeks, although I have been saying that for already a week!

Meanwhile, the sun is out and we are seeing some warm temperatures, although I do feel that 24 degrees is too warm! I am spending the coming weeks, back allowing, completing several projects I have been working on.

Until next time!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

100 Word Challenge - Week 43

Joining the weekly 100 words challenge for Grown ups. This week the prompt is to use the following words.

….The flame flickered before…. 

The cellar of the church was very poorly lit. No one comes down here the Church Warden announced, you're the first, for many many years, which is why we are still using candles.

She nodded, keen to get on and read the records she was seeking. The flame flickered and then reappeared. Thankfully her pencil zipped across the page, all the while she hoped the flame would not go out.

She wrote out another few pages then the flame flickered before finally turning the cellar deadly black. As she panicked, fear rising in her throat her thoughts were “Never again”

Taking part in the 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #43

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Guest Post at A-Z Challenge Blog

Having recently complete the A- Z Challenge I was invited to write a guest post, which has been posted at the A-Z Challenge blog today

Click to read the post - Preparation is 9/10th of the Work!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Guest Post - Allen Wyler

A few weeks ago I was approached to review the latest book by Allen Wyler. As I read review books in order and there is a little backlog I offered a guest post to Allen in view of the wait and here it is!

Synopsis & Press Release

World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world.  His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions.  But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt.  Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help.  Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea.  But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.

After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario:  The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Fiest.

Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience, actual events and hotbutton issues when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. Its medical and scientific details can impress even the most seasoned medical practitioners. And yet, the technical expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast.

About the Author

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

I still had a question or two for the author
"What made you take the path from neurosurgeon to author and what were your biggest challenges?"
Writing always interested me. Even in grade school I read like a fiend. So it seemed like a good idea to major in English instead of the traditional chemistry or zoology when I was taking my premed courses. This caused me considerable grief because it was difficult to get in all my required credits. But I figured once I got into medical school I’d never have another shot at the literature courses. And that’s exactly what happened —medical school and post graduate training consumed all my time. Then one Saturday, after starting practice, I came home from making rounds at the hospital and decided to start writing. Just like that. I began a novel that ended up to be really awful. Then I wrote another one, which was better but still not ready for prime time. At that point I started trolling for an agent and finally secured one, but could not sell my work. Years later, I got the call I’d been waiting for. It was quite a thrill. I guess, in the end, my biggest challenge was finding enough time to devote to writing. For me the writing process is difficult and requires a ton of work. I now enjoy the luxury of having sufficient time to work on my craft. It’s a dream come true.

You can purchase Dead End Deal by visiting the following webpage, which will allow you to select easily the format of your choice.

Disclaimer & Thanks

Thanks go to the author and publicist for proving the details for to create this guest post. I received an e-book from the publisher in order for me to create an honest book review, which will be along in due course.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sepia Saturday 126

It seems especially fitting that I share with you a photograph from our family collection. Taken at Puttenham Surrey in 1959 at the wedding of my 1st Cousin once removed.

What is especially sad, is that most of the people in this photo are no longer with us. My Grandparents are in the centre of the photograph, on the right is my Grandfather's sister and her husband. To the left of my Grandmother is my Mum. 

The reason that this is especially fitting is that the groom of this wedding passed away recently, having been married for a little more than half a Century. His funeral is on Monday, where I will stand with the rest of my family to say a goodbye.  

I will though take a selection of our photographs with me. The reason for this is that it is at times like these that, certainly in my family, we turn into ourselves as a group and remember those who went before us and made an impact on our lives. We share photos and stories and whilst it is a very sad time for us as a wider family and his immediate family, we share the joy that we are very fortunate despite the miles that separate some of us that we can come together and share those things.

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Friday, 18 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday - Italian Heraldic Postcard

This is one of my favourite post cards. I like and especially collect those postcards which display a coat of arms or a map. They seem to especially intrigue me.

Monday, 14 May 2012

100 Word Challenge - Week 42

Joining the weekly 100 words challenge for Grown ups. This week the prompt is to use the following words.


They were eager to land and start exploring the delights of the City that never sleeps. The enormous guidebook sat taunting them.

Having checked into their hotel they looked at their travel list, held in a yellow filofax. In alphabetical order was a rather impressive list that included the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Icons of the big Apple. Frank Sinatra would have been so proud of their planning and organisation.

They stood on the sidewalk and simply lapped up the feel of the City. Reaching for each others hands they headed off to explore.

Taking part in the 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #42

Mass Observation

Mass Observation - Recording everyday life in Britain The project, founded in 1937 is now housed at the University of Sussex. It provides a valuable insight into the lives of regular people. The original work continued until the late 1950s.

The original archive which predominately covers 1937 - 1949, with some additions from the 1950s and 1960s is open to the public. Covering the period leading up to, during and for four years after the Second World War it does provide some really useful information of the social and domestic lives of individuals.

In 1981 the project was revived. In recent years a specific date has been selected - 12th May and anyone can email the project with what they did, ate, saw,read, wore etc.

You can read about the project via the website. You can read some of the entries from 12th May 2010 HERE. If you want to submit your entry for 12th May 2012 read the instructions HERE

I have just emailed my entry off to the email address provided on the instruction page. There appears not to be a closing date listed, so anyone reading this can probably send them in over the next few days.

Nuncio and The Gypsy Girl by Kristin Alexandre, illustrated by Tom Loepp

I really didn't know what to expect  of this book when I was approached by the author's publicist for a review. Graphic fiction is not something that I have especially read in the past, but nonetheless, I accepted the offer to review the book.

Set in the United States in 1912 we explore the life of a young gypsy girl called Neci, who falls in love with a man, older than herself called Ezra. Meanwhile, despite being besotted with Neci, Ezra's head is turned when he meets another women, who is well connected.

The two women confront each other and at once the well connected women realises that she has some serious competition for the affections of Ezra. Neci is then offered the chance to sail across the Atlantic, not realising the risks to the ship she is boarding, which was sunk with a great loss of life during the First World War.

The book concludes, with the tragic episode of the bombing and subsequent sinking of the Lusitania and we must await the next book in the series to find out the fate of Neci and Ezra.

The illustrations throughout are brilliant and are produced by the very talented Tom Loepp. I did enjoy the book. It took a bit of getting use to as the story is narrated through Nuncio, a grey African parrot, which made the story turn into fantasy. I especially liked the historical aspects of the story and these have been researched well.

Disclaimer - I was provided with a free copy of the e-book, in exchange for an honest review. The review and my thoughts expressed here are my own.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Guest Post - Rob RodenParker

Book Synopsis

Join Prince Alorin journey to vanquish evil from the three kingdoms of the continent of Aedaria. To do so, they need the Orbs of Power that give their human hosts incredible powers, but they need to find them first. During the Sealing War of years past, the orbs were created to help defeat the demons and devils that threatened to take over the lands and conquer all of the kingdoms. After the war the orbs were scattered throughout the continent, and only a few remain guarded.

With an amusing cast of supporting characters and plenty of villains to battle, Orbs of Power will take you on an exhilirating journey full of romance, politics, and adventure. Along the way you will encounter heroes and sorcery, devils and demons, and fantastical creatures such as centaurs and merfolk. Follow these two unlikely young heroes as they learn to harness their newfound powers while discovering each other on their path to becoming king and queen together and trying to save humankind.

You can purchase the book via:
Amazon (UK)
Amazon (US)

Contact the author

My thoughts.
Not usually a fan of fantasy, I was asked to review this book and I am glad I did. This is fast pasted with some really strong characters and everything you would perhaps expect from a fantasy novel, including dragons! I liked it!

Disclaimer - I was provided with a copy of the book for review purposes and this in no way influenced my thoughts on the book.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Family History Through The Alphabet Challenge: A is for....

On the back of the A-Z April Challenge, the lovely folk at Gould Genealogy devised another challenge - Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge. Each week, we work through the letters of the alphabet sharing perhaps an elusive ancestor, a favourite or particular ancestor, or perhaps a heirloom.

A is for Agricultural Labourer.

We probably all have our fair share of those we term as "ag labs" and whilst we appreciate the contribution that they made, we often neglect to research and understand not only what they did in terms of everyday work, but where they worked and for whom.

When I am researching I often create a Mind Map of points that I want to find out about. Here is my list for Ag Labs:

  • Geography of the area where they worked
  • Who owned the land?
  • Part of an estate? and if so what other land did that landowner hold
  • Tithe Maps
  • Type of farming? - arable or dairy or perhaps both
  • Diaries written by landowners at the time
  • Mention of the land in wills or other documents

Much of my ancestry is rooted deep in the southern Counties of Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey. Crossing into the next County is easy and often, if I am searching for something in particular to Surrey, I will search the County Records Offices for neighbouring Hampshire & Sussex too. 

It is not unusual for land to be held by a landowner in a County where that landowner did not live. Understanding the reasons why are important and perhaps linked into dowry's upon marriage or acquired through the death of a family member. Women could not usually inherit and often land went to the nearest male relative. Understanding those basic principles can therefore explain why we often loose agricultural labourers on Census records. They have perhaps been offered a position in a neighbouring farm, or a different County,and in some cases a distance away from home, but owned by the same landowner.

Sometimes, we need to research the bigger picture in order to understand the movements and lives of our ancestors. This is important when we research those who would have received a meagre wage and often left no supplementary documentation behind.

Useful Links:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday - Mothers Day

A lovely First World War Mothers Day card.

Here in the United Kingdom we celebrated Mothers Day back in March!

Submitted as part of Postcard Friendship Friday hosted by The Best Hearts are Crunchy 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tea Cup Tuesday - Commemorative V E Day 8th May 1945

Today is the 67th Anniversary of V. E. Day. This mug was produced in Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the event. What I love about this mug is the emotion displays on the faces of the people shown. This was probably a site replicated all across the United Kingdom and many places in Europe; that War was finally over; It was in Europe, V. J. Day didn't happen until later, in August 1945.

Here is a clipping from a newspaper published in South West Scotland, here my late father in law shared his memories.

Memories my late Father in Law shared with the readers of the Annandale Herald
(Dumfriesshire Scotland) 18th August 2005

Taking part in Tea Cup Tuesday hosted by Artful Affirmations & Martha's Favourites

Monday, 7 May 2012

100 Word Challenge - Week 41

Joining the weekly 100 words challenge for Grown ups. This week the prompt is to use this picture titled "Old Bones" Copyrighted to Julia (JFB57)

Doning wellington boots, they started walking through the old cemetery. She walked ahead, keen to find the headstone, to be the one to call gently “it’s here”.

Walking about the rows, reading the epitaphs and wondering who these people had been, what their lives and loves had been like.

After several hours she spotted the headstone. Not exactly how she remembered it, but it was definitely the one. She bowed her head in respect and remembrance for someone long since passed.  

Suddenly, she felt her colour drain away; for there was a small pile of bones.......

Taking part in the 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #41

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Reflections

It's time for the reflections of the A-Z Blog Challenge!

This is the second year I have taken part and for me it was a better challenge.

I debated on what to run with as my theme. Last year I was random in what I wrote about, but the common link was each of the items meant something to me. This year I was specific, yet at the same time a little random on the post content.

I wrote all my posts in advance, which helped me to focus on other things and visit other participants. Even at the point of writing this I am still visiting & reading!

My theme was Australia. I focused on my ancestors who migrated to Australia, both as free settlers and as convicts. I focused on localities that have links with my family and on places that I have visited. I spent time writing about the contribution Australia made in the First World War and linking that post into my Genealogical ANZAC Day post. Some of the letters were a bit of a challenge; Q featured Quilts and made mention of the Quilt that was made by the convict women that sailed upon The Rajah in 1841, X featured a Stamp about the Flying Doctors and was a little outside the box - you can have a peek HERE.

I also linked other regular meme posts to the theme - Postcard Friendly Friday, Sunday Stamps, Sepia Saturday. I loved every minute of it!

So, having written all my posts in advance, I spent the month visiting other participants. Some gave up early on in the challenge. I found commenting easy on other blogs; and only came across a few that had word verification enabled. What I did find was there was a core of bloggers that commented on each of my posts and I did likewise, and that was a nice extra bond, as if being cheered on from the side lines.

There were a couple of participants who shared a daily post of those blogs that they had come across and that helped the interaction with bloggers, whom perhaps I might not have come across.

At the end of March I was awarded the ABC Award for this blog and part of that was sharing 26 things about myself. I decided to save the response and feature an A-Z of other blogs that I had come across during the challenge.

I love the creativeness that the A-Z Challenge provides. The planning and thought process. The challenge is made easier by writing in advance and by having a theme. I already have a few ideas for the next challenge......

You can read the 2012 Challenge posts.

Sunday Stamps - Liberation

Last week I shared a few stamps linked to ANZAC Day, which is commemorated on 25th April. I have reused those that were my favourites! and you can read that post HERE

Commemoration stamps 1935

Here is another favourite. This was produced by Jersey Post to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of the Island of Jersey from German Occupation.

I love the quote from Winston Churchill "....And our Dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today".

Regular readers will perhaps remember that last summer we visited Jersey and I was very moved by the War Tunnels . You can read the various posts about Jersey under this tag line and I wrote four posts about the War Tunnels - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

Submitted as Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian's Postcard Blog

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Sepia Saturday 124 - Small

Back in the 1970s when I was still a child, we would have holidays in Devon. We visited on several occasions the Model Village at Babbacombe. These are a few postcards from the late 1970s.

Fast forward from the 1970s to the late 1990s when I moved from my native Surrey to Devon. 

I now live about 9 miles from the Model Village there and of course, like most of us, never visit what attractions are under our noses. The Model Village always hosts a wonderful Festive display with fake snow and twinkle lights. We had planned to visit last year, as there will not be a Christmas display in 2012 in preparation for the 50 year anniversary in 2013, but we were unable to visit.

Here are a few festive photographs from our last visit in December 2006.

You can view the complete December 2006 set HERE

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Friday, 4 May 2012

Postcard Friendship Friday - Singapore & Furama Hotel

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me this postcard from Singapore. She recalled that I had mentioned at around 20 years ago I had stayed at the Furama Hotel which is depicted in this postcard and so she sent to me in the hope that it triggered a nice memory.

It did trigger a lovely memory. As I recall I was allocated a room on the 17th floor. As I checked in, I was invited to a free Singapore Sling in the bar, which was served in a china vessel in the shape of the hotel. I still have mine and it is currently located on the bathroom window ledge!

A quick Google revealed that there are now two Furama's in Singapore. HERE is where I stayed.

Submitted as part of Postcard Friendship Friday hosted by The Best Hearts are Crunchy 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Reflections

May 7th A to Z Reflections Post
  • How was the journey through the alphabet?
  • Challenge highlights
  • Time Management Issues
  • Theme or free posts
  • Commenting Issues
  • Plans for next year!
  • Suggestions for the co-ordinators
Reflection post coming up!


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