Thursday, 31 January 2013

Creating a Photo Collage (the easy way!)

As you might have seen yesterday, I created this collage for February Photo Collage Festival.

When the conversation first came about over at Family History Across the Seas there was a debate of how the collage was created.

On the day I felt like creating my collage I was not within easy reach of the software package I had planned to you. Being a little lazy to walk up 30 stairs to my study I wondered if I could create something on line, free of charge.

Here enters the website PhotoVisi. Now, I was a first time user to the site. I have to say it was fairly easy. So, get a cup of tea, ensure you have access to the digital images and then click the link to the website.

  1. PhotoVisi
  2. Select choose a design and then hit enter
  3. Click on the large + button at the top left and add your photos (clicking on add photos each time)
  4. Click Finish and select the resolution you require
  5. Hit continue
  6. Then you can download your collage
A box appears giving you the option to email, send your collage to Face Book or Tweet it, you can simply hit the X and towards the bottom of the page is your collage to download.

So if you thought perhaps you could not make a photo collage, oh yes you can!

Come and join in the fun! - Sign up HERE and follow on Twitter - #fpcf13

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Photo Collage

My good genea blogging friend Pauline of Family History Across the Seas was my inspiration for this post and a thread of posts that will happen over the coming month. Pauline was originally inspired by Kristin of Finding Eliza.

I have quite an arsenal of family photographs. Some I have inherited, some given to me by others and others I was allowed to borrow and make copies. However they have been acquired I treasure them all. I spent a few hours recently, looking through these photographs and selecting 28 of them for this collage.

Starting on 1st February I shall take each photo in turn share the full version and talk about the photo, the people and the location. Each photo means something to me, they are all connected to my family.

If you want to play along visit the sign up page! Twitter  - #fpcf13 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Filofax - Part Three

In two earlier posts (HERE & HERE)  I explored my Filofax and how it worked for me. One of the comments that was left was that it seemed complicated. I then thought, Was it?

I looked again at my structure and realised that perhaps, just ever so slightly it was and perhaps I should merge some of those sections together. Those sections could be merged because as long as I could find things then that was the most important; and no one else used my Filofax anyway.

I planned to live with my structure for another few weeks then to review. In the meantime, I read another Filofax post, where the writer commented that she was wrestling with her Filofax. I got a sense that like me the writer of that post simply had to have her Filofax just right. She used the wonderful expression of "her brain on paper" and I thought that is exactly what my Filofax is to me.

So, the final decisions for this Filofax is the following layout -
  • Notes - including book titles,book reviews, websites etc.
  • Expenses - keeping track of family history subscriptions and payments to professional bodies.
  • Personal - birthday list etc
  • Projects - here is where I record ideas for blog posts and keep a note of specific posts are to appear on various sites 
  • Genealogy - here is where I keep details on various research lines, or ideas for research
  • Work - a mixture of CPD opportunities, research clients, and other professional review work

The back card section holds my Jersey Heritage card and entry cards to The National Archives and Society of Genealogists. It also holds my membership number to the pharmacy professional body.

I am still keeping my diary separately as I prefer the page a day variety where I record appointments, hours worked, social engagements and notes such as that I paid the credit card bill.

My next task is to source some nicer dividers and to explore potential uses for the other Filofaxes that are in my study. As luck would have it I have a spare set of blank dividers from WHSmiths quite a few years ago and they come in a set of 6!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Library Loot - 28th January

This week I have been to the library twice! - I nipped in on Saturday with a very large bag of books, returning some, renewing some and to collect a book. Today I went as it is the venue for my book group meeting.

Here is this week's loot

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing…Dona Nicanora's Hat Shop by Kirstan…Golf (Companion Guides) by DK Publishing

Bird by Bird is the title for the book discussion of The Progressive book group - to discuss by 20th Feb. You can read the details HERE.

Dona Nicanoras Hat Shop is the book for the next reading group - this was actually my selection, so I hope it is a good read.

Golf, is my husband's choice. For some reason I was slightly put out that he should want to borrow a book against his library ticket!

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Holocaust Memorial Day

On this day, in 1945 saw the liberation of The Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. Today, we use this date as a way of commemorating the thousands of families and individuals who suffered during this period of our World history.

Earlier this week, a friend emailed me a few pictures and said that she had gone home, back to Poland and visited the museum, which now located at the camp. Those pictures showed the queue of visitors awaiting access to the museum all standing wrapped up and warmish whilst the snow fell.

Despite being Polish, my friend had never visited the museum. Each year her family send a representative to pay tribute to their family members who entered the various camps. Many never returned. This year my friend was asked if she would make the journey from England to Poland to see her family and make the annual pilgrimage. She agreed.

The photos and emails she has shared with me have been a treasure and pleasure for me to read, despite her and her families obvious upset of the events of the past. Her last sentence read "You're an historian, you'll understand all of this" Actually I am an historian and genealogist; despite this I do not have any personal family knowledge of these situations. Do I understand? I understand her family need that someone attends yearly to show their continual respect. Continuing a link with the past. What I do not understand is that over 60 years later the world has learnt very little from those terrible events.

copyright AuthorAttic
I wrote back and said the same, and asked that had she considered how she would share her family events to her children when the time was right? What followed was a series of emails and the title of books, the most well know of which was The Diary of Anne Frank.

The image here is from AuthorAttic, and the cover compels me to have another read of this book. My own copy is a hardback fairly non-descript version that I have owned for over 25 years, and was purchased following a school trip to The Netherlands where I visited the home of Anne Frank

These emails coincided with the launch of an iPad app which is based upon The Dairy of Anne Frank. You can watch a trailer of the app HERE. The trailer promises an amazing application and from the feedback I have seen via the app's review page and from a friend who downloaded it, they concur with my initial thoughts. You can read the article from The Daily Telegraph HERE

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Australia Day 2013

Back in 2011, I shared the details of my earliest ancestral links to Australia with a post about Captain George Bridges Bellasis and his wife, Esther nee King.

I first became aware of the Bellasis connection to my ancestry back in the late 1980s. I then did little research into that line beyond the records that existed in the rural Surrey parish of Puttenham and created what is on line as the Puttenham One Place Study

Esther was born Ester King in 1770, the daughter of John King and Mary nee Budd. The whole story resembles that of Pride and Prejudice as John and Mary had a family of 10 children, 9 of whom were girls. I can almost here the cries of Mary King as she worries about her daughters finding good husbands. 

Just how the King daughters became connected to the Bellasis family is intriguing, but all but two of the girls (one married in England and the other died in 1795 aged 17 years) married men connected to the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) and their son also spent time in India before dying in the Gulf of Persia in 1812. The link to how I established this is rather wonderful. The Curate of the parish of Puttenham was a man called Charles Kerry. During his time in the village he kept a series of manuscripts and as part of those there is a reference or two to the Bellasis connection. It was this fact that acted as my springboard.

Ester married George Bridges Bellasis in 1796 in Calcutta India. George was known as the most "Handsome man in India" a fact gleaned from the book written about the Bellasis family called "An Honourable Company" by Margaret Bellasis published in 1952. What has been established is that the girls went out to India in instalments, as they became of age and they were dispatched to parts of the "Empire" in the care of the elder sisters. 

The story is that one of Esther's sisters was proposed to by Arthur Forbes Mitchell, a partner in Forbes & Co. The proposal was later retracted and a dual between the Forbes Mitchell and George Bridges Bellasis ensued. As a result George Bridges Bellasis was sent to Botany Bay for life for killing the proposer, having been transported on board the ship called "The Fly" in 1802. When he arrived in Sydney, George was immediately given a conditional pardon by Governor King and on 24 June 1803 received a Royal pardon as an "act of commiseration towards a gallant, but unfortunate officer and an afflicted dying wife".

I wondered about Ester. Just what had her life been like? Married to a well to do member of the HEIC, was she shamed because of the dual and subsequent outcome of that?, then transported like a common criminal? I wish I knew just what she thought and felt. I wondered just what research material had been left behind of the Bellasis time in Australia. George it is well documented as a military man in Australia and India, there is evidence that he was involved in the Freemason movement in the early days of the colony.

I did a search on line for "Mrs Bellasis"+Australia and for variations of - Botany Bay, Ester Bellasis and was very surprised to find this painting. Pink Hibiscus and is titled "The Carrajan by Mrs Bellasis, Sydney and was painted circa 1803.

I sent off to the archive, The Mitchell Library, State Library for NSW, for a electronic copy and it is one of my genealogical treasures. What is especially wonderful is that the painting by Ester Bellasis is the earliest known piece of artwork by a woman in Australia, so it looks like Ester made her mark after all.

George and Ester returned to England in the early 1800's and Ester is commemorated at Puttenham Church having died in 1805 in Berkshire, at the Bellasis home. George returned to India and later remarried, to his deceased wife's sister, Elizabeth Kent nee King, herself a widow. George died in India in 1825 and the sister Elizabeth in Kent in 1837.

Since that initial research I have spent time researching the life of Esther's sisters. From research it is possible to say that Esther was not the only one to have married well and I can almost feel the excitement and relief of John and Mary King.

Sepia Saturday 161

This week I am sharing one of my favourite images from my Guildford collection. It is an early picture, dating to 1880 and is of the cattle market at Guildford, which was in 1880 situated in North Street. At some point the cattle market moved to Slyfield where it is still held, but not with any of the busyness and rush of this picture.

North Street had in times gone by the unfortunate name of Lower Backside! although, that was before my time.

I have always known it as North Street and I guess the alternative name reflects its status as it was less popular that the High Street which effectively runs parallel to North Street at the left of the picture.

The High Street in comparison was the main shopping area with a beautiful clock dating back to the 1650s and a cobbled street, which has survived today.

During my childhood this market was not there in this form, but appeared every Friday and Saturday and for those two days, come rain or shine provided the local population with fruit, vegetables and flowers. My Grandmother always used two stalls in particular, one of which was called Hone's. My Mum tells me that she went to school with one of the chaps whose family operated the stall.

Its formation I am sure stems back to when farmers grew their own produce and the surplus they sold, of course over time they simply grew more and more so they could sell it. The stalls have demised the invention of supermarkets and the trendy and affluence of Guildford and the Saturday produce market has almost lost its soul.

Now it is represented by an extension of other market stalls and for my traditionalist brain that is just not right!

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Weekend Cooking - Burns Night (Part Two)

Having experienced the process of a Burns Supper yesterday. How do you actually go about cooking it?

Haggis can be found in most super markets here in the UK. They are usually found on the fresh meat counters and can be frozen. I routinely have at least two in the freezer. They do need defrosting before cooking.

Picture of ready cooked Haggis
Haggis can be cooked in a variety of ways
  1. Haggis can be cooked on the hob, in a pan of boiled water. As soon as the water boils reduce the heat and add the Haggis, with the water simmering it takes around an hour. 
  2. Haggis can also be cooked in the oven, remove from the plastic casing and wrap in tin foil. Place the Haggis into an oven proof dish with a little water and cook, usually for around an hour. 
  3. Haggis can also be cooked via the microwave, I usually remove the outer plastic and skin, and don't forget the metal clips at the ends! Cut the Haggis into small segments and cook on full power. Length of time will vary depending on your microwave. 
Haggis Pie

Cook Suede and Potatoes
Haggis cooked for about 3 minutes in the microwave (mine is 900w)
Cut Haggis into sections and place in bottom of a dish, I use a Lasagna dish
Mash Suede and place on top of Haggis
Mash potato and place on top of Suede.
Place in Oven for (mine is fan assisted) so 20 minutes until nice and brown.

Wee Beestie!

Cook Haggis and break into bits with a fork.
Serve on a bed of mashed potato and mashed suede (neep)
cover with cheese sauce and a light dusting of black pepper to taste

Weekend Cooking is hosted by BethFishReads

Friday, 25 January 2013

Weekend Cooking - Burns Night (Part One)

Rabbie Burns 1759 - 1796
Across the world, thousands of people with Scottish Heritage celebrate the birth of the Scottish Poet Rabbie Burns on 25 January. Traditionally there is a Burns Supper of Haggis, Neep and Tatties to celebrate the event.

The formal supper starts with a welcome and announcements then the Selkirk Grace.

Selkirk is one of the oldest towns in the Borders of Scotland. The Grace itself is a prayer and said before a meal. Here is the prayer in both Scottish and English translation:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
Some have food and cannot eat,
And some would eat that lack it,
But we have food and we can eat,
So let God be thanked.

After the Grace everyone stands as the Haggis is carried into the room to the sound of bagpipes. The Haggis is laid at the hosts table and then there is the cutting of the Haggis and the famous poem "Address to a Haggis" is read.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An' cut you up wi' ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit" hums.

Is there that o're his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whistle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thristle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

At the end of the poem there is a whisky toast to the Haggis. Then the meal is consumed.

The meal itself is Haggis served with mashed potato known as tatties and mashed neep which are turnip if you are in Scotland or Suede if you are south of the border!

When the meal reaches the coffee stage there is a toast to the Monarch . After the meal an "Immortal Memory" takes place. This is usually a speech on the life and poetry works of Robert Burns and the evening concludes with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?
For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.
Haggis is available in most supermarkets in the UK as either fresh or in some cases in tinned form. In the US it is available, certainly a few examples of companies that have a US outlets or ship to the US are or or
I have no financial gain from the companies mentioned.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by BethFishReads

Thursday, 24 January 2013

My Column at Smitten by Britain

I am delighted to say that I have a guest post over at Smitten by Britain. Smitten by Britain is described as the "Home of the Britophile and all things British"
Smitten by Britain
This is the start of a regular feature which I have called British Allsorts, in which will explore with you bits that happen in my part of the West Country, with perhaps a few other bits such as random thoughts, historical aspects, book recommendations and anything else that takes my fancy! – all with a British slant of course!

Here is the link to my first contribution. You can follow my column by visiting the Smitten by Britain website and subscribing via email, Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

My Column at The In-Depth Genealogist

Picture As I mentioned a week or so, I have been selected to be a columnist at the On line genealogist magazine, The In-Depth Genealogist.

My column, titled Across the Pond will focus on researching ancestry in the United Kingdom.

Each month we will explore the lives of our forebears and seek to understand the Society they lived in through the obvious and not so obvious research opportunities.

You can read my Introduction post HERE and you can follow the column by visiting The In-Depth Genealogist website and subscribing via email or via twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


I was just catching up on some commenting at Mad Dog Women of Shackelford's blog and thought that I might share this with my own audience.

As I may have said before, Alfie our Border Terrier was a rescue dog. He had been returned to the breeder. We heard about him through Border Terrier rescue, who in turn got our details from a local vet.

So, we went to see Alfie, who was called something different. The story we were told that he had bitten someone and had been in a family with young children. So, we pondered that did not seem to be the whole story.

Once at the breeder he was in a cage, outside in a barn. He was frightened and didn't know what was happening. We felt, regardless of any bites we could not leave him there and bought him home.

We got him settled in and took him to the vet, who advised that he needed a procedure, not urgently, but it would need to be done before he was 5. At this point he was 2 years old. The procedure would mean no breeding, but would avoid some cancers.

Alfie settled in slowly - he for example was always wary of sudden movements, shouting (loud TV scenes), and his ears being rubbed, to name a few.

Alfie last April 2012
Over the next 6 months he settled in well, he ate and drank OK, never pinned for his previous owners and settled into life with us. We changed his name and he had no problem coping with it. He, now aged 5 has had his procedure over a year ago (we waited following the vets advise) and he is as loving and caring as ever. He eats, walks, sleeps and plays happily. He is partial to cuddles on the settee and snoozing on our bed.

I seriously do not believe he bit anyone, I simply think he was purchased to breed from and then became a problem for the family and the breeder. I was horrified at how Alf was treated at the breeder and certainly would not buy from them again.

For us, we gained a loving and happy dog and that is all that matters.

Monday, 21 January 2013

100 Word Challenge - Week 74

Joining the weekly 100 words challenge for Grown ups. This week the prompt is to use the following prompt. Total word allowance - 104

…the extreme weather meant…

They were up early ready for their big trip. 

The car was packed apart from the last few bits to go in the final bag. As he drew back the bedroom curtains he was just starting to say that they should make the journey in good time, when he yelled out. 

Together they stood and looked at the piles and piles of snow. Looking at each other, neither admitting that they had not checked the forecast. Well the extreme weather meant a long and dangerous trip. In fact should they go at all?

Disappointed they went out to the garage to empty the car

Taking part in the 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #74

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sunday Salon - Progressive Book Club

This week was the first official meet of the Progressive Book Club. Now I say meet, but we do not physically meet. Just as well as the weather this week has been shocking. We have had low temperatures, hail, rain and snow.

So we kicked off with an obvious virtual meet and there is a new link to the group which is HERE.

The next time we pull up our virtual chairs is on 20th February and the book we will be sharing is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Then on 20th March we are reading Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.

The April meet is on 17th and we shall be talking about The End of Life Book Group by Will Schwalbe. I have already read this book for the Bookies Too Group, but I shall post a further set of reflections. You can read my initial review HERE. I LOVED this book.

The other two books are new to me. I have ordered the first one using the library loan system, the on line catalogue advises me that there is one copy available in Tiverton, which has a lot of snow currently! hopefully I will get an email next week advising it is at the local library.

Any other salon members signed up to the PBG?

Until next week

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Sepia Saturday - 160

I thought this week I might share a few family snaps of different methods of transport.

This first photo is the only one I have of one of my Grandfather's brothers.

This a photograph of the Coronation Parade taken 2nd June 1953. The reverse of the photograph is written by late Great Aunt Dorothy May nee Butcher. The man holding the horse is her brother, my Great Uncle Dick, who was christened Percy in Wanborough in 1906.

My Uncle moved to Horley with his wife Molly nee BEST, so it could have been taken in Horley, but a hunch tells me it is Manor Farm at Guildford.

This photo I may have shared before. This was taken in Guildford in 1968 when the River Wey flooded its bank. My Grandparents are in fact looking out of the window and can just be seen. (Copyright of this photo goes to Allan)

The final photo was given to me by my Grandfather's cousin, James Butcher. Apparently it is of "One of the Crook Grandmothers". The Crook family were originally, I have established from London, but they moved South to Guildford, where they farmed in Worplesdon outside of Guildford. The Crook family often intermarried with part of the Butcher family, not always too successfully!

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Friday, 18 January 2013

Thyroid Awareness Month 2013

January is Thyroid Awareness Month
Over the last few years I have shared various posts about my Thyroid condition and the curiosity of could it be inherited. As it is Thyroid Awareness Month, I thought I would simply present a little medley of those earlier posts.

The Twitter feed is #ThyroidAwarenessMonth
There are a few others (tag - Thyroid)

As I have said previously I think that there is a potential link back to those earlier generations. My Endocrinologist who I see every 6 months was rather interested when I discussed it back in 2011 with him. Now, every time I go for an appointment he always asks how I have progressed. It's good CPD for the day job!

Furthermore, I make a reference in one of those earlier posts about the amount of colds I was getting whilst on a higher dose of Levothyroxine. On that particular Endocrinology appointment I saw a registrar. We chatted about the earlier Bristol Study that I had been involved with and then asked as I sat there full of cold, if I had many colds. I thought about it and said that yes, I do get a lot of colds, but I am working in the environment to catch them. He then went back through my bloods tests and pointed out the level of T4 rises immediately before I am unwell then dips when I am unwell.

He arranged to print out the blood results and promised to plot the results as a graph and send to me. Two weeks later it arrived along with a letter inviting me to another, sooner appointment and a copy of a letter to my GP where he discussed the findings.

As a result of those findings, discussions and appointments I was reduced from 150mcg in 2008/9 to 100mcg of Levothyroxine. Since then I have reduced the amount of time I am ill by 50%.

Interesting....coincidence or fact?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Buying Books & things

Recently I had the opportunity to browse for books in a nearby branch of WHSmiths. I have to say not my preferred venue for book shopping, but I had returned something to a local store before Christmas and asked the refund be placed on a gift card.

I entered the store and headed to the book area. I was disappointed. As I stood and looked at the shelves I became aware that this chain of UK newsagents and booksellers has lost its charm and I don't think it is going to come back.

The chain has long promoted the Richard and Judy Book Club and I noticed that there is now an iPhone application. When I got home I downloaded the application and had a look at the website.

I recalled the outlets the chain had at railway stations, usually on the platforms in old wooden and draughty huts, since replaced with the shiny new buildings in the station forecourts.

80 Olympic Sports Stamps
I also noticed that they still made the stamp packs I remember from my youth. Dare I say it, those were the days!

On that day, I returned home book less, which was a shame. There were books that caught my eye, but I was too concerned with the WHSmiths of my childhood.

I sat with a cup of tea and mulled over the memories and the wonderful moments I had exploring books and authors in my childhood that has, without a doubt shaped the prolific reader I became as an adult.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Progressive Book Club

Beginning today and continuing on the third Wednesday of each month, M L Swift will be hosting a discussion on various craft books and every third month we'll throw in a nice piece of fiction for good measure! Today's launch post is HERE

The Progressive Book Club: A unique blog hop that's an on line book club! Here's how it works:
  1. Visit the LINK HERE and sign up to take part.
  2. Write a post today on your blog which tells your readers about the Book Club and links back to the main page. Don't forget to add the badge.
  3. Note down the books that we will be reading
  4. Note down the next meeting dates - 20th February
  5. Source the book, either purchase it or borrow from the library 
  6. On 20 Feb write your post recalling two or three things the book taught you or inspired you. Perhaps a review or discuss the book. Add the post to YOUR blog.
  7. Add the the link of your posting to the Progressive Book Club page
  8. Visit 3 (or more) other participants.
  9. Have fun!
The book we are reading for 20th Feb is.......

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (237 pages)

The book we are reading for 20th March is .......

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (195 pages)

The book we are reading for 17th April is .......

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (336 pages)

I have already completed the reserve request at the library for the February book and I have already read the April book which you can read HERE. It is a wonderful book and I may well re-read again! It is a great choice!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Blogging Awards & Some Thoughts

In the last week there has been numerous posts about awards and the value of them. You can read a really good discussion at Finding Eliza with a link to an article called Blogging Awards & SEO & a further posts and comments over at Family History Across the Seas hosted by Pauline, along with a post at Australian Ancestral Journeys

It became clear that many of the genealogical bloggers appreciate the gesture of receiving the award, but feel uncomfortable of the forwarding of it. Feeling, that it singles out fellow bloggers, in addition to the SEO.

I have to say I agree. There are lots of blogs that I visit and comment on, and whilst I am very grateful that others feel that my blog is worthy of an award, and that people read my posts and leave comments. I do not like passing them on.

Several times last year I wrote a post saying that I had been awarded an award and then linking to the main page of the awarder - much in the same way as I have linked to Pauline in this post, and the way that I often to link to other bloggers when I write posts, as a courtesy and acknowledgement.  I then went onto to say this -
"I follow a tremendous number of blogs and many of them are versatile. I have therefore decided not to pass along the award, but to make a further loan $25 to the Kiva Project that I have mentioned several times on this blog. I am a member of the Genealogists for Families Team"
Therefore I have decided that should I be nominated for a blog I shall no longer forward it on. Nor will I be awarding any awards.  Instead I shall
  1. Use it as an opportunity to undertake something of lasting value by making a loan to KIVA via the Genealogists for Families Team 
  2. Create a page for blogs that I follow regularly and enjoy.

Who was Emmi?

I was recently reading a post by Sally at Books and Musings from Down Under when I was prompted to ponder on the background of my late Great Aunt.

The link was quite simply the name of a central character in a book that had been reviewed HERE. The name, which was Emmi reminded me that was the name of my Aunt, she was according to my Grandmother German and had married my Uncle following the Second World War. The only other details I had was that Emmi already had a daughter from presumably her first marriage or relationship.

No other details were shared with me and to be honest I had not really thought of it for a few years. So having read the review I pondered on 
  1. Whether Emmi was German or Austrian. In the book, which incidentally I have not read, Emmi was Austrian.
  2. How did they meet?
  3. When did they meet? - (during the Second World War is the only time line I have)
  4. Emmi's surname  - birth and following her first marriage (making a slight assumption here!) - No record of a marriage is recorded in England.
  5. How was Emmi received in the family? -  At this I can only guess as there is no one left to ask. 
My Grandmother was always fairly jovial and she simply said things as she thought them.  I recall once when she was in hospital the Doctor came to do his rounds. He had an obvious accent and of course the question had to be asked by Grandmother where, was he from? The response was Germany. At which point there was a humph, and a pause before the response of, I have a German sister in law, she is a souvenir from the war you know.

At which point I wanted to simply vanish into the ground. The doctor sat on the edge of the bed and asked where in Germany. At which point my Grandmother said, she had no idea. No one had ever asked, as everyone didn't want to rake up old upsetting feelings from the war years. The conversation continued a while and my Grandmother said that she would see if Emmi visited and if she did she would ask, but the important thing was they (meaning my Aunt and Uncle) seemed happy and that was the important thing.

As luck would have it a few days later during another visit, my Aunt arrived, she had heard via my other Aunt, who lived down the road that Gran was in hospital and so came to visit. She had just sat down, asked all the usual hospital questions when the same doctor arrived. My Grandmother introduced them to each other and then they were off, talking in German. They chatted for a while then he asked us to leave while he spoke to my Grandmother. He probably asked where she was from and how long she lived in England. Aunt never mentioned the conversation and I never saw the doctor again. As I can not understand German I shall never know the contents of the conversation.

So the question still remains, Who was Emmi?

Monday, 14 January 2013

100 Word Challenge - Week 73

Joining the weekly 100 words challenge for Grown ups. This week the prompt is to use the following prompt. Total word allowance - 105

…the notes from the piano…

The hotel was set in lovely grounds, and had the most beautiful gardens.  They were fortunate to have a room which gave them access via patio doors to the gardens. They locked their room and left via the patio doors. 

They walked around the pond, observing the lily pads and enjoying the evening breeze. There were some beautiful Azalea bushes displaying the most vibrant pink and purple flowers.  

In the distance they could hear the notes from the piano being played in the restaurant. They wandered up to the restaurant and were looking forward to a romantic dinner together.

It was a celebration. Happy Anniversary!

Taking part in the 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #73

Family History Writing Challenge 2013

Well the news is just out, that The Armchair Genealogist is launching a repeat of the Family History Writing Challenge. Are you going to take part?

The link above gives the details for the challenge, including how to sign up. Personally I am signing up to 250 words a day, which means that I should get a minimum of 7,000 words for the month, although I usually achieve more.

I am planning to use the month to explore what I know and would like to know about certain ancestors. So I can build a set of 28 chapters for a project I want to explore. This is the third year I have taken part and the best advice I can offer any fellow genealogical blogger is to plan.

Family History Writing Challenge
Image courtsey of
The Armchair Genealogist
  To sign up click HERE

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sunday Salon Check In!

Hello, what a week it has been.  I failed miserably at visiting the library and leaving with no books. I left with another 3 books, which were

Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs has been on my wish list for sometime. I spotted it and picked it up fairly quickly.

Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson.  Nigella is almost an old friend. Just before Christmas I watched the final 20 minutes or so of her Christmas programme and knew that I wanted the book. It is a whopper, with a whopper price - £25. It oozes loveliness and it followed me home from the library. Not a brilliant move, as it was a fairly heavy book to carry, but having had a look through it was worth the weight! This book will be the subject of a few Weekend Cooking posts I am sure.

Gluten Free for Dummies is a book, in preparation for me. We are wondering if there is a Gluten problem with hubby, so doing a little bit of reading in advance. Over the years I have had various patients with Gluten issues, but when its your own family it takes a different slant.

Then when I got home there were 3 books ready for reviews. I was so excited, I then immediately felt stressed at which one to read first!
The Gray Ghost Murders: A Novel by Keith…The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society: A…Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer…

Then last week I realised that I had missed one of the challenges that I had decided to participate in, War Through the Generations, which is featuring the American Revolution. You can read my vow and link on to the challenge page HERE

Yesterday I was made aware of The Progressive Book Club: A unique blog hop that's an online book club and meets virtually on the third Wednesday of every month. This is hosted by M L Swift and looks promising, I immediately sign up! The first meet is on Wednesday, so it's likely to feature in the Sunday Salon for next week.

Finally, for those who are book lovers and down under, I was alerted this morning to a book hop to celebrate Australia Day on 26 January. You can sign up HERE and can read more about it HERE.

That's it for this week. Until next time....

War Through the Generations Challenge

washington button
For 2013 The War through the Generations reading challenge is focusing on the American Revolution. You can read about the challenge and sign up HERE.

This year I am signing up as a Wade participant, meaning that I plan to read between 4-10 books featuring this period of American history. Also you add into the mix one or two films instead of books.

13 Challenges of 2013

Now, as readers of this blog will know, I like a challenge, so when I read this one over at Julia's Place I knew that I would probably take part. Julia is suitably inspired by her friend Lisa.

Here is the plan in Lisa's own words

‘Each challenge must be visited, photographed (where possible) & posted 13 times in the year. It does not have to be every day, every week or every month; but over the course of the year the 13 parts of the 13 challenges must be complete.’

  • Challenge 1 - Read 13 different books
  • Challenge 2 - Visit 13 different places
  • Challenge 3 - Visit 13 Museums and National Trust properties
  • Challenge 4 - Explore 13 different ancestors 
  • Challenge 5 - Walk Alfie (our Border Terrier) at 13 different venues
  • Challenge 6 - Recycle 13 different things no longer needed
  • Challenge 7 - Watch 13 different films (no repeat watches allowed)
  • Challenge 8 - Listen to 13 different unknown music artists or new albums
  • Challenge 9 - Write 13 letters that involve stamps and envelopes!
  • Challenge 10 - Cook 13 different recipes 
  • Challenge 11 - Visit 13 different eating venues
  • Challenge 12 - Take part in 13 group book reads 
  • Challenge 13 - Cull my book case by 13 books

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Weekend Cooking - Recipe Journals Part Two

After last week's post I had several comments via comments or email about me disposing of my old journal. Just to reassure, I am firmly keeping it. I just plan to move to a new journal.

I had planned to spend a few hours looking at another suitable book. Well, I got distracted by my other two recipe files, and thought I might share those with you today before we move to the new set up next week.

They both contain A4 recipe sheets from either magazines or photocopies from books. The first one contained the printed sheets that I was given in 1984 when I was doing my cookery O level in senior school. Each page has been dated and has the grade I was given. If you look carefully you can read 15 Nov 1984 Grade B. I wonder what happened to the teacher, who incidentally was called Mrs Walker?

A recipe from Mum which is handwritten and the relates to the Christmas Pudding recipe we still use.

The second file is again oversize recipes, mainly the sort you pick up from the supermarket as complimentary recipes.

Of course having kept some of these sheets for years. There are also some smaller ones that date to 1978! Unless I am looking for something specific I have no way of knowing just what recipe I have within those files. I think I should index them into Excel and then add a sheet to each file. Another job for a rainy day and we are getting plenty of those!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by BethFishReads

Sepia Saturday - 159

In my family archives we have some great photos of days at the beach. Here are just a few of them.

Taken circa 1955 at Brighton Sussex. This is my Grandfather George with Mum who has a rather determined look on her face!

Here is a slightly earlier photo. This one is taken we think at Southend where my Grandfather's sister Gladys lived with her family. This photo was taken in 1949 and has both my Grandparents in it.

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Blog the Year Award 2012

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

I was really delighted to see that I had been nominated for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award by Pauline from Family History Across the Seas.

The biggest reward I get from writing the Anglers Rest blog is that people read my posts, comment, and subscribe and/or follow it. 

The amount of team work and friendships that have evolved is wonderful and is a testament to the wonders of the Internet. If we didn't have the Internet, blogging as it stands would not exist and the friends we make and the projects we can involve ourselves in would be unknown to us. It has to be the most amazing invention of the 20th Century.

With those thoughts in mind. I am nominating the following bloggers for this award.
  • Judy Webster, absolutely deserves this award. Judy's project of the Genealogists for Families Team is such an inspiration of sharing, kindness and team work. 
  • Allin at Australian Genealogical Journey's - I love Allin's motivational Monday posts and as I read them every week usually with a pen in hand to jot down any thoughts that come to me!
  • Alona at Gould Genealogy & History News - Alona was the host behind the A-Z Family History Writing Challenge which ran last year. I still have a few draft posts to complete and then plan to post them.
  • Frances of Rebel Hand - Frances posts are always full of interesting facts and is the author of Rebel Hand, Nicholas Delaney 1798
  • Kristin, of Finding Eliza - For being such a supporter and commenter of Anglers Rest and for writing such fascinating and well researched posts.


1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…


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