Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Genealogy on the TV

We are two weeks into the 10th UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

There have been comments made within the genealogical world that this isn't real genealogy; and I agree to some degree, but there has to be a story worth telling, invoking people to watch and inspire a generation of budding genealogists or people that look at a photograph of their family and ask Why?

Of course, not everything is online, of course there are historical experts available at a beck and call. This is TV, this is allowing those of us who are genealogically minded to enjoy an hour of escapism into our hobby, obsession, hobby and obsession, from the comfort of our settee's and armchairs to simply enjoy what is on the box and perhaps think of similarities within our own family.

A few months ago a clip of a comedy take off called "Family Tree" was available via YouTube. Well it launched in the UK about three weeks ago and I watched the first episode. I have the subsequent broadcast episodes ready to watch on the planner thing - thank goodness for Sky TV!

Did I enjoy it? I don't know if I did. Hubby who has not a genealogical bone in his body watched it with me and laughed at various bits and commented that the actor who plays the central character, Chris O' Dowl, is perfect for the role. The humor is dry and the take on researching your ancestry ironic. There is a blog about the series HERE; and here is a look at the trailer.

Monday, 29 July 2013

A Summer Flashback!

The last month or so has been one of mixed emotion. Firstly we had a really wonderful spell of hot summer weather. Temperatures up into the late 20s and early 30s centigrade. Of course, other parts of the world frequently experience temperatures such as those, but us Brits are not use to very hot  or extreme cold. Which is why we obsess about it! I read somewhere that sales of paddling pools had increased 800%, which means that quite literally thousands were sold. We already own one, purchased a few summers ago for our Border Terrier Alfie, who loves it!

As June rolled into July we saw Wimbledon and the fantastic final played by Andy Murray. I was quite literally on the edge of my seat. Cheering him onto win.

Next came the Royal baby. I am not especially a Royalist. I am though a traditionalist. I understand the concept of Monarchy and the part they play in British and worldwide Society, the hard work they undertake and being a history graduate, I understand the historical presence of the whole Royalty issue.

No one, apart from the vital bits of the Royal household knew the exact date that junior was expected. There was lots of guessing in the media and the hospital where the birth was due to happen was swamped with media from across the globe. I recall the apparent expected date, 13 July, because it fell on my wedding anniversary; (we get one with a 0 at the end next year, and my beloved really needs a medal!)

Every morning I got up and checked Sky News for a baby update. Then finally it was announced a little boy, a future heir. How simply wonderful. So it was somewhat saddening to read the negatives, the costs of maintaining the Royals and all the hullabaloo. Think nice thoughts. Little baby Cambridge is deserving of

Just when the excitement of tennis and babies could not sustain the media we had the anniversary marking a year since the Olympics were held in London during 2012. I should also point out that there were other venues too across the Country – Weymouth and Cardiff spring to mind. Now, I like tennis, but I am not a real sport enthusiast and in previous years I have never been glued to my television as much as I was during London 2012. I became absolutely consumed with it.

When I wasn't home I recorded the various events and watched them later and watched Sky News for regular updates. My claim to fame, was that my husband was at one of the Olympic venues. In one of the support mechanism roles, not associated with sport. It was the first year we had ever been apart for our wedding anniversary, but what an experience. My journal for last year is full of notes and snippets about the Olympics and being home alone, well with Alfie who spent many days wondering where his master was.

Over the weekend the BBC showed the repeat of the Opening Ceremony and I have managed to find the event on YouTube. It is lengthy, over 3 hours and it only took 47 seconds before a mention was made to the weather!

Enjoy the revisit to the opening ceremony, it truly is British pomp and ceremony at its best and hopefully fulfilled the slogan of ”Inspiring a generation

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Ramblings from my Desk.....(15)

The last week or so has been a bit of a challenge. Just after I wrote my last Ramblings from my Desk post I went to upload our photos to Flickr and found that when my laptop felt overwhelmed it simply turned itself off. Hubby has the same laptop so I swapped the chargers over in case it was a charger issue. The laptop still turned itself off. I phoned PC World; I eventually got through to the technical team, explained the situation and asked for a telephone opinion. The recommendation was a replacement machine or we could perhaps replace the fan.

I decided on a new machine and we spent a goof 5 hours looking for a replacement laptop. My last machine, purchased new in 2008 was a Toshiba and has been a faithful friend and companion. Eventually I decided on a 2013 model Toshiba with Windows 8.

I am not quite at the familiar stage just yet. Despite having all my working documents saved in Dropbox, which is my usual method, I am running behind my personal schedule, which is why I have been blog quiet for the last week.

One of the machines I did look at was a Chromebook. Now I liked them, but as there was no disc drive I opted for a laptop, but before I make the next trip to Australia (or elsewhere for that matter) I am going to make a purchase.

The temperatures have cooled this week. Last Friday I had to go to a meeting in Exeter. I got back to Teignmouth about 2pm and nipped into the bank and then walked home. Boy did I look a sorry state as I made it in the front door. I was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable! By the end of Friday I had taken 3 showers and was forever grateful I am not on a water meter!

Having cooled down we ventured down to the sea front with Alfie for evening his walk. We had a lovely fish & chips supper sitting on a bench looking out to sea and then stopped off at the pub near the sea front for a glass of refreshment before walking home.

Poor old Alf was exhausted, his little paws slowing with each pace. Once inside he always races round the house before having a drop of water and a snooze. Whoever said, "it's a dogs life" was completely right!

It is lovely to see the beach still a hive of activity into the evening. One family were having a BBQ on the beach, which is not that common here.

There are no dogs on the beach during May to September apart from the beach on the far left of this picture.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Sepia Saturday 186 - George Butcher 1908 - 1974

The prompt for this week is Boadecea. I have chosen the battle and uniform theme as it ties in rather nicely with this photograph, which I know I have shown before.

Today, commemorates the death of my Grandfather, George Butcher. Born in 1908 in Wanborough he was one of 9 children who survived into adulthood from a family of 12.

My Grandfather was a man of principle, at the time of the Second World War he was working for Unigate Dairies at Guildford. His three brothers and oldest sister Rose, who was married was living at Manor Farm Guildford. Two of his other sisters was living in nearby Shackleford, Hurtmore and the second eldest was living in Essex with her husband who was a military man.

Whilst it would have been a much safer and easier option to have started working at the farm, my Grandfather joined up. He had been married under a year. My Grandmother told me she was furious, but his principle was one of things she loved about him, and he was absolutely doing the right thing.

He joined Army and after training left for over 2 years in Sierra Leone, before returning to England and then onwards to Europe. I sent off for his service record a few years ago and I am trying to piece together his life during those war years. You can read about that at George's War.

Upon returning from the army, he resumed working at Unigate and did so until he retired in May 1973, having been asked to carry on working for a few months by Unigate. Looking forward to retirement he fell ill and suffered from breathing difficulties, and died at Milford Chest Hospital on 20th July 1974 aged 66 years.

My Grandmother spent the next 21 years a widow, and often talked about him. I once asked her if she had ever wanted to remarry. Her response was, "you only meet perfection once and one day you will know what I mean". When I married in the summer of 1994 I knew just what she meant.

George Butcher 1908 - 1974

Taking part in Sepia Saturday

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Children's Book: Little Blue Cloud by Inbal Argov

Not having any children, I rarely read children's books. However, I was approached and asked if I would review this book.

Available from Amazon, where it is FREE to download on 18th and 19th July on both the US and UK sites.

Inbal Argov has both written and illustrated the book. The book is not very long, just the right length for little ones.

The story is of Little Blue Cloud, whose parents are Mother Lightening and Father Thunder and the story is told through the seasons using rhymes and is uniquely illustrated.

At the end of the book you can by completing a form with your first name and email address be sent a free audio book edition.

I read via my iPad and I could fully appreciate the illustrations. The author has produced a short video to promote the book.

Overall, I like the quirkiness of the book. The cleverness and yet simple way to tell a story to pre school children. The illustrations are lovely and it is a nice bonus to have access to a audio book telling the story.

Disclaimer - I downloaded a copy of the book and have given an honest review.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ramblings from my Desk.....(14)

The last two weeks have been busy and warm. Yes folks, we are in the middle of Summer here in the UK and we are seeing the sun on a daily basis. Long may it continue!

I have therefore spent a little time out and about with hubby, who had some time off. We met up with some friends last Tuesday at a local National Trust property with our Alfie and walked round the grounds. Alfie loved the warmth, the run, followed by the cool water and cuddles! We then spent a day at nearby Compton Castle, which was enjoyable, although not my favourite National Trust property.

Then last Thursday we headed off to Greenways, the holiday home of the late mystery writer Agatha Christie. Back in May a neighbour had been and commented on how lovely it was. Because of the location and limited parking we were organised and booked a parking space.

The car park is a little way from the property, but the little walk to the formal grounds was well worth it and our first glimpse through the trees revealed this remarkable and lovely view

As we walked near the house the trees thinned away and the view was simply lovely.

Once inside the grounds there was a formal restaurant and a small take away snack bar serving drinks and sandwiches.

We had an early lunch, because getting to the venue, 15 miles from home had taken over an hour. Between locals out and about, visitors to the area and much of Devon having roadworks, the roads were simply jammed packed.

We wandered around the gardens, which were not formally laid out, they were random and you needed to really look out to see what treasures were in the garden. We spotted a water fountain which was very nice.

Then we spotted this. A little row of headstones with names and ages - "Sparky 18 years" This was the family pet cemetery, and seemed to encapsulate the love the family had for their four legged friends.

The paths were rocky and steep in places, but the walk, even with a dodgy back was delightful and we headed down to the boat shed and then the battery. The view, overlooking the sea was lovely and I am so glad I did the walk. 

The house is jammed packed with the various items the family collected. There was a very impressive silver collection which represented each year from the 17th Century until 1837. The family were huge collectors, some of the items passed through the family and other items picked up at sales and alike.

There were books everywhere, not surprising given the legacy the legacy that Agatha Christie left behind. There are copies of all her books and I almost expected Hercule or Miss Marple to pop out from behind a door! There are also details and artifacts from Agatha's second husband, Max who was an archaeologist.

On Saturday we celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary, and had a lovely meal in town at a local restaurant. After dessert, we topped it off with a walk along the seafront. It was gone 11pm but the temperature was just right!

Otherwise, I have been fairly busy doing preparations for the Book of Me. The online version launches on 31st August and I have another group running in a few weeks. I have done a bit of reading, (not as much as I would have liked) and some tidying of my never endingly messy study!

I do hope the good weather is here to stay for a while longer. There is something rather satisfying in simple thing of hanging washing outside to dry! 

Monday, 15 July 2013

The In-Depth Genealogist - Digital Magazine - Issue 6 - OUT NOW!

The next issue of the free digital magazine is available NOW!

Enjoy this digital edition of the magazine? then why not stop by The In-Depth Genealogist and read the
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.

This is a great addition to the genealogy market and I am very proud to be a part of it. This month's Across the Pond column is about Census Alternatives.

Happy reading & researching!

Greenways - 12th July 2013

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Greenways - 12th July 2013, a set on Flickr.
In the midst of a heatwave in England, and so we should, after all it is summer! Last week we ventured off to Greenways, the National Trust property and former holiday home of the well known mystery writer Agatha Christie.

The grounds are lovely, the house sits upon the hill and through the trees a glimpse can be seen of the coastline and sea.

Walking down the various paths you can encounter the boathouse and battery. The grounds are really beautiful although rather hilly!

The house like the gardens is lovely, full of the collections of various artifacts gathered by the family, including a rather impressive silver collection.

If you are in the area then Greenways is well worth a visit. If you are planning on driving, remember to book a parking space at the house, as there is limited space.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Well, today is my 19th Wedding Anniversary. Doesn't time fly? We married at 4pm on the afternoon of the 13th July in Kenya. It was a hot day and the flowers were beautiful and vibrant and the temperature was pretty hot.

Here in the UK we are in the midst of some great weather, known as Summer! it has been 30C today, much like Kenya just without the Indian Ocean!

Anyway, here is a rare picture of the two of us, usually one of us is behind the camera, but we managed this by balancing the camera on the statue in front of us!

11th July 2013 at Compton Castle Rose Garden

And just for a little fun!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Compton Castle - 11th July 2013

Described as a National Trust property, Compton Castle is still lived in by the family. You can look through part of the house and the rose garden which is delightful, especially on a lovely summer's day.


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