Monday, 28 July 2014

The In-Depth Genealogist - Digital Magazine - Issue 18 - OUT NOW!

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











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 month's Across the Pond column is about Educational Reform.

Happy reading & researching!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 48


Today is week 48 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Perfect Day Out

  • Cast your mind back to a day when you experienced the perfect day out.
  • Describe the setting
  • Who you were with?
  • Why were you there?
  • What or who made it special
  • How does the memory of that day make you feel?


Friday, 25 July 2014

Desk Ramblings.....(20)

Here at Anglers Rest, things have been quiet on the blogging and working front and extremely busy on the domestic front.

As I mentioned in my last Desk Ramblings we were expecting visitors - my cousin and his wife from Australia. Their first visit to England. It was very exciting and I can not believe how quick their six week visit came and went.

We spent much time exploring, taking stock and looking at our bit of the world through the eyes of a tourist.

Wanborough Church - J Goucher
Like many of us, we do not visit or do things where we live. We simply take things for granted. We headed back to Surrey, to the parishes of my One-Place Study (Puttenham and Wanborough). Guildford, to the town where I was born, to the area where the family lived after they left Puttenham and Wanborough.

Font at Wanborough Church Surrey - J Goucher
To stand at the very font where my Cousin's father was christened. The same font that my Grandfather was christened at too.

For me, so soon after my Mum's passing I found the whole experience lovely, happy and sad at the same time.

We then headed up to Northamptonshire, to the area when my Cousin's Grandfather hailed from, before making our way to Inverness, passing through the Lake District, South West Scotland to see, albeit, briefly my husband's mother.

On the journey back we stopped at St Andrews and visited the famous golf course, Ludlow and into Wales and then Stonehenge. Over the coming weeks I will share some photos and tales of our time away.

The Book of Me is still going strong with some developments for the coming months. I also have a few plans in mind for this blog.

On our 20th Wedding Annivesary 
Whilst my family were here, Stuart and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. A lovely day and evening and whilst there was much laughter there was also a degree of sadness that my Mum was not here to share our special day.

Normal (ish) blogging will be resumed next week.
In the meantime, have a great summer and enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 47


Today is week 47 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Awards
  • Have you or a close family member received one?
  • What was it for?
  • How was it presented?
  • Do you still have it?
  • Have you inherited an award?
  • If so, who was awarded it and what for?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 46


Today is week 46 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Childhood reading

Did you read as a child?
Did you experience the wonder of bedtime stories?
Favourite books
Did your childhood reading influence you?
Special moments and memories

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 45


Today is week 45 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Comics and Annuals

Like many children I whiled away hours reading comics and looking forward to the Christmas annuals that "Santa" bought with a degree of regularity.

So this week a trip down memory lane.
Share the names of the comics and annuals - your favourites, special characters, memories
Pop along to a popular on-line auction site and see what the annuals and comics of yesteryear sell for!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 44


Today is week 44 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Hairstyles

Go on share your hairstyles over the years!
Do you have regular hairdresser habits?
Colour?
Do you dye it? (your secret is safe with us!)

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 43


Today is week 43 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Emigration / Migration / Immigration

Have you ever lived overseas from your place of birth?
Would you want to?
Could you?
Did your ancestors or even a more recent generation?
Do you feel akin to another Country from that in which you were born?
If so have you found any ancestral links in your research that perhaps explains those feelings?
As always share (or not) examples, photographs and perhaps events or rationale

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 42


Today is week 42 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Handwriting

Add to your Book of Me an example of your handwriting.
Share some examples of your ancestors - parents, Grandparents, etc
Has your handwriting changed over time?
Perhaps include some samples of younger generations?
In this digital age our descendants will marvel at our handwriting for very different reasons when compared to us marvelling at our ancestors handwriting. We take for granted that we can probably write. That in the past was not a given right.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Desk Ramblings.....(19)

The last few months (well since my last Desk Ramblings in March this year) have been busy. I am finishing a day job project. Working on another project with a September deadline and have been scoping out a further project. I have just worked through a list of literary agents and weeded down a list of thirty to eight. Not to mention the various genealogical obligations I have. Sometimes volunteering overtakes our expectations and what we signed up to do.Such is life I guess.

Whilst looking for something yesterday I had reason to call Southend Museum in Essex. I had a vague recollection of something involving my late Great Uncle and I wanted to familiarise myself with the details. I had some earlier notes, but being a piler rather than a filer I could not locate the paper.

My Cousin has the military papers of his father and shared them with me in the summer of 2000.

They reveal that my Uncle enlisted at Maidstone in November 1922 in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. He then served at home within the confines of the UK for 2 years. He then trained into the Military Police and was then posted to Germany between 1924 - 1928. He returned home, still in the Military Police between 1928 and 1936 and went overseas to Singapore between 1936 and 1938. He then returned home and remained serving again in the Military Police in Essex until February 1939 when he was discharged from the army. He served just under 17 years.

When Frank enlisted in 1922, he was no stranger to the army, as he had served in the British Army during the First World War, enlisting in 1916 and was discharged in October 1922. He married my Aunt in June 1924 at Guildford, although without the permission of his commanding officer and they had to repeat the ceremony at the registry office. I am guessing that my Aunt went with Frank to Germany, as she went to Singapore with him during the 1930's.

Frank & Gladys Thorneycroft (nee Butcher) Shoeburyness circa 1960
I knew from my Mum that Uncle was in the police and he would often be sitting in those police huts that occupied the streets of post Second World War Britain. How did he move from the military to the police?

During the Second World War he remained living in his home, which was owned by the Ministry of Defence. He worked from what I can establish from the limited knowledge in the military barracks in a defence position.

Having relayed that to the Museum in a short and concise conversation I asked what he could have been doing? I have vague recollections of something involving military testing, but I could not be sure. Did that sound potentially right I asked the curator?

The answer was yes, he was probably been based at Foulness Island off the coast and he would have been invaluable with his experience. His work there would have been TOP SECRET. Even now, seventy years on I much doubt that I can unravel his second world war service.besides the fact that I am not his next of kin, his record will be undoubtedly classified.

I was completely shocked, surprised and proud of someone who Mum had great affection for. I am so sad she was not here to hear about Uncle Frank and more so because his Grandson arrives from Australia next week.

Other news is the quilt project in memory of my late Mum has been progressing nicely. The first square for the quilt arrived on Friday last week. You can read the post about the first square a little of the story behind that square HERE.

Finally the sun is out in south west England! - We have had some very strange weather and when I walked Alfie one day early last week we had hailstones. I bumped into the postman on my route and we looked at each other in complete amazement!


Saturday, 7 June 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 41


Today is week 41 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Blood Group

Do you know your blood group? Many people don't.
In fact here in the UK many General Practitioners (family doctors) do not even know or have it on record.
A simple and yet important snippet of information.
Do you have a popular blood group?
What about other members of your family?

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 40


Today is week 40 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Where do you think?

How do you record those thoughts?
Or don't you?
Does thinking happen when you are in the bath, on the settee?
Where do you go or what to you do when you need to seriously think of something?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Armchair BEA - More than Just Words

Armchair BEA
When this prompt was devised I am sure that what I am going to mention wasn't perhaps thought of, so I have taken a different spin on things today.

We associate books with the printed word. A way of sharing information, knowledge or quite simply a story that acts as a chill out factor.

Being an historian I think that in addition to the printed word we can learn a lot from an image.

An image can capture the imagination, prompt a chain of thought reactions and lead us on path of discovery. We each capture with our eyes many thousands of images each day. Our eyes are our biological camera. They capture the detail that we recognise and identify with and also capture things that we do not necessarily focus on or identify with, perhaps ever or immediately.

Over the last twenty years or so I have collected postcards and images that relate to my home town of Guildford in Surrey. A large town that is located 30 miles south of London. The only location to have a Cathedral built in the twentieth century. I have collated and shared many of those images via a website and will at some point in the future do more with those images. The pictures and postcards track events, history and locations and pretty much everywhere in the world has an image captured that brings alive a location.

Many of the local history publishers have released books that relate to what I have just talked about. Images of (insert any place you would like to). The general rule of thumb is a picture or historical image and some text about the location. Some books go a small step further and present a then and now set of images of a location.

Children's books are typically introduced to children at a very young age, first cloth books then progressing to hardback or paperback books. Each of those shares perhaps a story illustrated by pictures. The picture becomes the prime focus to keep the attention of the child and the writing has less feature. As the child gets older the focus on the picture reduces and is replaced by words which represents the educational journey of the child. 

Even instruction booklets for flat packed furniture has words and diagram pictures to make the quest easier. (Is it me or do those illustrations and instructions always take longer than predicted?) Do we really need pictures? Or are we using pictures and illustrations to dumb down such a task, creating a false sense of security (really we say an hour with one person, but the reality is your flat wardrobe needs two people, three hours and lots of patience!)

An image captures the imagination. It automatically sets the wheels of thought moving and whether that thought process is a fictional story, or tells an historical journey or setting will depend on the image, the personal viewing and the reason why it was viewed in the first place.

And because I always like to share an image. Here is an image of from my home town that I spotted on Twitter earlier today (27th May 2014)
Image of Swan Lane Guildford Courtesy of
Guildford Borough Council via Twitter
The image is a lovely one. I would it dates from circa 1940 because there is a service man on the left of the picture. The building on the left is Salsbury's the jewellers, which was the location that my Grandfather purchased my Grandmother's engagement and eternity rings. The cobblestone street is a reminder of the period of time before cars, and is like (or at least in the 1940's) the cobbled High Street. Cobbled because of the horses. The chap with his bicycle looking in the paper shop window on the right. I can tell that because there is a sign above saying Players which were a cigarette brand. The church spire in the background is St Saviours Church which was (and still is) located on Woodbridge Road. When I was a child there was a toy shop called Dolls Hospital located where the dry cleaning shop is.

Such wonderful memories all prompted from a picture; absolutely more than just words.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Armchair BEA - Literature

Armchair BEA
Today kicks of Armchair BEA.(You can read the Agenda HERE) I have participated the last few years and especially enjoyed last year. This year I have been a little out of sorts spending some days completely preoccupied with other issues; issues that I can not change. One thing that has helped me is reading, which is always my emotional bolt hole!

So without further ado let me kick off the start of BEA week with today's post. I have selected to write about Literature, but you can write an introduction or do both! You can read my introductory post for 2013 HERE. You can read all my previous Armchair BEA posts HERE

Literature

"What do you think of when you think of literature? Classics, contemporary, genre, or something else entirely? We are leaving this one up to you to come up with and share the literature that you want to chat about the most. Feel free to share a list of your favorites, break down your favorite genre, feature your favorite authors, and be creative about all things literature in general."

The Oxford Dictionary on-line defines literature as written works, especially those considered superior or demonstrating lasting artistic merit. Considered by whom? 

When reading the same book a group of people will typically take something different away from the book. That is because we are all individuals and have our own preferences. The book group I attend  recently read Hamlet. Not my choice. I have flashbacks to senior school O-level English. Hamlet is, in my opinion best viewed rather than read. 

We recently read with the same book group Animal Farm by George Orwell. Most of the group had never read it, someone thought it was ridiculous and a child's book because the animals were talking. I recounted that this was also a set English lit book for O-level and was read around the same time as my history O-level group were looking at Russia. There were some blank looks around the room, before the realisation that actually Animal Farm was quite a clear book. I wonder what it was that prompted George Orwell to write such a book. 

It seems to me that literature can be whatever we want it to be. It can be books that have left a lasting impression on us as individuals and thus my list will perhaps have similarities with others but will probably not be identical to someone else.

Books that have left a lasting impression with me are
and there are many more. Each has left an impression on me for different reasons, and several of these books I have read more than once.

What are the books that have left a lasting impression with you?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Survey into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903) by Charles Booth

Charles Booth painted by
George Frederic Watts 1901
Charles Booth (1840- 1916) was an English social researcher. 


Booth is most well-known for his huge piece of work where he documented the working classes of London.  

In 1886 Booth started visiting every street in London where he recorded the details of the residents. He visited thousands of streets and it took him 17 years to do so. 

When he finished visiting the streets he set about documenting his findings in a series of maps, colour coded identifying the rich who employed servants and every classification right down to the label of black which was reserved for the vicious and semi criminal.

It was the basis of this study and Booth’s findings that started the basic foundations for a campaign against poverty. It lead to the Old Age Pension and School dinners, thus providing some form of care for those who were most at risk and vulnerable.

In 2012, a BBC journalist set about making a programme, which revisited 6 of those London Streets recorded in Booth’s map to see just what had changed in the intervening 100 years or so. The BBC aired the series of 6 programmes in the summer of 2012. 

On the blog written to accompany the series the director stated that “There were no 'experts' in Deptford High Street and historians don't specialise in single streets.” The journalist is wrong, but I cannot tell him that as comments to the blog are closed, but more on that later!

The BBC Series was called Secret History of Our Streets (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2012/06/secret-history-of-our-streets.shtml)

The London School of Economics has placed the entire map on-line which is searchable. This is a fantastic resource. The website is available at http://booth.lse.ac.uk. There is a searchable facility and really my advice is to explore the site and see what gems you discover.

To give you an idea lets go on a little tour……

From the main page I selected the Police digital notebooks


From the main page I selected the Police digital notebooks

I then chose district 4 – Clerkenwell and Greys Inn, which is the area known as Little Italy.

There are now several options, all the notebook interviews undertaken by Booth with the Police Constables who worked in this area of London. You can select the book to look at and then break the browse viewing by different pages.

I choose to at the first book and then to read the catalogue pages. At this point you can do a search for Italian to get a varied choice of responses. I then selected the fourth option – B353 Page241 “The Italian Quarter”. If you now click through to the map you will see a map of the area. By selecting the option see scanned pages you can view Booth’s writing (http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b353/jpg/241.html) and there is also an option to see the other references on the same page.

The images can take a while to load, depending on your download speed, but what a phenomenal historical gem. The survey allow us to look at a community and delver deep in to the social, economics and domestic lives of the inhabitants

I mentioned that the producer said no one researched streets. Well they do, but perhaps not in his areas, or perhaps he didn't ask the right people! Check out the Society for One-Place Studies.

Sources
Secret History of Our Streets - http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2012/06/secret-history-of-our-streets.shtml

A Tourist Guide to Our Secret Streets, written by the Open University in association with the BBC https://css2.open.ac.uk/outis/docs/publications/OZNOSS.pdf

BBC Four have produced their London Collection which has a list of videos – hopefully they are available to those outside of the UK (http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/collections/p00synd3/london)

Charles Booth – Survey into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903) http://booth.lse.ac.uk/

The Society for One-Place Studies http://www.one-place-studies.org

The Anglo Italian Family History Society http://www.anglo-italianfhs.org.uk/



I have previously published this post (and appears here with minor amendments) in The In-Depth Genealogist, Across the Pond column Issue 12, pp 45-50, January 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 39


Today is week 39 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week read the prompt and record what you immediately thought of.

This week's prompt is - Do you have a safe place?

  • This can be somewhere that you gravitate to, to make decisions or reflect
  • Somewhere you go to think
  • Somewhere you go to take time out
  • Somewhere you keep things you must not loose
    • or do you have more than one safe place?
Having looked at the prompt hints have you changed that immediate thought?


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters

Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise…This is the story of Roberta interspersed with the story of Dorothy who is Roberta's Grandmother.

Dorothy has been a widow for many years, her husband her Polish serviceman killed in the line of duty. That is the story fed down the generations of Roberta's family.

Roberta likes to read, and she loves to see what information she can find in books, items that were former bookmarks. Then one day she is reading a letter that has spent decades in a book that was once owned by her Grandmother and all of a sudden there are questions and curiosities to discover.

The letter which had been found in a book, inside a suitcase which had the name label on "Mrs Sinclair" was clearly addressed to her Grandmother by her Grandfather. The date on the letter was after the date in which her Grandfather had been killed in action. Yet who was Mrs Sinclair?

Roberta starts to ask her father some questions, without mentioning the letter. He repeats that as far as he knew his father had been killed in the war. Roberta ponders on whether to ask her Grandmother, who by now was resident in a residential establishment. Dorothy sadly has dementia.

The letter and is central to the characters in this story, and across the pages, we suddenly on occasions head back to the war years and to the early life of Dorothy. The things that happened and are remembered, those that happen and yet forgotten and those that happened and are twisted to weave a different set of events. A family history and background that is shaped because of actions of several people.

This is a great book. Having been in a reading slump for the last six months or so, I have got back to normal and read this book over the space of a few days. The storyline is complex, yet not complicated, the story is told on several levels and for a first novel the author has done remarkably well. This book is a genealogists dream!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tuesday's Tip ~ Where Family History and Local History Unite*

Lives of the First World War
Image courtesy of the
Project via Facebook
I recently spent some time on the newly launched site Lives of the First World War, a joint effort between the Imperial War Museum and FindmyPast. On the day it was announced I nipped on and set up an account and then wanted to gather my images and data for the First Cousin of my Grandfather; William James West was just 20 years old when he died in September 1918.

I was then pondering on the data I had collated for the Shared Endeavour Project which is the brain child of the Society for One-Place Studies. You can hear about the Shared Endeavour Project via this YouTube video



I have three One-Place Studies registered with the Society. One of the studies is for a road in central Guildford. There are nine individuals from that road that I have tracked so far and nine seems such a lot for just one road.

What I discovered, is that via the site of the Lives of the First World War you can create a community and thereby have your Shared Endeavour material together in what the site is calling a community. Here is the link to my Walnut Tree Close Community. I am still adding my individuals to the site at present, but what a fabulous way to bring research all together.

logo_265x107

*"Where Family History and Local History Unite" is the tagline used by the Society for One-Place Studies

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Library Book ~ An Anthology


The Library Book by Ann CleevesThis slender volume comprises of short writings from twenty five different authors. Each one sharing across the page why they love and value libraries and the importance that libraries have played in their individual literary careers.

Most of the authors I had heard of, some I had read books that they had penned and one in particular is a favourite of mine.

More surprisingly, one of the authors had focused their chapter on their childhood years in Surrey, and more importantly the town I still refer to as home. Furthermore, there was even a mention of the road that my family had links to for almost a century. Sometimes, things are meant to be and perhaps this little book which was the first I selected from the library after my Mum passed away, was meant to come into my life and link my present to my past.

It was a lovely book and I enjoyed reading. I feel that we undervalue libraries in this age of smart phones and the internet and perhaps we need to take stock, just as these authors have done and remember the "good old days"!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 38


Today is week 38 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - When I grow up I want to be........

Yes, what did you want to be?
What inspired you?
Did you become what you wanted to be or did you do something different?
- was that deliberate or simply the way things worked out?
Did you follow your childhood dream and it not be at all what you though?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

60 Postcards: The Inspirational Story of a Young Woman's Journey to…by Rachael Chadwick

60 Postcards: The Inspirational Story of a… Do you ever think things happen for a reason?

At the end of February, I was pondering, debating and trying be brave whilst making a decision and the right decision about my Mum's belongings.

I had just had an idea and parked the thinking whilst I went to meet someone, who I knew, but I could not think of a good enough excuse not to meet. Whilst I parked my idea and was killing some time in the Exeter branch of Waterstones I spotted two books. This one, and the book that I reviewed yesterday.

From the moment I picked up the two books I knew that my idea was right, and the scope of this book (and other book reviewed yesterday) confirmed it.

The author, Rachael lost her Mum to Cancer in February 2012. The book centres around the early days of discovery into her Mother's condition. The emotions that Rachael felt were not too dissimilar to my own reactions after my Mum passed away. That feeling that doing the regular stuff, such as eating, cooking dinner, watching the news. It all felt so very, very wrong. I get it, I really do. Rachael's Mum was far too young to pass away and from the date of diagnosis to her death was a staggering 16 days.

Rachael gathered together twelve or so friends and arranged a weekend in Paris. The mission was to spread the message of her Mum's story and the love she felt for her Mum across Parish over 60 postcards in recognition of her Mum's 60th birthday.

The remainder of the book expresses the many laughs, thoughts, tears Rachael had on her emotional journey. The coincidences of people who picked up the postcards, and wrote to Rachael inspired on by the courage of both her mother and Rachael.

I am not going to share more of the book with you. I found it a fabulous book. Written in a conversationalist style, with true emotion that is so very easy to identify with. This is a book on so many levels. Understanding yourself, grief, dealing with the whole process of bereavement, discovery, travel, love, family and friendship

The book spoke volumes to me, without even physically speaking.

Rachael's website can be found HERE.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

One Million Lovely Letters: When Life is Looking Hopeless, One… by Jodi Ann Bickley

One Million Lovely Letters: When Life is…Do you ever think things happen for a reason?

At the end of February, I was pondering, debating and trying be brave whilst making a decision and the right decision about my Mum's belongings.

I had just had an idea and parked the thinking whilst I went to meet someone, who I knew, but I could not think of a good enough excuse not to meet. Whilst I parked my idea and was killing some time in the Exeter branch of Waterstones I spotted two books. This one, and the book that I will be reviewing tomorrow.

From the moment I picked up the two books I knew that my idea was right, and the scope of this book (and other book reviewed tomorrow) confirmed it.

This is the story of the author. Diagnosed with a life threatening condition, the author spent time reflecting on her past. In her past the grief she felt as a child at the death of her Grandmother was coped with my writing a letter to Grandma in Heaven. What a lovely way to enable a child to say goodbye. I had lost my Grandfather as a child. I do not recall seeing either my Grandmother or Mum crying, they must have done and hid their grief as a way of protecting me. All I knew what that he had gone to heaven and one day, a long time from now I would see him again. I am sure I asked how? and knowing Mum she probably sighed and pondered on how to respond. She would have responded, but now, forty years on I don't remember.

I digress.

The book is a background of events leading up to the author being admitted to hospital and the seriousness of her condition. As I said, she reflects on how the letter to her Grandmother in Heaven made her feel and set about writing letters to people, strangers that needed just someone to say it's OK, or I know it's hard. Letters that found a way of empathising without being patronising.

Jodi has been writing letters to random people since she was seven years old. Jodi describes it as a "hug in an envelope". And perhaps it is,but to me, on that dreary February day it was more than a hug in an a book. It gave me hope,encouragement and faith to believe in myself.

Jodi has a website which can be found HERE

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Tuesday's Tip ~ Microsoft OneNote

Last September I wrote this post, Embracing One Note. I formally declared that I thought I was in love! I loved the feel and workability of the software. I loved the flow of updating between iPad, iPhone and laptop.

Then something happened.

Microsoft did an update and my OneNote relationship has not been the same since. I am beyond frustration. 

I even picked the telephone up to their support team and expressed that somehow the flow of material between iPhone and laptop is not fluid. 

Sadly the support team have no idea of how the iPad app works they are solely trained on the PC version and bless him, he did listen, he did make comforting noises of interest down the phone, but sadly it was not helpful. Other than to stop me becoming deranged with frustration.

The look and feel are not conducive to productivity or ease of working. Whilst out yesterday I went to access a notebook, one of the 31 that I have to find it took ages to locate it, and that was nothing to do with connectivity to the internet. 

When it did locate the notebook, it told me there were no sections within it, there were four. When I accessed another notebook with a word document and PDF file embedded. I expected the files to open, just like they had before. 

Nope, this version does not open embedded files.

I am beyond frustration and sadly for Microsoft, a step closer to Evernote.

So what is my Tuesday's Tip? Never fall in love with a piece of software because they leave you!

So can I go back to my wonderful OneNote relationship?Can I turn back the clock to the wonderful accessibility I had before OneNote was updated in the name of Progress? Are you experiencing issues with your OneNote since the upgrade?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Weekend Cooking - Coffee Swirls

As I said in last week's edition of Weekend Cookingmy Grandmother was a pretty good cook. About twenty years ago my Mum gave me my Grandmother's cookery books. They were nothing particularly special, but I am not surprised that Gran had them, she was a Women's Realm fan.

My Grandmother often cooked from memory, but this little book always happy memories for me; and in particular the recipe I am going to share with you today.

The little book is paperback, with 98 pages and quite rightly includes 101 cakes to bake. The last two pages has over the years become torn, not surprising when I recall where my Grandmother kept it. Several pages have had sellotape applied to the spine of the book. That sellotape becoming brittle over the years. The book dates from 1978 and cost the sum of 50p. Nowadays you can not even buy a pint of milk for 50p!

Over the years she made various recipes and I don't recall Mum ever making any of these, but she might have done. I certainly know that I have never baked any. Not even my favourite that I am sharing with you. My favourite was Coffee Swirls.
Coffee Swirls, Page 50 of Women's Realm  Book of 101 Cakes to Bake
Published 1978 by Susan King

A quick check of the cupboard for the ingredients and a spare half an hour or so and I made a batch of these, although I only made eleven. Here they are, without any swirls though! A lovely trip down memory lane!
Julie Goucher 5th May 2014
Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme hosted by Beth at BethFishReads

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 37


Today is week 37 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is -Feeding the Ducks (Animals)

Think back to your childhood. Did you feed the ducks?
Do you remember the excitement of the event?
Were you scared of the ducks?
Who were you with?
Do you perhaps still feed the ducks?

Of course you substitute the ducks for farm animals or pets

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Medical Records - Part One





This gorgeous picture of my late Mum and the post about Medical Records can be found over at the In Memory of Quilt ~ A Memorial Project

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Six degrees of Separation, a meme

Several of my blogging buddies are taking part in the meme called Six Degrees of Seperation hosted by Annabel Smith and Emma.

Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963 by…The way the meme works, which is based on the six degrees of separation theme is to start with the nominated book for the month, in this case The The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and then link to five other books. You link how ever you see fit and I have put the rules to the meme at the bottom of this post.

The Bell Jar is familiar to me, yet I do not think I have ever read it, but it is now added to my library list. As I did so I noticed that I had another of Sylvia Plath book's on the list. Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-  1963.

Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise…That in turn reminded me of a fiction and debut novel, Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase by Louise Walters. The story line is based on two entwining lives. A young girl who works in a book store who loves to read the notes and things found in books. The second character is her grandmother who changed the course of family history and experienced love. The timeframe works, firstly modern day and secondly set during the second world war. My review is still awaiting to be written, but I read this book in about two days.
Handwritten Recipes: A Bookseller's…

That in turn reminded me of Handwritten Recipes: A Book Sellers collection of Curious and wonderful recipes by Michael Popek. The author is a book seller who often comes across some fascinating finds in the books he sells. This is the second book Michael has written. 

Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller's…In turn this reminds me of Michael's first book, Forgotten Bookmarks: A Book Seller's collection of odd things lost between the pages. That I received for Christmas a few years ago from my Mum. 

60 Postcards: The Inspirational Story of a…In turn I was then reminded of a recently published book by Rachel Chadwick, called 60 Postcards. I have read the book and absolutely loved it. My review is to follow.

Serendipity is a strange thing. I spotted this book just after I devised and planned the memorial project, The In Memory of Quilt in memory my late Mum.

And here are the guidelines if you want to play along- 

image
Next month the book to start off with is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton on 7th June

Weekend Cooking - Rock Cakes

A few days ago I came across a blog post with the recipe for Rock cakes. I have not had rock cakes for years, and in fact it has been years since I really did any cake baking. So, whilst Stuart has gone off fishing I had a sort through the cupboards to see if I had all the ingredients. I did, so cooking commenced.
My Grandmother was a pretty good cook. She cooked for memory mainly but she did own a few cookery books  and I now own the ones that she did. A favourite was rock cakes. Mum, whilst I was at school was in fact a dreadful cook. I have memories of taking sponges to school that had a dip in the middle. I don't know what happened, different recipe, different oven, but at some point the sponges stopped having dips.  I can't recall who made the rock cakes of my childhood, but as I got this batch under-way I was deep in thought of yesteryear.
photoPerhaps it was not enough concentration, because my batch are not an absolute success, but they are edible. I know as I have just had one! I think next time I will make a small amendment, a splash more milk, but only a splash!
Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme hosted by Beth at BethFishReads

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Society Saturday - The Next Gen Genealogy Network

The first general meeting of Next Gen took part in Tuesday evening, well it was the early hours of Wednesday morning here in the UK.

I had planned to try and watch live via the Google+ Community whilst sitting in my pyjamas. Are you not relieved that I not join live?

So on Wednesday morning I sat and over a cup of tea I watched the recorded and archived version of the meeting. It is wonderful that like +Society for One-Place Studies that +The NextGen Genealogy Network is embracing social media and taking genealogy to the next level in terms of engagement.



After the introductions, +Jen Baldwin, co-chair of Next Gen raised a series of questions and then encouraged conversation with the panel and those watching live. Here are the questions then I am going to chip in with a few answers

  1. What can we, as a virtual organisation do to make an impact right now in the genealogical community?
  2. What can we physically do to support the mission of the Society? ......."empower genealogists world wide"
  3. How can we assist more traditional societies?
  4. Where should we be focusing our energy right now?
  5. How do we connect at national events?
  6. What special interest groups are required within NextGen?
  7. How do you genealogically "geek out"?
Some really great and thought provoking questions. I will share some thoughts with you.

Next Gen exists as a virtual group. The society embraces social media and by doing so is setting the scene for the next generation of genealogists to join those already involved. The biggest issue is, we as an arena of genealogists need to over the ageist aspect of genealogy. Whether you are 10, 40, 60 or 102 you can all be genealogists. Young does not equal new. We need to stop labelling as young and new. We need to be inclusive of race, gender, age, geography. We need to open our arms wide and welcome anyone who is interested in genealogy or history in this way. We need to stop the elitist view.

Next Gen goes some way to stop that and does bring people, location and genealogy together. There is quite a journey ahead as Next Gen bridges the gap from the traditional ages of genealogists to the actual varying ages of genealogists.  Next Gen provides an arena for enabling that conversation to take place between say parents, grandparents and extended family with the youngsters of the family. We need to build on the interests of those youngsters, by getting them engaged with what is around them. 

The children of today, are it seems, (as I don't have any children), children for less time now. Or is that a sign that I am getting old? The kids have mobile phones and often not parted from them. Then there are Playstations, x-boxes and hosts of other games. All pretty much technologically driven. What happened to Monopoly or is that old fashioned?

Engagement needs to happen in the arena where the kids are. Get genealogist Grandma on Facebook and share those photographs. Perhaps pointing out the resembles to current, live family members, especially the youths.

Next Gen, by simply being "out there" is providing an arena to encourage dialogue Firstly  with the youth that are interested in genealogy and secondly, for the want of a better term, the genealogical adults to try and engage the family next generation.

Think about it. Great grandma would have potentially milked a cow or walked five miles to the farm to purchase milk in a jug.  Junior these days opens the fridge and it is in a plastic container. The concept and dimensions of something familiar to everyone is completely different.

In the hangout the example was given of engaging youths in the Pension Rolls for 1812. Sounds a great idea. About three years ago I visited The Underground Hospital on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands.As you enter the museum visitors are presented with a card bearing someone's name. There was limited information, but the genealogist in me asked why? Having been round the museum, the cafe had a series of pictures of people on the wall.You took the card you received when you arrived and searched the wall to establish the fate of the named individual. It interested me and pretty much every adult and child there.

The fate of some people was unknown, some had survived the Second World War (the Channels Islands was under German control from 1940) and others sadly perished. Sobering for the children, but that is a conversation for a parent to explain. I have written about the Underground hospital before, but you can see the post HERE. What is interesting is that about a year ago I had an email from someone whose parent knew one of the people named on one of our cards. That was fabulous as it meant that, the individual had survived the war and I passed the details onto the museum in Jersey. Sometimes joining the dots is great!

By being an on-line organisation the possibilities are endless for engagement and testing the water with technology. Encouraging those more seasoned genealogists to toe dip into the fantastic on-line genealogical world. The bottom line is that we can learn something new every day. The internet has revolutionised the way we do everything, including genealogy. Lets use it to an advantage to engage another generation of our families.

+The NextGen Genealogy Network Google Community

Society Website where you can find out more details about the Society and join

Disclaimer - I write a regular column called Right Here, Right Now for NextGen Dispatch, the quarterly newsletter for the Society and I am also Chair for Social Media. I have also write occasionally for the Society blog and have been featured as Member Spotlight. The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the Society.

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