Tag Archives: Family Friday

Oh, I remember that…

I had an email from my contact at the nursing home telling me about a new memory project called ‘I Remember That’ that was starting about the time I return at the beginning of next month. The title had me remembering all those years ago when my aunt would come out with those words….admittedly after some subtle prompting by us with words or pictures…..but we were glad it had stirred something in her mind.

(At that time I belonged to a (now defunct) ’families and carers’ group where to ease the strain we wrote and shared pieces online – I hope you don’t mind me sharing another one from 2009)

Remembering the past

Talking to my Aunt the other day I was asking her what she remembered – its a hard question for her to answer some days but for some reason on that day she was clear in her mind about one thing.

She remembered her older sister Betty and how she made her laugh.

They were raised in India in house a house full of adults. Along with their Mother and Father there were also four spinster aunts – sisters of their Mother.

None of the servants had children they could play with so as well as sisters, they were playmates and also constant companions to each other.

“Oh, I remember that dolly”

Being priviledged they were sent off to boarding school at a young age, luckily not back to England as so many expat children were but somewhere in India ( she doesn’t remember where exactly) and were able to go ‘home’ for the holidays – so whenever Pam felt lonely or afraid Betty was there to comfort and make her laugh. 

It was so lovely (and rare) to hear her talking of this life she led so long ago, dances were a way of life, Betty was the fun one attracting lots of admirers while Pam being a quiet one would sit on the sideline. 
They both married officers in the 9th Gurkhas Regiment so continued to live a privileged life as adults. They stayed in India till after the war and then returned to England to a very different lifestyle. 

She was so clear in her descriptions of life in those days it was almost as if she was reliving them – till she came to the part of migrating to Australia in the early 1950’s. 

Then nothing came – she just stopped talking.
I assume ‘cose there was no Betty – who had remained in England – to talk about.
Maybe I’ll be able to get her to remember those times again but I never know from one day to the next whats going on inside her head.

As a youngish widow she managed several trips ‘home’ to England over the years to see her beloved Betty – the sister who even as an adult had a way of making her forget her troubles and laugh. She recognised Betty in this photo of the two of them enjoying a special moment of laughter but had no idea where, when, or why.

“Oh, there’s Betty”

Betty on the left and A Pam on the right

Can you see the special bond they had with each other – the love in the eyes and the smiles on their faces? Hopefully she can still remember those moments inside her head even if she can’t talk about them

Aunty Pam (Pamela 1923 – 2011)

A Pam’s Recipe Book

Once my aunt was settled into the nursing home my cousin (her son who lived in Perth on the other side of the country) decided put her place on the market so some clearing (decluttering) had to happen. As houses were more easy to sell if they were furnished he wanted a lot of the extra stuff gone – and apart from one or two items wasn’t interested in where it went.

I started to go through kitchen drawers and discovered her special recipe book, a very battered exercise book with handwritten recipes from friends here in Australia. For all her upbringing (and I mean that in a nice way ) she wasn’t a really fancy (or good) cook – born and raised in India she and her sister were sent to boarding school so had never been at home to see and learn how and I know Uncle John would sometimes take her out to dinner rather than have her get upset at trying to cook things that didn’t turn out well. I’m not making that up – he told me that on more than one occasion.

Anyway the only time I’d seen her use this book over the years was at Christmas time when she’d make ‘The Pudding’. It was the only tradition I remember about life in her house from the early 70’s when we arrived here in Australia. She would let everyone know when she was going to be cooking and asked if you wanted to come over and stir the pudding. Stir- up Sunday

There are 3 Christmas pudding recipes in the book and I can still see the faces of the people they came from quite clearly.

The first from Jean is short and very direct – just like Jean

The second from her sister Betty has lots of ingredients and simple concise instructions

The third from Joan a fabulous tennis club friend of Pam’s who played hard and partied in a similar fashion. Cooking time for her was similar to her parties….. all day for as many days as possible !

Where the first two suggest a wine glass of brandy like the good hostess who provides choices for her guests she suggests Rum, Milk or Beer – leaving the amount up to you.😊

Can you see which one was used the most?

Each year about November Aunty Pam would start to gather her ingredients to make Betty’s pudding, she’d buy new calico for the pudding bowls and then on the day tick as she added each ingredient to the mixing bowl.

Some years she’d tick as she wrote down her list to take the the shop to buy the ingredients and then get into a real muddle when she forgot which ticks were ‘buying’ ticks and which were ‘added’ ticks.

I had to make a mad dash to the house one year to try and find out what had been added to the mixing bowl and what hadn’t ‘cose she hadn’t just weighed out and put in individual little bowls, then put the packets back in the cupboard but was adding straight into to the mixing bowl after weighing, had packets all over the place and was quite upset because she couldn’t tell the difference between raisins and sultanas.

It was then we began to realise how muddled and confused she was getting, how things were becoming a problem and sadly that was the last time she made the puddings.

~ ~ ~ ~

So I had the book and the recipes (which she didn’t know); and one day about a year later we were talking about cooking and out of the blue she said it would be nice if I made her ‘that lovely Christmas pudding that Betty makes’
Her sister Betty had been gone for about 10years by then so I had no idea what made her say that.

None of my family really like Christmas Pudding but I gave her my word I’d give it a go. Unfortunately she never got to taste the one’s I did (and still do) make.

Betty’s Christmas Pudding 2013

Linking to the very last edition of Denyse’s ~  Life’s Stories.

Her thoughts this week are on Endings and Beginnings.
A bit like A Pam leaving her home to me starting the Christmas Pudding tradition

Water Water Everywhere…


I’ve been known to hang on to things…….just in case.

My other excuse is often – it’ll come in handy……

When – we don’t know, but it’s there just in case

Discussing our winter ‘going up north again’ plans and what to take with us, we (The Golfer and myself) had another look at some ’just in case/might come in handy/ you never know when’ items the other weekend.
That’s when the word water bottles cropped up

Not so much the flimsy plastic ’comes in all shapes & sizes’ single use throw away ones you buy water in – though they’re bad enough……..more the keep and carry (sometimes plastic) ones seen in the hands of those who take hydration seriously.

Someone I know – let’s just say not me – has a likeing for water bottles. He has quite a few lot…..He’s out and about on the golf course in all weathers so definitely needs to be hydrated and (for him) filling a bottle with water from a dedicated tap at the 9th hole is ’not on’ so he carts his own (along with all the other weird and wonderful things that come tumbling out of his bag when he’s looking for something.)

I do have water in the car but can usually quench my thirst somewhere during the day.

So after going through the garage, various cupboards and cars, we came to an understanding – that we (he?) did not need the collection of water bottles we (he?) seemed to have gathered.
When he was ’into volunteering’ each event had a water bottle supplied – suitably emblazoned with good/bad/ugly….usually necessary logos and advertising.
Lots had been used then tossed aside (not away) in favour of others so after our chat he chose some to hang on to….not to use now……but just in case!

Most of them went into the rubbish and recycling bins

And as well as what he calls his ’good ones’ these others 👇 are what he kept

Now I love him dearly and I understand there are memories attached to each one and I can’t complain when I think about what I’ve still got tucked away….BUT

  • These few have never been used, just been gathering dust (and dirt) in the garage
  • Souvenirs of special events that made the most impression on him – Melbourne Commonwealth Games – Fina World Swimming Championships – Australian Youth Olympics – various National Australian Canoeing events plus a couple of other org. I don’t remember
  • Look at the dates – (You might have to enlarge to see) …..2006 2007 2013
  • They’ve already been there a fair while so I’m wondering how much longer they’ll have to wait for their….‘I knew they’d come in handy’ ….time to shine 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

And then of course there’s these

but they have my name on so no explanation is necessary 😊

https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/promo-university/history-of-reusable-water-bottles.htm

Oh look, here’s another one….

The Golfer has ’suddenly’ become interested in his family tree

That means I’m the one doing the research while he looks on and ‘admires’ the results

It’s probably been there for quite a while but I’ve discovered a new (free) research site

If anyone’s interesting in going down online rabbit holes this one is pretty good

https://www.freeukgenealogy.org.uk

https://www.freereg.org.uk

There are links to the original free BDM site plus some free census. But it was the VERY old parish BDM records (think 1700s) that held my interest. Both his paternal lines were/are entrenched in small Essex villages so one surname or the other plus a place name brought up so many facts – and a maiden name to boot😊

(And that’s where I’ve been this past week or more – it definitely cut into my blogging time!)

New ways – Different ways

You get another reminder that the years are passing when a granddaughter asks if you would knit something for a friend who is having her first baby. Due the first week of June.
How could that be – oh yes they are in their 20s now☹️
‘I’ve seen something I know she would love’…..

Photograph received of unknown baby sucking on a grossly enormous dummy wearing the cardigan that ’I know she would love’….so after going through her enormous pile of patterns it turned out grandma had to pop into the delicious craft rabbit hole called Ravelry to find something similar. Almost the same and a free pattern to boot!


There are so many ways to knit and construct cardigans and I’ve tried many of them ……flat in seperate pieces, all in one to armholes, add sleeves then finish on a yoke – various methods of neck down – haven’t tried knit in the round and steeked yet (scaredy cat me isn’t sure she could deal with the stress of that) but this one was definitely different. Lets just say that if the instructions had been clearer the making would have been easier – and more enjoyable.

The instructions did say it was all in one and knit in garter stitch

how hard could that be??

Two weeks later….many cross words (some not nice) and it was finished.
Not my best effort – to knit to gauge I had to use 4mm needles, the button fastenings were difficult to manipulate so I changed to buttonholes plus I found it difficult to get even looking rows of garter stitch.
This one will go in the charity box and another will be made…..slowly, carefully, neatly.

Where do you get or I have one too….

A question bloggers often ask each other is – where do you get your ideas from- things to talk about, post about? Here there and everywhere is often the answer.

I’m tagging onto (pinching?) something Sandra at Madsnapper featured the other day – an idea she recently ’‘borrowed and adapted’ from a couple of other bloggers

https://snapperone.blogspot.com/2022/04/definitely-not-pioneer-woman.html

A spoon rest is a piece of kitchenware that serves as a place to lay spoons and other cooking utensils, to prevent cooking fluids from getting onto countertops, as well as keeping the spoon from touching any contaminants that might be on the counter. source

So here is my ‘so not pioneer woman’ spoon rest – very similar in style to Sandra’s, complete with my very frequently used vintage British government issue tablespoon.

One of my contributions to recycling/reusing is a small stack of these plastic food trays that (in my case) minced chicken comes in. They get used for all sorts of things, a place to put spoons in use (or any other utensil) being one of them.

Maybe not as elegant and smooth as something purchased but free – if you discount the product that came with it. They come and go – one or two new ones in, one or two old ones out.
~ ~ ~ ~

The beautiful solid sensible looking tablespoon somehow found its way into my civilian kitchen when The Golfer was demobbed in 1968.
It’s certainly been a ’trusty servant’ since then!

The markings on the back are interesting

  • SIPELIA – the manufacturer who had the government contract

History – https://www.hawleysheffieldknives.com/n-fulldetails.php?val=s&kel=896

  • 18/8 stainless steel

https://www.corrosionpedia.com/definition/6416/188-stainless-steel

  • The date it was made 1961 plus an arrow head signifying it was government property

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broad_arrow

  • I’ve no idea about the numerals 9424296 – possibly a design number.


So what do you use as a spoon rest…..or don’t you? What do you reuse or repurpose?

#keeplifesimple

A Pam’s Very Old Cookery Book…

After her death lots of my aunt’s bits and pieces found their way to my home

The ‘A.1’ Cookery Book by Helen H Lawson was one. I can find nothing about the author on the net so don’t know who she was or how she came to write a cookery book. It’s possible one of my readers might be able to tell me 😊

As you can see its quite an old cookery book – this is the 1946 (war time) 5th edition – very plain front with the title etc on the spine….. all words and no pictures; the first edition was published in 1901/2 and I imagine she was an ‘older’ lady when she got round to revising it for its fifth publication.


The front page suggests it contains everything essential for those who wish to have plain food daintily prepared’ and I can imagine thats what my aunt would aspire to but theres lots included that I think she’d have run a mile from.

Somehow I couldn’t have seen her stewing eels, boiling a calf’s head or foot, plucking and drawing a partridge, pheasant or pigeon. Note on pigeons – Tame pigeons taste better if cooked as soon as possible after they are killed – bet you didn’t know that !.

Lots of very old type recipes and many basic ones with some good hints and tips relevant to simple cooking these days.

The author mentions a tip that we all know about the water from boiled vegetables including potatoes and that in which rice, macaroni, or spagetti have been boiled are useful as a foundation for soups and sauces. But seemingly there was one exception – cabbage water, which must be thrown away at once. Unfortunately she doesn’t say why

Before the section on puddings and sweets she lists whether they need butter and eggs – eggs but no butter – and those that need no butter or eggs – which would have been a boon in the days after the war when not everything was readily available and there was still food rationing 

Sometime or another I’ll really delve into this and find some ‘easy’ old recipes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  • After another look online Look what I found -….a site where you can access and read the 2nd edition (free) Scroll down the site a little until Read/Preview – then click through. There’s also a download feature as well.

https://openlibrary.org/books/OL26302488M/The_A1_cookery_book

A couple of little differences on the title page – the author is named H N L (not by her full name) plus the words ‘written in the simplest possible manner to help the inexperienced’ which are not on the 1946 version

A Pam’s last dance…


Returning to and being able to volunteer at the nursing home with all the different rules and regulations plus restrictions due to ’you know what’ has reminded me how different life in a nursing home was for my aunt in 2009

(At that time I belonged to a (now defunct) ’families and carers’ group where to ease the strain we wrote and shared pieces online – I hope you don’t mind me sharing this one here)

~ ~ ~ ~

Aunty Pam’s Last Dance

I haven’t said much about my Aunt recently

As even tho’ she has been in the nursing home for a few months now

she is still very unsettled and almost withdrawn

I am grateful for the loving care she is receiving

yet feel there has to more that I can give


I visit when I can and if its dry outside

I take her for walks in the wheelchair along the main road

She can look at the traffic and also in peoples gardens

We ‘talk’ about the flowers and the cars

I try to get her to tell me the names of the plants and describe them

– colours and shape –

but her memory is really going and she just gets flustered


Unfortunately over the past month or two

she has become so uncoordinated

 I find it difficult to transfer her into the car

so going for  a ride is now a thing of the past

Even tho’ the wheelchair taxi is very unreliable

– they come when it suits –

when the weather is better

 my cousin and I hope to manage to take her out

 maybe for lunch at one of the larger shopping centres


There is one close by with some nice little cafes

we can walk round

and she can look in the shop windows

Also if there are the two of us there to entertain her

it won’t be such a problem if we do have to wait

for the taxi to come for the return journey

~ ~ ~ ~

Last night I took Aunty Pam to a dance

Yes, a dance……at the  Nursing Home


The staff organised an evening for the residents

They asked for some nice clothes to be there for the evening

Ladies had long lasting hairdo’s (I think the rollers stayed in for hours lol)

Nails done, make up on and off we went

Down to the largest day room

– renamed The Ballroom for the night –

decorated beautifully with fairy lights and balloons

Carers who weren’t on duty came in and helped out

Carers who were on duty kept popping in to see what was going on

It was only the really infirm who were in their rooms

and one carer stayed on the floor all the time

We listened to a Glenn Miller tribute band

And we danced

Wheelchairs were wheeled round in time to the music

Those who could were on their feet

– some gently swaying – some remembering steps from long ago –

others having a fine old time humming and mouthing words to old favourites

Lots of family and friends there

young and old

There was wine and beer and soft drinks

There was finger food and cakes and pastries

and at the end of the night

This lady who has been so unhappy

went to bed with a smile on her face

Pamela Joyce Thompson
27th June 1923- 31st August 2011

And ‘this’ lady

who has also been so upset

‘cose the other lady has been so upset

drove home with tears in her eyes

‘cose the other lady was so happy 😊

You just don’t know, do you…

This is The Golfer with his aunt (his mother’s sister)
Taken 2010 in Nova Scotia at the wake after a funeral 

She was smiling not tearful at all – ‘no place to be sad, she said 
Always remember and celebrate the life of the one who has gone 
It doesn’t matter how long a life they lived – Its how they lived it that matters’

She is the one who left her life in England back in 1945
to move to Canada as a war bride 

And it’s their family I’ve been doing more research on over the past few weeks 

Its been fun doing this and there have been some good moments when things have fallen into place and then some not so good moments when there have been big surprises.

The biggest surprise was when I actually located Aunt Dot’s long lost aunt’s name on a passenger list of a ship going to Canada in 1902 but the circumstances were not good.

At the turn of the 20th century there was a lot of poverty in England and it seems her father (recently widowed) placed her – the youngest child – into the care of the Waifs and Strays Society.  What happened then also happened to so many other children at that time – she (aged 12) was taken to Canada seemingly for a better chance in life. It appears she went to an intitution in Niagara on the Lake but I can’t locate any records of where she went after that.

  • Earlier this century, several thousand British children mainly in the care of voluntary organisations were emigrated to former Dominions – mainly Australia, Canada and New Zealand – under several schemes involving the British Government, the Governments of the receiving countries and the voluntary organisations who operated the schemes. Source
  • Between 1869 and 1932, over 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada through assisted juvenile emigration. These migrants are called “home children” because most went from an emigration agency’s home for children in Britain to its Canadian receiving home.  source

~ ~ ~ ~
I had been aware that lots of children had been brought to Australia particularly after WW2 (so the ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ debacle wasn’t quite a shock to me as to others) …..as an aside there was an orphanage close to where we lived in the 1940/50s and my mother (lovely lady that she was☹️) would ’tell me’ that if I didn’t behave she’d have me sent to Australia along with the kids from the home!

But… I certainly didn’t know the ‘scheme’ had been going on for so long and the children had been going to other countries as well .
Looks like I’m going to be sitting here for quite a lot longer than I thought if I want to get to the bottom of Ada’s tale. I just don’t know what I’ll discover next.

Little changes….

Just like their Gt Grandma, Little B and Little M enjoy time at the beach

Little M, our Christmas babe from 2020 is now one year old and walking – Little B, no longer little, recently turned 5 and started ’big school’ a few weeks ago.

Little B will soon be turned into a young boy when his mumma gathers up the courage to have his long curls cut. I wonder if she will cry, just like his Gt Grandad The Golfer’s mumma did when she had his curls cut and turned him into a (younger) little boy.

The Golfer aged 2yrs


No watching the waves this week for those two little tykes up above – they live in Brisbane and have been watching water of a different kind.
In case you weren’t aware there’s been a huge weather event up there this week with many towns and areas along the eastern coast of Qld and NSW being flooded

#enjoyeverymoment

Just in case…

My thoughts the other day about the reasons I buy with ’just in case’ being one of them brought back memories of my mother and her habits and realisation that maybe there’s a case of Like mother – Like daughter in my house.

My mother was a funny one – at times so tight with her money and yet so free at others.  She had a thing about buying things ‘just in case’  – according to her she didn’t stockpile (a dirty word during and just after the war)…….. she would have things on hand – ‘just in case’. 

Not quite as bad or in the same vein as my Irish granny (her mother in law) who I’m sure had saved enough string to go round the world (just in case anyone needed it ) as well as oodles of other ‘useful’ bits and pieces that really weren’t needed at all but she had lived through two world wars and a depression so I suppose could be forgiven (except by my aunties when it came to clearing the house out after she died!)

We all try to be a little thrifty at times so when things come on special I’ll pick up extra bits that I know we will use – not actually stockpiling, because to do that properly you have to check dates and rotate oldest to the front and all that, and that’s almost like work – these extra bits are for ‘just in case’.

Do you remember when the only way you got toilet rolls was singly or in double packs?  Then came fours and ….now as we all know, anything is possible. 
On occasion I may have picked up a couple of extra packs of the really soft brand we use and left them in the garage – because they come in 20s (or even more) these days, the packs are so large they need to be stored out there in an old cupboard. 

Do you also remember what I was saying the other day about having too much stuff…..

well I popped out there to bring another pack into the house and….

well, it would seem that (once the initial panic buying slowed down and it became a staple item on the supermarket shelves again) I’ve picked up quite a few extra packs of loo paper during this pandemic time –  how long do you think it will take us to use 180 rolls of toilet paper??

Buying in bulk – ‘just in case’ – good idea or not?

A little bit of trivia….this is printed on the inside of the cardboard roll….

Quilton loves your bum 😊

Ooh, I wonder what that might mean….

Trying to find the whys and wherefores as well as the whereabouts of family from years gone by sometimes means delving through old documents.

It often brings up weird and wonderful words or phrases…..unheard- unknown- unseen.

One of my ‘groups’ posted this (very safe) link to a Wiki on Family Search

A Glossary of Genealogical Terms

It’s full of definitions of words and terms that may be useful for some of you

For instance :-

If you’ve an interest in Irish documents you could turn your research around if you discovered the word Acotholicus (Latin for “non Catholic, Protestant”) somewhere.
It could indicate a mixed marriage which could mean researching another church or parish. Even another townland.

So….

Even if you’re not on the hunt for an elusive ancestor or (like me) are just weirdly interested in things, it’s a fun informative read.
Worthy of half an hour or even several hours.
Well I think it is 😊

Sharing is caring…

Talking to my sister the other day she mentioned how touched she was by some of the recollections of our late sister that friends had shared with her.
It reminded me of how I felt when someone ( a stranger) had shared some information with me – information that helped to unravel a ‘mystery’ concerning one of my grandfathers.

The man seated is my maternal grandfather – Isaac John Joseph Thompson, my mother’s father.  A few years ago I posted this photograph (and his name) on a military forum in the hope of getting it dated – to my surprise I learned a whole lot more than the date.

Yes, we knew he served in the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corp) and we knew he was a regular and had ‘fought’ in both WW! and WW2 – Mum had told us he was a hero, ‘mentioned in dispatches’ but that was it.

Well, from that photograph, I was given the approx year it was taken and his rank.  Also from looking at the medal ribbons on Grandad’s uniform this person was able to determine his ‘mention’ and  (through contacts he had) then went on to supply me with information on which conflict he was in at the time.

This is when my jaw dropped – after giving me the date of the award, the forum member told me “he earned his mention for gallantry in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF)”  When I looked it up I discovered the MEF is another term for The Gallipoli Camapign!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallipoli_campaign

Even though I was not born here in Australia (am a long time naturalised Australian) it brought a smile to my face when I realised he took part in and performed an act of bravery in a campaign that is dear to the heart of most Australians.

Anzac Day – National day of remembrance and first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli – is this coming Sunday 25 April.
source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day

Are there any unknowns in your family’s past
that have become known through research?

Family Friday…..

It’s certainly been a strange week or two, on top of loads of other happenings our internet has been what you might call ‘touchy’ so I’m saying thank goodness for post scheduling because without it Sunday and Wednesday’s would still be sitting there

Anyway there were days of forgettable weather…those middle of last month warm days a sweet memory now, daylight is fading and lights are needed from about 8pm, some nights were dominated by a very large shiny bright full moon that lit up the house so much it had you thinking a light had been left on. Middle of the nights punctuated by a symphony of weird and wonderful sounds from one side of the bed accompanied by cries of ‘oh oh bl**dy cramp’ as I leapt out of bed holding my leg in agony. My friend Mr Insomnia came visiting for a while but I seem to have shown him the door, which is good because there’s nothing worse than trying to relax and let your mind go blank hoping that sleep will come back.

At one stage I was beginning to think I was falling apart – what with the non sleeping issue, the night cramps and the funny turns. well not turns as such but wavy things in front of my eyes. The first time I thought – well I didn’t know what to think – my sight was sort of distorted, clear in all but one area, with a strange cloudy shape with jagged edges there. No pain of any sort, just this vision thing that lasted about 20 mins… thinking ‘might have to see the Dr in the morning’ later I remembered something I’d read years ago (when I got full blown migraines) about no pain migraines. Looked them up and yes, very similar so not life threatening and ‘oh well if that’s what it is I’ll put it down to experience’. When I saw the GP last week and mentioned there had been several episodes over a couple of weeks he wasn’t concerned at all – linked them to the stress of my sister’s illness and her death.

She arrived back in England last week and her funeral was this past Monday. This might sound ‘wrong/insensitive’ to some but my other sister mentioned that Patsy and the funeral director had been good friends for many years so he ‘reported’ he’d been there at Heathrow in good time for the meet and greet and made sure she was comfortable in his limo for the drive back home. A lovely lighthearted touch that was appreciated by the family

A sign of the ‘strange times’ is watching a funeral service being streamed into your living room. It felt very cold impersonal – ‘short and sweet’ and so very sad for those few allowed to be there, masked and sitting so far away from each other. Covid restrictions meant there was no gathering afterwards. That will come whenever it’s possible and she will be toasted and talked about for many an hour, day, years to come:)

But enough of the moaning and groaning- the whinging and whining.
It hasn’t al been gloom and doom ……I found Minnie
Remember Minnie?

I thought she was lost but now she’s found
and she wasn’t really lost at all.

And that’s a tale for another day 😊

Did he think I wouldn’t notice….

I’m thinking back to the days during our long long months of lockdown and restrictions last year.
The Golfer would often go out (on his own as was allowed) into the big wide world….and more often than not would come home with things we really didn’t need.
Not just little taster packets but big boxes.
It got so that every time I came in through the back door I would see something different lurking out in the laundry.

All these months later he’s still at it
They sit there staring me in the face……taunting me
so I asked The Golfer (without actually naming anything in particular) to remove some of the things on the freezer.
I even took a photo to explain what I meant.

Ok, I’ll rearrange things out there, he said.


Are you able to spot the difference?
I love him for doing as I asked and had a bit of a giggle when I saw what he’d done….

Lets just say that removing last years sticky calendars and rearranging fridge magnets wasn’t
exactly what I’d had in mind.
Hint Hint -— Big Brown Box Begone.
(because it’s full of sweet delectable treats stuff I shouldn’t eat)

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week
I really think we all deserve a smile at the moment.
😊😊😊😊😊

How can Peggy be short for Margaret….

Often the names of our ancestors recorded on census returns or other papers never seem to line up with their given names. I’ve been struggling to find the ‘real’ name of an ancestor recorded on documents as Minnie.
Is she Mary or Martha?
There were oodles of females named as Mary and also Martha in this family.
And to complicate matters I can’t find documents with either name for the time period I’m looking at so I can pinpoint which name she was given.

In another line I’ve got a Kathleen known as Kitty and a Mary known as May.
John was Jack and Charles was Chuck, oh and James was Jim

Nicknames- the bane of a genealogist’s life

If you’ve ever wondered how they came about you might be interested
in these (safe) links.
They are all similar but fun to read and could supply the answer
As to why your Aunt Margaret was often called Daisy

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katangus/how-is-polly-short-for-mary

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/24761/origins-10-nicknames

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Traditional_Nicknames_in_Old_Documents_-_A_Wiki_List

https://usefulenglish.ru/vocabulary/womens-names.

https://www.behindthename.com/glossary/view/diminutive

https://cafemom.com/parenting/172329-30_nicknames_that_make_better

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week
I think we all deserve a smile at the moment 😊

Lifelong Friends

You know how sometimes you meet someone and ‘click’
Both of you are comfortable with each other
Pick up on things straight away each time you meet
no matter how long you’ve been apart

I’ll tell you about two such people I know who were like this
Over the years in previous posts I’ve talked a lot about my Aunty Pam
who sadly developed Alzheimer’s and after leading us a merry dance in many ways, moved into a nursing home before dying in 2011…..my reflections in the link

She was married to my mother’s brother 
She was raised in India and thats where she met Uncle John
He was serving there as an officer in one of the Gurkha Regiments
So due to life’s circumstances there was a slight difference in what would have in those days been called ‘class’
BUT
She and Mum got on like a house on fire 
from the moment they met
which would have been in the late 1940s when troops and families 
returned to England after war ended and Independence was declared in India

A Pam had lived a sheltered life
from a respected family she had wanted for nothing
and Mum – well Mum knew about the world
and how to raise a family on almost nothing
so Mum taught A Pam an awful lot about running a home 
and A Pam taught Mum
Well I don’t know what – ‘cept how to be a lady I suppose lol

Here they are together (1953)
Mum (Alice) on the left – A Pam on the right
along with my Dad and my Grandad (Mum and Uncle John’s father)
In front of our little post war prefab in Cosham
A Pam and Uncle John left England the next year to settle in Australia

Here they are again in 1997 when A Pam was visiting England
They had only seen each other a few times in all those years
but it seems from what I heard they laughed and giggled like couple of schoolgirls all that afternoon

Mum died well before A Pam was diagnosed (My reflections in the link) but in later years each time I used to visit her (A Pam)In the nursing home she would often call me Alice and ask if I’d like a glass of wine.
Always the hostess, right to the end – sadly for me, but not for her lifetime friend

When this pandemic is over I think we’ll realise
it was the ones who would just occasionally ring or text, always asking how ‘you’ are
rather than the longtime ‘friends’ who were persistently at our ear all the time
(moaning and groaning)
who will be our new version of lifelong friends.

It was a cold and frosty morn….

This is ‘our big girl’ – born in Norwich (Norfolk England) early February 1963
a bitter day in the middle of what has been called The Big Freeze of 1963. 

And this is ‘our little girl’ who came along later the next year whilst we were living in Singapore.  The hot humid climate suited us all much better lol 

Anyway Our Big Girl won’t be happy if she found out I told you how old she was – but what her birthdate also means is that that like most babies born at that time (and previously) in England she was born at home.

Yes, after The Golfer rang her from the phone box at the corner of the street a midwife (very precariously because of the icy roads) came round on her bicycle and delivered our big girl right there in the comfort of our bedroom..

We laugh about it now, but because the bedroom wasn’t exactly the warmest room in the house (slight understatement) she slept in a huge drawer taken from the bottom of a big wardrobe similar to this one.


It was laid on a couple of chairs beside our bed, with the high sides protecting her, she was cosy and warm and out of any draughts – and there certainly were plenty of those in that old house.

How we survived that winter is still a mystery to me. Snow on the ground…two little ones……tiny coal fires (definitely no central heating). The house In Clarence Road was up behind the station, The Golfer was stationed at Coltishall so needed the car, which meant for me it was a walk into town for groceries and back up the hill with a pram loaded with babes and food. Certainly no taxis for us in those days!

Recently I’ve been rewatching the BBC series Call the Midwife – and even though the series was set in a place very different (both in location as well as the mix of people) to where we lived, it certainly brought back some memories of the system used ….like weighing newborns this way ….in a nappy on a hanging scale


I know it was a huge hit in UK as well as here (shown on ABC) and I believe it’s shown on PBS in the USA.  Does anyone else keep watching it?









I thought I still had a copy of Jennifer Worth’s book Call the Midwife (first book in her memoir trilogy) on the shelf but it’s nowhere to be found. Shame as I was going to reread it, probably moved it on in one of my ‘clearing out frenzies’.

I’m not sure about you but I find it hard to know whether to read a book first and then see what is offered as an adaptation on the screen (tv or cinema) or do it the other way round. See the adaptation and then read to find out what the original ‘idea’ was all about.  Often description in books never seems to get onto the screen and yet sometimes the visuals can turn out much better than the written word.

There are good points whichever way – how do others feel, which way do you prefer?