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27th May 2007

Sunday - 5.45pm : I was reading the July 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine (It's not even June yet, let alone July. Tell me, magazine publishers... Why are you a month or more in front of the rest of the world?). Anyway, as I was saying... In the "Genealogical Miscellany" section Tom Wood wrote that a Mrs Maggie Collyer from Kent has a very rare marriage certificate. He says what makes the certificate remarkable is that the bride and groom, both their fathers and the two witnesses all shared the same surname. This promted me to grab my certificate folder and flick to Mum's side of the family. Before marriage (and, obviously, after) my Great Grandparents Henry & Phyllis shared the same surname. So I also have a certificate where the bride and groom and both their fathers have the same surname, except I had THREE witnesses who also shared that same surname! Of course, I have emailed the magazine to let them know.

In other news... I may have found some distant relatives in New Zealand! I just need to work out the connections.

Dad is currently in the Isle of Man for the TT Races, so Mum & I had a day out yesterday. We walked around the shops in Ludlow, sat in the square eating an ice cream (or in my case, a sorbet) and found a book fair at the college. We bought 6 books between us and mine were just £1.50 each (with a RRP of around £6.99 - £7.99 each). Bargain books! We also stopped in at Ludlow Food Centre. All they stock is locally produced food. We bought some minted lamb burgers and a few pots of salads and brought them home for lunch. Fresh local food tastes so much better than the average food you get in the supermarkets!

Talking of food... Today, for the first time in over 7 months I've had a proper thick milkshake. It was no ordinary milkshake. It was a homemade lactose-free banana milkshake! Some of you may have seen my homemade banana milkshake from my days of being able to eat dairy products, well I simply adapted it to suit my needs. I used 2 bananas, a few scoops of Swedish Glace vanilla desert (the non-dairy alternative to ice cream) and some rice milk. Heaven!

Now a recommendation for you - Maroon 5's new album It Won't Be Soon Before Long was released last Monday. If you loved their first album Songs About Jane then you'll love this one too. It's a great second album and it's been well worth the wait. Their single Makes Me Wonder has been all over Radio 1 since it was first released for airplay.

Thanks to Karen, Sarah, Bob-kat, Anita, Old Old Lady Of The Hills, Andrea, Kev and Melly for commenting on the previous post.


20th May 2007

Sunday - 6.15pm : I've been out in the garden this afternoon as today we've finally had a break from the wind and rain. I noticed some new flowers had shot up, so I grabbed my camera and snapped away.

Flower Flower Flower Flower Flower Clematis Clematis

Yesterday my parents & I went up to Merseyside to visit some relatives. Roy & Anne put on a lovely spread of food for us and Mum had made a cake for them. We sat out in their back garden for a while, but the rain caused a quick dash back inside! We looked at photos, talked family history and all sorts. It was a wonderful day, it was just a pity the weather wasn't so great!

Thanks to Blue Monkey Jammies, Andrea, Karen, Kenju and Jean-Luc Picard for comments.


18th May 2007

Friday - 9.45pm : Tomorrow I'm off up to Merseyside with my parents to visit my new-found 2nd cousin Roy and his wife Anne. It was such a pleasure to meet them in Welshpool a few weeks ago and they invited us up to their place. I'm hoping to hear more family stories and see more old family photos.

Talking of family stories... Here's one Dad told me about my Great Grandfather Alfred during the last year or so of his life.

Great Grandfather AlfredAlfred's mind was going and due to threatening to shoot his daughter Gladys (Nan) his doctor said he should be taken to Forden Hospital. But getting him there was the problem. In the end Granddad Charlie's (Alfred's son-in-law) cousin Jack got him there. Jack told Alfred it was time he visited Malpas again and he would take him in the pony & trap to Montgomery station to catch the train. On the way Alfred realised they weren't going to the station, but it was too late. He must have felt betrayed, but it was the best place for him - Nan couldn't cope with looking after him, especially after his threats (which I doubt he meant).

While in hospital, on his birthday the Mayoress of Montgomery took him a sponge birthday cake. When she turned to go Alfred threw the cake and it hit her on the back of the head! I'd have loved to have seen that! I haven't a clue why he did it, but he'd obviously got good aim.

I'm hoping to get down more of these family stories, before they're forgotten.

Thanks to Shadow-frost, Bob-kat, Nick, Kristi, Andrea, Shopper, Utenzi and Craziequeen for commenting.


11th May 2007

Friday - 8.45pm : While I thoroughly enjoyed my long weekend in London & Milton Keynes, I only wish I could have gone to Who Do You Think You are? LIVE too. I just didn't have time and I'd already booked everything else (and wouldn't have swapped it for the world!). I hope they do another one. However, I am planning on going to the Shropshire Family History Society's Open Day & Fair in 3 weeks. It should be interesting. A lot of my family were born and bred in Shropshire.

GranddadI have also booked myself another long (4 day) weekend. Dad & I are going on a World War 1 Battlefields (Belgium & Northern France) tour in October. I have been before. I went on a high school history trip one half-term in February 1994 (we woke up to snow on the first morning there!). This time (very much like when I went with school) we'll be touring the Ypres and Somme regions, visiting Tyne Cot cemetery, the Menin Gate, Vimy Ridge memorial, Sanctuary Wood museum and trench system (Passchendaele), Newfoundland Park, Beaumont Hamel and Deville Wood (Somme), among others.

My Granddad Charlie fought over there and he would have liked to have gone back (given the chance), but it looks a lot nicer there now than the hell-like place it looked like when Granddad was there. One problem Granddad would have had travelling back to the battlefields was sea-sickness (and the Channel Tunnel didn't exist in his lifetime!), apparently he didn't have the stomach for boats. I was actually looking forward to speeding through the Channel Tunnel on the train, but the tour is going via ferry so that's something I'll have to do another time. Still, I can't wait to go as I certainly didn't think I'd be able to afford a trip abroad this year, but the price was right and Dad said if he didn't do it this year then he may never get around to going.

Tomorrow Mum & I are going to town for lunch and a bit of window shopping (meaning I don't plan to buy anything, but Mum does encourage me sometimes!). I might rent a DVD or two, but I must remember to watch last week's episode of 24 tomorrow night ready for the next episode on Sunday evening.

James @ Union Chapel, LondonThe Dresden Files TV series has now finished on Sky One which means I can finally start reading Jim Butcher's White Night (Book 9). I loved the TV series! It's not often that I'll read the books and watch the series, but Paul Blackthorne, the rest of the cast and staff did a wonderful job. I hope it gets renewed for another season! The books are also continuing their success. Apparently, Jim has secured a deal to get (so far unnamed) books 12 and 13 published! Book 10 will be called 'Small Favor' and released in Spring 2008. Jim has a plan for his books and if their deserved success continues then we'll have 20 Dresden Files "case books" and an "an Apocalyptic Trilogy". I think I'll need more bookshelves!

After requests, I have uploaded some of my photos from last weekend to Flickr. I've even uploaded the one with me & Anthony Head in, it shows my double chin (or my "grin chin" as Karen calls it). I'm not keen on having my photo taken, I prefer to be on the other side of the lens!

Thanks to Cyberevolution, Bob-kat, Kristi, Anne and Andrea for comments.

*12th May 2007 - Haloscan are currently experiencing problems, so if it won't let you comment then feel free to leave a message in the guestbook*.


8th May 2007

Tuesday - 8.25pm : I'm home! Here's what I've been up to over the past few days.......

Thursday - Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Road, London - 'Spring Fever' with James Marsters started off my long weekend away. We were given an exclusive CD (for attendees only) and were shown a clip from James' performance of 'Teechers' (from his convention on the Queen Mary), as well as being treated to a reading (the script was auctioned off afterwards) and a performance of a few of his songs. Steve (James' manager) auctioned off the script for the reading and the money went to charity. The final price? £2000! I know, I think most of the audience was stunned! There was also a draw for dinner with James after the event. 8 lucky people got to go (I got talking to one of them afterwards). We also had a drinks reception where James mingled with us. We stood chatting (and drinking!) as James made his way around the room (he'd have been there all night had Steve not given him a nudge every now and then!). We had a quick chat and hugs with James just before he was whisked off for the dinner.

Friday - In the morning, Chris & I headed from our Travelodge hotel in Kings Cross Royal Scot to the Hilton in Islington. As we'd got there early they hadn't got any of the normal rooms ready, so they upgraded us to a "Club" room. The difference? Twin double beds instead of twin singles! We had a big room with 4 pillows each - Very comfortable! After booking in Chris went ahead and met up with some other friends while I met up with Glyn & Mandy.

Our venue for Friday evening was Union Chapel in Islington for another James Marsters gig. James had a support act this time in the form of Dan Akio and his guitar. I really enjoyed seeing Dan play. So much so in fact, that I bought his CD while I was there (Check out his MySpace page for a selection of his songs!). I enjoyed seeing James play (yet again!), especially as we were sat in the 2nd row (no heads blocking my view!).

Saturday morning Glyn, Chris & I headed up to Milton Keynes for the second half of our long weekend. Collectormania 11 was in full flow, but Glyn & I had no plans for the day. We took a look around the stalls and shops, and checked out who was signing that day, then made our way to the hotel for some rest and recuperation. We spent the rest of the day chatting and watching TV. We had planned a trip down to the hotel, but instead got caught up in some TV shows.

Sunday morning I abandoned my original plan of not getting any autographs. Instead I decided to add to my collection of James Marsters autographs and get another from Anthony Head too. Both were their usual pleasent selves. Tony even agreed to a photo of us both being taken (I have a noticable double chin in it!). We also bumped into Tom So ('Fukutu' in Casino Royale) in the lift. Of course, I had no idea who he was at the time, despite only having watched the Casino Royale a few days earlier.

On Sunday evening it was party time. Tony Head started off the evening performing a set of songs. Originally he'd only planned on doing a couple of songs, but he was kind enough to do an entire set, including Sweet Transvestite from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Michael Winslow (famous for his voice in the Police Academy films) also did a performance. How he can recreate all those sounds is beyond me! He's got an amazing voice, I just wish the volume hadn't been so deafening (and he were sat closer to the bar than the stage at that point!). We finished off the evening with a drink in the hotel bar.

Monday morning we had a little lie-in at the hotel before packing our stuff and putting it in the car. We spent a short time saying our good-byes to friends before heading home. I stopped in on Nan & Granddad for a few hours on my way home too.

Today I went over to Melton to visit Lisa, Harley and the boys. Carter is cute and looks very much like his big brother, Harley. Mum has been busy knitting so I gave Lisa 4 tops Mum had knitted for Carter, as well as an activity book I'd bought for Harley and a couple of books for Lisa. I didn't take any photos today as we spent our time in town, but it was great to see the 3 of them. I'll be going over again sometime in June as it's always nice to see them.

So I've had a great time going to gigs and seeing friends, but it's back to work tomorrow. I do have another short break booked for mid-June though - I'm going to watch the F1 testing at Silverstone. Oh, and last night I booked some more concert tickets. I'll be going to see Meat Loaf at Birmingham NEC in November.

Right then, this entry is long enough! Time for me to get going. Thanks to Utenzi, Andrea, Miss M., Bob-kat, Nick, T.K., Snip, Jelena, Jolynn and Cassie for comments.


2nd May 2007

NanWednesday - 10.25pm : Nan never missed a day of school (unlike me!). She had 100% attendance and would attend even when ill. She didn't have a choice. Her parents would not let her stay at home.

For each of her school years of perfect attendance the education authority awarded her with a prize, usually a book. Her prizes included:

1909 - For every possible attendance, a book called "Tales and Talks about Children - Here There and Everywhere".

1910 - For 3 years regular attendance, a "Robinson Crusoe" book and a medal (the front engraved with her initials, the back with her name).

1913 - For 6 years in which every possible attendance and displayed commendable industry in school work, a wooden writing box awarded.

1916 - A "Good Wives" book was awarded for attendance.

In 1914 Nan was also awarded "The Girls' Story Book" for the Best Knitted Article (1st Prize) in Needlework.

The books are all in perfect condition. Dad tells me Nan wasn't allowed to have to books. She was much older when she finally got her hands on them. Maybe her parents wanted her to work when she got home, not read books. I don't know the reasons, but she'd earned those prizes. It's a pity she couldn't have enjoyed them when she was given them. I guess life was different back then.

The writing box has already been passed on to me. Dad says Nan would have wanted me to have it (I've always enjoyed writing). I guess the books will come my way one day too. It's been a very long time since my brother picked up a book!


I'm off to London tomorrow morning and won't be back home until Monday. So don't worry if it's all quiet here for a while!

Thanks to Cyberevolution, Shopper, Utenzi and Karen for comments.


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