RSS

Category Archives: History

KwaZulu Natal – Day 8

May 1st 2018

Dawn over the Buffalo River on our last morning here at Rorkes Drift.  Does the shape remind you of anything?

Buffalo River

On our way to Cathedral Peak, we stopped off at another battlefield, this time from the Boer War, the Spioenkop Battlefield, where it seems that tactics went awry and many young men, many of them teenagers,  were killed right there in the shallow trenches that they were able to dig and they lie where they fell. The futility of war again touched our hearts. 

How those parents must have grieved; this stone being the only one set by a young soldier’s family. I found this very moving.

 

 

Tags: ,

KwaZulu Natal – Day 7

30th April

Today was a tour of the Zulu battlefields which I thought I would have no interest in but I was mistaken. Having the battles described on site at Isandlwana (where the British were beaten and massacred) and Rorke’s Drift (where they won the battle and many Zulus died) made it all come alive and emphasised the terrible futility of war.

Tapestry in the museum

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Yellow, A Surprise and A Bee

Cornwall is very beautifully yellow at this time of year – Primroses in the hedgerows, Daffodils along the verges, Forsythia in gardens, Dandelions, Celandines and Gorse just everywhere, down every lane we travel along.

We bought the magazine Cornwall Today yesterday because there is a feature on Port Isaac where family will be staying this summer. Imagine my delight to find a short article about me and my Suffragette Great Granny! I had completely forgotten the phone call some months ago!

Article in Cornwall Today, April

Bees have arrived in our garden. They love the Rosemary flowers.

A bee on the Rosemary

 

 

Tags: , , ,

On This Day in 1909, White Narcissi and Purple Fritillaria

On this day in 1909, my Great Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Wiseman, Suffragette aged 53, was arrested in London having thrown stones to break windows. Subsequently she was imprisoned in Holloway, went on hunger strike, was force fed and was awarded the Suffragette Portcullis Brooch in recognition of her courage.

Suffragette Brooch

My Suffragette garden has lots of white but the purple Tulips are lagging behind.

Some Narcissi

I shall have to move some of the Fritillaria to the front as they do flower at the same time as the Narcissi.

Fritillaria

Done!

If you would like to read about a Suffragette’s life in Holloway, the Diary of a Suffragette makes very interesting reading. Click on the red link. https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/suffragettediary.wordpress.com

 

Tags: , , ,

Labels, Seeds and a Good Read

British Summer Time begins tomorrow as we put our clocks forward tonight so it felt appropriate to start planning our summer garden. Off we went to the Garden Centre. First I found some pleasing terracotta labels for the vegetable patch.

Labels for the veg

We found lots of flower seeds – below are the Viola seeds for the vegetable trough near the kitchen where I plant salad stuffs, some herbs and these little flowers that are brilliant for decorating salads and desserts.

Seeds for the trough

I’ve just finished reading Sebastian Barry’s amazing novel, ‘Days Without End’. He writes in a most accessible yet surprising style, full of lyricism and humour that catches the reader unawares. There are so many little quotations that caught my imagination and some of which are now in my note book. I love the following with its alliteration and unexpectedness. “Your brain is molten in its bowl of bones.”
If you haven’t read it, give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I think you may be horrified and delighted in equal measure.  If you have read it, please let me know what you thought in the comments below.

A cracking good read!

P.S.  We haven’t seen our little Bullfinch today. In fact, it has been a very odd day with no birds at the feeders. For the first time this Winter/Spring, the feeders have stayed full all day.

 

Tags: ,

Paper Bags, Special New Stamps and Alstroemeria

We drove into town today and walked around so I managed some exercise. My ankles have lost their leaden feeling which I woke up with and I am still pain free…………  We were delighted to find that our local Greengrocer now supplies paper bags rather than plastic – brilliant!

Paper bags for produce – hooray!

There has been a new stamp issue today to commemorate the Suffragettes and the Suffragists and their success in winning the Vote for some women. Those who know me, will know that my Great Granny was a Suffragette and those who receive a Christmas card from us will have one of the special stamps on their envelope! I bought enough today for all our Christmas cards.

Suffragette stamps of all the values

Our lovely bunch of Alstroemeria have opened and are brightening the hall. We had sunshine today and it streamed through the house lightening up the blooms.

Alstroemeria

 

Tags: , , ,

Snow! Centenary and A Song

We woke to snow! What a treat for us here in Cornwall and it was all gone by lunchtime. Click on any photo for a wider view.

 

Today is the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage, 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. It was legislation that enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. I have been publishing Suffragette Diary as my contribution to the Cause. Today has brought some special news and a song.

In my post yesterday, I shared my research which had led me to think that the anonymous Suffragette was, in fact, Gladys Roberts.  To my delight, that has been confirmed today by a researcher friend. Thank you, Lesley . And that is not all……

Lesley has also discovered information about my Great Granny, Mrs Wiseman, whom we knew had been force fed in Holloway for which she received the Holloway Brooch but we knew no more.   Now we know what Mary Wiseman did. At 53, she was an activist in Manchester and joined several other women in London in an attempt to present a petition to the Prime Minister. When the police tried to prevent the women, they ‘obstructed’ and some hit the police. For this they were arrested, taken to the Magistrate’s court and imprisoned.  One of the cuttings mentions Winston Churchill watching from behind the railings!

Cornishman 8 April 1909

Newspaper image ©The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

I had a message as I started to transcribe the Diary from a songwriter who wanted to use it in creating a song about Suffragettes. ‘Of course,’ I said  and here is the song, many phrases of which you will recognise if you have read the Diary. Thank you, Matt, it’s brilliant!  https://museumsongwriter.wordpress.com/the-songs/

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: