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Category Archives: family history

A Wedding, A Dedication and A Celebration

On this day in 1939, my Mum and Dad were married.They were to have honeymooned in Paris but given that WWII broke out on September 3rd they had a weekend in Blackpool instead before my Dad went off to the army for five years.

My Mum at her wedding in 1939

My Mum at her wedding in 1939

My Dad retired early to write and dedicated his first novel to my Mum ( using a nom de plume as advised by the publishers as it was thought that women read more historical romantic fiction and that they like to read books written by women!) The novel is set in Cornwall in the late 1800’s and its background is the tin mining industry that was so important to the Cornish.

Dad's first novel, published in the US and the UK by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, in paperback by Sphere

Dad’s first novel, published in the US and the UK by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, in paperback by Sphere

The dedication

The dedication

Their Golden wedding in 1989 was a great big family reunion in Cornwall as by then my older brother and his wife and two children were living in Munich, Germany, my younger brother and his wife were in Atlanta, Georgia and my sister and her growing family were in Phoenix, Arizona and I was in Yorkshire with my family. The advance for Ellen Bray paid for everyone to come to the two week long party!

 

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Nurses’ Day, Sewing and My Mum

It’s International Nurses’ Day so let’s hear it for Nurses all over the world who do such a remarkable job day after day in ordinary times as well as in extraordinary times. 

Last night I sewed the buttons onto my last four scrub caps which will be collected by Cornwall Scrubs for distribution soon. A friend posted two caps for me the other day and yesterday  I received a message of thanks from a Nurse on ICU in Doncaster whose Mum has been a very dear friend of mine for many, many years.

Yesterday I posted a photograph of my lovely Mum and one of my cousins who lives in Australia wrote a comment about how alike our Mum and her Dad were at similar ages. I think they looked alike from being very young as the following old photo, taken in about 1920, shows.

 

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Six on Saturday – My Suffragette Garden

Several years ago we planted a small border with a colour scheme of purple, white and green dedicated to my Great Granny who was a Suffragette, was imprisoned in Holloway, went on hunger strike  and was force fed. In the family but not in my possession, we have the Holloway brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and given to all those incredibly brave women who fought for our right to vote.  To honour her, we have our Suffragette Garden.

1.  This was the garden two years ago in Spring, a bit later than now.

purple-white-and-green-garden

2.  Now it is looking tired with just a few individual splashes of colour and it needs renovation. This is my main project for the moment. We want colour all year round. We have Clematis, one white and one purple for later in the year. We have Japanese Anemones and we had Tibouchina Urvilleana but it isn’t looking very well. I’m thinking of a couple of small Hebes, one white and one purple. If anyone has suggestions to help, especially plants that won’t demand too much attention, I’m all ears. The white Narcissi at the road end that were once lovely have almost all come up blind for the second year…..

Not enough colour, lots of clearing  work to be done

3.  There are pops of colour to be seen but fewer Crocuses than two years ago. The birds up-rooted lots of them.

Crocuses

4.  Only one Hyacinth is showing and that one a bit thin.

Lonely Hyacinth and much weeding to be done

5.  The Clematis is showing lots of growth and rather early so we hope there is no cold spell coming to knock it back, fairly unlikely here in Cornwall but by no means impossible.

Clematis growing well

6.   And just to show you – The Holloway Brooch, on which we base our colour scheme.

 

Pop over to The Propagator’s blog to see more contributions to Six on Saturday from gardeners all over the world which are fascinating to read.

 

 

 

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Glass, Sky and Playing

I have always loved Bristol blue glass having grown up with a beautiful piece which I have featured here before – a glass rolling pin. Find it here.

Bristol blue glass

The sky has been clear and beautiful today.

Blue sky

LiveWires 5 and 6 have been playing with a shape sorter made by my Grandfather for my Mother to use in her teaching of infants. Then my three siblings and I played with it, next,  our four children and now it is the LiveWires 5 and 6 watched over by their big sister who are playing with the toy made by their Great, Great Grandfather. Isn’t that just wonderful?

LiveWires 1, 5 and 6

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

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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

 

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Love-in-a-Mist, Golden Horizon and Happy Days

Rain in the night left rain drops on the Nigella flowers and buds and they glistened in the early morning light.

We have just returned from Porthtowan where there was a golden glow on the horizon behind the surfers.

Porthtowan

Sorting threw up this photo yesterday, of me at about 10 or 11 years old with my Guide troop as we were about to set off for a week camping in Coverack.

Girl Guides off to camp

 

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Story Writing, Raymond Carver and Old Notebooks

We were shopping for children’s books today, for six months old to nine years old and found some beauties with which to entertain the LiveWires later this month. While we in the bookshop there was an author event going on, Craig Green writing a story with young customers. It was a delight to hear the contributions for their 26 words story and his lovely way of using their suggestions.

Story writing with Craig Green

Today’s poem in Poem for the Day is this little beauty from Raymond Carver who died on this day in1988. To love and be loved really is all that matters.

Late Fragment by Raymond Carver

Big, big sorting today on another rain-filled day – this time through all my writings from when our son was very ill soon after being born. My notes take us from Day 11 of his little life, his three heart operations, (though today, reading just the first two was enough), my poems, the little things I have kept from those days. We have both cried this afternoon, reading and remembering, but the beautiful thing is that, despite the odds, 50/50; then 60/40  and again 60/40 against his survival, he and his twin sister are almost 40 and he is himself the Father of twins. One day soon, I shall write up the whole experience, the horrors and the delights, the successes and the mistakes, the lovely things that were said and some of the shocking thoughtless words said by people who should have known better.

Here is a photo of the garden a few moments ago when the sun came out after a day of rain reminding us of how the sun shone in our lives as our lovely boy and his three lovely siblings grew to be such wonderful, thoughtful, kind and much loved adults.

Sunshine after rain

 

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Frida Kahlo, Earrings and First Words

I’ve been trying to find time to get to Studio 10 in Redruth to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition since last Sunday. I made it at last, met some lovely people, saw some amazing art and bought some earrings! I just loved the humour in these mosaic characters by Susie Chaikin, an artist I am delighted to have discovered today. Do have a look at her website by clicking on the red link. I featured some of her husband, Mike Chaikin’s, kinetic sculptures in April without knowing they were his – sorry! You can see them here.

Frida and Diego by Susie Chaikin

Here are the earrings I bought today. I need to find out the name of the artist maker. (I have now been told they have been made by Anne Boo Whetter.

Beautiful earrings

Sorting through stuff again – it’s ongoing! – I re-discovered Baby’s Progress, a little booklet given to my Mum to record my progress many years ago. Here is one page from it.

Mum’s record of me!

 

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