Choosing a Tradesperson

I want to replace my front door. The day we came to view the house, in early Spring 2013, I remember saying, as we walked up the front path to the front door – ‘That’ll have to go’. That was more than 7 years ago. Hasn’t happened yet. I’ve done everything else – re-wiring, re-plumbing,…

Blackberry Picking

It’s blackberry season. There’s an abundance of them down by the Leeds Liverpool Canal, just a stone’s throw from where I live. It’s a very pleasant way to spend a summer’s evening. It brings back a lot of memories. It was an annual tradition. Mum, me, Mum’s Aunt Nan and Aunt Nan’s walking stick. The…

The Ladybirds and the Bees. And the Birds.

I don’t get birds in my garden. There are birds all around – in the big trees across the road, in the garden of the house behind mine, down by the canal just a stone’s throw away. But in my garden? Nothing. Nada. Nowt. So – I gave up on the birds. I decided to…

Visiting the Family (Tree)

I have 12,700 relatives, all over the world – Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, as well as England and Scotland (so basically, come to think of it, just the post-colonial white English-speaking world). Have you ever thought about researching your own tree? It’s fascinating – I’ve uncovered mystery, heart break, and skeletons in the…

Eyebrows

Have you been to the shops? I haven’t, yet – I’m going to let the excitement die down a little first. And besides, I don’t really like shopping anyway. But as soon as I’m able to, I’ll be having my hair cut and my eyebrows re-shaped. If I have to queue round the block, take…

Guest Blogging – I Need YOU!

If you’re reading this, I want to hear from YOU. Fancy writing a guest blog for me? We’re living in very peculiar times. All our lives are different now, whether we’re working longer and harder than ever before, or stuck at home with not enough to do. Maybe you’re furloughed? Maybe you’re self-isolating? Maybe you’re…

Funny Old World

Happy Easter. If you can call it Happy. If you can call it Easter. It’s certainly the strangest Easter I’ve ever known. It’s Sunday 12th April. In the UK, that’s the date lockdown was supposed to end – but it won’t. We don’t have an end date now. The police are actively preventing people travelling…

We’re not laughing any more

Only a couple of days ago, we could laugh about it – oh, it’s only like having the flu, I’m stockpiling books and chocolate… I’ve gone from thinking, ‘It can’t happen to me…’ to thinking, ‘If it happens to me…’ to thinking, ‘When it happens to me…’ in a matter of days. There have been…

Where Do I Think I’m From?

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with corona virus. Thought I’d give y’all a break. I’ve been researching my family tree for quite a while now. My parents came from Yorkshire in England, and Fife in Scotland. My grandparents were from Northumberland, Yorkshire – and Fife My great grandparents were from Kent, Lincolnshire, Northumberland,…

The Price of Fish

120 years ago today my Great Grandfather left the fishing port of Anstruther in Scotland on board the ‘Bernicia’, heading out into the North Sea. The boat, and her crew, never returned. This was written by another relative of mine – On February 12th, 1900, the Shields-registered steam-liner ‘Bernicia‘ left Anstruther harbour with her Cellardyke…

What Do I Think I’m Called?

I’ve been researching my family history for a good few years now. I’ve found skeletons and I’ve found mysteries. But sometimes it’s the ordinary things that are the most interesting. The things that continued for generations, that no-one particularly thought about at the time. The things people accepted as normal. On my mother’s side, my…