One Last, Lovely Smile?

Dear Diary... The American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant once said that Autumn was the "year's last, loveliest smile" and even though I adore the season's vibrant colours, collecting horse chestnuts, the fallen leaves and the welcome appearance of the humble mince pie, I haven't really had much to smile about lately. Since September I've been …

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Wake UP! September’s Over!

Summer has come and passed The innocent can never last Wake me up when September ends... © Green Day Dear Diary... It's probably something of an understatement to tell you that I'm rather glad to see the back of September and that of the month before when my father died suddenly and even though I had walked away from our …

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Please Handle With Care!

Dear Diary... Once upon a time as I rattling on to a good friend about my plans for the summer, she shared a childhood anecdote with me when she too had been busy regaling her grandmother about her plans and to which the grandmother had replied: “If you want to make God laugh Susan, tell …

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Those Gnarled Branches and Fallen Leaves…

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” So said William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire lad and THE leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. If you are like me and love to go in search of elusive ancestors throughout the vale and dale of the County of Yorkshire; this blog could be just what you are looking for as I follow in the footsteps of my North Riding family, and as there are plenty of them, I have many miles to travel!

Flaming June!

It only seems like a week ago to the beginning of last month when I had spent the morning looking at some images of two brides who had both married on the first day of June some years apart and my memories of being surrounded by buckets of glorious sunflowers, fragrant roses and lush foliage …

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A Portrait in Flowers…

Dear Diary... Although the doors to my little flower shop have been closed as of late - my floral endeavours have been continuing albeit in more of a fantastical way as the Crooked Hen and I've been busy creating some plants which would struggle to find a definition in any botanical guide! However, I have …

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Heigh-Ho! Heigh-Ho! It’s Off to Bow I Go….

I find myself looking to the past on most days at the moment for if I’m not in search of an elusive ancestor for a client or trawling through the 1911 Census for a few of my pesky relatives who still appear reluctant to reveal themselves some 106 years later; I could either be immersed in the year 1815 as the work on my Lord Byron abode continues or otherwise curled up in a quiet corner somewhere with Lady Byron and Her Daughters; and before you ask, it is the title of a new biography about His Lordship’s much maligned spouse! However, one rainy weekend and in the company of my genealogical assistant, I literally took a walk in the past during a visit to London for as I trekked up and down Fairfield Road in Bow which is not only the road that my family live near but also the road that Hargrave Potter, the son of my 4 x Great Grandfather was trekking along on that very weekend an incredible 130 years earlier...

Twenty Three Years After THAT Verdict and the Protest Continues!

This is THE post that I should  have shared yesterday but I did not on account of a lack of time, natural light and inclination! Despite the issues of time and natural light notwithstanding for as I had published six (yes, six!) stories about the anniversary of THAT Verdict by yesterday evening; the only inclination that remained was for me to crawl away into the dark night and watch a trashy movie with only a huge slice of cake for company And no, the trashy movie that I watched was NOT about the Simpson Matter!

Father AND Daughter Reflected in a Different Light?

I think the thing which has most troubled me about the death of my father, is that I have been left feeling so troubled by it as I had always imagined I would be indifferent to any news of him but how else to explain my sense of rage as if he has slammed the door in my face for the final time or that profound sadness about the beautiful and charming grandson he barely knew. Or the black void in which all of my questions about my relationship with him have tumbled into and which are now swirling around like confetti, to be forever unanswered and I have to find my way through the ‘If only’ and What if’ on my own...