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Archive for August, 2013

Quick catch-up

Nothing much has been happening lately. I haven’t been anywhere. Last weekend was a repeat of the one before – doing some genealogical research and trying to figure out a route for the South Island trip. I did discover that a distant relative was a footman at a big house in Shropshire in 1881 (the house was pulled down in 1927), which I found rather amusing (thinking of Downton Abbey). I had looked at addresses in census returns to try and find online, but, of course, many have disappeared over the years. Google Street view isn’t very accurate. I’ll put in a number of a street and it often shows me something a few doors down. At least I can get a general idea. The village where my maternal grandfather’s ancestors came from looks really lovely. I must visit sometime when I can afford a trip.

I’ve been feeling a little uninspired photography-wise. To motivate me, I’ve been getting a few photography books out from the library. My main trouble is that I go to and from work every day and often stay home in the weekend so am seeing the same surroundings week after week and it can be a struggle to view things differently. Never mind, I’m off to see Sirocco, the kakapo this Saturday (of “Last Chance to See” fame when Sirocco shagged Mark Carwardine’s head). Hopefully I can get a good photo. I’ll take some photos during the day anyway and see if it lifts me out of my creative rut.

Back to work…

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My back’s killing me after hours of trying to search for elusive family members on my family tree. That’s pretty much all I did today, as well as unsuccessfully search for negatives from 1982 to 1995. Where the hell are they? Oh, before that, I tried to sort out a possible itinerary for a road trip to the South Island in February or March. So much for continuing stripping of wallpaper! Whenever I attempt any genealogy, the hours flit by and I barely get up even to eat.

Yesterday I had to return to Wellington. H’s great uncle died last week. I hadn’t intended on going but H wanted to and she didn’t want to drive to Wellington after just having done so two weeks in a row to drop off and pick up her boyfriend from the airport (the things we do).

The great uncle in question was the older brother of H’s paternal grandmother. I didn’t particularly like him and certainly never liked his wife. However, I did the dutiful thing. One of H’s aunts also doesn’t particularly like the wife or the kids of that family. Anyway, H and I arrived in Wellington a bit early, we thought, so we headed over to Miramar and ate a spinach and feta parcel and a thyme, olive and tomato pizza at a Lebanese bakery. When we got to the chapel “early” it was already full. Apparently, they’d had prayers beforehand, something that was evidently only known to some, as others kept arriving half an hour after we did. We had to stand at the back. After the service (eulogies only, no singing), people lined up to put flowers in the coffin and pass on their condolences to the family. The coffin was then taken over to the crematorium next door and everyone just left. Quite bizarre. Apparently, the widow and family were accepting visitors at 7 pm that night.

H and I drove over to her cousin’s place for a much needed cup of tea. They hadn’t yet arrived, so H and I decided to have a look at the Weta Workshop shop just down the road. We would’ve liked a tour of the workshop but didn’t have time. Instead we wandered around the shop admiring various figurines and pictures and wishing we had the money. I took photos of the trolls outside and some of the goodies inside. It was a welcome relief from the emotions of the funeral.

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After the cuppa and a chat with various members of the family, H’s grandmother decided to go early to her sister-in-law’s place (where her younger brother was visiting). It was on the way out of Wellington, and H wanted to meet her grandmother’s surviving brother who had come over from the States, so we followed. On arrival, no-one greeted us. The widow was sitting on the couch next to her daughter and they just stared at us. We introduced ourselves to the other brother and chatted to him, helping ourselves to a seat. He was very nice, and interesting, a refreshing change. He, H and I shared an interest in photography. He let me use his rather nice Nikon for taking photos of people in the room. I did like the feel of it and it took really good photos. So we sat amongst ourselves and were eventually offered a cup of tea in a polystyrene cup. Some time later we were offered a sweet. That was it. It was now after 7.30 pm so H and I left (before her father arrived) and ate guiltily at Burger King on the way home. We had a detox tea before heading to bed, exhausted.  Such a strange day.

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Ho hum

Not much happening lately. I’ve continued with stripping of wallpaper in the spare room. I had got to a stubborn bit which had put me off for a couple of weeks but Saturday’s effort was more successful and satisfying. I now just have a couple of feet left on one wall and a bit above the windows. That will be stage one over with.

I had the carport roof replaced (at twice the cost I imagined – one should always estimate and then double or triple – I can’t believe the cost of materials!). Now I can go to the car and not get dripped on. Pity I can’t afford a new garage, but never mind. I need to empty it of junk (which is mostly what it holds).

Yesterday I spent all day on genealogy-related stuff. I had thought to organise my notes, etc, so I knew exactly what I had and didn’t have. I started with the slimmest folder – the Sutherlands – and worked my way through. Turns out I don’t have much at all, which is not a surprise, considering Scotlandspeople.com has the monopoly and a stupid payment system. I then made the mistake of searching online and hours later I was dealing with a completely different family after paying for a month of Australian records on ancestry.com.au. Unbelievable how much time just disappeared so fast and I didn’t really accomplish my initial goal of sorting my folders!

The gloom has returned. I haven’t even been inspired to take photos recently.

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