My Quirky Cowkeeper Ancestor

Perhaps one of the quirky details about my ancestor was that he was able to keep dairy cows in the middle of London! Hard to believe the area which was once rural is now part of the busy metropolis.

Unfortunately it would appear that the quirks of this particular ancestor were actually illegal, much as he might have tried to convince the magistrate that he sold two brands of milk -milk or the cheaper “milk with water”.

There were two defendants each blaming the other. My ancestor supplied the milk, whilst the other had collected the milk for sale. Quirky Ancestor(henceforth referred to as Q. A.)had claimed that he had seen the milk seller add water to the product. Naturally the milk seller stated water had already been Q.A.

Q.A.  the seller suggested he(the milk seller) had conned the inspector on a previous occasion by “accidentally”spilling the milk when he the inspector had come to collect a sample.The seller stated Q.A. had laughed at this.

When cross-examined about the fact that Q. A. had laughed at his co-accused’s story, Q.A had responded cheerily,

Well who could help it?

I have to say I recognise both the cheeky humour and similar phrases being used by other relatives over a hundred years later, although not about crooked exploits.

Q.A. got a reprimand because as the magistrate pointed out, he had readily admitted

allowing the co-accused’s wrongdoing. although he had escaped the five pound eleven shilling fine, which his co-accused had received.

I must admit I believe Q.A. was extremely fortunate on this occasion.

Perhaps the magistrate had also had a sense of humour.


Daily Prompt: Waiting

via Daily Prompt: Waiting

Everything comes to he who waits..

How often did I hear that growing up?I confess it is one of those sayings I have held onto steadfastly since childhood. Interestingly I have a scientific mind yet I have never sought to challenge this apparently sensible premise, which paired nicely with

Patience is a virtue

Maybe I should compile a list of  the things for which I have waited over the years and apply some sort of statistical analysis.

Now what have I waited for over the years and what has actually happened?

I waited for friends.Check

I waited for my baby brother to grow and become a great playmate. Check.

I waited excitedly for my Mother who was busy knitting a jumper. Check.

There have been however a few things for which I have waited in vain-the price to come down on an expensive pair of trousers.

The love of my life to act like I was the love of his.

My sense of style to be ‘in’.

A quick statistical analysis does seem to indicate that on the whole waiting is worthwhile.

One day I may write something of real significance-the challenge is CAN YOU WAIT?

My Quirky Ancestor who Joined up Accidentally

I used to love visiting my Grandmother. I am so glad I spent so much time with her and listened to her stories.

She had been an attractive and cheeky redhead, whose fiery temperament at the time had led her into a few misadventures(including the time she had left her brother and his friends up a tree, when she had been posted as a lookout, whilst they had helped themselves to apples(scrumping)).

She had led an interesting life and I loved to learn her perspective on the historical periods,through which she had lived.

My Grandmother recalled the horrors of WW1, including having had a. brother who was gassed at the Somme however she could also recount some of her more light-hearted memories from the period.

Recently I was recalling  for my children how she had accidentally joined up in WW1. She was looking for work and when she saw an opportunity to gain employment as a waitress, she had taken it.

She later founď out she was actually working for the military. I never learned more about her time as a waitress for the air force of the time. (My Grandfather had been in the Royal Flying Corps) yet she had never mentioned their paths crossing then. Actually I have no idea how they met.

It is amazing to me(and also a little scary) the idea that anybody could accidentally find themselves doing military service. Did she sign something?, though I doubt my Grandmother was the only one who found her way into the military this way..

Little Miss Whoops

Using Original Sources

Dealing with original sources, including documents is great, but has often presented challenges.

What an incredible concept! Making original material accessible to all and revealing history from primary sources.

Making original documents readily available, is an amazing goal.How exciting. must it be to realise you are able to read and transcribe a document which may be hundreds of years old. Having attempted to transcribe ancestor’s wills etc and having enjoyed history at school, I only wish I had had this opportunity.Perhaps in the future there will be many more people, brave enough to seek original documents from archives.

This has the possibility to transform many fields of research, not just family research with more people feeling confident to access original material.


Daily Prompt: Clumsy

via Daily Prompt: Clumsy

It is my experience that first  attempts at most things are and indeed should be clumsy. From our first faltering steps to our first attempts at driving or making a meal -in fact, doing just about anything. Are some people  really born totally competent in all areas?  I equate clumsiness with courage and the willingness to have a go. In many ways it would be so much easier to sit in  our comfort zone and to never attempt anything new, until we are sure of our skill and ability to perform perfectly-to never face often humiliating first missteps.

For most of us starting anything new, involves accepting there will be a clumsy stage. It is the courage to keep going which ultimately counts-to embrace and accept our clumsiness .

Just discovered there is a website for Clumsy Bloggers..

Maybe I am not alone..