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The weather today was absolutely glorious, it was still quite cold but the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky, the ground was still a bit damp underfoot but the patches of mud were easy to avoid.
In contrast to yesterday I was on my own (most of the time) and knew where I was going without the need a of map. Although I knew where I was heading (West Grinstead Church, Sussex) the route I was taking changed several times, such is the joy of knowing an area so well.
To be honest this is not the best-looking side of West Grinstead Church, but just look at that clear blue sky. I wanted to go to the church to photograph a few gravestones, and everything just came together today, some free time and good weather.
The best part of the walk however was the walk back, a combination of clear skies, bright sunshine and splendid views certainly raised my spirits after some cold, damp and dark days. The photo below is the view looking roughly south-east towards the South Downs.
I have walked these paths for many years and as well as the fine weather there were many good memories of time spent exploring the countryside. From a family history perspective just to the left of the photo at the bottom of the field is where my grandmother lived for a few years, something which I really should have blogged about by now.
This month is shaping up to be the coldest December for 100 years (according the weatherman on the news this morning). Yesterday there was quite a heavy, but thankfully brief, snow shower about lunchtime, and today there was another heavy shower in the morning. There hasn’t been quite as much snow as there was a couple of weeks ago, only about an inch in total, but just enough to mess up our plans for the day.
Instead of a day out in London “enjoying” the festivities in the run-up to Christmas, we had to make do with a short walk in the snow. To be honest the landscape wasn’t looking quite as pretty as I hoped (the snow had started melting), but I did take a few photos to share with you.
As a follow-on from my Postcards from Australia series of posts, this is another treasure that was sent from Australia by the BATEMANs back to England.
The envelope above probably (I can’t be 100% certain) contained the three photographs below, which are views from the town of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
From left to right they are:
I know this because someone has helpfully written the locations on the back. The handwriting looks the same as that on the envelope so I guess it was either Annie or William BATEMAN.
These were sent quite a bit later than the postcards I have previously featured, the postmark on the envelope looks like 25 FEB 29, and I believe the monarch on the stamp is George V, so this would fit in with a date of 1929.
The other difference is the recipient, these were sent to my grandmother Dorothy Annie TROWER who would have been 16 years old at the time. Dorothy Annie was the daughter of Henry John and Dorothy May TROWER, making her William Joseph Henry BATEMAN’s neice.
Three seems an odd number of photos to include, so I wonder if there were originally more. If anyone knows then please get in touch.
Over the last few months I have been thinking about writing my own personal history. Not that I think my life has been particularly interesting and I am sure it will not be of interest to anyone other than myself. I would be writing it for purely personal and selfish reasons, to enable me to remember things that have happened in my life.
I am becoming aware that things are changing in the world around me and I am not getting any younger. My memories of my childhood and schooldays, my early working life are starting to fade or have already gone. It was really brought home to me last weekend when I was thinking about my walk along the South Downs Way, although it was only a few months ago the details are starting to fade.
I know I wrote about it on my blog, but that was only a very basic outline. Perhaps it will be enough to jog my memory in the future, but I am sure there will be things that I have missed out which will fade from memory. I also have lots of photos, and these will help jog my memories, but will I be able to remember all of the place names and why I took that particular photo?
I suppose this blog is the closest I have ever got to keeping a diary, despite previous attempts I have never lasted more than a few weeks keeping a daily diary. Going forward I probably need to try again, but not recording every day, just important or interesting days, most weekdays are not that memorable the following day, but every now and then something more interesting happens that I might want to remember at a later date. Even if nothing interesting happens it will probably be worth recording what a typical day was like every once in a while.
Then I can go back and record as many of my memories as I can before it is too late. Many of them will not be for a specific date, more for a period in my life, such as childhood or schooldays. Some entries may be very brief, perhaps even just place holders for things I need to try and remember (or ask others about) such as when we visited a particular place, a book that I read or a film that was special in some way.
I have been wondering just how I was going to record all these memories and I think I will probably use a blog like this one, except that it will be private, not that there are any shocking or scandalous secrets, just that it will probably not be of any interest to anyone other than me. Occasional memories might slip over into this blog (hopefully not accidentally) if I think they might be of interest or relate to my ancestors.
I think a blog is going to be the perfect medium, because of the simplicity of adding photos and other media and because I know may way around it. I have always been one for hanging on to things like train tickets and buying postcards when we visit places. Then there are things like the covers of books and CDs that have some special significance. The good thing is that because it is for my own personal use I don’t need to worry too much about copyright on images.
The other thing I like about using a blog is the ability to tag things, so I can put things in a rough chronological order, buy tagging with a specific date, a year or even just a time period such as schooldays or 1980s. The only problem will be finding the time to actually do the writing and adding in images, although once it is set up it shouldn’t take too long to just write a piece. For starters I think I shall try adding just one memory or event from the past each day along with anything interesting that happens on a day to day basis.