Saturday, June 23, 2018

Desperate measures

I have finally realised that it is going to take a hard push to find my missing knitting needles so I have decided to invoke Sod's Law and have ordered another set of needles.  So far it hasn't worked but I figure that it is a win/win sort of situation in that I will end up with either one or two pairs of 4.5mm needles and they will never come amiss as it is a size which is used a lot.  Hopefully they will arrive next week as they only have to come from Sydney.  Accepted that they will be put onto a camel train and sent via Oodnadatta and the Canning Stock-route, as does most of our mail from over east but one day . . .

One of my second cousins is compiling her mother's history for her immediate family and asked me if I would be interested in putting her findings onto my family tree.  It is all grist for my genealogy mill and she has sent it all to me typed out, as far as I can tell, in MS Word.  It has been something of a steep learning curve as there have been several divorces.  Sometime ago I purchased a book  -  "FTM 2017 Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker" and through that have found a 'relationship' button.  I am still trying to work out exactly how to get to it and will have to print out the tree or sync it to to see if it works, but …

The granddaughter of one of my second cousins has a partner with whom she has two children and he had a prior relationship which resulted in a daughter.  Because he was not married to the mothers of either set of children I am having a problem working the daughter from his first relationship into the descendant tree as neither is a descendant.  FTM lists her as a stepdaughter but without a marriage it refuses to add her to the descendant tree.  He can be, and is, categorised as a partner so there must be a way:  I just haven't found it yet.

But thank goodness for the book; it would have taken me forever or not at all to have even got as far as I have with this tree.  Prior to the book I simply added this sort of information to the "notes" and this is probably what I will be doing with Claudia in order to get her name out there and in with the family.  She is, after all, a half sister to the second family who are descendants.

The Limerick . . .

To his bride said the lynx-eyed detective,
'Can it be that my eyesight's defective?
Has your east tit the least bit
The best of the west tit?
Or is it a trick of perspective?'

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Anyone who has read the book "Hogfather" by Terry Pratchett knows that if there is too much belief floating around in the world, unchanneled, things will happen.  This is my state of affairs at the moment but instead of sock-eating creatures hiding behind washing machines, in my case it seems to be some sort of knitting needle eater.

I have lost three knitting needles  -  a pair of 4.5mm which I needed to knit the cowl collar on the pink possum sweater which I am trying to finish on account of the cold weather we are experiencing at the moment and one stray size 3mm steel needle which I used to pick up the stitches in order to knit the above-mentioned cowl.

There is, of course, a lot of unregulated belief at the moment just days after the USA/North Korea Summit and that probably explains my knitting needles but it is annoying.  I have searched diligently for the lost pair because they are part of a set of detachable circular needles and their absence has left a gap in their case.  No doubt they will eventually turn up but in the mean time I keep looking through all my unfinished projects in the hope of finding them hidden away somewhere, neglected and forgotten.

The 3mm needle can stay lost.  It is one of the ones which I rescued from my MIL's house when my SIL and I cleared it out, and I don't like using conventional knitting needles any more.  I still have the other half of the pair if I need to do some more difficult picking up of stitches.

My new spectacles have arrived and are very elegant.  My optometrist is now organising some bifocal computer/copy-typing glasses for transcribing family Wills and archived newspaper articles.  I have sadly neglected my Slush Fund lately and although it is strictly for family there is still a great deal to get through and convert to HTML  -  although HTML is a @#%$ to do using Win10 and I have started using my Win7 laptop as it is much easier to edit.

Today I planned to get my ironing done so I went shopping for bath towels.  The sales are on downstairs at the moment and the towels had been reduced to 50% so I have re-stocked in a colour to match my duvet cover and curtains.  the old ones, due to having to be put through the clothes dryer to prevent them from turning into sandpaper, are starting to feel thin.  They will be recycled as cleaning and polishing cloths, something which I sorely need.

So tomorrow  -  (sigh) the ironing.

Today's Limerick (WARNING  -  Adult language used).  "The leader of the rebellion against the fad of the pure Limerick would seen to have been the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 - 1909). " This one is set in Oxford.

There was a young student of Johns
Who wanted to bugger the swans.
But the loyal hall porter
Said, "Sir, take my daughter.
Them birds are reserved for the dons."  

Sunday, June 10, 2018

All my Little Chickens . . .

. . .are coming home to roost.

D1 and D2 have both been overseas for the last few weeks and are arriving back today which is nice.  I have missed them but did get a postcard from D1 which, to my amazement, arrived back before she did. 

Winter has truly set in and the temperatures have been low with lots of rain and some gales on and off.  I am close to finishing my Pink Possum Sweater  -  one sleeve and the cowl neck to go.  I have been knitting while I listen to the Rachel Maddow Show so I am usefully occupied while I catch up on the latest from America where things are interesting but from a non-American's view are a bit dismaying.

When I announced at my knitting group that I had bought a stick vacuum cleaner I was asked just how many vacuum cleaners I had and I realised that I actually have four of them and they all serve a purpose.  I feel that my floors are finally under control and am about to start on my cupboards.  The problem is that there is nowhere to throw away things which I no longer need or use.  

The council has two roadside collections per year but we do not have any roadside so it is a matter of loading up a shopping trolley and wheeling it over to one of the residential streets or sneaking it into one of the many rubbish bins scattered around the shopping complex.  I have found that just about anything goes if one chooses a bin with a red lid.

I've finally officially resigned from COTA; I handed in my notice when I was diagnosed with cataracts in my eyes but it was all left a bit up in the air. However knowing that I am to be left with failing vision until such time as the ophthalmologist considers the risk of losing my sight altogether from the surgery is no worse than not removing the cataracts I have decided that now is the time to stop struggling with the COTA computers and concentrate on struggling with the many dire changes which Microsoft is making to Win10 on my own computers.

A limerick written by Arnold Bennett:

There was a young man of Montrose
Who had pockets in none of his clothes.
When asked by his lass
Where he carried his brass,
He said "Darling, I pay through the nose."

Friday, June 1, 2018

There was a young man of Pulldown . . .

The title could be the first line of a limerick but it is actually a reflection of my almost fruitless search for my 4 x great grandfather.

I say "almost because I have found quite a bit of evidence here in Australia where he married twice, once in Sydney, New South Wales and to my 4 x great grandmother in South Australia.

A little bit of history here:  Australia didn't become a Federation until 1901 and until then was a collection of independent States.  South Australia was the only state which was never a penal colony and was colonised by unfranchised people from many places, mainly English and German but there were Afghan camel drivers who carried goods up into the centre of Australia (the train which runs from Adelaide in the south to Darwin in the north is named The Ghan in their honour).

My 4 x times G/grandfather arrived in Sydney in 1842 on a ship called "Champion" as an assisted passenger and there is a record of all the passengers  who arrived.  That is easy to find as are his two marriages but what I found a couple of sleepless nights ago was what must have been some sort of passport which named his parents as well as the place in Ireland where he had lived.  He named it "Pulldown"  which I was totally unable to locate but his referees who had to sign for his character lived in Puladown  -  and that did exist. There are about four different versions of the name on the document but I refuse to be drawn into 200 year old arguments about the spelling

The Irish archives burned down in 1922 and are slowly being reconstructed from church and civic records but County Armagh seems to be the last on the list because there is nothing there yet.  Maybe one day my granddaughter will be able to access the BMD and find out more about the family.

I had a horrible day yesterday.  The weather was awful and I had an appointment just a quick train ride away at 11.00am and another at 3.30.  the prospect of battling the weather to and from the train station decided me to stay where I was so in the morning I had my eyes tested and in the afternoon I had a cracked filling in one of my back teeth repaired, spending the intervening time reading my E-book in the shopping centre.  I arrived home at about 5.00, exhausted from doing nothing all day.

Now I have nothing planned for the near future so I can get back to doing the things I enjoy  -  or probably more family research as it is a bit like a treasure hunt and it is addictive.

And now today's limerick.  For any American readers who find themselves here, this one was written by President Woodrow Wilson.

I sat next to the Duchess at tea;
It was just as I feared it would be:
Her rumblings abdominal
Were truly phenomenal
And everyone thought it was me!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Richest Man Alive Issues Dire Warning

The title of this post comes from a sidebar linked to an article which I didn't read but which set me wondering if the richest man dead agrees with the sentiment or if he has a different take on the situation.  Maybe I should join the grammar police, the apostrophe police and/or the hyperbole police.

When I opened my blog site this morning there was a huge yellow message telling me that I need to inform all my readers in Europe that there might be cookies here.  Of course there are cookies but not set by me; Google will most certainly set cookies so, European readers  -  there will be cookies.

On the subject of cookies  -  some of them are spyware and need to be cleared regularly and especially before doing ANY financial transactions online and log out of any financial sites after you have finalised your transactions.  I also clear my cookies after any financial or sensitive transactions just in case.

Winter has arrived with a vengeance with two days of torrential rain, gales and thunderstorms although it has not been very cold.  The only place which didn't receive the rain was down south, around Albany, which was subjected to over 70 bushfires which were fanned by said gales  -  but no rain.  That is really sod's law in action.

I have used up all the sudokus so I have hauled out my book of Limericks which I rescued from my MIL's house during the clear-out before everything was sold and I will post an occasional one here.  I'll try to select relatively benign ones although part of the joy of Limericks is that they are usually a bit politically incorrect or downright salacious. Remember, I didn't write them . . .

Here we go.  This one is considered to be the ultimate limerick  -  Introduction, Story and Conclusion all in five lines.

There was once a young man of Cape Horn
Who wished that he'd never been born
And he wouldn't have been
If his father had seen
That the end of the rubber was torn.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Such are the Dreams of the Everyday Housewife

Prompted by the example of D2 who borrowed from me a book called "The New Natural Cat  -  a guide for caring owners" I decided to gradually change my cats' daily treat over to something more healthy than commercial soft food.  So I headed out to Farmer Jack and bought some lean beef mince with the idea of introducing a bit at a time, adding other ingredients as I increased the fresh and replaced the supermarket mushy stuff.

On Day 1 I added about a level teaspoon of the mince to each of the feeding bowls along with their usual soft food.  They thought that this was a great treat and scoffed it down.  I happily went off to do my daily yoga practice only to find, when I went into the bedroom to change back into my clothes, that Poppy had neatly brought up the whole lot in the middle of my duvet.

Thank goodness for clothes dryers.  I bundled the duvet into the washing machine and put it through a couple of cycles in the dryer and it was back onto my bed by bedtime.  We are now back to commercial soft treats but a better, more expensive sort from New Zealand where they seem to do most things better or best.

My genealogy research is now focused on my one and only Irish forebear and there I have run into another brick wall.  I gather that the Irish archives were burnt down along with most of the BMD records and people seem to be second guessing their ancestors and then actually putting their trees onto where they are copied by other researchers.  I can trace the ancestor who came to Australia as he is in the record of assisted immigrants who arrived in Sydney in February 1842, along with his age (19), his brother and his occupation.  

It would be so easy to copy from other trees and give names to his parents but I contacted a cousin researching the same family and he doesn't know either.  He is, like me, insistent on sources before recording information -  something which got me into hassles researching the Mendus family.  I had help with the Davies branch of the Davies family and that is well sourced.  David Davies married Charlotta Mendus which is how the Mendus family connects with the Davies forebears.

My Irish forebear married in Sydney a few years after he arrived but his wife died, probably in childbirth, two years into the marriage.  He then moved to South Australia where he married my something-great grandmother and between them they produced 12 children.  She died with the twelfth child so I assume that it was all too much for her.  By our standards she was not very old.  Thems were the days!

I am trying to edit out most of the commas in this blog.  Reading news reporting from USA I sometimes find the reports confusing due to a liberal scattering of inappropriate commas.

The last of the sudokus:

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

... and it doesn't get any better.

Not long after writing up my last blog entry Parsifal, my boy cat, managed to get himself trapped behind the washing machine.  He does this periodically when he thinks that he is being ignored and the gap at the side is too narrow for him to walk out on his own and no way for him to jump up and out so the washing machine has to be manoeuvred sideways (and it is very heavy) close to the hot water storage tank.

This time he managed to also get the electrical cord twisted around his tummy with no room to untangle himself so I had to go over the top of the machine, unplug the cord and by lying over the top with my legs stuck out the back I managed to untangle him.  There were a couple of men up on the roof trampling around and talking and I was swearing like a trooper so I didn't hear my personal alarm give its preliminary 20 seconds of beeps and I assumed that the voices I heard were from the men on the roof.  I now realise that I must have triggered things by squeezing the alarm button between the washer and my ribs.

It was only after the rescue had been concluded that I heard D2's voice asking me if I was OK.  I can't imagine what she thought was going on but at least we both now know that the thing works.  Later I also received a call from my next-door neighbour who had received a text message  saying that I might be in trouble.  This happens of the alarm reaches a mobile phone.  My neighbour is fourth on the list so her role is to phone for an ambulance and beam up the paramedics.  Once again  -  it is nice to know that the gadget works.

And yesterday I attended the Lion Eye Institute where, after multiple tests with me looking into bright lights, I was told by the ophthalmologist that due to the previous laser work done to my retinas there would be a 2 - 3% chance that I could lose my sight altogether if I had my cataracts removed and he was not prepared to take the risk, especially as, with spectacles, my vision was really quite good still.  So I have an appointment to see him again in a year.  I suppose that eventually I will get to a stage where the risk becomes worth it and it will, by then, become a kill or cure scenario.

The penultimate sudoku:-

Having been erased
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.