Friday, October 13, 2017

My black furballs turned six last Thursday

I find it hard to believe that I have been in this apartment for over six years.  The cats were born on 12th October 2011, an easy date to remember because it was my parents' wedding anniversary.  I collected them on 2nd January 2012 when they were 10 weeks old.

Yesterday I met up with my two Wilson third cousins and we talked none-stop for four hours.  It was a lot of fun  -  they are great people and both interested in our mutual roots.  I have spent the last couple of weeks gleaning as much information as I could from all my Wilson cousins descended from Matthew Wilson,  my paternal grandmother's family.  To clarify that last sentence  -  I have some other Wilson cousins who, as far as I know are a different family altogether. I have not been able to get a complete descendant line  -  there are some gaps to fill in still and I am hopeful but not at all confident that I will get all the information I would like.

It is easy going back since there is a lot of information online from people researching their ancestors but not as easy to cover contemporary relatives.  There is nothing in the archived newspapers and the BMD CDs only work with 32 bit computers and only go to about 1930 anyway.  I used to have the whole set and squeezed them dry before disposing of them when I moved.  I realise that they might still have worked on my Win 7 laptop but they didn't have the information I want anyway.

My latest COTA client has cancelled his last two lessons.  I can't say that I blame him, the computers which we use are on their last legs and last week there was no internet connection.  After two weeks of exhorting him to click on the Microsoft button to find out which version of windows he has it is quite possible that he discovered that he has a Apple Mac.  Anyway, unless COTA manages to dredge up another client is looks as though I will be able to sleep in on Thursdays for the rest of the year.  My plan is to go to the Christmas party and then resign  -  or resign and then go to the Christmas party.

We are having weird weather at the moment  -  hot days, cold winds, storms  -  totally unpredictable and my asthma is bad and I am currently taking cortisone which is great for my poor sore arthritic thumbs but extremely painful when I stop taking it so I should be taking advantage and getting back to spinning but I have spent a great deal of time trying to kill off two infants, Michael [--?--] and Daniel [--?--] children of a cousin with a nameless husband.  Michael and Daniel were duplicated and even FTM should have realised that but didn't.  so I deleted the repeats which returned with alarming regularity and eventually I had to kill off their mother and reinsert her.  I haven't tried putting the boys back but maybe one day ...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I have received a 'Top Comment' accolade from Facebook

This is a one-off event and I feel that I must record it for posterity because the original has sunk way down the page and may never be seen again.

The comment was in response to a number of American politicians who passed a bill making abortion more difficult.  After the Las Vegas shooting all that the 
republican politicians seemed to say was "My thoughts and prayers go out to you."
My posted comment was "My thoughts and prayers go out to all those American women who accidentally become pregnant. My though and prayer is "Thank God I live in Australia".

Parsifal loves the TV and is convinced that if he could only find his way in or through the screen he would be able to meet and greet all the people in there.  He walks backwards and forwards across the front of the screen and twice in the last couple of weeks he has trodden on the remote and switched it on.  I am not looking forward to the day he puts two and two together and turns it on whenever he is feeling lonely.

The internet was down today at COTA and since I was intending to teach word processing I thought that is wouldn’t matter but was unable to use the computer I usually use as it refused to load so I moved over to the one which Himself uses and discovered that there was no way to get a big enough block of text to use.  I usually go  online to  my webpage to get a text document and have one saved on the desktop but, with no internet, I was unable to do this today.  I am getting very tired of the never-ending battle with the COTA computers and am seriously considering resigning at the end of the year.  I enjoy teaching and meeting new people but the computers are dying and I am tired of carrying two computers with me every week just in case I need them.

Next Friday I am having morning tea with two long-unknown cousins.  One, KH and I have been in contact for several years as she is a serious genealogist but I had no idea that there was another cousin from the same branch over here in the West.  The family settled in South Australia and KH is a
South Australian as am I but so far I have no idea where SC is from.

I have been busy contacting cousins to obtain as much family information as I can so that I can print off a  descending descendants’ report from our common ancestor and there is only one gap  -  the son and daughter of a great aunt  -  and the only person likely to know is an 83-year old recluse who doesn’t own a computer but who is reputed to be a genealogist so maybe he researches at SAGHS and the Mortlock Library.  I have his phone number and will try phoning him but I am not holding my breath.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Spindling รก la Turke

Being the proud possessor of eight spindles I have finally decided to master the technique of spindling.

Since I already have two spindle rests I decided to start with one of my support spindles.  I spent two days struggling with one of my lovely, beautifully balanced, hand-turned support spindles and although I managed to produce a yarn which veered from very good, bumpy and broken.  I have a feeling that part of the problem was the fibre which came with the spindle and which, with my arthritic thumbs, was very hard to draft out.

Having tried the support spindle with indifferent results I decided that maybe my little Turkish spindle might be easier  -  and it is, although the fibre which I found so hard to draft was also hard with my little Turk so I have abandoned that fibre (although a bit of pre-drafting helps) and have started on the rolags which I had previously made on my blending board.  Eureka!  But I am having a bit of a problem with the winding on  -  two over and one under  -  and my arms are not long enough to spin out more than about a metre before I have to wind on.  However, I can, up to a point, spin and draft so it is much quicker.

All power to u-Tube for its instructions except that I am starting to get spindle hints on Facebook which I see as a severe lack of privacy.

My cousin J. has emailed me with a lot of information which I didn't have before about her side of the family so I will be able to fill in some gaps in my Family Tree.  Going back in time is relatively easy but going forward, especially when most of my family lives in another State is harder.  The archived newspapers only come as far forward as the 1950s so I am missing out on several generations and even then people needed to be newsworthy to be reported.

 Family Notices are the most helpful as it gives engagements, marriages, births and deaths and I have found a lot of information about my parents' generation but struggling to get information from the Registrar General's Department about more recent BMDs is a pain and with identity theft on the rise it is becoming harder to squeeze any information out of them.

My mother's family ended up in the Law Courts enough to get quite a bit of newsworthy information but my father's family were all too law-abiding for genealogical purposes.

Friday, September 22, 2017

"There is nothing left of the Equinox ...

... because the Precession has proceeded according to precedent" accompanied by equinoctial gales.  Yesterday was a horrible day and I was almost blown off my feet when I went downstairs to check my mailbox.  Thank goodness my computer client had opted out of her lesson or I would have had to battle the gale to get to Victoria Park and back.  There is no shelter from the wind at the railway stations and the wind screams down the rails with nothing to block its path.  It would be nice to think that more sheltered stations could be built but Claremont Station is heritage listed and the Cottesloe station is simply a roof over a few seats and is wide open to both prevailing winds; the easterly in the morning and the sea breeze (Fremantle Doctor) in the afternoon.

Instead of doing battle with the weather I decided to try my hand at spindling.  I have eight spindles and have never learnt to use them.  With a wheel and an electronic spinner I have never been motivated to do so but would like to be able to expand my repertoire at my knitting group as an excuse to use the spindles. 

There is a great deal of useful information on U-Tube on how to spindle and I now have the general idea and can actually produce a yarn  -  very unevenly  -  but have not mastered winding on so it needs some work before I can be in any way proficient and I have a nasty feeling that my sore thumbs will stop me in my tracks.  I am using a support spindle but wondering if I might do better with a drop spindle.  I have a nice little Turkish spindle which is almost small enough to slip into a handbag.

Meanwhile I am getting very zoological with my knitting.  Currently I am knitting a lacy scarf from Corriedale wool and Samoyed dog hair and a sweater from yarn comprising Merino wool and possum hair.  The dog hair is not easy to knit as the yarn fluctuates wildly between very fine and thick clumps (one of my early attempts at carding done about 45 years ago) and the possum sweater is easy to knit but the colour looks dreadful under fluorescent lights so I am going to have to be careful where I wear it.

Yesterday someone posted a photo on Facebook of a crocheted toilet seat cover which has been received with much mirth.  I certainly do not intend to do anything so gross but one Japanese contributor said that in Japan, in winter people slip woolly socks over the seat.  I have a feeling that the problem has been overcome in Japan with warmed seats, water jets and warm air.

Now that we are officially into Spring, hopefully the weather will warm up a bit but at least I have reverse cycle A/C which I need because my apartment faces South and gets no sun and the sea breeze comes screaming in from the South Pole every afternoon  -  lovely in summer but not so nice in winter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Like Drawing Teeth

I was going to title this entry "Like trying to draw blood from a stone" but I know that is impossible and in this case I know that the information is there but not forthcoming so I have had to go to any sources I can find for the information.

What I am trying to find is family records from some of my closest relatives  -  first cousins.  I was told that J. is the Family Historian so I figured that she was the person to ask.  However, all I managed to squeeze from her was that she has three children and five grandchildren.  I have spent the last week searching Trove (archived newspapers) and a related family tree which I have and which in J.'s case is wrong as it shows four children.  I know that she has twin sons but one of the twins is called "saw" (Lower case so the person compiling the tree was obviously uncertain).  The other son has a different birth date and I am not sure which of her two sons has been given the correct birth date and which is a fabrication

I have also managed to find birth dates and places for J. and her two siblings by going through the Family Notices in the archived newspapers but that is time consuming.  I have just emailed her with all the data I now have and asked her for additions and corrections but I am not holding my breath.  She might be a historian but she is certainly not a genealogist and the two are really all part of the same equation so I am wondering what history she is researching.

I have the telephone number of a second cousin who is supposedly a genealogist but he is in his mid-eighties and is not computer literate and is very reclusive.  I met his two siblings at my mother's funeral but gather that they are now dead and I am reluctant to telephone him simply to ask when his brother and sister died so I have simply entered their deaths as "after" and entered the date of my mother's death.

I am back to doing yoga five times per week and feeling much better for it and I have resumed the "fast diet" because my weight has started to edge up.  I am finding this rather hard and will probably do so until my body gets used to it again.  I have never found it particularly hard before; it is mostly just keeping busy and drinking extra coffee if things start going tough.

The possum sweater is progressing slowly and I am knitting a lacy scarf from some very, very old spinning where I blended dog hair with the wool and dyed it pink.  The dog hair didn't blend in evenly or pick up the dye so it is definitely in the novelty yarn category and is ideal for a lacy scarf.  So far it looks very pretty and being mostly holes it is a quick knit and a nice change from the sweater which is serious knitting.  I intend to modify the pattern to give the sweater a cowl neckline so fingers crossed that it will work out.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Revisting old times

My original online name was Minerva and when I started playing the Douglas Adams computer game 'Starship Titanic' it got shortened to minnie and then, as a reflection of the song Lily the Pink it became minnie the pink.  When I wanted to make my nationality clear I became minnie the pink Ozcat which has morphed into pinkozcat.

I decided to see if there was anything left of SST so I googled
minnie the pink + Starship Titanic and found a heap of posts from the forum.  I also discovered that I can download the game for under $8 Australian and it works with Windows 10.  I am tempted!  I still have the book with all the hints which I collected after I became a Captain and stayed to help those who were still working through the game so I could probably play it again if the mood moved me.

I am re-knitting my pink possum sweater.  I realised that I was knitting a  size (or two) too big and luckily I had not progressed too far.  It will now be about 5cm bigger than the Chunderup sweater which fits well but going down another size will make it a fraction tight and I do not want to undo it again and start again with smaller needles .  I am in no hurry to finish it as the weather is finally warming up and the sweater may be too warm for this climate even in winter  -  but 'Have Yarn - Will Knit'.

I have had to turn on the 'happy juice' dispenser as the cats were scrapping BIGLY and Poppy was seriously fighting me when I needed to clip her claws.  I know that she has sore feet and arthritis in the right hand but she is always much happier when the claws are short so they both have their nails clipped every three weeks which seems to be the optimum period between comfortably short and ripping up the leather couch.

I am making progress working back through my father's side of the family and am back to 1726 but still no word from a first cousin who is supposedly the family genealogist.  I was hoping that she could give me information about my contemporary family but I might have to leave that to the next generation or hope that someone posts on  The problem there is that no details are published for people who are still alive and that is going to limit me  possibly only to information about births; but I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I have sorted the Sarahs

One of the things which you do while you are waiting to fall asleep  -  think:  I need to check the birth date of Matthew's oldest brother.

This morning I did this and found that the eldest sibling was born in 1795 and therefore Sarah Lockwood (married 8-7-1790) is the only possibility.  I had the right name but the wrong Sarah on my family tree.  Now that that is all sorted I looked at the births of the three siblings  -  1795, 1803 and 1808 so either Matthew's father was away a great deal or Sarah had difficulty carrying a baby to full term as in those days the family popped one out every year or so until the mother died of exhaustion, usually after number nine or ten.

D2, who is a doctor, told me that after number three birthing becomes more and more dangerous for the mother and in the late eighteenth century all that the women had was a midwife of varying competence and looking through my tree I have found a number of women who died with a newborn baby which tended to die at the same time.  It must have been very scary for women; men had it easier, they just married again.