Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pink Letter Day

This is just a quick post to record that I have finally finished the pink possum sweater which I have been knitting for what seems like ages.

I started sewing it up yesterday evening and finished it this morning  -  once again thanks to Rachel Maddow who exercised my mind while I exercised my fingers which are quite painful, especially gripping the tapestry needle as I dragged the tag ends through the seams to tidy up the inside.

Tomorrow evening D2 is hosting a birthday dinner for D3 and me which I am looking forward to.  It is  one of the few times when the whole family (except D1 who lives too far away) gets together and I get to see GB1 who prefers to spend his spare time on his flight simulator.  He has his final exams in a few months but I have been told that he doesn't need to pass an English exam in order to do what he wants to do after he leaves school.  I would have thought that it would be essential for anything which needs comprehension of instructions but . . .

This limerick and its predecessor which is now somewhat culturally inappropriate spurred a whole series on this subject. My spellcheck is screaming!

A wandering tribe, called the Siouxs,
Wear moccasins, having no shiouxs.
They are made of buckskin
With the fleshy side in,
Embroidered with beads of bright hyiouxs. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

That Which Was Lost and is Found

As predicted a couple of weeks ago  -  I have found my missing knitting needles so now I have a spare pair just in case  -  and the set of 3.25mm needles which I didn't have before.  Truly Sod's Law in action; not just the act of buying replacements but actually finishing the knitting of the sweater.

I have finished knitting the Pink Possum sweater but not yet sewn it up  -  the part which every knitter hates.  I'll do that during the week and if the weather is cold enough next Tuesday I will wear it to the knitting group.

Today is my birthday and everyone gave me socks of the warm and woolly variety so I have been obliged to wash the floor  -  not before time.  That is a horrible job which has become much easier with the variety of vacuum cleaners which I have managed to accumulate since moving into the apartment  -  almost seven years ago.  The tiles at first almost broke me but now I can sit and listen to Rachel Maddow and knit while my Samsung automatic vacuum cleaner does most of the hard yards for me so I that only have to do the mopping bit.

D3, who had her birthday yesterday, SIL and GB2 all came over and took me out for coffee and cake so I was energised for the floor washing bit and I took my neighbour's words to heart  -  "I just sort of slosh around with the mop".

This limerick is from Punch (1918)

There was a young man of Moose Jaw
Who wanted to meet Bernard Shaw;
When they questioned him, 'Why?'
He made no reply,
But sharpened an axe and a saw.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

One of the Wild Ones

I have spent the last few days searching out some of my distant cousins  -  the descendants of the brother of my only Irish forebears.  I can trace the family back to my great great great great grandfather whom I suspect emigrated to America since the family seems to have separated during the Great Famine in Ireland.  

The two brothers who landed in Australia set sail in 1841 and arrived in Sydney early in 1842.  My great something grandfather married in Sydney but his wife died in their second year of marriage  -  probably during childbirth as usually happened when a death occurs early. Multiple childbirth  is also dangerous for the woman and his second wife died aged in her mid 30s at the same time as her last child.

The older brother  first went to Queensland where he got into trouble with the police and where he married.  He and his wife produced seven daughters and I have been able to trace most of their progress  -  two of the daughters married the same man but the with second marriage the pair were 'full age'  -  a marriage term designating a couple who obviously didn't need their parents' consent.  This particular couple were in their fifties.

The brother continued to have problems with the police and is recorded as being gaoled for two days for drunkenness and once for theft but I need to go into the police records to investigate further.

One of the problems which I have encountered is that Australia was not a Federation until 1901, being a collection of individual states under The Crown and Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria were all a part of New South Wales, so do I designate the states as they were before 1901 or not? I suppose that ultimately is depends on people looking at my family tree and if they know Australia's history.

Despite the time and the different progenitors these cousins are really fairly close, being first cousins variously removed so maybe some will be unearthed by DNA testing although, so far, I haven't discovered anything new from my DNA.  It hasn't told me anything I didn't already know and most of my supposed cousins do not have family trees so there is no way of discovering any new family that way.

This Limerick takes a bit of unscrambling but is fun anyway:  It was written by Monsignor Ronald Knox.

"Knox once persuaded an unwary newspaper editor to run this 'classified advertisement":

Evangelical vicar in want of a portable second-hand font, would dispose of the same for a portrait (in frame) of the Bishop-Elect of Vermont.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Drones 'R Us

I found an advertisement on Facebook today advertising drones for cats so I have ordered one for Parsifal.  He is too intelligent for his own good and being forced to be an indoor cat creates problems.  He will not walk on a lead so I can never take him further than out into the passage and that only happens when I take the rubbish to the chute down at the other end.  Since there is rarely anyone there to meet and greet, that has lost its charm for him.  Perhaps I should try him in his harness again so that I can take him for walks.

Not that anyone with any sense would be out walking today.  There has been unremitting heavy rain all day and I felt so sorry for the courier who delivered parcels for a couple of us.  It is sheltered around  the mail boxes and he would drive a van but would be constantly having to climb out into the downpour.

Back to the cats:  Poppy seems to do most of her active stuff I the middle of the night and I only know this because her toys move around when I am not watching but Parsifal needs more distraction.  He was bored with the red dot as soon as he discovered that it was uncatchable and his main exercise comes from chasing pingpong balls, which he expects me to bounce for him, and toughing up Poppy who can give as good as she gets but would really prefer to be alone.  She does rather annoy him by sniffing his butt, though.

Since the drone seems to do its own thing  -  hopefully I am not going to be obliged to drive it  -  it could keep the cats entertained and even tire them out.  Dream on . . .

Today's limerick:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Family Matters

A second cousin and I have been putting her mother's family into my Family Tree Maker program and after emails and phone calls over the weekend and before, we have finally got it sorted  -  I hope.  It is not easy to check off the names, dates, spouses, children and deaths over generations stretching from 1871 to the present and I have left my cousin to do the hard yards.

Between us we have compiled three versions of the descendant charts and one last phone call disputing the birth date of one of the uncles which was not borne out by the Family Bible  -  but a quick check in proved that the family bible had it right so now we have put the project to rest.

Except that FTM is in the process of doing an upgrade and it wasn't working all that well and I was unable to upload all our hard work to; I complained.  This evening I checked again and was told that changes had been made, the update was almost finished and it was now safe to upload the new data.  I am keeping my fingers crossed because it is all a bit new and untried.

I had notification by mail on Friday to say that I will be getting connected to the NBN (National Broadband Network) on September 4th and that I should choose a plan.  I am not altogether happy as there have been bad reports about the NBN but hopefully the problems are being addressed since I understand that I have no choice except as regards which of the three plans I want to go with.

On Friday I had coffee with my two genealogist cousins where we lamented the unforgiveable habit some people have of simply copying from other trees when compiling their own so that any errors are perpetuated.  I have found this to be a problem and check and recheck sources where I can and do not put any unverified data into my tree.

Anyway  -  enough of family: I spent last week doing things outside the apartment and need to clean and tidy.  That means, among other things,  pruning my collection of books which has led to all manner of resurfaced treasures.  I am trying to dispose of three books per day to the book exchange "Little Library" downstairs.

This limerick is a follow on from the last one and is the reply to the question of whether or not objects exist if there is no-one there to see them.

"Dear Sir, Your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the quad;
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by Yours faithfully, God."

Friday, June 29, 2018


For those of you who have been following the saga of the knitting needles, the new ones have arrived along with the size 3.25 needles which is a difficult size to find so I am very happy about that  but still no sign of the original needles which have somehow disappeared along with the cable which joined them together.  I had expected that the very act of ordering new replacement ones would have magicked the lost ones out of their hiding place but sadly … no.

Still on the subject of knitting  -  I have finished the cowl neckline of the pink possum sweater and it worked out even better than I had hoped.  I am now knitting the second sleeve and then it is just the sewing up and it should be ready before the cold weather ends.  The weather has not been nice and yesterday the rain bucketed down,  climaxing in a cloudburst as I got off the train at Victoria Park station on my way to my farewell coffee and cake at COTA.  I only had a short way to walk but ended up dripping wet.  Luckily I had grabbed a showerproof jacket and umbrella on my way out the door so I stayed dry underneath.

My farewell present was a lovely new computer keyboard with yellow keys and HUGE black letters on the keys and an invitation to go to the next Christmas bash.  I’m looking forward to it.

D3 is on holidays this week and had an appointment to be tested for some new spectacles and took me along to help choose new frames.  The first one which she tried on and eventually chose is exactly the same as my new frames so I couldn’t fault them and they suit her very well.

This week has been one of those times when I have something on both morning and afternoon and tomorrow will be the same so the apartment looks very neglected, the cats are quite certain that they have been neglected and I am badly in need of a day to get things sorted; maybe next week.  Tomorrow I am meeting up with a  couple of distant cousins for coffee and cake which I am looking forward to and hopefully I will be looking good since I have an appointment to have my hair trimmed in the late morning.  As long as it doesn’t rain on me again.
This Limerick was written by the late Monsignor Ronald Knox in answer to the hypothesis that things only exist when they have an observer
There once was a man who said: "God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When there's no one about in the Quad."

Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When ther's no one about in the Quad."

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?'