thoughts

Aug. 10th, 2012 04:18 pm
llywela: (DW-11Tardis)
This is my great-grampy, Billy T - picture taken in 1943 when he was stationed in North Africa during the war, the only time in his life that he ever travelled abroad.


This is the shiny new Doctor Who Experience, which opened last month about 3 miles down the road from my house. Fast work - this time last year they hadn't even started building it yet.


So what do the two have in common? Answer and picspam behind the cut )
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
My Mum and Dad celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. Not bad going! Looking through their wedding album last weekend with Mum got me thinking again about the many hundreds of old family photos I scanned for my digitisation project the other year, and about all the research Mum and I have done into the family tree, some of the stories we've verified or uncovered. At one point I was posting the odd picture and story, so I've decided to start doing that again and see how long I can keep it up this time - will keep it all behind a cut, though, for those who want to skip!

ancestry tales )
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
My Mum and Dad celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. Not bad going! Looking through their wedding album last weekend with Mum got me thinking again about the many hundreds of old family photos I scanned for my digitisation project the other year, and about all the research Mum and I have done into the family tree, some of the stories we've verified or uncovered. At one point I was posting the odd picture and story, so I've decided to start doing that again and see how long I can keep it up this time - will keep it all behind a cut, though, for those who want to skip!

ancestry tales )

family

Nov. 15th, 2011 09:41 am
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
Last week my Nan had a flood in her flat - there was a leak from the flat upstairs into her utility room. There wasn't much damage, but Nan was upset, so my Mum went out to help her clean it up and sort out the insurance etc. While sorting through all the stuff from that room, Mum came across an old record with her grandmother's name on it - 'Neighbours', by Clara Ward (seen in this icon). Mum brought the record home and dug the record player out of storage to play it and find out what's on it. Turns out, the record is of a man singing a song about neighbours - which was written by my great-nanna Clara! The funniest thing was that as soon as Mum heard it, she could sing the whole thing through, word-perfect - she lived with her grandmother as a child and clearly must have heard it played many times!

Families, huh. Full of surprises. We've got an old book somewhere full of poems that Clara wrote, but hadn't realised she'd had one of them set to music and recorded for posterity!

family

Nov. 15th, 2011 09:41 am
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
Last week my Nan had a flood in her flat - there was a leak from the flat upstairs into her utility room. There wasn't much damage, but Nan was upset, so my Mum went out to help her clean it up and sort out the insurance etc. While sorting through all the stuff from that room, Mum came across an old record with her grandmother's name on it - 'Neighbours', by Clara Ward (seen in this icon). Mum brought the record home and dug the record player out of storage to play it and find out what's on it. Turns out, the record is of a man singing a song about neighbours - which was written by my great-nanna Clara! The funniest thing was that as soon as Mum heard it, she could sing the whole thing through, word-perfect - she lived with her grandmother as a child and clearly must have heard it played many times!

Families, huh. Full of surprises. We've got an old book somewhere full of poems that Clara wrote, but hadn't realised she'd had one of them set to music and recorded for posterity!
llywela: (me-tot-specs)
I think I've mentioned before that, over a period of months last year, I borrowed what turned out in the end to be hundreds of old family photos and records from various relatives - from my Mum, my Nan, my aunt - and painstakingly scanned them to create a digital archive of those images and documents, some of which date back to the 1900s and even earlier. I think the oldest of all is the naval certificate of one distant ancestral relative recording his entire career from 1867-97! At the time I wasn't even entirely sure why I was doing it, other than I wanted to have copies of those images and documents for myself. But the value of the project has been revealed as, one by one, other relatives have heard about it and asked for copies - I've sent CDs to cousins of my Dad living as far away as Australia. Just this week one of Mum's cousins who she hasn't seen since childhood contacted us via ancestry.co.uk asking for prints of some of the pictures we have of mutual relatives, offering in exchange copies of such old photos as she has access to, including some of my great-great-grandfather who died in WWI, who we'd never seen any pictures of before. All in all, I think the project is working out well! And I've loved doing it, as I feel like I've got to know my forebears better than I ever could otherwise - those images have really brought the family tree to life.

I have many favourites among the hundreds of photos that I've scanned. This is one of those favourites: my Auntie Joan, who I was named after, when she was a very little girl in around 1940 - all dressed up in her dad's army uniform with his pipe in her hand!


(In this icon, I'm not far off the same age - spot the family resemblance!)
llywela: (me-tot-specs)
I think I've mentioned before that, over a period of months last year, I borrowed what turned out in the end to be hundreds of old family photos and records from various relatives - from my Mum, my Nan, my aunt - and painstakingly scanned them to create a digital archive of those images and documents, some of which date back to the 1900s and even earlier. I think the oldest of all is the naval certificate of one distant ancestral relative recording his entire career from 1867-97! At the time I wasn't even entirely sure why I was doing it, other than I wanted to have copies of those images and documents for myself. But the value of the project has been revealed as, one by one, other relatives have heard about it and asked for copies - I've sent CDs to cousins of my Dad living as far away as Australia. Just this week one of Mum's cousins who she hasn't seen since childhood contacted us via ancestry.co.uk asking for prints of some of the pictures we have of mutual relatives, offering in exchange copies of such old photos as she has access to, including some of my great-great-grandfather who died in WWI, who we'd never seen any pictures of before. All in all, I think the project is working out well! And I've loved doing it, as I feel like I've got to know my forebears better than I ever could otherwise - those images have really brought the family tree to life.

I have many favourites among the hundreds of photos that I've scanned. This is one of those favourites: my Auntie Joan, who I was named after, when she was a very little girl in around 1940 - all dressed up in her dad's army uniform with his pipe in her hand!


(In this icon, I'm not far off the same age - spot the family resemblance!)
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
1. It was a good night for actor Mark Lewis Jones last night – on BBC1 he was an upright, hard-working pillar-of-the-community in Baker Boys (which I haven’t seen yet – that’ll be an iPlayer job) and at exactly the same time he could also be found over on BBC3 as a depraved, evil vampire on Being Human! Not bad going.

2. The location-spotting in the new season of Being Human is awesome. I love that they’ve moved to South Wales. *G*

3. I have somehow managed to volunteer to do some transcribing for the FreeCEN online census project and am now learning how to navigate the systems in place for that (and how to decipher illegible 19th century handwriting!)

4. Finally got around to watching the Dirk Gently adaptation that aired on one of the BBC’s digital channels a couple of months back. I was in two minds before I watched it, and I remain in two minds now! On the one hand, taken at face value, it was a fun, light-hearted hour’s entertainment, with a suitably convoluted, brain-twister of a plot. But on the other hand…it bore little or no resemblance whatsoever to the book on which it is based and therefore it just felt wrong. The names of the characters were pretty much the only thing the show had in common with the book – and even their personalities and/or back stories had been changed. They hadn’t just modernised the plot, they re-wrote the entire story and gave it a completely different plot. And Dirk Gently himself was hopelessly miscast. So I remain in two minds. Half of me thinks it was a decent, fun hour of bubblegum entertainment, which is clearly all it was intended to be, but the other half of me resents it deeply for not being faithful to Douglas Adams' original vision. Ah, TV adaptations of much-loved books are always so contentious!
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
1. It was a good night for actor Mark Lewis Jones last night – on BBC1 he was an upright, hard-working pillar-of-the-community in Baker Boys (which I haven’t seen yet – that’ll be an iPlayer job) and at exactly the same time he could also be found over on BBC3 as a depraved, evil vampire on Being Human! Not bad going.

2. The location-spotting in the new season of Being Human is awesome. I love that they’ve moved to South Wales. *G*

3. I have somehow managed to volunteer to do some transcribing for the FreeCEN online census project and am now learning how to navigate the systems in place for that (and how to decipher illegible 19th century handwriting!)

4. Finally got around to watching the Dirk Gently adaptation that aired on one of the BBC’s digital channels a couple of months back. I was in two minds before I watched it, and I remain in two minds now! On the one hand, taken at face value, it was a fun, light-hearted hour’s entertainment, with a suitably convoluted, brain-twister of a plot. But on the other hand…it bore little or no resemblance whatsoever to the book on which it is based and therefore it just felt wrong. The names of the characters were pretty much the only thing the show had in common with the book – and even their personalities and/or back stories had been changed. They hadn’t just modernised the plot, they re-wrote the entire story and gave it a completely different plot. And Dirk Gently himself was hopelessly miscast. So I remain in two minds. Half of me thinks it was a decent, fun hour of bubblegum entertainment, which is clearly all it was intended to be, but the other half of me resents it deeply for not being faithful to Douglas Adams' original vision. Ah, TV adaptations of much-loved books are always so contentious!
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
1. Since Wrangler are the only brand of shoe that has never, ever given me blisters (a reason I really hate feet), I think it is supremely unfair that they no longer sell outside of America. I am reduced to stocking up a few pairs via ebay and whatever online traders still have stock in my size. The bright side of this? New shoes!

2. Went for that ultrasound on Friday, which didn't show up anything abnormal, at least according to the technician, who narrated the entire thing in detail – for the benefit of a student, but it was useful for me, too. Of course, follow-up appointment aside, this leaves me right back at square one, with no explanation for what happened the other week, but then again, as long as it never happens again, I can live with that. Time will tell.

3. After the hospital, I hooked up with my mother for an excursion to the cemetery, which I appreciate might sound a little weird, but its all part of our ongoing genealogical research project. And I shall cut the rest of this account of our pilgramage, since no one is going to be remotely interested except me! )

So, that was my Friday. :)
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
1. Since Wrangler are the only brand of shoe that has never, ever given me blisters (a reason I really hate feet), I think it is supremely unfair that they no longer sell outside of America. I am reduced to stocking up a few pairs via ebay and whatever online traders still have stock in my size. The bright side of this? New shoes!

2. Went for that ultrasound on Friday, which didn't show up anything abnormal, at least according to the technician, who narrated the entire thing in detail – for the benefit of a student, but it was useful for me, too. Of course, follow-up appointment aside, this leaves me right back at square one, with no explanation for what happened the other week, but then again, as long as it never happens again, I can live with that. Time will tell.

3. After the hospital, I hooked up with my mother for an excursion to the cemetery, which I appreciate might sound a little weird, but its all part of our ongoing genealogical research project. And I shall cut the rest of this account of our pilgramage, since no one is going to be remotely interested except me! )

So, that was my Friday. :)

genealogy

May. 30th, 2010 09:02 am
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
We had a little family gathering last night - only 17 people, including 6 kids, so very much at the smaller end of the spectrum for us. The Warrington crowd were down, a couple of cousins came around with their families. Just a quiet, simple re-affirming of familial bonds, an evening spent lounging around the house together chatting about life, the universe and everything - and baby worship, of course, as the two cousins each have five-month-olds.

Most significantly, my aunt brought me a stack of boxes for my ongoing genealogical digitisation project - boxes full of old family photos and papers, including birth certificates going right back to my great-grandfather in 1872 and a naval certificate of service for another ancestor detailing every ship he served on between 1867-1887, including details of his various commendations for service. Absolutely fascinating!

Now have hours and hours of work ahead of me, sifting through all this stuff, scanning and documenting...

Brilliant!

genealogy

May. 30th, 2010 09:02 am
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
We had a little family gathering last night - only 17 people, including 6 kids, so very much at the smaller end of the spectrum for us. The Warrington crowd were down, a couple of cousins came around with their families. Just a quiet, simple re-affirming of familial bonds, an evening spent lounging around the house together chatting about life, the universe and everything - and baby worship, of course, as the two cousins each have five-month-olds.

Most significantly, my aunt brought me a stack of boxes for my ongoing genealogical digitisation project - boxes full of old family photos and papers, including birth certificates going right back to my great-grandfather in 1872 and a naval certificate of service for another ancestor detailing every ship he served on between 1867-1887, including details of his various commendations for service. Absolutely fascinating!

Now have hours and hours of work ahead of me, sifting through all this stuff, scanning and documenting...

Brilliant!
llywela: (family-1952Reg)
For Mother's Day/Easter/her birthday this year, I bought my Mum a renewed subscription to ancestry.co.uk - she had previously done stacks of research, but her membership lapsed in the build up to the move last year, and she'd never renewed it, what with one thing and another. But since she'd been really getting into the research again lately, scratching around the free sites and paying one-off fees here and there, I thought it was worth getting her the full subscription again now. And it's already paying off - almost at once she found that one of her distant cousins had uploaded a bunch of old family photos from the Melean side of the family. Mum's grandmother (Beattie, who raised Mum after her mother died) was a Melean, but the family were Catholic and Beattie became an outcast from the clan when she married a Protestant. Contact wasn't completely lost, but in many respects it might as well have been. Now, we have a huge collection of family photos, some of them dating back to the 1890s, taking in most branches of the family - but never any of that particular branch, because of the religious rift. So it was a very special moment for Mum to get to see a picture of her great-grandfather, John Melean (Beattie's father) for the very first time. And for me too, because, hey - my great-great-grandfather. I'd only ever seen his name on a war memorial before. John Melean was born in Cardiff in 1882 to a Norwegian sailor and an Irish refugee, but was called up to fight in WWI and never made it home again, dying of war wounds in Southampton in 1919 at just 37 years of age - his wife was left alone with nine children to raise, my great-grandmother Beattie one of the youngest.

However, special though it was to see it, the picture has clearly suffered a lot of damage over the decades. So I decided to have a go at cleaning it up a little in photoshop.

This is the original: And this is what I've managed to do with it:

It isn't a perfect job, and never can be, given how bad the damage was (and how imperfect my PS skills!). But I don't think I've done too badly, all things considered. The hands were the hardest - I just couldn't do anything with them, alas. And the nose still looks weird, but there wasn't much there to reconstruct. You can see his face more clearly now, though, at least.

More )
llywela: (family-1952Reg)
For Mother's Day/Easter/her birthday this year, I bought my Mum a renewed subscription to ancestry.co.uk - she had previously done stacks of research, but her membership lapsed in the build up to the move last year, and she'd never renewed it, what with one thing and another. But since she'd been really getting into the research again lately, scratching around the free sites and paying one-off fees here and there, I thought it was worth getting her the full subscription again now. And it's already paying off - almost at once she found that one of her distant cousins had uploaded a bunch of old family photos from the Melean side of the family. Mum's grandmother (Beattie, who raised Mum after her mother died) was a Melean, but the family were Catholic and Beattie became an outcast from the clan when she married a Protestant. Contact wasn't completely lost, but in many respects it might as well have been. Now, we have a huge collection of family photos, some of them dating back to the 1890s, taking in most branches of the family - but never any of that particular branch, because of the religious rift. So it was a very special moment for Mum to get to see a picture of her great-grandfather, John Melean (Beattie's father) for the very first time. And for me too, because, hey - my great-great-grandfather. I'd only ever seen his name on a war memorial before. John Melean was born in Cardiff in 1882 to a Norwegian sailor and an Irish refugee, but was called up to fight in WWI and never made it home again, dying of war wounds in Southampton in 1919 at just 37 years of age - his wife was left alone with nine children to raise, my great-grandmother Beattie one of the youngest.

However, special though it was to see it, the picture has clearly suffered a lot of damage over the decades. So I decided to have a go at cleaning it up a little in photoshop.

This is the original: And this is what I've managed to do with it:

It isn't a perfect job, and never can be, given how bad the damage was (and how imperfect my PS skills!). But I don't think I've done too badly, all things considered. The hands were the hardest - I just couldn't do anything with them, alas. And the nose still looks weird, but there wasn't much there to reconstruct. You can see his face more clearly now, though, at least.

More )
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus, pawb!

Over the weekend I scanned four albums full of old family photos for my mother, for her ongoing scrapbooking and family tree research project. Among those photos were these pictures of my grandmother and her sister in the 1940s.

And you know, I look at these pictures, and the first thought in my mind is this: how the hell did they get their hair to stay like that? *G* I couldn't do it with mine no matter how hard I tried!
llywela: (greatwards-arthurclara)
Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus, pawb!

Over the weekend I scanned four albums full of old family photos for my mother, for her ongoing scrapbooking and family tree research project. Among those photos were these pictures of my grandmother and her sister in the 1940s.

And you know, I look at these pictures, and the first thought in my mind is this: how the hell did they get their hair to stay like that? *G* I couldn't do it with mine no matter how hard I tried!

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