Family History

I love history. I love reading books and watching TV programmes about history. I love visiting museums, castles, stately homes, heritage parks, tenement museums. You name it, if a thing or place tells a story about the past – and particularly people who lived then – I’m in.

What is so exciting about history these days is that we’re interested not just in the lives of the ‘rich and famous’, but in those of ‘everyday folk’. Maybe that’s why we’re so drawn to TV programmes like Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey because, while we may fantasize about the aspirational, we acknowledge the ‘reality’.

And I love the fact that so many people these days are interested in their own family histories. Take last week, for example, when I received a parcel from my sister. On initial inspection, it looked like an ordinary shoebox…


… but inside was a veritable treasure trove of four generations of my own family’s history, written and created in their own hand.

My Mum’s 21st birthday cards from March 15th, 1937, including one from her then boyfriend who would become her husband, my Dad. A homemade birthday card her sister Anne – who has contributed her own wartime memories to this website – made for her.

21               anne card lower

Letters I wrote to my Mum describing our early years in Canada, postcards from a great-aunt on Mum’s side of the family, a dress and hat my grandmother (again on my Mum’s side) crocheted for one of my dollies. A Christmas card I made for my parents many – many – years ago.


It’s important we always remember that, like many things, history begins at home!

What family memories, or artifacts, do you treasure?


Bothered and Bewildered

You know that horrible feeling when you sleep through your alarm and spend the next few hours trying to play catch up?  Welcome to my day.

Here’s the thing… I’ve been planning on starting a blog for a while.  I’m going to be publishing  a series of books this autumn, and with that comes the requirement for a website.  A friend recommended it might be better to get the whole website/blog thing figured out beforehand so I can then concentrate on my writing.

Flash forward to today.  The perfect time, I decide, to start pulling my website together.  I’ll put in a few photos, a little bit of text, and then over the next week I can pull together a couple of blog topics before I push the ‘live’ button.

How was I supposed to know it went live as soon as you sign up?  They only had three TV channels when I was growing up!

So here I am, scrambling to introduce myself and this blog.  What’s it going to be about?  Three of my passions; the craft of writing, travelling and the history of the Second World War.  If you enjoy these topics, I hope you will join in the conversation.

Thanks for stopping by.

(Hmmm.  Maybe I’d better double check my alarm clock tonight.)