Desk Ramblings (30)

Created by Julie Goucher, July 2019

Hello everyone, It is good to be back.

As you maybe aware, I took a posting break from about the end of January. It hadn’t been a planned break, but a series of events and hubby being incapacitated meant that my energy levels were low. I did though tutor two of the Pharos One-Name Study courses – Introduction to One-Name Studies (901) and Practicalities of a One-Name Study (903). Both of these courses will run again in 2023, in July and September, respectively, and then again in 2024, so if you wish to take these course this year, please do sign up, they are filling nicely!

I have also delivered a whopping 15 presentations and Book of Me Workshops. I have remained journaling and course writing, with two courses in the midst of being written, one is taking me far longer than I anticipated, because it is needing a wide range of researching  – more on that in due course (no pun intended!). I have also been completing a series of presentations on Medical Genealogy – more on that later.

Hubby is back on his feet, walking without crutches and “moon boot” and is now catching up on jobs that he usually deals with – anything above 5 foot, gardening, pruning and lawn mowing. We also have trees in the garden, really large conifers that are likely to be over 15 foot. They have needed to be cut back for over a year, but we made the decision to remove them. We still have privacy in the garden and will be planting more trees to replace them. I always thought trees once planted lived for years, but apparently not. Coupled with the fact that a previous owner had over cut back and we had many brown (dead) patches.

In recent months I have completed five notebooks, filled with journaling, numerous notes, ideas and similar. I have missed writing here quite a lot actually, which surprised me and I am planning finishing a number of posts that are in draft format, sharing hints and tips for research, more posts on European research and I have some Q & A posts to do.

Tomorrow is the start of June and I am hopeful that the summer months in the northern hemisphere will be productive. We have lots to do whilst we have longer days and better weather.

I am disappointed to see that WordPress is no longer sharing posts with Twitter directly – so if you were also sharing posts via Twitter how are you managing? Until I discover a better method, I will share posts manually (if I can), alternatively, sign up to receive posts in your email, or follow by Facebook and receive posts in your newsfeed.

Until next time!

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Introduction to One-Name Studies (901) ~ Week 2

Introduction to One-Name Studies Pharos Course (901) Image Julie Goucher, 2023

The second lesson of the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course has just been sent to students.

We have a lovely mix of students, from the United States, the UK, France, and Australia, we will be having our discussion on Friday; students please check the forum for details!

The current course has now closed. The next, and final one for 2023, takes place in July 2023.

For more details, confirmation of the forthcoming dates and to book please visit the information page HERE.

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Introduction to One-Name Studies (901)

Introduction to One-Name Studies Pharos Course (901) Image Julie Goucher, 2023

The first lesson of the Pharos Introduction to One-Name Studies course has just been sent to students.

I usually get a geographical mix of students and this course is no exception, with students from the UK, Australia, France and United States.

There are a few spaces left for the current course, alternatively the next and final one for 2023, takes place in July 2023.

For more details, confirmation of the forthcoming dates and to book please visit the information page HERE.

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Researching Italian Ancestors Interview on Journeys into Genealogy Podcast

Image created by Julie Goucher, 2023

Before Christmas, in this post I mentioned that I had been writing some notes in preparation for an interview. I was delighted to be approached by Emma Cox from the Journeys into Genealogy Podcast, and invited to talk about researching Italian ancestors, a topic close to my heart. Well, the interview took place before Christmas and was released last week.

To accompany the interview I released this Research Guide which I hope assists those with Italian ancestry. You can listen to the Podcast and read the associated show notes HERE.

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Reflections and Thoughts, and a New Year

Creative Commons

Happy New Year everyone!

Whilst I was stirring the gravy to the appropriate thickness on Christmas Day, I began thinking of my childhood, family, my late Mum and maternal Grandparents and the influence they each had on me, and how in some ways that influence carried on into adulthood, and then how it has evolved.

I pondered on my working career and how that evolved and morphed into something that I had not intended. After a time it evolved further and I eventually moved to a 50/50 split, effectively half of what I do now and half of the original day job. I maintained a  foot in both camps up for a number of years, then migrated through a 60/40 split and varying guises. Another change is imminent, which only affects the original day job.

The days between Christmas and New years are odd ones, Christmas has been and gone,  yet lingering are the decorations, remaining foods and a degree of lethargy. I like to get my tree down before new year, but this year things were different. My husband had surgery in those days between Christmas and New Year, and will be laid up for about eight weeks, and can only get around using crutches, and cannot bear any weight on one leg which has been challenging.  So far we are 3 days down and just under 8 weeks to go!

I feel that is important to review our lives and also for us to recognise when we need changes, good and bad. Also for us not to be afraid of looming changes, to say “no” or to invoke change.

My outlet has always been journaling. It has always been where I could poor out my frustrations, anger, notes and much more besides. A new year means a new diary/planner and as luck would have it, I finished my latest notebook too – I began it on 27 September and finished it this afternoon, 300 glorious pages in ivory. As luck would have it, Santa’s helper bought me another one, by the same creator, but a different cover.

I was asked by a frequent reader to share any changes to my notetaking and planning arrangements and I am more than happy to do so, so stay tuned for that in the coming week. I am sure that I am in the middle of several posts, either not reviewed or posted, or written/typed and then saved, I must get those posts finalised, so expect a flurry of activity…that is, in between playing housekeeper, nurse and waitress -:)

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday 2022

Merry Christmas image – from the collection of Julie Goucher, 2021

I am writing this a few days before Christmas, and wish all my readers and subscribers a lovely Christmas or lovely holiday period, however you spend it. I will be back shortly after the festive period, so stay tuned.

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Advent – Day 18

Merry Christmas image – from the collection of Julie Goucher, 2021

Today marks what would have been my beloved Grandmother’s 110th birthday.

Regular readers of this blog will have read various posts about my Grandparents and the families they descended from. I am very proud of them and the achievements they accomplished. I have been suddenly aware that apart from being my Grandmother, she was also a wife, a mother, a friend, sister and much, much more. In writing this post, I remember her, upon her birthday. The reality is, that I think of her every day and miss her the same. She was a huge influence in my life and her passing left quite a void

In the Spring after we moved Devon, I purchased a beautiful peach coloured rose. My husband planted it in her memory and every time I looked out of the breakfast room window I pondered on what she would think of my zero gardening ability. The rose is lovely, and despite some fairly harsh Winters in Devon. It continued to flourish, with much assistance from my beloved. When we moved from Devon to Durham and the rose came too. Alas it did not survive our first Durham winter.

Usually on her birthday I purchase a bunch of vibrant coloured flowers, as that is how I recall her, bright, happy and always joking, and place the vase in a location where I can enjoy the flowers.

Copyright – Photograph is from the personal collection of Julie Goucher.

Today’s posts is in memory of an outstanding lady, who was my maternal Grandmother who gave me so much. I want to acknowledge her achievements and values.

The photograph here is of my Grandmother, Lilian Edith Butcher nee Matthews (1912 – 1995) on the occasion of her 21st Birthday.

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Advent – Day 14

Merry Christmas image – from the collection of Julie Goucher, 2021

Copyright – Julie Goucher, 2010

The collection of tree ornaments we have, are ones that we bought from our first Christmas together, 30 years ago. As each is hung on the tree a memory is evoked.

Copyright – Julie Goucher, 2010

There are others that were given to us by my Mum and each year we buy at least one ornament to keep the tradition going. We tend to go for the red, gold and green, but there are some others that have special meanings to us, such as a Spode china Millennium bauble (pictured right) which always has pride of place, and a gold bell (pictured left) which has a picture of a Border Terrier on the side ,which we bought the first Christmas we lost our lovely Monty in 2008.

Copyright – Julie Goucher, 2010

We also have a lovely set of the Lilliput Lane tree decorations as my husband has a collection of the bigger houses, and especially likes the snowy and wintery ones.

The decorations that we had when I was a child were with my Mum, including this fairy that my Grandfather purchased. My Mum was quite specific, about who purchased the fairy and it was only when I was preparing this post that I wondered if it was bought for my Grandmother whose birthday was on the 18 December, sadly I won’t ever know.

Copyright – Julie Goucher, 2010

When my Mum passed away we kept most of the ornaments, including this fairy. They live in several boxes in the loft.

The fact that Christmas is an annual event perhaps means that the traditions and things we use to illustrate Christmas, such as trees and decorations might change, whilst still being retained – effectively using the same decorations in a different way, and that might be driven by other changes, such as moving house. In turn that might mean that trees stand in a different spot in relation to other objects, like televisions or sofa’s. It might also mean that trees become artificial rather than real, or vice-versa.

We moved house about four years ago and my lounge has a bay window, as my last lounge did, but in my current house the windowsill is much deeper. We do a display there and there might be a picture later in this series.

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Advent – Day 13

Merry Christmas image – from the collection of Julie Goucher, 2021

We live in a fast, modern and immediate world which is totally removed from the years of my childhood. What was a treat back then is very much a potentially common occurrence now which rather defeats the object to being a treat!

Image from Cadburys online

When I was a child Mum used to buy chocolate tree ornaments which I wasn’t allowed to consume until Christmas Eve and even then, just one or perhaps two. Now with my own home I could have a tree littered with Christmas chocolate ornaments but don’t. I no longer find that a treat.

The focus of Christmas has changed, what was important to me during my childhood is very different to the importance of now. In fact in some cases the important factors are not visible and tangible objects.

Overtime, our treats change, defined by us and our families. How have your treats changed over the years?

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Advent – Day 11

Merry Christmas image – from the collection of Julie Goucher, 2021

Last year and in fact for several years previously I had not written a post a day for Advent. Last year though, on 11 December I wanted to post what you are going to read below. It was the post I shared on 11 December 2011 and relates to a Christmas present my Mum received in 1957.

Last year the post was a decade old, and I found that I could not bear to share the post. My Mum passed away in 2014 far, far too young. She is missed everyday, far more than I can ever share here and for some reason this post has been one that I had needed to pre-plan, despite the fact most of it was already written.

(previously published 11 December 2011 and remains unchanged)

When I was a child a special treat was to hold, but not play with a bridesmaid doll my Mum had. As I grew up I learnt to appreciate the soft china, the musty smelling dress worn by the doll and the fact that this was a treasure that my Mum had and still has, and held dear.

Over the weekend I asked Mum about the doll. She remembers the Christmas she received this. She was 10 years old. She had really wanted a doll and lo and behold she was given one for the Christmas of 1957. She said that a neighbour had a friend who owned a shop. He was selling these dolls and the cost was £10. That in 1958 was a lot of money.

I asked what else she had for Christmas that year. Mum could not remember. OK, I asked, what other gifts do you remember getting for any Christmas as a child? Mum again said she did not remember. I asked why the bridesmaid doll was remembered so much, was it because she still had the doll? Mum replied no, it was because it was a gift that she had really wanted and her parents had bought it for her. One day the doll will be yours she said, but for now, it is still mine!

The pleasure for me in that story and conversation was the joy that Mum obviously had with the doll as a child and clearly now as an adult. As she recalled that information I could almost imagine the excitable 10 year old Mum must have been that Christmas morning.

Of course, when I wrote the post in 2011 I did not even consider that in a few years Mum would be gone. Neither did I consider the doll would belong to me at that very point – a bitter sweet moment.

The doll lives in the loft in a suitcase, wrapped and protected in the protection Mum had and I added a couple of additional layers. When we moved house, it was one of the items that came in the car, rather than went with the removal men.

As I prepared this post, I rummaged through other notebooks as I wondered whether we had ever talked about the doll before. We had, several times. The shop the doll came from was called Doll’s Hospital and was in Swan Lane in Guildford. The shop remained there through my childhood too and I think it must have closed down in the late 1970’s but I would need to search through directories to confirm that.

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