Archive for the ‘general’ Category

i watched, the other day, a programme entitled “Who Do You Think You Are”: The remit being to look back through the ancestor of notable celebrities. The star in question last week was Paul Hollywood who was taken on a journey back in time though concentrating on his Grandfather who had spent a significant time seeing active service during WWII. while this may not have been such a notable find, the journey he took proved to be [obviously] emotional for Paul.

This got me thinking:

I’ve watched a number of these ‘journeys’ many of which have revealed some amazing stories and notable ancestors. Yet through my Family Tree, all I had unearthed my 8 times great grandfather who was reported for carring a corpse! through Garstang in 1624 plus another (uncles great, great grandmother) who died in a lunatic asylum. But, I continued to dig and research and at last I found a 4th Baron (mind you, he was deemed guilty of treason and sentenced to death but was finally reprieved but lost his fortunes and title 😦 ). Yippee, at last, someone of note with entries in Wikipedia. From here, Wikipedia kind of eased the journey and I continued through the line until I found a link to the Duke of York.

Now obviously, this doesn’t mean I’m of noble birth, although many people say I’m a bit special – not sure what they mean by that though but, how cool to have baron, a viscount, even a duke in the family tree. Even more cool that they would appear to have been scurrilous scoundrels leading to time spent in The Tower and even possible execution.

Okay, okay, the nearest noble person, Baron William Widrington (4th), would appear to be my uncle 8 times removed but he appears to be in my tree and that will do for me. I do however need to check all links to make sure they’re sound (confidence is low) but for the time being, I’ll take what’s there and bask. 🙂

What next?

Well, my next task will be to find more detail on the grave robber and the lunatic asylum – these, for some strange reason, seem to have a significant draw on my interest; and, confidence in the two is much higher.

In the meantime, if I find any more nobleness or even saints in the tree, be assured, I will tell all.

Seek Podge, Seek & Research

Mrs Me Tries a New Tack

Posted: March 29, 2015 in general
Tags: , , ,

OK, I know I said that my next post was to be about Devils Island or Crossing the Line but the weekend saw an incident that wasn’t that worrying but the subsequent comment was priceless.

Walking back through Newbury, Mrs Me and and I were laden with shopping backs containing easter stuff, food studs, Mrs Me purchases, as always, and drugs for Podge (all legal of course). As we approached the car across the car park I heard a sudden yell and a crash: as I looked around I saw Mrs Me hitting the ground with a real thump and the shopping being scattered asunder. People came from all corners to check that Mrs Me was OK, offering to help carry her shopping to her car but, in her normal stoic way, she declared herself fine, thanked those who came to help and we made our way to the car.

Mrs Me seemed ok thought battered but, having satisfied myself that there was nothing broken except pride, we fired up Mrs Me’s Ford Asbo and headed for home.

I asked how she was, “I’m fine” she said; “My feet just slid out from beneath me. My shoes must have slippery soles”. then after a short pause she declared:

I think I need some new shoes, when are we next going to Russell & Bromley.

That’s one tack I haven’t been hit by before. 🙂

Mrs Me is obviously ok…….

This trip to the Amazon was to be my third, the 2nd for Mrs Me, but the shortest. On previous trips, we’d sailed (on a cruise ship of course, I’m not that adventurous) up the Amazon (calling at Macapa) all the way to Manaus visiting Parintins and Santarem en route plus an overnight trip to Ariau Amazon Towers [some love it, some hate: – we love it], a kind of jungle lodge on stilts. This however the itinerary this year would be just Macapa and Santarem, to see the meeting of the waters and do a spot of piranha fishing. We were however due to do a ‘sail by’ of Devils Island as we came out of the Amazon (future Post).

The following is effectively a re-post [with slight alterations] of an earlier one in February but this time with pictures (displayed randomly) 🙂

As always, visiting the Amazon was to be the highlight of our trip, this time consisting of two days sailing along the mighty Amazon River and a day spent ashore at in the town of Santarem, located as it is, on the Tapajós River.

As we crossed the sandbar into ‘effectively’ the Mouth of the Amazon, we were still 60+ nautical miles away from the nearest lands! Yet even here, the water had turned into the muddy brown colour for which the river is well known.

Our first port of call, which was actually a 2-hour stop in the middle of the river, was at Macapa: This was to allow immigration officials and river pilots to join us, for the duration, to help navigate the river – sounds to me like a cool 3-day jolly if you ask me. Once on board, we set off and through the course of the first day, the Amazon unveiled its beauty for all to see: we passed isolated dwellings, little more than huts; sometimes built on stilts to lift them above the flood level, where the inhabitants would wave at us or even try to chase us in their little, woefully underpowered, boats. I have no idea whet would have done if they’d caught up with us (perhaps they were pirate scouts), but they never did, though it was quite amusing to watch them bob about somewhat precariously in the wake of our ship 🙂.

Day-2 brought us into Santarem and as we drew towards our mooring yours truly was dispatched by Mrs. Me to report back on our progress and to let her know, supported of course by her morning cup of team, when it was a suitable time for her to arise and view the town. When she did eventually surface, the temperature on our balcony, as indicated by my Garmin, was 97.7f: in anybody’s book, that is hot and for which I received my first thick ear of the day, for not warning her. But, arise she had to, as we were booked to take a boat trip to see the meeting of the waters, view locals wildlife and do a spot of piranha fishing.

The ‘Meeting of the Waters’ is an anomaly where the muddy brown waters of the Amazon River and the brilliant blue waters of the Tapajós River meet but don’t actually mix for a couple of miles and as such the two waters can be seen side by side as you sail along. This phenomena is similar to the more well knownMeeting of the Water where the mighty Amazon and the River Negro where the two waters, one sandy brown (The Amazon) and one almost black coloured (river Negro)


After this we went to a smaller tributary to view the wildlife, you know the sort, cows, sheep, chickens, water buffalo, iguanas, sloths, vultures, etc., etc. Oh, we also saw some more local dwellings on stilts. After a while we stopped and started fishing for Piranha. Mrs. Me took her place on the boat between my and another gentleman and inevitably, after the other gentleman and I had pre-baited [her] swim, Mrs. Me hooked a Piranha and, accompanied by all sorts of squeaks & squeals, she eventually brought the poor creature on board for us all to look at.  Despite me wanting get a picture of Mrs. Me kissing the Piranha, the fish was having none of it and stayed firmly with the hook and line; probably a wise choice as she would have probably have just eaten it.

Go on, kiss it1

Go on, kiss it1

My next post, probably, will be about our sail-by of Devils Island and/or the crossing the line party [similar to last years Crossing the Line party but different boat, different crew & older passengers].


The Male Blond

Posted: March 27, 2015 in charity, general, work
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday, I suggest that the day would be a heavy day,with heavy legs, head, heart etc. Well, in the end the day wasn’t so bad after all. Today however is quite the opposite. Today, I have a light head made of air: yep, I’m an airhead.

I reached the station this morning just after 05:30 to catch the 05:46 and sat in my car, biting my nails and playing candy crush when I suddenly realised I had left my rail ticket, my ID and my wallet on the kitchen table. Quick as a flash, I finished Candy Crush, never leave a game unfinished, and dashed home. Dashed indoors got everything (almost) I should have had in the first place, dashed back to the car and dashed back to the station. The trains imminent arrival, i.e. not late (go #fgw, go), was just being announced as I got out my car and so made the train comfortably.

I arrived in the office shortly after 07:30, sat down with my porridge when it was pointed out to me that it was Wear a Hat Day and I suggested that the whole team should wear a hat. You’ve probably guessed it by now, the reason I said almost earlier was because I should also have collected my hat. I was by now reduced to wondering what I could wear.

I rummaged in my rucksack and found a napkin I’d stolen from a restaurant and though, maybe a knotted hanky! then I remembered an old cycle helmet so I cut off the straps and tried that, but no, that wasn’t going to work either. In the end, off I trotted to John Lewis, bought a hat, some little chicks and a string of daffs (plastic and made an Easter Hat but now, that just looks girly.

Punishment Hat

In the end, I reduced it down to its original form and now I have my Hat for Wear a Hat Day. What are you doing?


Posted: March 26, 2015 in general, Health

Don’t know why but, today I feel heavy:

  • My legs feel heavy;
  • My arms feel heavy;
  • My head feels heavy;
  • My heart feels heavy.

Today is going to be a heavy day. 😦