Thursday, 25 September 2014

Family History

I thought I'd share a little family history with you all, I've been thinking a lot about family at the moment, what with planning my wedding and being well enough to go and see my grandparents more than I have been able to in the last few years.

A lot of these are hazy, handed down memories so I may get the details a little muddled but they are the family stories that make me happiest, I'm sure I'll be corrected by Ma and Nanny and will come and edit anything I've got really jumbled.  It seems more fitting to tell the stories while they're still a bit fuzzy as my Grandads memory is getting a bit fuzzy too and all this was kicked off when I made Grandad a "happy memories jar" for his birthday, filled with little rainbow cards with memories of him for him to look through that him and the rest of the family can add to. Luckily he loved it, I thought he'd laugh and call me a cheapskate, as that's his sense of humour.

This summer I took my camera up to my grandparents house, it's such a beautiful place on the top of a cliff face with a garden full of fairies, well, Nanny always had fairies in her garden when I was little, so I presume the little people moved with them too. They were called Mustard Seed, Belinda... I'll have to get back to you on the rest of the names for my cousins fairies, those were the names of the two fairies sent to look over Big Little Brother and me (mine was the fairy princess, typical spoilt first grandchild eh?)

Pansies, Nanny's favorite flowers

You can just see my Grandad Jud tending to the tomatoes in this one, he got his name because he used to do Judo back when he was younger, martial arts seems to run in the family as my Ma was either the first woman to enter/win a karate tournament in the UK.
(Ma edit, First woman to fight in official competition for Shukokai karate in the UK)

Pa can't eat strawberries as he went on a coach trip when he was little and ate so many punnets that he was sick, he still grows them for Ma. 

When Big Little Brother and me were young Ma went to be a ships cook on the Cutty Sark on a tall ships race to Holland and back, it was the first time I remember her being away from Pa for a night, and us without us staying at Nanny and Grandads (where we were thoroughly spoilt with baking and staying up to watch Red Dwarf, so we didn't mind.) She was very into Enya at that time and I remember crying to sail away, I still have to call Ma when I listen to it now.
(Ma edit, it was the Excelsior, not the Cutty Sark)

When I was showing Nanny the photos on my camera she told me she'd seen a swarm of wasps living down here, I think I had a lucky escape.


When Ma and Pa were tractor drivers Pa used to cut verges all round Rutland Waters, he'd find loads of bits of slate. He used to carve his crow symbol on them and leave them all over (he'd been called Big Jim Crow since he was in the navy as he was always up the top in the crow's nest.) The only tattoo I have is Pa's crow symbol because he put it on everything he made, so I think it's fitting that it's on me too, Big Little Brother's hopefully getting one done too and I'm hoping to get an Otter for Ma and some Sakura for Big Little brother, one day, when I'm braver and richer. 

Ma and Pa brought us up pagan, lots of bonfires, festivals and stories about Herne the Hunter from Pa, but he always said he didn't think he believed in magic, ghosts etc, he was more interested in keeping old traditions alive, then a few years ago he tried a spell where he took an old nail from Ducky Cuddles (Ma and Pa's cottage) and buried it in the ground. It was supposed to help him catch the pigeons that were eating their way through his veg patch, a day or two later our very very old cat Jess, who hadn't ran in years, couldn't see very well and had metal pins in each leg, brought in a kill. I'm still not sure what he thinks to magic now but he dug up the nail "just in case."

We moved into Nanny and Grandad's old house when I was 11, it was huge and we already loved it. I remember one day when Ma was at work Pa decided we were going to take down one of the walls so the kitchen was bigger, smashing down that wall was some of the best fun I ever had, it was even more fun not telling Ma so when she came home she thought I'd just smashed down a wall for the hell of it, I can't remember if she bought it or not, I hope so.

At Nanny and Grandad's old house they had an orchard, it was all overgrown and full of blackberries with a rope swing, all us kids loved it, one day Grandad was digging at the top of the orchard and found human bones. When he called whoever it is you call when you find human bones in the ground (the police? a museum?) it turned out there had been a workhouse just behind the orchard and Grandad had found the graveyard (for anyone in Lincoln wanting to look up the local history it's between the lawns and the windmill, none of us live there now so it's ok to tell the internet.) The freakiest thing for me as a child was I'd dreamt previously that Grandad had two friends who were old ghost children that lived in a treehouse in the orchard, I don't know if I believe in precognition or ghosts but coincidence or not I guess if you're going to do it, it might as well be a cliched "haunted burial ground" dream.

Thanks ever so much for reading, writing this has been really fun and happy for me. 
I've got a camera full of photos to catch up with from the summer and loads to tell you all about so it'll be all crochet, steampunk and painting naked people again soon, it's been a summer full so it's time to sit down, write and take stock of the summer while I hibernate now.

Hugs and cake
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