Author Archives: Frances

Aunt Kate’s Diaries

Well, I have been working hard and made a few decisions.

Aunt Kate’s diaries now have their own separate website and, as I transcribe my little leather suitcase of tiny books, I will put up my results hoping someone might be interested and read them.  There is a link from this website to the diary one and vice versa so it might result in increased traffic, and probably more spam!

Transcribing the diaries and adding them to the website is work-in-progress. As well as learning to decipher Aunt Kate’s teensy-tinesy writing, I am also at the opposite end of this spectrum learning how to use F***ing WordPress (as it is now known in this house). You may be able to sense the hostility in my typing but I spent most of last night fighting with the new ruddy website until a friend came to the rescue!  (❤️ you know who you are, a lifesaver, and a huge thank you ❤️)

Your help is (and has been) invaluable and I shall call on the “hive mind” to solve any writing problems I have.  I am so grateful knowing you are also around to assist, translate and decipher with me.  The task feels less daunting.

I strongly recommend you read the Family History bit as the background is fascinating, though I am again struggling with WordPress and its abilities to randomly place pictures (gah!)

Don’t fret about the animals. Obviously they all come first, as well as any house chores before I even let myself go into my she-shed, sit down with a cup of tea and start typing out the writing.  Did I mention it is tiny?

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new website.  I need to work out how to collate the years for easier navigation and also the footnotes too, which I think are essential.  They worked fine on Office (Word) but if I want them on WP, I have to upgrade my account, pay more….. dammit.

 

The Art of Begging

Here are a few pictures of Monster, for those of you who might be missing him.

   

(He looks quite a heft but that is just neutered cat “widge” – under all that, he is light as a feather, he tells me)

But we luffs our Monster, so that’s all that matters.

Today, he did a surprise rugby tackle/pounce on BeAnne has she wandered past.  She was quite surprised but exacted her revenge by nipping up the stairs to eat Monster’s supper. Revenge is a dish best served cold and it was!

Monster was too busy laughing to himself to notice his food vanishing.  His usual modus operandi is to sit close to his human victim and prod until they get up annoyed to feed him.  OH is usually his target.  He always caves early.  The rest of us are busy with “Faites vos jeux” on how long OH will hold out.

Meanwhile, the Haakon and Iacs are happy with their life together far away from the younger equine generation.  They are in the field near the house.

They slowly mooch about together blagging carrots off me every time I walk past.  I can’t resist.  They just look so hopeful.

And they both have perfected an optimistic face and, like OH, I always cave.

It is lovely having them near the house, too.  My perfect neighbours.

Electric Pole

You can ask a Minion…..

But you can’t tell a Minion.

Their world just doesn’t work like that.

And, for the most part, they are all good little chaps.

That would be all except Storm…..

He was on a mission.

Today, I rasped Vitamin and Fivla’s all four hooves plus Silver’s hinds, spent a little time chatting to anyone who wanted and then it started to spit so I decided to pack up and call it a day.  There is no fun to be had sitting in the rain.  Bloomin’ cold.  I made clicking noises to whoosh everyone away from the fences and told them to “go and get a job”.

Some ponies won’t be told.

Believe me, I shouted at him!

(He’s fine, by the way)


Meanwhile in Diary Land, your last efforts were truly wonderful and inspirational.  That word was most definitely “put” and I think there is a Tennisonian Society in 1894 – Edward was at Cambridge University.

So, now Kate et al are in Brussels staying with Uncle Pierre (Generale de Baermaeker).  Please can you tell me what the bit after “my hat” says.

And the three words in French (I think) – in quotes.

And, lastly, the sentnece that begins “Dinner 6-30,…..” because the word beginning with a capital B is not one I know.   

Many thanks.

I am thinking what to do with this epic.  Does anyone use or know about Patreon?  I wondered whether this would be a good way for folk to read the diaries.  Sort of like publishing it as a book but not going down that route yet. I am not sure.  This is not my world.

A Busy Bee

Well, I have been a busy bee working on my Great Aunt Kate’s diaries.  I am starting at the beginning, when she was 15 and living in first Bournemouth and then moved up to London.

I am getting the feel of Kate’s writing style but there is the odd word that leaves me bewildered.  Any help would be gratefully received.

Ok, so here goes.  There is one word here “I did the flowers, and changed my dress, **** on grey – etc”.  What was on grey?

Then there is this page – “Above stayed to tea, as it rained and we could not go to Mrs Wyatts.  In evening Doz accompanied me violin batiste and also other things.  Edward read to us Tennisonian, etc.”

So what is violin batiste?
Anyone know what the Tennisonian is?  Is it a magazine?

I like to double check references on t’net but can’t find either.  Again, all help, yada yada.

Anyway the diaries are fascinating and I have transcribed a whole month in two afternoons and can’t wait to write more.  It is addictive.  The woolly sheep may have to go on hold while I do this.

Daisy is away now so I am in sole charge of the horses, ponies and sheep.  When away from the diaries, I transform into a mixture of meals-on-wheels, hoof rasper (2 a day is the maximum my back can manage) and carrot distributor.

The old men now live in a separate field from the others as Taktur was picking on Haakon again and he hated it.

The rest are all happily loafing about in the big hill field.  If they come down to the gate during daylight hours, I go in with a bucket of dried alfalfa feed which I distribute in handfuls one at a time and in an order I choose.  The boys are remarkably well behaved with no pushing and barging. They line up around me in a circle and politely wait their turn!

And so that’s me and off I go, back to my diaries.  I am fascinated.

 

Gorgeous Boyzenberries

The Boyzenberries are looking particularly gorgeous this time of year.

Or as my postman says “they are looking very well”.

He may mean well-covered or even a little on the fat side.  I do try, honest.

The Shetland autumnal afternoon sunshine suits them as they graze around the croft.

The Boyzens seem very happy and settled with each other. The arguing has got less but ‘Bert is still intermittently a bit lame.  I am not sure why – I think it is just one of those things and not much we can do about it.  I give him TurmerAid if he is miserable and that helps hugely. He tells me if he wants it.

Despite this, they all still want to go out into the hill for the day and I don’t stop them.  Today, I went for a walk  and saw my three sheep miles away in the scattald with the hill sheep.  I shouted their names and the Boyzens left their hill flock friends and immediately came running to me.  We walked home companionably while the afternoon sun was setting. It was very magical.

I guess they don’t have ginger biccies on the hill which is a plus in my favour.

And neither do they serve a decent breakfast!

This is much to Lambie’s disgust. He loves his brekkie possibly a bit too much!