Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Oh, and I want to apologise for the Tinypics box. It seems that the sides of my blog have been deleted and I can't remember how to get them back! I'll work on another background soon or just use one of the Blogger templates. I began to set up another blog with Wordpress and chose a template with a camera picture heading! It was nice! However I'm back with what I know now.
Talk again soon.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
I’ve talked before about going to the Scotland’s People Centre at Register House in Edinburgh. It was purpose built to house the all the vital records from all the counties and parishes throughout Scotland, and was opened in 1788.
Picture above from the computer screen at SPC so apologies for the quality.
In 1855, the keeping of records of births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) was made compulsory, whereas before that, although it had been suggested to parish ministers that they should keep records, not all did.
If you actually find an ancestor’s BMD in 1855 you find a lot more information than in subsequent years when the amount of detail required dwindled. The other day I decided, after a telephone conversation with a cousin in Cornwall, to go up to Edinburgh, and do some more research on the family. I only have the name as a middle name, from my paternal grandmother’s family, but he’s descended from one of granny’s brothers and still has the family surname.
Normally when I go to Register House I try to get a seat in the Matheson Dome – the building on the right of the photo, the other being the Sasines office - but if all seats are taken it’s the Reid room - not so attractive - but when I got there the other day, I found the Matheson Dome closed and the Reid Room full.
Though the surname is unusual, it is still very hard to find exact information, thanks to the many variations of spelling of the same name. Our family settled on the KINMONT spelling, probably in the 19th century, but when names were written down by a recorder, they wrote them as they heard them or as they thought the name should be spelled. So brothers and sisters could each be recorded with a different spelling, Kinmond, Kinment, Kinmonth, Kinmouth, Kynman, Kinninmonth, to name just a few.
Anyway I looked up a few of my Kinmonts on the census records – mine came from a village in Perthshre and gradually they came to Edinburgh - and from there looked for their births, marriages and deaths, and even some wills, which were interesting. A day at Register House always passes far too quickly, and there’s always someone whose details you still haven’t searched for. For me that was the aunt of my great grandfather, whose name was given to her great niece and then to me! Next visit, if I haven’t already looked up the ScotlandsPeople website.
I do enjoy a day at the Scotland’s People Centre, and one of these days will start delving into the Scottish archives to find out more about my families.
Talk again soon.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
The pale stripe above the eye (supercilium), light barring on the wings, and stocky tail are a dead give away.
The fact you felt it was too large for a wren provides me with the suggestion that: 1. it was fluffing up because of cold, or 2. most likely the shear effort wrens put into their call. They seem to expand as they fill their airsacs to bursting to be able to send out that loud melodious call which seems far to loud for such a small bird but needs to penetrate thick scrub that they frequent.
Wrens have very large air sacs and syrinx (bird larynx) in relation to their size which may have given the impression of it being larger than it is.
So there we are! I am amazed! I thought it was at least the size of a robin redbreast, but yes, it was singing with great gusto – giein’ it laldy, as we’d say in Scotland – so its airsacs must have been well full. I thought too that wrens’ tails were always upright, as in this photo by Stephen Round.
Anyway, it certainly does have the spotted bar along its wing and the eye flash, so I’ll accept that it was a wren we saw!
So, let me continue into the house which is not really open to the public as a rule, as it is used as offices for the National Trust for Scotland, but two rooms at least are set out in the style of the period, and we were allowed to go in and have a look. Both rooms that we saw were at the back of the house with views of the garden. This is the staircase from the main hall with a mezzanine room in the sunshine, and the doorway down to the kitchen and servants rooms no doubt.
The dining room was painted in typical Georgian fashion and had its share of portraits on the walls. You could see Mr and Mrs Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) in the two looking down from their positions over the buffet table. The china cupboard would once have had doors, but its ornate interior was on view with its beautiful Georgian crockery. The group were looking at something on a small side table – a beautiful raspberries and cream flan under a glass dome. So? Well, if you click the photo to enlarge it, you might see that it is knitted! Yes, really! Knitting needles, yarn, etc. Knitted!
Next we saw the room on the left of the stairs, which might have been the original drawing room – it’s not a large house - laid out for afternoon tea, but with a twist! The dish of sandwiches on the right of the photo, the scones and cakes on the cake stand, even the sugar lumps in the silver bowl to the right of the teapot, were all knitted!
Then there was the bowl of fruit!
Just how can anyone work things as fiddly as sugar lumps and grapes?
It would have been great to see some more of the house but that wasn’t possible, and the other rooms probably haven’t been done up and furnished anyway.
Our tour over, we thanked Graham, our guide, and made our way back to the tearoom for another cup of tea and a bite to eat before we set off for home. It was lovely to be able to sit outside for about the first time this spring. (The fine weather didn’t last long!) Some purchases were made and both Sheena’s and my car (cars?~) were full of pots of primulas and shrubs for the drive home.
What a lovely way to spend a birthday!
Talk again soon.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
The U3A gardening group had a day out on a garden visit a week or so ago. It was on my birthday, but I didn’t tell! There were only seven of us going in the end, so it was decided that we would take two cars. Mine was one and Sheena’s the other. Armed with instructions to get there we headed off on a beautiful sunny springlike day, first to the south edge of Edinburgh to meet Vanessa, then round the city by-pass and onto the motorway for the west. The instructions weren’t bad and after just one little hiccup when we sailed past the road-end we should have taken, having seen the directional sign too late! Anyway we got there in due course!
where a beautiful patchwork quilt of the house was displayed.
Then we made our way outside to the yard where various plants were for sale. We decided to leave the shopping for later, and go round the gardens with one of the gardeners. I say gardens because although it was one big rectangular garden it was divided up by hedges to appear like lots of smaller individual gardens… like going from room to room almost! There are 600 varieties of daffodil in the gardens, and I’m sure I couldn’t tell the difference between some and others! I got photos of quite a few though.
even an almost black flower.
Those were the main flowers blooming then, but there were others, like the anemone blandas and the echinops. I can’t remember which is which! I may not even be right, with these photos!
I can’t remember what these white flowers are, but they are so pretty.
Back in the garden I could hear beautiful bird song. A robin? A dunnock? Well I spotted the bird high on a twig of a tree, so zoomed in to take a photo, and I have zoomed in on the photo to get this view. What is it? It has a wren’s spotty wing flash and short tail, but the tail wasn’t sticking upwards – and besides it was too big for a wren. Too early for a young robin and definitely not a dunnock. Anyone able to solve the mystery?
This lovely black cat had found a warm spot to laze around in but it didn’t think much of having its photo taken, so disdainfully got up, turned its back on us and high-tailed it through the hedge!
Well, I think I should stalk off just now too and continue this another day. We got a bit of a look inside the house later and found some rather unusual flowers and a table set for tea! All will be revealed – next time.
Talk again soon.