Wordless Wednesday: mothers and sons

My grandmother, Susan Elder with my father as a baby, around 1932.

My grandmother, Susan Elder with my father as a baby. Kirkcaldy, Fife, 1933?

Me with the boy-child, 1999. I think my gran was a lot more glamorous.

Me with the boy-child, Olney, Bucks, 1999.

I guess as photography has become more common, people dress up less “for the photo.” I’m certainly looking a lot less groomed and glamorous than my gran.

Wordless Wednesday is a blogging prompt from Geneabloggers.


12 weeks, 4 days and 14 hours … but who’s counting?

plane wing

My trip to the UK is booked; three weeks in September – sandwiched between the big T’s work travel and the boy-child’s exams. Eighteen days to visit all the archives, libraries, churchyards, ancestors’ houses, etc that I can squeeze in. Plus a visit to the National War Musuem in Edinburgh to see the Arctic Convoys exhibition, another to Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, the Tate Modern, a couple of trips to the theatre … oh and a chance to see my Mum, brothers, cousins and friends.

Not sure if I can achieve all of this, but I’m taking a leaf out of my friend Alix’s book and PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING.

Gayhurst House: a small collision of personal life with “real” history

Gayhurst House, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.

Gayhurst House, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.

First of all, thank you to PacificParatrooper. Your comments on a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago made me realise that living at Gayhurst House when Tom was a baby represents one of those times when private and public histories collide. For that reason, I think it’s worth writing about – a twig on my family’s tree.

September 1997

I’m four months pregnant and the baby-daddy has a new job in Milton Keynes – about an hour away from where we’re living in the countryside near Bishop’s Stortford. Industrial strength commuting isn’t new for the big T, who knows the M25 way better than the back of his hand. But hey, we’re starting to think ahead and an hour is a long time if I go into labour while he’s at work, etc.

I work from home anyway, and we don’t love the cottage we’re living in (especially in winter), so it makes sense to move closer to T’s work. Note that I said closer to … anyone who knows Milton Keynes will understand that we’re not too keen to actually live there.

We check out a few places and are beginning to get pretty depressed about our prospects of finding somewhere cool to raise the first-born. Then T. comes home one day with a letting agent’s leaflet for a flat in some old manor house called Gayhurst. It sounds crazy, but we go and look anyway …

… and promptly fall in love.

The place rocks. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: another kiss

My younger brother Derek Leslie and his wife Nya Fogden on their wedding day, July 2006.

My younger brother Derek Leslie and his wife Nya Fogden on their wedding day, July 2006.

Carrying on yesterday’s theme; another kiss that contributes to my family history in the making. My youngest brother Derek, married Nya Fogden on 8 July, 2006 at the St Stephen’s Club, London.