Wordless Wednesday: recording my “out of office” message

Photo: Gray family archive

Hm; think air travel might have changed a little since my in-laws went on their honeymoon 55 years ago. Happy Anniversary for Feb 25th Joy and Roger! Photo: Gray family archive

Today’s the day that the Big T, the boychild and I are off on a little European holiday (with a few days in San Fransisco along the way). For the next three weeks we’ll be making family history stories, rather than documenting them, so I probably won’t be posting much to this blog.

I am still planning to post to ZimmerBitch — as time and internet connectivity allow.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who visits, comments and follows Shaking the Tree; your support, interest, wisdom,  humour — and fellowship — are a huge part of why I blog.

See you all in a few weeks.

Nga mihi nui (my best wishes)


Not a kiss … but another celebration of marriage

David Ramsay and Margaret Cruden celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

My maternal grandparents celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1951.

The last couple of “kiss” photos I posted got me thinking about the couples in my family, and actually how few photographs I have. None of my parents (without the kids) and only this one of my maternal grandparents.

David Skinner Ramsay and Margaret Simpson Bissett Cruden  were married in on 21 December 1926. Grandad was 25, Gran was 18. He was a coalminer, she a shop assistant. Both lived in Dysart, Fife, Scotland. They raised six children and remained married for 47 years, until my grandad’s death in 1973.

When my grandmother was widowed, she started travelling – to New Zealand to visit us, then Australia to see her brother and his family. She went to Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) to visit her only son, and back to Australia. In the last 15 or so years of her life she mainly stayed in Europe, but still managed to clock up an impressive number of miles for a woman who had never left the UK until she was in her mid 60s.

My gran died in 2006 – a week short of her 98th birthday. By that stage she had 17 grandchildren, 26(ish) great grandchildren, and a couple of great, great grandchildren.

She’s the grandparent I knew best and the only one I spent time with when I was an adult. Thinking back on all the hours we spent drinking tea and scoffing coffee meringues (her favourite), I wonder why I never asked her all the questions I now have about her life – her childhood, marriage, parents. Back then I just wasn’t that “into” family.

Now, a mother myself, I’m determined that my son will know more about his ancestry than I do about mine, and in particular the stories of lives and loves and death that make the past alive for us.