Category Archives: Family

Wide awake

It seemed like a good idea to go to  England on the day of the Rugby World Cup Final, so we found ourselves in Wakefield, after a stress free train trip with added random acts of kindness.

Our stay was in the hotel in Holmfield Park.  We’ll need to go back to see the rhubarb sculpture, which I would have sought out had I known about it.  The grounds were well stocked with mature trees which put on a stunning autumnal display, augmented by the fireworks display at night which we also did not see, but certainly heard.

On the Sunday we managed to get ourselves and luggage to the Hepworth Museum.  This houses a permanent display of the works of Dame Barbara Hepworth, sculptor and native of the town.  The building, designed by architect David Chipperfield,* sits astride the river Calder, and the full length windows in the building give excellent vistas of the river,  in particular the weir.    It also houses exhibitions, currently on show are works of the young David Hockney and Alan Davie.  It opened in 2011 and it’s free  to visit, has storage lockers and a decent café.

Trip home was also on time, and smooth. Thanks to Tickety Split and a rail card bought with Tesco points, we saved over 50% of the original cost.

*cracking pictures if you follow the arrow on this link.

Life size maquette for work commissioned by John Lewis (Head office)
River Calder weir
Grounds of Holmfield house
Autumn 1
Autumn 2
Autumn 3

Catch Mac22

It wasn’t planned, but I fell into writing up some family history today.   There has been a lot of information retained from Windsor Road, which was my father’s home pre-marriage, and my aunt’s until her death earlier this year. .

I have often read of huge families in the pre war years, but it hits home when you document your own ancestors.

So here’s to Dinah Melville Miller, who bore 11 children within the space of 22 years, and raised her granddaughter too, if the census is anything to go by.   In a two roomed house.

Dinah was our great great grandmother.

I have also resolved, for myself at least, the conundrum surrounding the identity of “Uncle Lawson”.   I was never sure who this was.   It’s another given that first names were rarely unique,  my father was technically Alexander Miller VI (at least), so the practice of naming a child Lawson when the surname of a large part of the family was also Lawson, means that it is a particularly tortuous process to define which Lawson is under discussion.    I have not uncovered anyone called Lawson Lawson…..yet.

I love my family dearly, but their reluctance to use commas in sentences also adds to the confusion.  Legends on the back of photos such as “This is my cousin Robert Janet and I frae Uncle Alex” take a little untangling, although it’s great that they are there at all.

Ironmoulder

Neither my father nor my aunt recalled the name of any foundry in which their father worked.  I have found this detail via Scotland’s People.  See record no. 1920, employee 54.

ScotlandsPeople  (think you have to click twice to see it).

The foundry,  Forth and Clyde and Sunnyside, has an information page here.  It closed the year my Grandpa died, 1963.

As mentioned previously on BTW, he worked in munitions during the Second World War, and did not speak of it. How he coped with the stress of doing that while his son was on active service for six years, I simply do not know.  I think I have mentioned elsewhere that the badge below was given to him, as an essential worker during the First War,  to stop him being challenged by the sort of people who today hide behind a keyboard.

Brass badge worn by people performing essentail non military work inthe first World War
AM munitions worker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other items he made include the boot scraper, now curated by my sister, and a peever*, which sadly we never found.

 

*Peever – small block of iron, used to play Beds, or hopscotch as the the Southerners would have it.  A gird was chalked on the pavement or school playground, and the players had to hop around the grid, kicking the peever forwards in a prescribed manner.

Less fortunate children made do with a tobacco tin filled with earth.  It fills me with delight to see that the kids in our street are still playing this.  Who’s to say an OAP doesn’t have a wee hop herself if it’s early doors?

Random

So, à propos of nothing, here is a picture of Barbie as Darth Vader.

 

Barbie Doll dressed to look a little bit like Darth Vader from Star Wars
Barbie x Star Wars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sold by a firm in Dalgety Bay called darksidetoys, found when looking for something completely different.  That might be serendipitous.

A conversation with my cousins recalled this song. it’s great when a childhood memory is corroborated, although quite why I would have fixated on this song is anyone’s guess, when at 6 years old this was my party piece.   Sung with the excellent acoustics of the hall in Shieldhill schoolhouse,  it must have been quite the venue emptier.

Housekeeping

Everyone who knows us will be aware that we have had a veritable social whirl this summer, with two family weddings and a Diamond Wedding for family friends.  I have thought long and hard about putting up pictures of these events, and have decided to refrain.  The main players in these events do not have social media profiles, therefore it’s a point of philosophical debate as to whether I am morally entitled to share  their images.    It’s also really difficult to select just one or two from hundreds.  So, I shall thank Nick and Beki for the wedding in Norfolk and Emma and Thierry for the wedding in Brussels.  Both days were the occasion of much joy, some tears, and the chance to blether, laugh and catch up.   Congratulations also to Eveline and Eddie on a notable anniversary.

Wall sconce, Hotel de Ville, Brussels
Hydrangea, Domaine Al Poudre, Belgium
Oxnead Hall gardens
Allium, Oxnead Hall
Peacock and crow, Prestonfield House

 

A la recherche…

Family photographs from our paternal line, for which no detail is available, but before saying goodbye to these I thought I would give them a last outing here.

Victoriana 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoriana 2

So long 2018

Despite the obvious, including the most appalling lack of prudent and effective leadership on both sides of the pond, leading to who knows what clusterbourach* in 2019,  we have had some excellent adventures this year.  We have visited places we had never thought to look for previously, as we sought out new horizons, or to be precise, car charging points.   Some, like Coldstream, are a delight, with a beautiful park on the river and a cosy pub with log fires right next door.  (Soft drinks available).   Others may prioritise the functional over the aesthetic, particularly those in multi story car parks, but if they work, and are not already in use, or ICEd***, that’s all that matters, and we can have a blether while we wait. Or not.  Other trips with chums and family have been grand fun, catching up and meeting new folks, and if we happened to go to Africa for the first time then we kept really quiet about it. **

Yesterday my school chums and I ate loads of food then went for a walk.  That’s a good way to end a year.

Aberdour 1
Aberdour 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*my politics are a mystery, especially to me, but the National reported this, so it gets the credit.   A bourach is a mess, clusterbourach references a much ruder term coined, I think, by the American army.

**that is so far from the truth.

***parking space for EV^ taken up by car using fossil fuel, or Internal Combustion Engine.

^Electric vehicle.  It’s a whole new world.

On the Beach

Yesterday, being Dad’s third anniversary and with the commemorations for the cessation of hostilities in 1918 being very much on our minds,  we did what most families do; got together for a  meal and then went for a walk.

Below, Fiona, Callum, Lily, Les, Ali, Ally and Paul.  Were I more confident with the timer I would have got myself in there too, but my efforts in Durham proved to me that more  work is required in that area.  We had a lovely afternoon and spoke of many things,  like cabbages and kings, ending on an impromptu lecture on meteorites.  Long ago, on a similar visit, Michaela opined “Youse would never get bored here.” She was right.

Aberdour, 10.11.18