1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 03:40pm on 28/04/2017 under ,
These Eyes Have Seen

Yesterday we laid my Grandfather, Owen Cottage, to rest in Birtin Cemetery, Outibridge following a service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, Grenoside, Sheffield.  I loved him. He strived to be a good man all his life. I admired him for his many wonderful accomplishments and I was angry with him that he was so neglectful of my mother when she needed him most. He made the LDS church his family to the detriment of his own daughter. He endured the tragedy of nursing (and losing) his first wife, Mary, to cancer during my mum's teenage years. He was then widowed a further two times in precisiely the same way. First Ray - who spilt our family apart, and then Lottie who brought us all back together. He patted me on my head when I was tiny, tried to teach me as a teenager, argued with me as an young adult and in the last few years finally stopped lecturing me and clung to me whenever I was with him. I had a much closer relationship with him than I do my own father. I think a tiny part of me thought he would go on forever. The following is the eulogy I gave at the service:

Granddad's eulogy )
1ngi: (looks a *bit* like me)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 07:34pm on 02/07/2016 under , ,
Sheffield Cathedral

This last 3 weeks I have been on a trip to Sheffield. In part it was to take a break for myself and I could have taken it anywhere but I chose Sheffield so that I could do local history research for my new project ‘My Darling Janie’; the story of the love letters of my great great grandparents courting in Sheffield in the 1870s.

What it became was not only a chance to discover my family past but one to firm up friendships and reconnect with my living family in the shape of my maternal grandfather (who is still with us at 97) and my paternal cousin, who I had not seen for over 30 years.
I was made in Sheffield... )
1ngi: (looks a *bit* like me)
To E-,
I saw this card (above) and thought of you :) I wanted to say
thank you:
for your wonderful mind
for sharing your big heartedness
for making time to listen to my woes, my joys,
my mad ideas and my odd jokes
for being an inspiration
for being brave even when you are just
damn fed up with being brave
for being creative and encouraging me to be too
for a delicious and bonkers sense of humour
for being you
All my love, your sister, 1ngi x
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:25pm on 07/07/2012 under
My cousin has just uploaded this picture, found in a box in her dad's garage:


As my cousin says, this is probably (but not definitely) a picture of our great great grandmother, Jane Eliza Palmer, born 1845. She was born in Mandeville, Jamaica. The photo is taken circa 1860-70, in the Isle of Wight.

She was clearly a member of the Indian-Jamaican community. She would have been a child of the very first Indian indentured labourers to have arrived in Jamaica. Her very English name is a complete mystery. My cousin is trying to find records of her parents but I suspect they may not be searchable.

In the family the story has been told of her daughter 'Cissy' Birchell who was supposed to have come from Jamaica. But the family apocrypha has obviously lost hold of the truth. So for years I was assumed to have African-Jamaican ancestry but it turns out that I have Indian-Jamaican ancestry instead.

My head is spinning a little, subtle change of identity direction, and I've been reading up about the Indian Diaspora and the whole dreadful indentured labour business. Jane married into the army and got herself out of the plantations.

Is it fanciful of me to be seeing family likeness ( I think I have her nose).

1ngi: (friendship)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:49pm on 12/07/2010 under , , ,
I was born at the end of 1967. In the 12 months before, two sisters, Mary and Marion, died within six months of each other. Mary was my maternal Grandmother and I find myself fascinated by her and the fact that we just 'missed' each other.

It's like walking into a hallway and noticing a door at the other end closing. You fancy that you can see the shadow of the person leaving through the gap between the doorstep and the door.

Read more... )
1ngi: (Moonlight)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:50pm on 24/06/2010 under , ,
The ovum from which I grew was made inside the body of my grandmother in 1944.

I think that's amazing.
1ngi: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 01:04am on 17/04/2010 under ,
1st: Parents-in-law arrived
2nd: Had lunch in Ely by the river with PiL. Discovered that there was a Wilkinsons right opposite the Waitrose. (Clearly me n S standing right in the intersection of that particular Venn diagram)
3rd: FiL decided that blocking landing with stepladder to change lightbulb while I was running around packing for us to go to Wales (leaving them behind) was a good idea. I did not agree. AT ALL. Stopped for lunch at the 'Hestoned' Little Chef in Kettering. It was ace. Arrived in Llandeilo 6:30pm.
4th: Staged Easter egg hunt for nephew in Gelli Aur. Sunday lunch in pub had the biggest selection of veg I have ever seen.
5th: Day out with Thomas at the Gwili Railway. Teared up when the engine steamed into view. I am a big kid at heart. Will (and entire family) had a great day. Catering staff pulled off authentically shit railway coffee with aplomb.
6th: Watched over 70 Red Kites turn up for their tea at the feeding station. Wonderful.
7th: National Botanic Garden of Wales. Really lovely. Except for the coffee.
8th: Spent most of the day gassing with my mummy. It was fab.
9th: After lunch in Lampeter, headed off for a romantic anniversary weekend in this sweet cottage/chalet. Spectacular view of sea, Snowdonia and the Llyn peninsula from the sofa.
10th: Married 2 whole years. Walked along coast to Aberaeron and had excellent lunch at the Harbour Master. Coffee was perfect, right down to the jug of hot milk to go in it. That never happens in England.
11th: Poked around the beach and filled my pockets with little bits of driftwood.
12th: Collected sister and nephew and drove all the way back to Cambridge.
13th: Took Will to the playground. Poked around the art shop (bought wired raffia to use with aforementioned driftwood) and then had lunch in John Lewis.
14th: Went with Ellie and Will on the train to Ely Cathedral and had lunch by the river. Again. [livejournal.com profile] angua  popped round for tea and Will enticed her up to his room. M + A came round for supper (friends of both Ellie and I since school). We laughed till we cried. Lovely.
15th: Took Ellie and Will to see the Iguanadon and all the 'skedelons' at the Sedgewick Museum. Will likes skedelons. He now does Iguanodon impressions.
16th: After seeing Ellie and Will off at the station (hope they missed the congestion) picked up some compost, tomato plants, a courgette plant and a packet of parsnip seeds from the garden centre. Had a lie down. House very quiet.

Would like to say we're going to have a quite weekend but sadly that is not to be either - Golden Wedding celebration heading our way.

The trouble with holidays, is that you need a holiday afterwards.
1ngi: (Happy home)


I wasn't going to post any more simple pleasures as technically I've finished this year's Advent calendar. However, following my post 'a spike on my tree' something happened today that moved me to do just one more.

We'd had breakfast and stockings, Siôn's parents had gone for a walk and we were taking a little break from getting lunch ready by sneaking one or two presents from under the tree. That in itself was a pleasure - sat on the floor together, having cuddles, and picking out some joint presents to open.

One of those presents was a tall elegant gold spike in blown glass for the top of the Christmas tree. It is so slender and stunning in its simplicity - absolutely the quintessence of what one is looking for in a tree finial. Given that I'd posted about my little obsession only a few days ago it felt miraculous to be holding the perfect specimen in my hand. I was so delighted I cried. The friends who gave it to me have known me for 29 years and in a gift like this it showed, along with all the love.
1ngi: (fruit)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:21pm on 10/12/2009 under , ,


There is a tradition among Mormon households to make sure that you store enough food for a year against the chaos preceding the second coming of Christ. (Oh my word there's an LDS food calculator, 300lbs of wheat anyone?) My Grandad converted sometime after he demobbed from the Navy so my mum grew up with the principals of a food store. By the time I turned up the family was well versed in rotating a well-stocked food cupboard and 'advanced' preserving methods, like storing eggs in isinglass - I can remember the row of egg filled jars haunting me from the top of the wardrobe!

Now I'm not part of the LDS anymore but I do like to have a well-stocked larder. Not a year's worth of course, but I get slightly edgy if we ever get down to the last of something. When Waitrose deliver (oo get her) I love it after I've squirrelled away all the shopping because I know that we are 'secure' for a whole month (with the occasional forage for fresh veg).

At Christmas time I try and get a lot done before hand. The freezer already contains home-made wheat-free pigs-in-blankets and wheat-free sage-n-onion stuffing. I have a list to make chestnut stuffing, wheat-free mince pies, home-made baileys, lebkuchen, some sort of cake, and spiced nuts. I'm sure it is partly due to my background that this quiet slow acquisition of good things is making me feel warm and secure.*

*of course in this case we are laying it down against the chaos involved in celebrating the first coming of Christ.
1ngi: (Default)

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