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Sunday, 25 April 2021

Bluebell wood

 I suddenly realized I needed to see the bluebells before it was too late.  My friend and her dog met me there and we walked the footpath beside the flowers. On the other side were masses of celandines. We go every year and it always takes my breath away. I'm sure this year is the best ever but that might be the result of being shut in so much for a year.

We sat on a bench for a few hours catching up until we both decided we were cold and needed to warm up.

I think I will try and get there again later this week before they go. 

Monday, 19 April 2021


I have been saying for ages I would like to check my DNA at the company which has a huge data base of other people's DNA. The results came back a couple of weeks ago and the biggest surprise was that I am 81% Scottish. My dad is Scots and my half brother who has the same father as me is 49% Scottish which is what I expected to be. My mum was English but she never knew her father except his name and that he was American. Unless you are native American the ethnicity could be anything so it seems likely my grandfather had Scottish roots. The other possibility of the Scot's background could be my mum's maternal grandfather. After fathering 19 children including triplets and two sets of twins he died before my mum was born. All we know is his surname and the possibility he was called Alfred as the eldest boy and my uncle were named Alfred. 

The only close match which came up was my brother so no surprises there. The most exciting match although not close was a 2nd or 3rd cousin who only shares 2% DNA but has the same surname as my maternal grandfather. I have messaged him but no reply. I have looked on the free site but am thinking I will pay to see all the information. 

My dad was an only child and his mum died when he was 10 years old in 1916 and 2 months later his dad went off to fight in the 1st world war so he was passed around for a couple of years. His dad remarried a younger woman. I never knew them as my granddad died when I was about 3. We lived in Essex and he was in Glasgow. My half sister knew them and during the second world war she was sent to stay with them for safety and that night Glasgow got bombed. Thankfully they survived. The thing is my two sisters are in their 80's so I am getting what information I can now. 

I wish I had asked my parents and my nan for more information when I was younger but I don't think it occured to me.  I think I will need some help finding things on line so will wait until my friend is allowed to come round to help me before I pay to join. Although with the better weather coming and fewer restrictions I probably wont want to be stuck on the laptop for hours. Ah well I will have to consider it.

Monday, 5 April 2021


 I noticed that there is more litter than ever around since covid began. Mainly because so many people who don't usually walk the local footpaths are now doing so as they have nowhere else to go. Particularly it is annoying to see the face masks and plastic gloves everywhere as they are so dangerous to wildlife. Anyway 2 weeks ago my litter picker stick was delivered from Amazon and I started clearing up on my daily walks using old carrier bags and taking it home to put in the bin shed. One day a couple with a dog came along and after thanking me asked if I was a womble. I knew there are groups litter picking who call themselves wombles but didn't know there were any around my area. When I got home I did a search on Facebook and found the local group who are actually subdivided into even more local groups. 

I joined then read the announcements and found I could get official bin bags from one of the co-ordinators. Also I could register on-line as a volunteer with the local council which I did. Then I received my registration number so when I have filled a bag, I don't have to lug it home but can leave it by a bin then report it to the council website. If we find any large pieces of rubbish dumped like a trolley or a mattress that can also be reported as can overflowing bins. It is very satisfying to see the area is so much tidier. My friend is waiting for her litter picker then she is joining me. 

Most people are very pleasant and tell me well done and thank you but others seem embarassed and avoid eye contact. Some of us wonder if they think we are criminals doing community service as pay-back. As I am a grey haired old lady they might wonder what anti social behaviour I performed. Then again I think they wear hi-vis jackets advertising what they are doing and I would have thought they would be supervised. 

A sad picture was posted on the group site of a poor little hedgehog with his head wedged in a pringles carton. Sadly it did not survive. Hedgehogs are declining due to lots of problems without litter adding to it. I come home tired and satisfied.