John Wasn't
Sixty Years

PHEW! I made the decision this morning to add a blog - it only took nine attempts to log in! I just couldn't recall my login details! Old age is definitely creeping up on me slowly. Right now Iím into this letís be getting on with it.

Iíve just looked out the window at the weather and realised spring is on its way, there are hailstones the size of marbles hitting the window! It is also Lent and I know itís usual to give something up for lent but Iíve decided that seems a bit negative so Iím taking something up instead!

Iíve resolved to TRY and write a blog everyday! My problem is that I read other blogs and everyone else seems to have a far more interesting life and is much more adept at writing. Since writing my last blog, over a year ago, I have started attending a creative writing course which Iím thoroughly enjoying. I am convinced that everyone else on the course can produce much better work than me but the exchange of ideas and inspirations keeps me going! The amount of y writing varies wildly each week. I did really well this week until my pc went with a crack last night and emitted a smell of burning! Perhaps it was the short story I had just completed about a family of dragons living in Brighton!

Sadly like the majority of people I am convinced I have an original idea for a novel. This is as a result of eight years of delving into my family history. Climbing back through 12 generations I found some branches proved to be interesting and full of tales to be told whilst many were simply downright boring. Also whilst climbing my tree I have trawled through what seems like hundreds of details on various censuses, those in themselves leave you speechless. I never realized that baby farmer could be an occupation or that you could become a retired prince! Some of the stories I have uncovered do not belong on my tree, some do though and I felt they were too interesting and deserved to be recorded. But documenting these stories is not an easy task I fear but Iím determined to have a go.
Well the sun is out now so Iím off to the Ďboringí tasks of the day. The new power supply for my pc is on order and should arrive tomorrow!

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I'm sat here listening to 'northern' music courtesy of Kate Rusby. I sat earlier this evening watching Christine's Garden on BBC2 - she visited Lancashire and reminisced on her past(Not too unlike mine). What is it about age that makes you wonder about the past? Is it something to do with the lack of hormones or the prospect that tomorrows are getting fewer than yesterdays - who knows! Perhaps it's the fact that it's easier looking backwards over your shoulder than looking into the future! Perhaps I really am a born again coward and stick with the things that I know are safe and cosy!!

Less of this maudling(as they say in Lancashire) - I'm off to surf the net for Stannah stair lifts, Saga holidays, comfortable footwear, bath cubicles that I can bathe in whilst wearing my dressing gown, Terry Wogan's TOGs and a cure for my creaky knees!!! ---------- Ohh and a subscription to the Red Hat Society!!! I'm not giving in gracefully!

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Family Trees  
Many people I am sure have wondered what their ancestors looked like, how they spent their days, how they earned a living and generally what sort of lives they led. I have for the last eight years been climbing my family tree. Some branches proved to be more gnarled than others, some had nuts on them, some were fruity, some were interesting and full of tales to be told whilst many were simply downright boring.

Whilst at school I hated history with vengeance therefore I never paid any attention to dates, events and I couldnít begin to tell you who was on the throne at any given time!

Since climbing my tree I have become fascinated by how people led their lives in past times. Looking at my great great grandmother details for instance she married at eighteen and had eleven children. Family folklore tells that three of her children died of diphtheria within a fortnight, and she herself died on December 26, 1885 when she was only 45 and her youngest child was only three years old. Her death certificate gives valvular heart disease and exhaustion as cause of death, I canít imagine what life was like for her Ė did she ever have happy times I wonder, how did she manage a family of that size and what happened to her family after her death? I know my Great Great Grandfather remarried six months after her death and his new wife was twenty years his junior and she gave him more children.

All those tales to tell from only one family!! When you consider I now have 700 names on my tree I could fill volumes if only I could be sure of the history!!

Also whilst climbing my tree I have trawled through what seems like millions of names on various census, those in themselves leave you speechless. I never realized that Ostrich Feather maker could be an occupation or that you could become a retired prince! Many of my relatives came from a small area of Norfolk and by looking into the census itís easy to find cousins, future brides or grooms and young men who went away to war together all living within a very small area. Ancestors that came from Kent lived along one street and you can easily find numerous families with the same surname living in the same area.

So over the years I have decided that whilst I couldnít possibly sit down and write the story of my ancestors I have decided to write the story of the Gissmoe family. I make no apologises if the historical facts arenít quite correct. After eight years of pouring over dates and figures I have decided to throw caution out the window. If you recognise any of these characters it is purely coincidental as they are all a figment of my imagination. If you happen to recognise any of my characters that vaguely resemble yourself please donít be offended Ė it is not intentional Ė itís just a figment of your imagination Ė maybe. J! You will of course find myself on the tree but thatís my privilege! Remember this Ė you are certain to have a character very like one of these hanging on your family tree. They may be someone to aspire to, someone youíd rather not be associated with, even a nut or they could be a little like you. After all Ė it may be in the genes!

So here I go I've compiled the Gissmoe tree. I've begun with the story of Vicki daughter of William and Bridie.

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For sometime now I've dreamt of becoming a successful blogger leading onto a sucessful writer but I've fallen at the first hurdle! I have this problem remembering - just remembering - no it's not the menopause or Alzheimers disease I have always had the ability to forget! Where I've left my keys, where I put the drug charts (When Nursing) - where I left my homework (When at school) but thankfully nothing of dire importance - I've managed not to lose the son or the car (Yet!)

So how has this affected my blogging and writing I hear you ask. Firstly I forget the password to enter a new blog then I forget my user name and then I simply forget to add new blogs and everytime I do remember I'm amazed at how long it's taken me to remember!

My dream of becoming a successful writer is also thwarted by my lack of memory. I've decided on my subject. As I have spent the last five years or so climbing my family tree and discovering enough material to fill volumes I honestly cannot remember any historical dates or facts!! How can I possibly relate a story concerning my great great grandfather or even my granfather if I cannot recall who was on the throne or prime minister at the time! I've even drawn up an imaginary family tree of the Gissmoe family to solve this problem - all I need now is a imagination akin to that of Terry Pratchett or Tolkien! But then again it is fiction not fact I want to write so perhaps I really don't need to worry about the amnesia. All I need to worry about is the lack of imagination!

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Tidiness & B&Q!! 
Well what a busy weekend - finally 'sorted' my little 'den'. It will be interesting to see how long it stays 'ordered'.

Fought the battle at B&Qs and bought some shelves to put my books, dolls, CDs and all the other 'crud' of life on. Why is it when I go into B&Q and come out having purchased exactly what I wanted I really feel I've achieved something great! We also went there at the worst possible time - Sunday morning. The world and his cousin seem to have nothing better to do than go to B&Q and stand in front of me in the queue with twelve assorted items none of which possess a bar-code!! Then when the assistant has managed to ring up the items they then start the hunt for the plastic and argue with 'the other half' which bit of plastic isn't over the limit.

On returning home you can bet your life you've either forgotten the vital packet of screws or there isn't a drill bit the correct size in the huge case of ten dozen screw bits that a caring relative bought for you for christmas. Worse still there is one gap in the moulded plastic - Guess which one is missing - yes it's bound to be the one that is vital so you have to return for one solitary item and end up in a queue behind a guy with two trollies full of enough material to rebuild the Brighton pier!!!

As the den is now sorted and tidy lets see if it can stay this way and if helps 'clear the mind' as well!

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