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Thursday 31 March 2016

With apologies to Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, becomes - Someone there is that doesn't love our trees.

My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'

Our poplar trees will never get across
And eat anything in your garden, I tell him.
He only says, 'Trees are dangerous and must be destroyed'.

Having got the Council to come around unannounced...he was disappointed to find that
None of those poplars are dangerous.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.' 
Someone there is that doesn't love poplar trees, or any trees, come to that.
Having chosen and bought a house that backs on to a row of poplars...he remains hell-bent on their destruction.

Here be poplars, posted here in the name of posterity.

“Every trees has its enemy, few have an advocate. 
In all my works I take the part of trees against all their enemies”. Now, if only we would all play the part of an advocate for Nature, maybe we would regain a glimpse of the Shire or Lothl√≥rien in our own woods. J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Wandering thro' genealogy

Strathclyde Uni are hosting a genealogy MOOC. Totally free and in week 2 mire interesting.

Being led away from standard searches and invited to find out by using a more rounded approach. 

The Sidebottom family in the High Peak.

Samuel born late 18th century / early 19th century (yet to be determined)
Dau. Sarah married in All saints Church, Glossop 1853

This is where the fluid movement of folk cross county makes problems.

The town of Glossop and village of Hayfield vary in importance over the centuries with Glossop becoming an assemblage of villages and hamlets clustered round various churches. Hayfield's hamlets remained affiliated to the Parish church of St, Matthew until the growth of sundry non-conformist chapels.

Now for week 3 and delving deeper. Learning to use wildcard* searches.

What is an effective search?

  • One that returns results on highly likely matches
  • One that returns results on the correct individuals
  • One that doesn’t overwhelm you with too many results
  • One that doesn’t underwhelm you with too little or no results.

Thro' the good offices of the O.U. my searching methods are already pretty good. Now they ought to be even better!

Seems the use of multiple genealogy sites is recommended.

Anc£$try is expensive
Find My Past is better value for money and gives loyalty discounts
Then there are multiple freebies.

Comparisons are the way to go.

FMP alone has the 1939 register, a mine of useful information
Anc£$try has some of the weirder info from nooks & crannies.

....wandering happily along continues

Saturday 26 March 2016


Doubly memorable weekend as Easter 2016 coincides with a remarkable centenary.

From the Irish Times

This weekend’s events marking the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising will be rooted in respect and inclusivity -
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys has said.

Dublin city is a place I've visited and stayed in many times over the past 14 years. First as a birthday present to mark a certain birthday, then to celebrate my God-daughter's 21st and other times 'because it's there.'

A city rich in history and culture, a very much living history part of everyday life.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Sunday 13 March 2016

In a word

Since last October, I have been making my way through the Open Uni c*urse or module as they are now called. I prefer c*urse as it has a double meaning and was a term often used in the good old days of OU study.

Grammar in Context seemed likely to be doable, so I took the plunge. One has to take advantage of transitional arrangements while it lasts.

Previously, I completed Worlds of English which was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. Cue my present studies, what a contrast - like as the old saying goes 'pulling teeth'.

The bane of E304 is the UAM-CT computer program.
A necessary evil...
Life is too short to detail the shortcomings of this insult to the term computer program.

Drilling down into texts by analysing the life out of them. Resurrecting knowledge acquired in junior school.

Both U214 and E304 have impacted on my ability to read and to listen. Unconsciously, I find myself taking apart texts as I come across them.

E.g. if someone says something is 'not chocolate' and then lists 'cocoa' in the ingredients my 'linguistics' etymology brain makes an objection since cocoa is the prime ingredient of chocolate, no cocoa = no chocolate.

Then I came across some folk talking about and recommending some sets of fiction books (series). Going to previews of those texts, reading or attempting to read a couple of paragraphs, my linguistics self shudders and I have to leave the page vowing to add those authors (loosely) to the do not bother with list, even if their texts are £0.00 i.e. free.

Snobbish? I don't agree, more like discerning and making better informed choices. I know folk who on picking up a book, 'must' read to the bitter end no matter what. No way would I ever punish myself like that now I have the option to decline. Schooldays literature was a 'must' therefore I ploughed through the works of Jane Austin and Thomas Hardy. I also over the years went though several works by Charles Dickens and Shakespeare; and a good grounding they were; not forgetting Chaucer.

Returning to the idea of reading choice and linguistics. The latest topics in E304 have been Tenor and Mood leading to analyses of texts from that angle. Looking at repetition, chains of meaning, lexical density along with grammatical density and cohesion. No wonder some authors with their pointlessly repetitive formulaic texts are to be ignored "shampoo-rinse-repeat sort of author, churning out the same old - same old".

Give me the fluent, richly worded, well-grated works of Tolkien, the most satisfying read in my experience. Also, other early twentieth century authors - along with the likes of the nineteenth century authors - Kipling, Wells. Not forgetting the other Inklings friends of Tolkien and brilliant writers in their own right.