Sunday, 5 July 2020

Reflections … Love, Hope and Joy …


This time of year holds a few memories … the ups and downs of life … and while we’re in lock down I’ve been spending some time clearing out ‘stuff’ … and reflecting …

Four storey poster in Covent Garden
at the end of lock-down.
c/o Anthony Burrill, Covent Garden
Estates and CreativeBoom

 I’ve been finding odd snippets, photos, my own tales of life … both sides of my family have interesting histories … which over time I’ll draft up into some format … I won’t go looking for more – I’ve enough …



… because as a family ours stops here: no children – that’s fine … it’s the way it is … and for me makes life easier as far as this project is concerned: I can make the decisions and get on with things.


A family holiday at my mother’s first husband’s homeland – the Lake District … we used to row out to an island with a picnic to play and swim … anything to exhaust three boisterous children …



… our father would row and tow us through the water … what could be better – not a lot …

Lake Windemere


The boats still look the way I remember them!  A photo my brother took when they were in the area …





Grandpa would often drive us into Ambleside … and one day tried to turn round at the lake’s edge – he couldn’t get the car into reverse … and we slowly drifted into the water – I remember being pretty anxious … thankfully he found the gear rescuing the car (and us) before those murky depths appeared.




This letter my uncle found in his family piles – from his brother, my father, to their mother, dated 7th May 1928 … as you can see … little boy forgetting important items, letting his Ma know how good he is at cricket … 




... and then the excitement of spotting a porpoise off the east coast of Kent – Westgate-on-Sea is just north of Whitstable and its Oyster beds …



Here I am aged 20 or so … ready for an Oxford ball … and I had (just) enough hair to put it up … managed that for a few years … but only a few!








These are my great, great, great (and possibly great) grandparents on my mother’s side – the photo is 1887 … and must be – I’m guessing sixtyish?  



They had ten children – not sure which one I sprang from … but I’ll find out anon …


72 years ago today ....

That’s life in lock-down … reflections on life over the years … in this case possibly nearly 200 – both families have known records going back to the 1700s and 1600s …



Have a peaceful independent rest of the year – being wise, full of joy, hope, and particularly love for all … and stay safe …


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

54 comments:

Chatty Crone said...

I loved this post! Love to see your past too. I don't think I have ever seen a photo of you. Your photo going to the dance is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love to see your past.
sandie

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You were a very beautiful young lady.

My history stops with me, too. No children.

Pradeep Nair said...

Hi Hilary - A lot of us have been making use of the time gained during lockdown to dig into the different stuff at home and sorting them. Loved reading the snapshot of your ancestry. I guess it must have been quite emotional. Nice photo of your younger days too. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Huge thanks for this beautiful wander down your memory lanes.
Love your beautiful self too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Funny story about almost sending the car to the bottom of the lake. And yes, your photo is beautiful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandie – just things I’d found … and that photo of me is probably the best one I’ve got – so thank you …

@ Diane – I think that was luck at that stage of life .. but thank you … and yes your history too stops in this era …

@ Pradeep – it’s been really helpful to me clearing up my and my mother’s thing. I think it’s interesting to find out our history – I was never much interested as a kid … now – too late … and thank you re the photo …

@ EC – it was an easy write up … and some fun aspects and memories … thank you re the photo …

@ Alex – thanks … yes I always remember being stuck in the back of the car as it quietly eased its way towards the lake’s edge and a little way in – before Grandpa managed to find the gear! Thank you re the photo – must be one of the best of me as an adult – albeit very young …

Stay safe everyone – and thanks for visiting - Hilary

Fil said...

Great stories Hilary and yes, you were gorgeous - still are I'm sure :)
It feels a bit strange starting to think about walking about as normal - won't be heading to the pub anytime soon, that's for sure. Stay safe xx

Suzanne Furness said...

What wonderful photos and a few memories, glad the car disaster was averted. Lockdown has been good for reflection. Sorting through family archives can be an interesting exercise. I made a scrap book last year of photos, letters etc that I found in an aunt's house. Lovely to have. All good wishes to you, Hilary.

Botanist said...

It's intriguing to take a trip down memory lane sometimes. Oddly enough, I've been looking at old photos too, these last few days, as I've been trying to move them over to a new computer.

Liz A. said...

Always interesting going through old family mementos.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari om
Genealogy is a fascinating process, if challenging at times... thanks for the glimpses! YAM xx

Denise Covey said...

Weren't you a stunner, Hilary! Loved your trip down memory lane. Thanks for sharing with us.

Denise Covey said...

Should have said, now that you can go to the pub again, no more time for sifting through photos, LOL.

Joanne said...

excellent post and thanks for sharing family photos. I love it! You were and are so pretty - the light shines through the eyes and smiles. Very fun. Good to look back and reflect. And then keep moving forward. I do not pass on any bloodline. I helped raise Ray's boys and no doubt influenced them, but that's all the credit I get and that's okay. We leave our footprints in the sand, it can wash away, but we know where we stand.
Have a good week ahead.

Hels said...

Well done, Hilary and yes, I agree with Yamini. The more we know about our grandparents etc, the more we understand ourselves. Alas more people don't ask the important questions until it is too late - the photos have been thrown out or the grandparents have gone.

I know everything about mum's family, but dad's family seemed full of secrets and uncertainties. I should have sat dad and his 5 siblings down at a table 30 years ago, then followed it up with a professional search.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Fil – thanks … not quite so: not much hair! Yes I’m not going to rush out – I’ll go to the local museums if they open up … but will not be dashing out somewhere … I’ll take my time. I hope some of the billions will come the way of your choir, folk venues et al … which we’ll hear more about this week.

@ Suzanne – my poor Grandpa … I suppose those were the old cranked gear days: he did struggle! I’d have hated for the poor car to end up in the drink. The ‘paper mess’ is something I was desperate to do – so am glad I’m in the process. Well done on your scrap book – your kids will enjoy it, as too grandkids in the years ahead – and definitely ‘good to have’ … especially now you’ve sorted and annotated (I hope) them.

@ Ian – yes I guess I should scan these into the computer – but I suspect there’s no need and I’ll leave them as they are.

@ Liz – the process certainly reminds one of things …

@ Yam – thankfully all that side of things has mostly been done … and I’ve really no need to know more than I do … I’ll just try and correlate it a little, with some notations … that’ll be enough.

@ Denise – this photo certainly makes it appear that way … sadly life has taken its toll?!

I’ve still a bit of work to do here … and I’m in no rush to go to the pub – a museum, some folk music, a bistro = yes … but crowds no-way at the moment! We’ll see … life constantly changes at the moment …

@ Joanne – thank you … I hope the positiveness comes through now … and the never give up aspect. I’m moving ahead – just doing what I can do.

No bloodline to pass on … well all I can say is well done on helping raise Ray’s two boys … bet they benefited, as you would have done too. Footprints in the sand … yes all will be washed away – but today we know where we are.

@ Hels – life as a child was fairly simple for us – we were from the 3rd son, and middle child – so not the senior members of either family. But the history of our parents wasn’t easy … and thus it never really got talked about. Also we were of English/British stock … so hadn’t migrated. I bet you had a great deal to find out – I’m sure you could find out a lot now about your father’s family – the searches seem much easier now-a-days. Good luck if you do decide to take a professional look.

Thanks to you all – have a happy week in these uncertain times … with thoughts - Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

A delightful meander through treasured memories Hilary. I lost my mother a few weeks ago and that started me off looking through old photos and recalling happy times from the past. Look after yourself.

Susan Scott said...

So lovely to go through old photos and letters and reminisce and reflect Hilary! A bonny wee lass you were and a beautiful young woman! Going backwards into the sea is UNforgettable ... have a great week Hilary and stay well, keep safe :)

David M. Gascoigne, said...

My word, you were stunning at twenty, Hilary. Had I known you then, I would have been in hot pursuit! It's good to look back on your life, especially to recall the good bits; and to wallow in nostalgia, even nuanced by time and memory, is probably a good thing. And as for succession, it is highly overrated! Now let me go and take another look at this ravishing twenty-year old!

Mason Canyon said...

Beautiful photos and I know what you mean about history stopping. No children here so our line stops with me too.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What beautiful pictures and memories, Hilary! Absolutely love the picture of you and your mom and brothers in the boat. And what a lovely picture of you before the ball!

Annalisa Crawford said...

What great family mementos to have! Family history is fascinating.

Dan said...

It's so nice to find things like this. Whatever you do with it, I hope you enjoy the process.

Jo said...

NHS, 72 years, that's amazing.

I don't have any such records I'm afraid. Have fun going through all yours. Nice to have photos from those days.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – yes it’s being fun … but there’s a bit of work involved too, as I want to pull each section together as best I can; but I’m sorry to see here about your mother – this is the time of year I lost mine 8 years ago – hence the post.

@ Susan – I’m trying to clear out most of them … they are almost superfluous to requirements and in a few years, when I’m almost past it, will be … so I’m taking this time to do some filtering. Poor Grandpa … as a child I was quite anxious!

@ David – having a few photos of those years when I could get my hair up … gave me a fillip – after that I went tomboyish … too much squash … but yes I leave the good bits to remember and forget those moments I least like to think about. It’s interesting to note a great many readers are also without children …

@ Mason – yes … another where family history stops … still too late to worry now!!

@ Elizabeth – they were fun times and I’m glad I’ve got the memories and photos … I went to a few balls at Oxford – got lucky for a couple of years …

@ Annalisa – yes, I have a lot of family history on both sides … and I’ve got sufficient to put together a few memories, with other things already in the family.

@ Dan – I just needed to sort them … clear out the ones none of us need and keep what I enjoy now and will do in the future …

@ Jo – yes Manchester Hospital was opened as the first NHS hospital on 5th July 1948 … the first of the NHS as we know it today – lucky us.

There’s quite a lot of history … so as I’ve an interest … probably since being home here after being away in South Africa … I’ve noted things of interest … and the internet helps, then I started the blog and got thinking more – though I don’t use the blog for that sort of post.

Though my father’s brother did the family tree for his father and mother back in 1976 … then I’ve just added pieces since I went along. There’s more – but enough to keep me going!!

Thanks to you all for being so kind re my photo – I was pleased with it too … as you can tell!! My Ma died in early July in 2012 … so this time of year jabs at the heart … when I became the eldest of our lot.

Take care and stay safe … lots of challenges going on at the moment – thankfully quiet down here … Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

Fantastic! Perhaps it makes me very nosy, but I do like reading other people’s family histories. Some day, when I run out of travels, I’ll write up what I know of mine. Lovely picture of the 20 year old you. I remember how insecure I was about my appearance at that age, and now I look at some of the pictures and think, wow! Now I don’t care too much as long as I’m clean and presentable.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Going through stuff and finding memories is happening all over with many people as memories like these are lovely

DMS said...

What a lovely photo of you going to the ball! So interesting to do some family research and to see pictures of relatives from a long time ago. Fun to learn a bit more about your history. :)
~Jess

D.G. Kaye said...

Wow, what a fun post of your nostalgia Hilary. Loved the photos and the snippets of history - and of course you at 20! So sweet. <3

Sandra Cox said...

What wonderful memories, Hilary. Thanks for sharing them with us.
You were quite pretty and still are.

troutbirder said...

And here we are sheltering in place and trying not to be bored to death. Myself I'm trying to keep involved with life focusing on the past four memories and learning how to live without my beloved Barb. I keep busy with my own nature blog and book reviews and recently met an English author by the name of Steve N. Lee. Who asked me to write a review on his soon to be published book in mid-August. I'm looking forward to that opportunity. Troutbirder a. K. A. Ray

Linda said...

That is a beautiful picture of you. It is nice to explore one's history and ancestry.

Juliet said...

How interesting it is to gather family history, and Lockdown provides such a perfect opportunity. I love the photo of you at 20 - so beautiful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel – thank you … fortunately I’ve got most of what I need, books and articles … I just need to shorten it up a bit. I’m glad you’ve got your ‘memoirs’ on your radar … and your mother is there to help. I don’t care much about how I look … but regret the receding hair line and thin hair – can’t help about that genetic trend… and don’t like fuss – so don’t do much about it!

@ Jo-Anne – I just want to correlate it all … so it’s easily available to look at.

@ Jess – thank you … certainly I was more waif like in those days. I’ve had most things here for a while, and have been gathering them as I go along – but I’ll be pleased to curate them sensibly.

@ Debby – it’s the time of year my mother died in 2012, and with the NHS celebrating 72 years … and then finding my father’s letter from 1928 … thankfully makes a fun post.

@ Sandra – thank you … life goes on doesn’t it … less hair now though.

@ Ray – I’m so grateful I’ve got lots to do … as well as books to read, let alone things to study: sometime! Your memories of Barb are very recent – I feel for you … but it sounds like you’re coping with the nature blog, book reviews and general interests. Excellent about writing a review for Steve Lee’s ‘fantastic fiction’ book … perhaps you’ll get more to do. Take care and stay safe …

@ Linda – thank you … it’ll be fun to pull things together and have them in one place … I don’t need to do much –just correlate it all and delete the duplicates …

@ Juliet – I’m just taking the time to do things that wouldn’t get done if I was out and about. Thank you re the photo …

Lovely to have your comments … many thanks for being here … all the best - Hilary

Lynda Dietz said...

I love looking at family photos, even when I know no one in them. I imagine their stories and love the reflection of a long-ago place and time. Your dance photo is lovely.

Nick Wilford said...

Lovely photos. This is a great time to explore family history. I'm sure you have great memories of holidays in the Lake District. I've had a few of those too. The car almost going into the lake is one of those anecdotes that I'm sure has been retold many times!

A Cuban In London said...

That was such a lovely post. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Sherry Ellis said...

I know a lot of people who have taken this time to go through old photos and memorabilia. It's interesting to look back at those things.

Thanks for sharing yours. And that's a beautiful picture of you as a young lady!

retirementreflections said...

These are such wonderful photographs, and wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing them, Hilary!

mail4rosey said...

You have so many wonderful memories here. I love the pictures. You are so lovely. I would have been scared going in the water with the car. The letter is grand too. I am 50 and still have't seen porpoises very clearly in the water. That's exciting at any age! ;)

Sandra Cox said...

I find 'clearing out' so difficult. I tend to hold on to what I probably should let go.
Hope you're having a wondrous weekend.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Deborah Weber said...

What a delightful post. Such lovely photos and memories. I found a box of unremembered ephemera a few weeks ago, and I've had a wonderful time sorting through it. Perfect projects for these times I think.

Debbie D. said...

How wonderful to have all these family memories to browse through. You were a pretty girl, Hilary, Lovely then AND now! Have a good weekend.

Elsie Amata said...

I love seeing the photos! Especially the picture of you. You look so happy. Every time I file away my paperwork (which I should do more often) I come across memories like these. It's so much fun!

Click link below for my new domain. Warmly,
Elsie

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I hope all is well, Hilary. Memories can make us a little pensive. I enjoyed seeing your fascinating photos very much; he first one brought Swallows and Amazons to mind! You take care.

Marja said...

Oh I love going through boxes with letters and photos and remember the old times. That letter is that really that old Wow amazing. I love the old family photos and you look gorgeous on that photo Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynda – yes I’ve found a few photos and I’ve no idea who they are … and how I would love to know the places too … not to be – but fun to have …

@ Nick – the ghastly ones have been binned … well some, I’m still filtering. Our Lake District holidays didn’t last long … those early years of my life before times changed. One of my earliest memories of being anxious … slip sliding very gently and slowly into the water – it wouldn’t have happened – but the anxiety kicked in!

@ ACIL – thanks … early youthful days …

@ Sherry – this pile of family stuff … just one of the piles I need to sort … then my own over the years. It is interesting to look back … I must write up the notes if nothing else … thanks re the photo …

@ Donna – the times they have changed – good memories too.

@ Rosey - I don’t think I’ve seen porpoises in the sea … so my father obviously enjoyed his viewing … I was reminded by a wildlife cameraman who’d seen some earlier this year off Deal, Kent – similar area to my father’s viewing. I was pleased to have the letter … and to see his childlike view of life – much as ours was. Probably the best photo of me at that age …

@ Sandra – the clearing out has to be done … and I’m doing it very slowly – but no children and so needs to be done …

@ Deborah – yes it’s an ideal time to sort stuff out isn’t it … I’ve still a whack to go! I’d like to write it up. As you say your sorting is also a perfect project for these times.

@ Debbie – yes I’ve a few family historical memories as well as my own journeys through life; That photo is great … my hair started receding gently after that! Definitely not good now …

@ Elsie – I think I was quite pleased with the outcome in that photo. It’s good to get the filing and photo sorting done as one goes along – I was never very good at it … but it is fun to cogitate and remember …

@ Mike – thanks – all well here … I’m definitely not going the pensive route – could do the ‘what if’ one on occasions – but c’est la vie …. and yes every time I come across Swallows and Amazons – I think of this photo and those times …

@ Marja – I was pleased to have my father’s letter … while some of the photos are fun to have and then to have everything sorted for later in life … sadly probably not long to go now!!

Thanks to you for being appreciative of this post … it’s the time of year my mother died in 2012 … so brings back happy memories too, despite her trials and tribulations in latter years. I think she’d be pleased to see the post … take care all of you and stay safe – all the best - Hilary

Lenny Lee said...

Really cool post. Love hearing about your past and your family. Wow, beautiful pic of you. Bet you were the belle of of the ball. :)

Have you tried ancestry.com and done a DNA test. My cousin did a big family history and sent us a free DNA test. Results are so interesting. In the history she put together, she had pictures and information about living in each period of time. Made it fun and interesting to read.

Hope you post more things about your past. Would love to hear about your time in Africa.

Sending you lots of love and clean hands hugs.

Christine Rains said...

What amazing photos and story! How fascinating it must be to go back and discover these things, especially the little things like the letter. Hope you're safe and well. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lenny - how great to see you here ... and thank you for the wonderful comment. Those were happy days ... and I loved that dress and thus the pic - one of the better ones of me.

I know the ancestry sites offers a lot of information ... I know most of mine - or sufficiently enough probably for me - I may explore more ... but have no need to. Fascinating to read about your cousin ... and the DNA test - I'm fairly certain mine would mostly be Anglo-Saxon/English ... so relatively dull, in the scheme of life.

I've lots of visits to catch up on - places I've been to and seen ... and doubt I'll do too much here on the blog - some articles will come out over time. I used to write home re Africa ... but not sure I'll post much.

Thank you re the clean hands hugs ...

@ Christine - I knew they were there ... it was filtering things out - chucking out the unimportant as the years go by. The letter is special isn't it ... so glad I've got that. All well here ..

Thanks so much to the two of you for visiting ... stay safe - Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

One of my sister-in-law's bucket list items is to ride a Ferris wheel:)
Stay safe. Be healthy.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sandra - a Ferris Wheel trip in London would be fun ... but seeing Eastbourne seafront has satisfied me ... and much cheaper. I hope your sister-in-law can achieve that bucket list wish ... stay safe - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, i love this sort of thing! Thank you for sharing a few photos and the letter with us. Love the photo of you going to the ball :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - thanks so much ... it was easy to write up ... and I enjoyed the sharing I added .. my father's letter was a fun find. Stay safe - Hilary