Sunday, 29 September 2019

Grouchy Sunday

With darkening skies in the evening and leaves turning rustic and beginning to fall from the branches it is clear the shops are now preparing for Christmas!  This morning I rose just before 9 on the clock, tired out by late night football and family history, and watched the rain clean the streets but not my windows which require cleaning much more.  Autumnal weather, the leftovers of another US hurricane, sweeps over the land drenching some parts and pleasing only gardeners and farmers.  Those who have to walk or cycle in this are less pleased, I remained indoors.  There is no choice but to watch football on TV, I am unsure if I can cope...

Not so much hot air this weekend.  Boris does claim still that he is 'a model of restraint,' and he even kind of apologised for being misunderstood regarding his 'humbug' comment.  He clearly dies not wish to encourage violence yet Brexiteer Brendan O'Neil claims there will be 'Yellow Jacket' type violence if we do not.  He is not the only one to push that line this week, clearly on Dominic's orders.
An MP might be killed by a right wing nutjob, another may have similar trapping her staff in their office, and still others are daily threatened by the 'Blackshirts' but our PM is being a 'model of restraint.'  I missed the Andrew Marr show this morning, I usually do and I am quite glad, but Boris appeared on there and I am told he was not once asked a piercing question!  The BBC is completely under the control of No 10.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Bombast Twins.

 Boris is at it again, or should we say Dominic Cummings is at it again?  Clearly attempting to arose hate and fear Boris followed orders to bombast his way arrogantly through the House of Commons on Wednesday, avoiding contrition, avoiding consideration and attempting to polarise opinion ll day ministers famous and unheard off appeared on TV and Radio offering the same arrogance from Gove himself on Radio 4 in the morning to Boris in the house at night.  Clearly a policy driven by Cummings and wilfully led by the desperate liars in government.  The sad point is that there is no real opposition to end this farce of a government.  No individual strong enough to take control, no man of stature in the House willing to stand up for the right course of action.

Of course all this bombast might just be Boris winding up the Blackshirt masses before failing to ensure Brexit.  That way he can blame Parliament, Remainer's, the EU, Corbyn, indeed anybody but himself and get their votes at the general election when it arrives.  He knows leaving will be a disaster, he wants to pretend he is PM, he will ensure Brexit does not happen and blame everyone but himself.  The sheep will follow...

Boris's big brother Donald has also been making waves again.  This time his decision to ask a foreign power to 'dig the dirt' on a rival's son or not get military aid was recorded on the phone readout.  Has he 'impeached' himself?
The Democrats will now begin impeachment proceedings, not because they consider this will succeed but by throwing mud some of it sticks.  Politics is like that.  There is of course a lot of mud to throw at this President, it is remarkable that he has stayed in office so long.  Indeed both Boris and Donald appear able to offer incompetence and contempt along with mistaken policies and remain in positions of power neither are fit to hold.
I suppose at least we are safe from war danger.  The last thing he wants is a war with men being killed as this will lose him support back home.  Iran can sleep easy....


Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Tsk Boris!

We welcomed the end of one of those constant US hurricanes today.  The rain battered down for a good while and will be a constant menace for a few days pleasing farmers and those with gardens but few others.  The rain also pleased the pigeon who happily made use of the heavy rain by turning it into a shower and twisted this way and that to ensure the entire body was cleansed.  Downstairs people passed by huddled under umbrellas, hats over heads, winter coats brought out of the cupboard, while the bird just sat there enjoying the weather.  I often wonder how birds and animals survive in differing weather conditions but this bird has learned how to make the most of the situation quite happily.

Boris fought the Law and the Law won!
Announcing the result of the Supreme Court this morning Lady Hale said:

"The court is bound to conclude, therefore, that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification."  ITV

This decision was 'unanimous!'

This is quite an interesting step.  The court has ruled that Parliament must debate, Boris avoided this by deceit and while the court made no decision on the man himself it is clear he must go.  He has lost five major votes, kicked out 21 of his own MP's including the 'Father of the house' and Winston Churchill's grandson, and we have yet to discuss his latest wheeze with a US woman to whom he passed £125,000 for her business.  Hmmm...
John Bercow has apparently rushed back and insisted the House will resume at 11:30 tomorrow morning, not that he wishes to see an interesting Prime Ministers Question Time, but for democracy to rule!  MPs everywhere are once again packing their bags, leaving their 'paid for by someone else' holiday and returning to their constituency preparing for work.  The question 'What do we do now?'  Is the unanswered one as nobody has an answer to that.
Life is exciting but where is this taking us now?

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Bumbling Along...

It's a terrible thing when having eaten an inadequate breakfast you must run for a bus because you need a birthday card quick.  The best place for cards is not the local card shops but the Oxfam shop in Dunmow, not only two smiling young ladies but a decent choice of actually funny cards.

So I pushed my way past men selling strange kids waving things, there must be an event on today which explains the crowded streets and lack of traffic, and found the shop, brushed past the crowds and selected a few cards.
As it happens this area is of course wealthy so the book side is always worth a look and I obtained, for £2:99 a copy of 'Plutarch. 'The Rise and fall of Athens' to place on the 'to be read' pile.  Charity shops in well read towns are much better than those in the grubby back streets if you wish decent books.  The lower orders, like around here, read wimmins books, the trashy novels that ought to be burnt.  Better educated folks often dump books of quality, especially when clearing an aged relatives home.  Sadly they are all healthy and well at the moment in Dunmow.

The need to finish some of the family history has kept me busy, little else has been done, or indeed interesting enough to draw me away.  Now I have finished part one, soon to be sent north so my sister can understand the depth of depravity in her forebears, then I can look further back to Great Granddad where already I think I see problems...
Something to look forward to I suppose.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Smoke Gets in my Eyes.

The windows being open all sorts of aroma's pass inside. Tonight I am enduring the burning of what I believe may be garden rubbish, the first of the leaves falling from the autumnal trees or that kind of garden leftovers they don't think about turning into compost.  This happens annually, however I fail to see where it comes from, it arrives from the west but that way lies town centre and no-one to burn leaves.  Tis mystery all.
The smell of small fires in the open long after the fire has been ditched and left to burn out has been with me for many years.  I can remember the strong aroma when an uncle was clearing leaves in his garden way back when, and more so when on the rare occasions we went under the bridge taking the railway from Granton harbour into town and stalked Granton Beach, a beach which some refer to as 'Wardie Beach' but we never did.  
Here there was always at least one charcoaled set of embers to be found, the bouquet hanging in the still air, well, air as still as possible on that beach.  The beach was not great, many stones and too little sand, this hemmed in by the high ban, now removed, carrying the railway by.  The condition was not supreme, it was always somewhat dingy, this being the result of the Firth of Forth being a heavily used stretch of water in those days far off.  
In the far distance jutting out into the gray sea lies Newhaven Harbour, then full of fishing boats right up until the 1960's when they began to be replaced with rich men's playthings.  That is all that remains today.  On both sides of the Forth lay fishing harbours full of men risking their lives night after night, the 'silver darlings' have long disappeared and the cod and haddock dwindling but most boats today are smaller craft looking for the Lobster pots dumped out at sea the night before.  
At the time the picture was taken early in the 20th century the Royal Navy based half the Fleet at Rosyth and when my dad was growing up he could see such a collection of blue gray ships heading out to sea, Battle-cruisers, Cruisers, frigates, Destroyers and smaller ships abounding following them out.  Add to this the steamers from all over the world landing a variety of goods at Granton as opposed to the larger harbour the other side of Newhaven at Leith.  
The condition of the water may not always have been that clean as far as I can see but people spent time there and made the most of it.  Today, with the railway removed the area is cleaner, grass is planted in the rear, the space open and the sea cleaner as less ships pass by, a few large tankers and many small pleasure craft.  
The harbour behind has changed with one half being filled in and now crowned with large glass fronted blocks of flats with magnificent views and prices to match.  No more steam trains chugging past, fewer foul mouthed sailors, and one time warehouse or marine offices and lighthouses now turned into dwellings.  
However I bet people still build fires from driftwood, attempt to cook potatoes, and burn their fingers while eating them leaving the hazy smoke and its aroma to drift across the old breakwater and the new residences with the same freedom it has always enjoyed.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Day Out and a Horn Blast from 66514.

In a moment of madness yesterday I glanced at the clock, decided I could make the 11 O'clock train, raced off slowly towards the station, was 'sighed at' by the lass at the desk in the way you treat old people who cannot get the card out of the wallet, and jumped aboard one of the new trains that awaited passengers - sorry - customers.  Panting gratefulness I slowly recovered, fit?  Not yet.

The layout of the new train was different, the seats harder, the coach empty, and remained so until we reached the larger stations where London bound thrill seekers boarded en masse.  Two lassies even had the audacity to sit next to me and blether.  Tsk!  A decent journey in just about one hour as usual.

London termini have different faces to offer the traveller and none of them are very pretty.  Either of Liverpool Street station exits offer crowded streets, high buildings and masses of people.  The sky is rarely visible in this part of the world.  When you think of it the sky has not been seen much around here for probably two hundred years or so as this has been built up for many years.  

Naturally, knowing my way around, I took a short cut I had not used before through this dark alley.  The pub on the corner contained many rather too smartly suited men for my taste, could they be estate agents or Bookies runners I wondered?  Their outlook spoke of money the honesty of which I was unsure.  At the end of this short lane, which I avoided and continued through the more modern road in front of me, I noticed this:-

This was the one time entrance to what was 'Cooper's Wool Warehouse.' Opened in 1863 with the 'Merino Sheep,' which you correctly identified, on top of the gate now being a preserved monument, one of many such in London.  The building, like so many others here, was converted into offices in 1981 and recently upgraded.  Among the tenants are the City of London Police who helpfully block the end of the street with their vehicles.  

However I resisted the temptation to investigate and did not go that way wandering into this four sided ex-warehouse that I never knew existed.  On the other hand the warehouse and its employees never asked after me either did they?  Today a few eating paces, rather half heartedly operated, it may be they were just opening as it was just after noon or possibly preparing for an event, I did not wait to ask.  This does however reveal how much money is being spent around here, the Crossrail project apparently bringing many companies to swarm around Liverpool Street Station in the hope of living off the traffic this provides in some manner.

I however, still convinced in the rightness of my decision to take a short cut continued on my way expecting at any moment to arrive at the road awaiting me and turn left as I planned.
I did not.
Instead I blundered on past those three storey London houses built in the late 18th and 19th centuries, all with shops at the bottom, almost all occupied thus revealing the vast amount of Bangladeshi's who now reside in this area.  
This part of London has always attracted immigrants but do not tell the UKIP people as this upsets them, especially those descended from Jews, Russians, Latvian's, Poles, Germans, Italians, and so on and so forth, they do get upset about Johnny Foreigner.  So many gathered about the TV last night to sing 'Britons (read Englishmen) never will be slaves, Rule Britannia!' I consider it difficult for Britannia to rule the waves when she only has seven ships and four are in dock.
The Jewish immigrants were famous in the 19th century, their furry hats and inward lifestyles upset many 'English' at the time.  You will recall how many Jews were bad men in Charles Dickens stories, think of 'Fagan' for instance.  These streets were also the 1930's hotbed of political action as the 'Blackshirts,' Oswald Moseley's imitation fascist army, clashed with left leaning folks who disliked his approach to the Jews and indeed everyone else. 
It was quiet enough on Saturday.

I continued to goof and went further away from my destination.
Many shop signs revealed the ownership and heritage of the owner, just as they have always done here.  Many were selling clothes of one sort or another, shoes, local stores plus cafĂ©'s and restaurants.  I continued in the wrong direction hovering on the shady side of the somewhat downtrodden, let's be honest, dingy streets to avoid the sun.  Lots of buildings required a good wash and brush up here while next door stood a plush restaurant or shoe shop.  I almost bought a bottle of water from a local store but moved on as the staff were on hands and knees sorting things out.  I obtained water for 59p at a plush local shop which was doing very well thank you, the butchers side helping his profits I suspect with Halal meat.  
Many object to Halal as they say cutting an animals throat is cruel.  Funny how no-one objected to the Jews doing this for Kosher meat until recently?  However, a man I knew worked in an abattoir and was perplexed by the amount of animals that were not stunned properly before death.  Handling a half ton cow which is desperate to escape does not lead to decent behaviour!  A properly cut throat they say is quicker, less frightening for the animal and offers better meat.           

Having left home on the basis that I was feeling as healthy as I have been for a very long time I was now beginning to find my knees thought differently.  Wearing the wrong shoes and walking on ragged pavements did not help either.  Luckily in the distance, and in the wrong place, I saw the tower of Christ Church, Spitalfields rising in the distance so there I headed across the very busy road.  Once glance at the front of the building reveals that this Nicholas Hawksmoor building was not built to the 'Glory of God' but to the glory of the builders.  It was one of Fifty Churches being built by the Church of England in the new outlying areas, only 12 were actually built, this one was chosen as the area was dominated by those Huguenots and their descendants who had arrived from Flanders and preferred their own more biblical chapels in the area.  An outstanding creation but not in my view what a church ought to be, the locals agreed with me also.  Those chapels now are often turned into Mosques by the latest incomers. 
As I recall the church was in the 70's a place housing derelicts in the crypt.  People forget the homeless, on Dossers as they were then called, existed in the past also.  London has contained many since the Romans built their landing place here.  
I recall a TV programme from the 1980's where the crypt was emptied, the homeless moved into the main building and an archaeological team removed the hundreds of coffins placed therein in days gone by.  A disgusting sight as I remember it but offering valuable insights into the lives of those considered worthy of being deposited within.  Rather them than me.
I was somewhat peeved as the church was closed on Saturday, possibly to allow the bell ringers to hammer passers-by ears.  Next Saturday, as part of 'Heritage Weekend' it will be open!  I will not be there!  The link shows it may be worth a visit for some, especially as the old Market will also be full of feeding troughs for the rich and hungry. 

This is what dragged me ought yesterday morning.  I came across a picture I took many years ago of this door and wondered if it still existed.  Desperate for a day out somewhere I decided, without proper thought, to go for it.  

This was my inspiration!  Taken on the old Minolta it shows little has changed in 30 or so years.  The obvious change is the new owners, note the name has gone, do not enjoy tourists peeking in the wndows and make use of the shutters today.  A great many homes in this area have similar shutters enabling the weavers within to continue their work while as much light gets in and cold weather is kept out.

A clearer view of the large windows while on the roof proper weavers windows on number eleven and a half.  Fournier Street has a place for sale if you fancy it, bigger than these being on the corner, this is a 'snip' at £2.3 million.  I must say the insides of that one are mostly original and well worth a look!
Braintree obtained its wealth from such people Courtauld's being the most successful  Many weavers had arrived in Bocking and many places in Essex many years before and for hundreds of years they were popular and successful businessmen.
I was glad to have wandered about here, even if my body lacked desire for walking.  The change of area, the sights, the memories and the blessed tourists all getting in the locals way made my day, unless I was the one getting in the locals way.  

It is clear some weavers made more money than others, this chap has done well.  Of course he may have retailed cloth, or even better become a lawyer and dealt with officialdom on the locals behalf, that would enable an economic growth for him!

The comparison between the plush residences and the poorer ones round the corner spoke of London as it has always been.  These streets, not far from 'Jack the Rippers' area, have always been egalitarian.  Rich and poor side by side, a very London existence.  Stupidly I did not take more pictures of the rougher streets, Brick Lane in part being a bit rough, as there were so many parties of tourists around getting in the way, and I did not think!   Many parties were led by guides offering tales from the past, others might just have read the book 'Brick Lane' and come to see if it was real. No darling, story books are not real!  

I mused over the different building styles each century brought.  These may be late Victorian or Edwardian.  It was the tops of the building that attracted.  I have seen this elsewhere, is it meant to be Gothic?  Or is it just fancy brickwork to contain a room for the servant girl?  Note also all the shops are in business, no charity shop to be seen around these parts.  
It struck me as interesting that many clothes shops exist here today, many selling cloth of some sort, long years after the first weavers the area still has that connection.  Today, Sunday, just down the road Middlesex Street and the local area turns into 'Petticoat Lane' and attracts more than just tourists to its many stalls.
That market, and London has a great many of these, goes back to the late 16th century and a clothes market was there in the 1600's.  Spanish, Huguenots and Jews all spent time in the area and the market opens today on Sundays only, though nearby markets open six days a week.  Bring plenty of money and argue the price for stuff. 

Graffiti 'artists' I find usually leave only a mess however there are those in London that leave better images behind.  The quiet back streets offer opportunity for such around here.

Created in 1894 this building, Bedford House, once offered 'good works' to the locals, education, alleviating poverty and the rise of Quaker social action.  This lasted until 1947 when bottling plant moved in.  Since they left the place has slowly fallen apart.  Now squatted by 'artists' and 'students' who have repaired many parts of the building the owner, whoever that is, appears keen to let it fall apart, possibly to then sell it as the land would bring him millions!  Such a shame, nice building.

Before reaching Bedford House I was much tempted by the street stall selling curry and the like.  I failed to notice the prices but was sorely tempted to pay over the odds, something I do not delight in.  On my way back I accidentally ended up here once again and entered the opening opposite the curry stalls here I found Spitalfield's Market, once home of fruit and veg now home of  trendy London.  
Many stalls, the food ones operating at full speed, the overpriced ones selling garments, handbags and er, objects, less so while people stuffed their faces.  A very large market, full of the middle classes who have been told by their publication's this is where it is all at.  They might be right, if this is what you wish.  
Tourists abounded as I wondered what was the better part of the area, this tourist trendy place that I was become accustomed to in Notting Hill on a Saturday, or the real small shops and grubby streets I had passed through.  The area where people actually live and work had something more honest about it.  Life there being lived as it had been in this area since the 1600's, give or take a plague or two.  Immigrants, new food styles, new languages yet by the third generation they all cheer England on at cricket!
I don't!

I have a feeling this was an undertakers display, I chose not to enquire.

In the distance on the last picture three men are standing chatting.  Before them, hidden by the telephone box, lay a stall full of hats.  Trilby abounding I would have called it, they did not.  Guess who is the boss...
I noticed a stall calling itself 'The Naked Grinder' but like so much else around here that was not to be taken seriously...I found.

This is 'I Goat' a sculpture that is supposed to represent the waves of immigrants to this area.  Quite how I know not.  Standing on packing cases it looms high about the square.  Why?  No idea.

Artillery Passage once formed the boundary of the old St Mary Spital Priory closed down in the days of Henry VIII.  'Spital' is short for 'Hospital' and for around three hundred years after the end of the Priory the Archers and Crossbow men took over this space, hence 'artillery.'  The alley as such came with redevelopment in later days and offers a look into ancient London, many such lanes can be found in the 'City.'

The symbol of ironmongers was a Frying Pan.  These would be hung outside their door and the guess is that this now modernised wide open lane was once a grubby narrow passage which was home to many of those who worked that trade.

On the way to the station I hobbled by this shut coffee house.  Rather a mistake I thought, surely business would be good at the weekend with tourists about. 

I did rather like this however.

Back to stand staring at the board awaiting the platform number appearing.  On the way in I noticed Chelmsford Station now had a coffee stall on my platform, previously it was only available on the London bound side.  Therefore I decided to take the Norwich train and speed myself to Chelmsford, sip coffee and await my train which did not leave for a further 18 minutes after the Norwich service.
The Norwich speedy train trundled along.
It did not mention it stopped at Stratford to ensure someone insisted on sitting next to me.
We trundled on, I considered getting off and walking, eventually he returned to speed.  Some slow train in front hindering the express.  Tsk!  

I left the train, allowed the crowd to depart, sought the coffee stall and found it shut!  Typical, 2pm and he had hopped it!  Do they not realise trains run on a Saturday?  There was nothing for it but to wait 20 minutes for the new glossy train.

I amused myself by attempting to capture this aircraft high in the sky, this was not easy.  Higher above, Stansted and Luton bound planes passed across the sky, all leaving long vapour trails to upset the environment lobby making use of such aircraft for their holidays. 

I never noticed this before, it must be new.  I had heard the story somewhere.  Marconi the Radio people along with a major Ball Bearing plant existed in Chelmsford during the war, important targets for the Luftwaffe.  Often Heinkel's would pass over on bombing raids.  One night a large formation of enemy bombers attacked and Moulsham across the river from the main town, suffered badly with some 50 people killed and a great deal of damage done.  As a troop train approached the town this signalman remained at his post, halted the train at a distance to avoid several hundred men suffering, all the while in a signal box that was seriously damaged and in danger of collapse.  
It is nice to know he is remembered this way.

As I awaited my saloon car I managed to catch 66514 as he sped through at high speed heading I think for Felixstowe.  He offered a friendly three tone blast as he passed 'God bless you sir' and hurled himself on his way.  He pulled many empty flatbeds behind him, only four or five were in use and I wondered if Brexit was hindering exports?  No similar train passed in the other direction, that way I could gauge the import side, it may just have been to gather empties for the docks of course.

Typical!  The good train was put elsewhere and I was returned on the aged 321 which I must say has softer seats, though that may come from 20 years use of course!  So it was home, sore knees and that coffee.  

Today I remained at home, too stiff to cycle down the road!  Once again enjoying the memory of the good things in London having avoided the bad. £800 a week rent for a studio flat, £2700 a month for one of the better class two bed flats!  The empty flat here is going for £625 a month! How do they afford London? 

Monday, 9 September 2019


Rain all day, busy trying to wake up all morning, exercising in an effort to kill myself in the afternoon, and Scotland losing 3-0 and it's only half time.  It is a dreich day.
There was a moment of laughter when Boris was put in his place by the Irish Premier.  Straight talking leaving Boris crumpled and almost but not quite ashamed.  Tonight he has lost his fifth vote in a row and is intending to close parliament down for five weeks to avoid questions on his behaviour.  They say his cabinet took fright regarding the 'breaking the Law' regarding ignoring parliaments wishes.  It will not do as it could land them in trouble also, even if Bojo is the one who goes to jail.  So his friends have made him see sense regarding lawbreaking.  So many questions regarding his behaviour and even the hardest Brexiteer must see this man is unfit for his job?
When I think back to the giant politicians, Brown, Thatcher, MacMillan and look at the puny representatives here now I find myself wishing even Thatcher would come back!  Gold grabbing, money loving and hard hearted she may well have been but we all knew what she wanted, we knew where we stood, we knew her cabinet were grown up liars, we knew there were things she would not like close parliament to avoid answering questions!  She would answer questions and not give a reply!  A proper MP.  Brown had some good intentions, and failed, MacMillan did want to give people a better life, and he built 3 million houses in the early 50's, not something Tories do today.
Now John Bercow the 'people's friend' is standing down.  He will soon be blessed with a seat in the Lords while Dominic works out how to get Rees-Mogg into the Speakers Chair!  Just so an unbiased Speaker will be seen.
The rain continues, it's dark early these days, summer has gone and Christmas stuff is already in the shops.  Oh joy....
(You can tell I have had a good few days...)

Friday, 6 September 2019

Boris, Eton Boys, and Family!

Thirty years of schoolboys attempting to outdo one another and get the top job have ended up with the entire world in a mess.  One man can make a difference for good or evil in this world, two Eton schoolboys jealousy of one another have given us Brexit!
For thirty years we have had lies spewed out of Brussels by Johnson and his cronies, known lies told not to benefit the people but to gain advantage for themselves.  The damage he and his friends in the right wing media have wrought might never be corrected.
Today we have a parliament led by Johnson and Rees-Mogg, under the tutelage of Dominic Cummings, which cares nothing for the damage to the nation, nothing for the hurt caused to people and are happily enjoying those benefits only people in Hedge Funds understand. 
Bojo has so far lost about 23 MPs, his brother and Three major votes all within a handful of days, a record that might never be broken again, unless he does something worse.  So he has run of to Aberdeen, a Brexit laced area.  The fishermen foolishly thought, like the farmers, that leaving the EU would benefit them, as if Boris understood fishermen?  Does he know they still exist?  He might find some support, as long as he does not walk the streets, but it will be lost if he does not keep his mouth shut.
Well done the SNP, holding back the desire for a General Election sufficiently to stem Boris.  Working with the opposition to ensure an election when it suits them is a great idea.   There are 13 Tory seat at the moment, most will be lost in an election, along with that East Dunbartonshire one of the lib-dem leader Swinson.  She will be out also.  It might be only Murray for Labour in Edinburgh, a Lib-Dem in the Shetlands and a Tory in the south west that are left if the SNP handle this right.  The only downside to the SNP in my view is Sturgeon, she of the chip-on-the-shoulder girly attitudes.  She has to go for Scotland to prosper. 

The family history has kept me amused these past few days.  I ought to have been fixing the broken things, painting the bedroom and sorting those other cupboards but I accidentally  got hooked on my grandfathers first family.  I decided to write them up individually thus giving me a better idea of each of them and this was an interesting experience. 
At 15 he is in Edinburgh studying rail mechanics intent on being a driver.  
At 21 he is working on the farm and marrying a woman.
The woman he marries has mental problems.  

Not long after the first child he is placing this ad in the local paper, there is trouble afoot.
So to Edinburgh in 1880 a few children later so something must be working.
He drives trains now, lucky man!
But one daughter, now 13, lives far away in Newcastle, possibly to avoid mum. 
Near centuries end tragedy strikes twice and brings a response.
1891 Mary is born, 1892 Mary dies of Bronchial Pneumonia.
!898 eldest son, 24, is found semi-conscious after taking a 'large dose' of Laudanum, the usual Victorian pain killer.  But was he a habitual user?  l ask because he is now with another aunt in Berwick, a sister also, was he in their care?
The next day he dies.  A post mortem claims a blood clot in heart is the cause. 
By 1901 mother has gone, she is in the Lunatic Asylum at Dundee, one of the best in it's day.  
Family rumour of poison might be true.     
1904: Sister in Newcastle marries the lodger.  In Dundee mother passes away.
We are running out of family.
Two years later father marries again thus making widow Christina my grandmother.
Three children arrive.  
Two sisters join brother who has been working in Birkenhead.
1910 one marries an insurance clerk and runs of to Edinburgh, Liberton no less. 
1911 Granddad has left the home, Grandmum and three kids, plus three from previous marriage remain in Dalry. 

Granddad is in the workhouse! 
Queensberry House before and during the Great War was the Workhouse!  What a size! There must have been a fair few old folks in there.  Today it has been spruced up and serves as offices for the Scottish Parliament just behind it.  
One sister remains in Birkenhead until brother emigrates to Canada then returns to Edinburgh (I think).

1914: Brother in Canada joins Canadian army.
1916: Brother in Canadian army dies at Ypres.  Remembered on Menin Gate.
1917: Father dies from apoplexy at Queensberry Hoose.
1922: Sister married to Swede dies aged 43 leaving him three teenagers.  
1928: Insurance accountant loses his wife to cancer.  
Not many left!
1933: Insurance man, doing nicely thank you, up in Liberton, marries eldest sister.
1936: William, the brother who went to sea, served through the Great War on sloops in the Mediterranean, based in Malta, dies.  He is reported as 'presumed drowned,' while serving on an untraceable ship (merchant navy).  
1943: Insurance man dies.
Is eldest sister alone?  Is there anyone left?
She dies while living in comfortable surroundings in Ayr during 1954.
No wonder my lot are a bit strange....

One thing that conjecture brings is the image of the eldest sister.  My aunt and one sister were brought to mind as I wondered about her.  I got the impression of the elder sister who has to keep things going while the family dither. The other girls appear normal as does William the sailor who never married, as sailors who served abroad for three or so years at a time never did.  So many parts of my family can be seen in my mind here.  However the mother appears to have given one or two problems to the family.  Maybe that is who they moved so often, though that was not uncommon with a growing family.  If only we knew more.