This website is, at the moment, a simple repository for my main recreational pursuits – walking, genealogy and inland waterway boating. The walking is mostly featured on a separate website
As time permits, I’ll add other pages – although having said that there isn’t an excess of that available because I spend so much of my time each day working on my ‘day-job’ – I have been retired since 2002 but in reality I spend most of my waking hours on local community-based projects such as canal related actiities such as the Canal & River Trust of which I am a member of the Central Shires Waterway Partnership I also run my own waterways-based website, Waterway Watch, am Vice Chair of our village Neighbourhood planning Steering Committee and Chair of the bi-annual Alrewas Canal & Music Festival which is staged on odd-numbered years.
NOTE: For the more technically inclined, I should tell you that I also use this website as a test site – for example it is always running the very latest Beta (test) build of WordPress (currently the beta of 3.9.1 versus the stable version of 3.8.1) as well various themes and plugins that I am testing to to see what new functionality they may add. This doesn’t mean that the site is suspect in any way, just that you may be confused by the fact that it may look different between each visit.
So, the site is what it is – at the time writing it concentrates on presenting a look at our boat Quidditch and also our extensive tree of over 7,500 ancestors and relatives. On the subject of our tree, I find it fascinating that my brother and I came from a wonderful working class family who taught us to respect others, make what we can of life by diligence and hard work coupled with a healthy enjoyment of life. A quite sophisticated philosphy for a working class family from Hammersmith whose maternal ancestors were bricklayers and farm labourers in Norfolk and paternal whose maternal roots, were joiners and carpenters in Cornwall. As one delves deeper into our past we find stories of people with the simple resolve and determination to better themselves in an honest and honourable way whatever the gamble of life dealt them. Despite their best efforts one or two ended up needing the workshop or the a charity to survive but we see no thieves or tendency to think that the rest of the world owed them something, their DNA cointained a grit & self-determination gene that still shines today. I liken this to a quote from the Ballad of Admiral Sir Andrew Barton 1466-1515 which contains the following verse:
“Fight on, my men,” cries Sir Andrew Barton,
“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.