Monthly Archives: July 2019

draughts, also of the not-zephyr variety

1983-07-09 Woodville SA_01

Back in 1983, we held a surprise party to celebrate your 70th birthday. Just fancy, Dr B is now the same age as you were in this photo. He certainly doesn’t have as much hair!

Dear Dad

It’s your birthday! You would have turned 106 today. The wondrous thing is that some people do actually live to that sort of age. You were never going to, but that’s OK. You did well. Knowing how little you liked the cold, I can say with some certainty that you wouldn’t have enjoyed today much, at least with regard to the temperature.

It is cold, wet, windy and unquestionably wintry. In short, it’s a good day to stay home in front of the fire, with big mugs of cocoa and a plate of hot, buttered scones, accompanied by a book (or two), or perhaps a spot of knitting (or crochet), or a board game or some euchre. Given the number of technology problems we’re having – by “we”, I can probably infer half the country, since there was a major communications outage yesterday – it’s certainly a day where the simpler things hold great appeal.

Fancy a game of draughts? To counter the other sort that are announcing their presence loudly and making our ankles chilly? Yeah?

Tell you what, because it’s your birthday, I’ll let you go first 😀


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believing something I’ve read


Demholm family grave at the Cheltenham Cemetery, Port Road, Cheltenham, South Australia

You might recall that a few years ago I undertook a semester-long unit of online study, “Writing Family History”, via the University of Tasmania. The writing part wasn’t difficult, although I appreciated the discipline of having to fit something meaningful into the 250-word limit allocated for most of the exercises. Researching the family history and finding ancestors was often trickier, but one perk of the study was free access to some otherwise costly online resources. Via Ancestry, I tracked down a potentially intersecting family tree that had a date of death for one of my great-great-grandmothers, whom I had never been able to trace at all in any local resources.

Because that other family tree contained names and dates that seemed dodgy to me, allowing for what I actually knew and for which I had concrete evidence (such as the above photo of the family grave), I included the date of death information in my own family tree as a query; but haven’t really stopped looking for secondary sources or corroborating information for the GGGM in question.

I am presently undertaking another short course on family history, because it’s an obsession I can now indulge (the beauty of being between jobs, I suppose). Also, it’s useful to keep updated about new techniques and database changes. People who do it all the time – the course is being taught by people from the state genealogical society, so it’s their full-time passion – are usually on top of that in a way that we who do it more sporadically are often not. I am certainly not.

Part of this week’s homework was to find an ancestor by using Trove. I refined my searches and did all sorts of fancy things, and would you believe it? I found one reference, and only one, to Ellen O’Grady: her death notice in the Advertiser on Wednesday, 30 Jan 1901. Well, I never! She was properly Mary Ellen, I believe, but obviously always known as Ellen; and perhaps that’s part of why I’ve struggled to track her down. I now need to dig further to find out when and where she arrived in Australia.

As the death notice only names two children, I also need to follow up to ascertain if there were others. I say that because a death notice I found for a great-grandmother includes the name of only one of the children; and I know there were four who survived to have families of their own. So, the fact that only two are mentioned in the O’Grady death notice does not necessarily mean that there aren’t others.

Her connection to the above grave is that her daughter is the Ellen Teresa Denholm there interred, who died at the ridiculously young age of 54. She’s another mystery because, although I’ve viewed her death certificate, tracked down three separate newspaper death notices and have a photo of her grave, I have yet to find any information about her birth.

Ah, the thrill of the chase! I hope all your chasing is as thrilling as mine has been this week 🙂



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adventitia, and perhaps adventure

11.07.03: The Cardiovascular System: Mechanics and Dynamics

Cardiovascular system of the human heart. Copyright Yale.

I’m delighted to report that, so far, YoungB is thoroughly loving his job. Yes, I know it’s early days. But I can remember jobs for which I’ve had zero enthusiasm from the outset, so it’s good that he comes home buzzed. At this stage, thanks to my nursing background and a good memory, I still know a great deal more than he does about the subject matter. That will change rapidly as the project gets into full swing. However, I’m happy to revise as we go along. 🙂

Yesterday, Middle Aunt and I had a short catch-up at a relatively nearby coffee shop. I confessed to her that, no matter what I think to the contrary, I obviously have a massive ego because I was mortally offended recently when someone suggested that I should do a medical terminology course to assist my job-seeking. You what? To be kind, it was perhaps a slip of the tongue and the speaker intended to suggest a medical reception course. Well, yes, if I were intending to apply for those sorts of jobs, then familiarity with relevant specialist software would indeed be beneficial; but, as I’m actually looking for work at higher levels (in line with what I’ve been doing for years), then it’s irrelevant.

It’s the case that I am doing a couple of courses. I’m pushing on with my genealogy short course, which is purely vocational and thoroughly enjoyable. Additionally, I’m struggling somewhat with popular business management acronyms in a diploma course that I now have not only the time to deal with, but also the physical and mental energy; well, almost. YoungB agreed that he would not have seen business studies as my field of interest – he’s right! – but that a better handle on the terminology and an actual diploma at the end of it will be useful. Yeah. That’s the idea.

So between queuing at Centrelink, going through all the rigmarole of updating every known contact so that workplace information is deleted, and replacing some worn-out shoes, I am feeling accomplished. I’ve also done a spot of shopping on YoungB’s behalf, namely a couple of new, lightweight jumpers so that he can cope with the workplace aircon. I found myself apologising last night because they weren’t handknitted by me!

Who knows? Now that I’m less stressed, I might find my knitting mojo again. And then, with a bit of luck, he might get some handknitted-by-me jumpers for work purposes. There’s an upside to everything. Right?

All the very best with your terminology and jargon challenges. 😀


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