When the World Wearies
And Society ceases to Please
There is always
The Garden.
Famous/infamous ancestors 00:35

I have been researching my family history since I was 18 (almost 56 now) and along the way have found some famous and infamous ancestors. Now Princess Diana is my 16th cousin, which means I will one day be related to a King of England (Prince William) The Duchess of York and her daughters, Eugenie and Beatrice are also cousins (from Georgiana Spencer-if you have seen the film The Duchess you will know who I mean) Now Sarah the Duchess of Marlborough (her and her husband the 1st Duke of Marlborough had Blenheim Palace built for them by the gracious nation) is my 7th cousin and Princess Dianas 7th gt grandmother -my gt gt grandfather Theophilus Scarrott and his ancestors lived in Woodstock and the grounds of Blenheim Palace and the surrounds for centuries and probably never knew they were related to the Spencer-Churchills. I have always had a thing since a little girl about the 12th century Fair Rosamund, Rosamund Clifford mistress of King Henry II who built her the hunting lodge at Woodstock (Rosamunds Bower) which was pulled down when Blenheim Palace was being built and never realised then that my ancestors, the famous Spencer Churchills  and the quaint Morris dancing gt gt gt grandfather William Dore, the earthenware dealer and publican John Scarrott and their ancestors, all lived there. We all share a grandad Richard Yates back in the 1400s.
Now another cousin, my 6th cousin to be precise, was Henry Marten who committed regicide, yes he killed one of our kings, King Charles the first! Henrys father another Henry Marten was a favourite of  Kings James father of Charles, so he must have been very disappointed to say the least when Henry acted with Cromwell in bringing Charles 1 to trial, he was one of the most prominent of the commissioners to sign the death warrant ( I have a copy )of Charles. Henry was the first to stand up in Parliament and ask was the King really necessary.  I read in historical papers how Cromwell and Henry inked each others faces like schoolboys  with the quills whilst signing the death warrant. Charles son Charles II got his own back when was crowned King and put Henry in Chepstow Castle under arrest until he died (about 25 years he spent imprisioned)
Now one of my favourite ancestors is my great great grandfather Mathias Cooper. When I was a little girl my grandfather Thomas Cooper a Romany gypsy, used to tell me how his grandfather Matty used to know Queen Victoria and when Matty died the queen put a wreath of yellow roses on his grave. Well  families do make up stories but it all turned out to be true and more, apparently Matty and his family were camped in the grounds of Claremont House,the then princess Victorias family home in the winter of 1836 and in her diaries she writes of meeting them, and wonderfully painted them all! In Queen Victorias sketchbook there are a few of the paintings of them, although she painted lots more of my family.She thought my gypsy family were so quiet, so affectionate to one another, so discreet, not at all forward or importunate and so grateful;so unlike the gossiping, fortune telling race gipsies. She says what she has seen of them assures her that they are a superior set of gipsies, full of gratitude,quiet, discreet She describes my great great grandfather Matty as handsome, dark italian countenance and seems quite young. She notes how clean they are and how they wash their linen, handkerchiefs cloaks etc almost every day (so thats where i get it from!) Matty always wore a clean pair of socks and leggings every day, quite unusual for those Victorian times. Well Victoria became queen a few months later and throughout their lives Matty and the Queen met several times, and when he was older he was employed as rat catcher at Windsor castle, where in books it is written that Matty used to throw a bushel of dead rats at Victoria and her son Edwards feet! Matty taught an American philanthropist Charles Godfrey Leland to speak Romany, and Leland wrote several books in which he mentions Matty whom he calls 'The Professor'   I am very lucky that Mattys life was so well documented .These above are all ancestors on my mothers side. On my fathers side are mostly French Huguenots , my 8 x great grandparents Judith Pigne and Daniel Lombard who came to London in the late 1600s seperately and met and married in |London, and my dads Suffolk and Gloucestershire country folk, but we are most probably related to Barbara Windsor through her Suffolk Goldings, and John Constable the artist.
But mostly I like the dear old plain washerwoman Susannah Baxter my great great great grandmother on dads side, who in her 80s was still taking in washing and looking after her grown up grandchildren in Hampstead! I said in my profile in this blog that everything I love has been passed down through my genes, and I love all my ancestors, good or bad, rich or poor, royalty or gypsy, they are my family.
What famous/infamous ancestors do you have?

Charles de Mills Gallica 07:43

I got a bargain from Morrisons on Monday, a Charles de Mills Gallica rose for £1.99! I always look at their plants when getting my elderly fathers shopping every Monday. Unfortunately all the other roses were hybrid teas which I am not a lover of-give me an old fashioned rose any day!(a good description of myself I think-well the old fashioned part!)
Still havent got my camera working or learnt to use Kates complicated one properly yet, so heres a Charles de Mill from google images

have planted it in between Ferdinand Pitchard and Rose de Rescht, surrounded by peonies, larkspur, oriental and annual poppies and lavenders. Cant wait to see it flower hopefully this summer.
Well back to decorating.....

Garden 07:23

I started this blog really to be my garden diary, which I never really got around to, but from this time of year, most of my posts will now be my garden. I wanted to a week by week diary to see what was flowering and to see how the seasons are changing and plants flowering early than previous years. I have to spend at least 2 hours every day from now on in the garden (what a good excuse!) It was so lovely to actually get in the garden yesterday and do some gardening (before more snow is predicted!) I decided to move quite a few things around and dug up the potato patch (found lots of potatoes still in the soil!) and planted my soft fruit bushes there instead. Thornless Blackberry, Tayberry, loganberry, about 20 raspberries, loads of black and red currants, and gooseberries. I had forgotten which were the black and which were the red currants, until I dug them up. The overpowering smell of blackcurrant came from one bush, it was like dunking my head into undiluted ribena! I had never noticed this before, and it seemed to come from just one blackcurrant bush. The potatoes are now going to be growing in potato bags, as it will be so much easier to earth them up I feel. I struggled last year in the rows which was rather akward, hence finding lots still in the ground yesterday-I shouldnt have that problem with bags. My strawberries I am also going to grow in bags this year, £3 in Morrisons, like the planters with pockets for the strawberries or herbs, but made from black woven plastic. Wilkinsons do some, but in a horrendous orange..... In the place of the soft fruit I have planted my favourite of all flowers, the rose.
There are 6 arches going across that part of the garden, like a division in between my herb garden and my brick parterre, and I had the fruit and grapevines growing across the arches, but now in place of the fruit are climbers and ramblers Albertine, Alberic Barbier,

 Golden Showers, Pauls Lemon Pillar, Emily Gray, Penny Lane, Felicite Perpetue and Pauls Scarlet - I also bought David Austin Heritage and Burgundy Ice which I have wanted for a couple of years, it is a sport of the white Iceberg, but has dark burgundy flowers - cant wait to see that one flower. I need about another 8 bush roses which will be all David Austin or Old English Roses. I dont really like modern roses, although buy some which have an old look about them. But for me theres nothing like a Bourbon or Damask rose. Every year the one thing I look forward to is my roses blooming, and being 56 soon, I am starting to count the rest of my life not in years, but how many times I will see and smell  the roses.

Kates Cow Cookies 08:43

Well I can hear you saying, shes 20 years old, whats the big deal!
Well for someone with memory problems, cooking can be a terrible problem, because they tend to forget they have put something in the oven...and you can guess what happens next!
Kate made these the other day and they were rather yummy! (wont tell you how many I ate...!)
If she decides to go back to university and this time it wont be near home it will be the very very very far north (eekkk what am I going to do!)
she has got to be able to fend for herself and that also means cooking, so for the next 6 months she has just got to try and find the best method to remember there is something in the oven, other than standing next to it for the allotted time! Alarms, notes, they dont work, as she forgets what said alarm, note is for!
Since her accident which happened when she was 13, she hasnt lived the life she would have done before the accident, she has had to re-learn a lot of things and gets on very well. But having a memory which can forget within seconds is a hinderance to say the least! I have pinched these pics from her facebook as still havent got to around to buying new camera havent got a spare penny  or using Kates very complicated one i need glasses just to turn the thing on.......
So well done Kate and cant wait for the heart cookies this weekend!

Idea for a quilt 10:11

While thinking of my mum this morning, I had an idea for a quilt. I already have a box of memory treasures of mum, but then I was thinking of my female ancestors and how I could put my mum, grandmothers,  great grandmothers and gt gt grandmothers names on a quilt. Add mine and that makes 16 a nice number for patchwork! And ready to hand down the female line (Kate are you listening.???..)

Betsy Cooper (my mother)
grandmothers Ocean Brinkley and Grace Bingle
great grandmothers Conceletta Scarrott, Patience Smith, Lucy Felmingham and Emma Louisa Holmes
great great grandmothers Rhoda Smith, Mary Ann Willoughby, Susannah Fisher, Elizabeth Jane Funnell, Ann Jones, Adelaide Baxter,  Esther Loveridge and Eliza Lee

Thought it a good idea to stop at great great grandmothers as I have far too many going back to as much as 17th greats. I have quite a few famous/infamous ancestors, I think that is a good idea for another post!

 Maybe embroidered or make some printed squares which would be much quicker.... maybe embroider the prints, and I could add some photos, although I dont have photos of all of them. Hmmm, think it will take me a week or so to come up with the right idea...if only my printer would take my lovely thick white linen... maybe I will have to embroider after all. Watch this space.....! Must get back to painting the kitchen first tho!

Mums Birthday 11:03

Rather sad today as it would have been my mums 81st birthday, she passed away nearly 3 years ago. My dad is going to the cemetery, but since the stonemasons sent me the picture of her name on the stone, I havent been able to go there to her. Dad and I went weekly until then, and I feel rather guilty that I dont go with him now. I do feel close to my mum in my garden where we used to sit on the hammock and watch the birds in my garden. The garden is where mum is for me, and as it is quite bright and sunny today now the rain has stopped, I will spend some time thinking of mum in my garden.

I cannot bear to look at photos of her in her later years but ones of her before I was born dont have too much of an emotional effect on me. Here she is at 3,23 a year before she married dad, 10 and,17 in her pinstriped suit  Love you mum xxx