Writing Obituaries

My 102-year-old cousin died last week. She was the sort of old person I aspire to be. At 97, she decided her walk-up apartment and cooking and cleaning for herself was getting to be a bit much, and moved herself into care, marbles intact. I knew her quite well in her retirement, but I never… Continue reading Writing Obituaries

New Digs

Welcome to my website. I’ve left some of my very old blog posts here for continuity, but all the non-blog information on these pages is current and up-to-date. As I release this website, I’m heading into a year I hope will be filled with new adventures, even if Covid forces us all to stay home… Continue reading New Digs

Longevity #52Ancestors

I’m finally up-to-date with the 52 Ancestors prompts. Woohoo! I’ll celebrate this minor success while it lasts. 🙂 This week’s topic is longevity. I happen to a lot of longevity to celebrate in my family.  My very first understanding of the concept of being “old” when I was a kid came from growing up with… Continue reading Longevity #52Ancestors

Categorised as Genealogy

Favourite Photo #52Ancestors

There are so many family photos I love, but for this exercise I picked this one, which I love so much I included it on my home page. It’s Christmas 1958, and the picture features the amazing women of my family: my great grandmother, seated, holds my mum’s first cousin, born just a few weeks… Continue reading Favourite Photo #52Ancestors

The #52Ancestors Challenge

With school and life, working on my own ancestry has taken a back seat. To stay connected with it through this busy year, I’ve decided to give Amy Johnson Crow’s #52Ancestors challenge a go. I doubt I’ll keep up, especially since I’m starting late, but I’ll try to do at least some of the posts.… Continue reading The #52Ancestors Challenge

A New Year, A New Challenge

For all but four years of my life (my own first two and my daughter’s), this day, the Tuesday following Labour Day, has marked the beginning of a new school year in our house. I went straight through from preschool to elementary school to high school to university as a student, then became a teacher,… Continue reading A New Year, A New Challenge

Scotland’s People Centre

During my recent trip to Scotland, I got to spend 3 1/2 days researching at the Scotland’s People Centre/Register House. For those of us researching Scottish roots, this place is invaluable. Scotland’s vital record keeping is among the world’s best. Lots of what’s available at Scotland’s People in person is also available online through their… Continue reading Scotland’s People Centre

Categorised as Genealogy


Falkland is one of my favourite places in Fife. It’s a gorgeous little village, for one thing, and the people in it are lovely. Every single local Ive ever met there has started friendly conversations, and they’re genuinely kind and helpful. On this trip, I returned to Falkland for an afternoon in hopes of tracking… Continue reading Falkland

Hello from Scotland

By this time of night, my body still reminds me that it started the wake-up process at 4am thanks to minor lingering jet lag, so this will just be a fly-by post. After a couple of nights in Dunfermline and days driving all over East and West Lothian, I’m now settled into Edinburgh for a… Continue reading Hello from Scotland


So much going on in my life these days, not least of which is planning for this year’s Surrey International Writers’ Conference. 2017 marks the 25th annual SiWC. We’ve come a long way from the borrowed classroom in a local high school where we started to selling out the conference – and the Sheraton Guildford… Continue reading #SiWC17

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