Aug 16th

World War One transcribing

By Ann R

For those of you that have been in touch with me for a while you might remember (or not lol) that I do quite a bit of transcribing for genealogy websites.  At the moment I am doing a section of the alphabet births, marriages and deaths for 1978 (for England and Wales), also burials for a village in Dorset, starting in the 16th century and finishing in the mid 19th century, finally I am doing part of the 1841 census for Leicestershire.

As you can imagine this keeps me out of mischief and I have learnt so much over the past few years, for instance I came across an occupation a few weeks ago which looked as though it read Buhl Worker.  There is a forum where you can ask people, sure enough that is what it was and it turns out it is someone who produces marquetry (named after Andre-Charles Boulle).

However, I felt that I wanted a bit more of a change (I will still continue with the above) and noticed that The National Archives in Kew (in conjunction with the National Maritime Museum) were looking for volunteers to transcribe Royal Navy crew records from World War One.  I sent them an email and started it all today.

Getting used to the writing is the hardest part as some of it has been crammed into a small space.  I haven't heard of the majority of the ranks so I am on another learning curve.

Apr 10th

What I Learned From My Boys

By Colin L

The following came from an anonymous Mother in Austin, Texas...
Things I've learned from my boys (honest and not kidding):

A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20 x 20 ft. room.

You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.

Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

Super glue is forever.

No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

VCR's do not eject "PB &J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

It will, however, make cats dizzy.

Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Those who pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without boys do it because:
a) For those with no children - this is totally hysterical!
b) For those who already have children past this age, this is hilarious.
c) For those who have children this age, this is not funny.
d) For those who have children nearing this age, this is a warning.
e) For those who have not yet had children, this is birth control

Mar 9th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L


‘MILLENNIALS’ are the least fortunate generation in recent history apart from the ones who got conscripted, it has been claimed.

Twenty-somethings are blaming rising house prices, stagnant wages and too many cool new Apple products for making them the worst-off generation, if you forget those who were young adults during World War One or World War Two.

23-year-old trainee arts curator Julian Cook said: “I really want to move out but I’m stuck at my parent’s house, where I have all my food and clothes-washing taken care of but it’s really quite oppressive and my dad sometimes makes sexist jokes.

“Also there’s a girl I really like but I don’t think she likes me. And I saw a cool jumper in American Apparel but I can’t afford it.”

However 94-year-old D Day veteran Roy Hobbs said: “I understand that modern society is really unfair and that is a terrible shame.

“But I had to jump out of a boat while there were people shooting at it with guns and cannons.

“Then I landed on a beach where there were lots of other people shooting at me, and I had to kill several of them which still haunts my days and nights.

“So life wasn’t all a bed of roses.”

Sep 30th

From: Filmbust

By Colin L

Final Installment In Bush Trilogy Promises More Action, Bigger Explosions


Reeling from his slipping poll numbers and poor debate showings, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush recently assured the nation his presidency will feature way more action and much bigger explosions than the previous two Bush blockbusters.

“Now that we’ve laid the groundwork [inciting systemic destabilization in the middle east], our guys can kick things off right off the bat instead of having to wait around.” said the third Bush in as many decades to potentially play the leader of the free world. Campaign officials promised to start bombing wherever rebel groups happen to be holding power so things wouldn’t drag during the first act.

“Don’t get me wrong, George I and George II were solidly action-packed popcorn presidencies,” admitted Jeb. “But what with the technological progress over the last decade in advanced weaponry, I’m confident we can bring something new and compelling to the Bush brand.”

“We’ll definitely be able to take this franchise to the next level with some huge firestorms, plus a ton of new drone stuff, maybe laser weapons or rail guns from space even.” said Bush’s top pollster David Hill, referencing a recent missile upgrade to all US unmanned aircraft. “But I think the clincher for the American public will be bringing back their favorite characters from the previous administrations.”

Hill declined to confirm if these cameos would include Rumsfeld or former Vice President Dick Cheney, but did announce the long-rumored casting of former Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, a fan-favorite architect behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“It’s going to be tough to top the second [Bush Presidency], and the third installment is always a little disappointing, but I’ll stick it out. At this point we’ve already invested so much, might as well see where they take it.” said Mary Schmidt, mother of three wounded veterans. “Plus, at this point, I don’t have anything left to lose.”

* NB One "bad" word expunged

Jul 21st

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L

Brighton to become the UK’s first ‘numpties only’ town



UNBEARABLY smug seaside numpty haven Brighton is to ban ordinary people.

The Sussex town, which had increasingly become an overpriced dormitory for London media workers and grizzled ‘big beat’ DJs, is to take the bold step of excluding anyone who does not have a glaringly flawed personality.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Council said: “We have a legion of numpties here, mixed with a smattering of normal people, and the two groups were really failing to gel.

“On the one hand you’ve got ordinary worker types struggling with massively inflated living costs, while on the other you’ve got self-styled Bohemians with enormously wealthy grandparents, who somehow reconcile ecological beliefs with consuming vast amounts of cocaine.

“For the sake of the local economy, we want to defuse this tension while keeping the people who want to pay vastly over-the-odds for organic vegetables and taxidermy.

“So the normals can go to the nearest affordable town, which is only 212 miles away.”

Brighton resident Julian Cook said: “When I’m not DJing or ‘shopping local’ I like to chill on the beach. I have a small lifelong family income because my ancestors had a sugar plantation, which I’m fairly sure was run as an ethical workers’ co-operative.

“Basically I’m like a pet.”

Jun 4th

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L

Couple with baby really overdoing talk of how great it is



A COUPLE with a new baby are trying too hard to convince their friends and themselves of how awesome it is.

Mary Fisher and Tom Logan have been evangelical in their descriptions of parenthood since having their son Richard, despite seeming physically and mentally depleted.

Fisher said: “It really gives your life meaning. It’s a special and unique kind of love, that changes you from a selfish person to a giving person.

“We are in heaven.

“I even love being puked on, and cleaning up puke, and having to be constantly responsible for someone with no knowledge or understanding of danger, and whose only means of communication is making a loud noise.

“And the insomnia-induced delirium, I love that. It’s amazing.”

Logan said: “Before having our baby we were just doing superficial stuff like going out with friends, pursuing hobbies and sleeping for more than two hours a night.

“The thing I don’t miss the most from our old life is the sex.”

Jun 1st

Clearing the Clutter

By Maureen J

Having completed the last assignment of the penultimate module for the degree I hope to complete with the Open University in 2016, I set myself the task of clearing clutter.  It’s a habit instilled into my psyche by my clear-the-clutter-at all costs mother who refused to allow me to keep any of my childhood toys or books. ‘You’re too old for all that now; time to give it to someone else.’ So out went the dolls and my beautiful doll’s pram that was so exactly like those advertised in glossy magazine together with the dresser and doll’s house my father had made with such care; the latter even had room-lights that could be switched on and off. The dresser had tiny dishes displayed on its shelves, and I still remember my father helping me cook soup in a tiny saucepan. The diced potato cut up by me under his careful supervision and his finally helping me stir in a crumbled stock cube.  Being an only child could be lonely.

So, back to the clutter-clearing session and the unearthing of letters I meant to answer, but didn’t have the time. Smitten by conscience, I started reading again and then decided it was high time to get back to my blogs. So here we are. Meanwhile, the rain swashes and gluggles down the windows of my roof-top den while the wind rattles the slate tiles overhead like so many bones washed up on the estuary lying in the valley below the fields that are my horizon. The trees and shrubs in the garden are dancing like so many whirling banshees and their gyrations are mesmerising.


In a little while, I’ll read a few more letters; even answer some by snail mail, and give old friends a nod or a Facebook prod that says, ‘Hey, how are you? I’m alive and well. Hope you are too.’        

Feb 16th

Volunteer transcribing work.

By Ann R

As some of you may know I am fond of both my computer and history, so there is a lot of information on the internet that helps anyone doing family history, people who are interested in the past, school children doing research for exams etc.  However, it does need to get onto the website in the first place which is where I come in.

For the past eight years I have been transcribing births, deaths and marriages for one website, they send me ten pages of typewritten information and I copy it onto their software and return it to them.  It is checked for errors and then goes onto their website.

Just before last Christmas I also started transcribing census reports, these date back to 1891 and I cringe sometimes at how many people lived in one house.  Also, the occupations fascinate me, perhaps they are things that we wouldn't hear about today - or at least I haven't.  For instance every now and then I come across a 'Griswold Knitter'. So I have looked it up and it seems that this was a machine to make socks and stockings.

As from next Tuesday I am starting a new project, I will be transcribing letters from WWI. This will be totally new to me and I am looking forward to that.  

Just as a final note I would like to reassure you all that I don't spend all day doing this, there is no pressure from any of the websites to get it finished quickly.

May 1st


By phillip J W

My choir didd a concert for the Local History Society last night.
Very moveing stuff.

We had dug out songs sung by the troopes & the public during the early period of the war & the Society had found letters sent to solder's families from the trenches along the Western Front.

There was one sterring report from our Local paper of the time stating how just one attack had lost 70 men from the town!

Some of the War Poets were read & that famous narrative of the first Christmas Day on the Front when both sides came together to exchange presents, talk, share food & play a game of football.

I found the whole gig very movein, both to sing & to listen to. 

Mar 15th

My dogs

By Chrystie M

A long time ago I sent a Blog about our dogs on sagazone which people found funny so I will now try and remember all the times we had.I hope it isn't too long.

When I was a child we always had dogs and cats.  One was a Scottie, but I was only a baby.  Then Toby came, a terrier, who was quite a character.  He would constantly escape and run down town.  My mother was in Heelas' (now John Lewis) oriental carpets when she saw Toby lifting his leg on one of the carpets.'Is this our dog Madam' and she  (as you do) said he was nothing to do with her.

When I married, and had children, I finally managed to have a dog, and we found Dusty a bassett, who had been through 5 homes before us.    She tended to pee on the carpets at night, usually at the foot of our bed.  We arranged a large dog flap in the kitchen door.  She also had a very trying habit of burying our bits of clothing, when we were in bed.  Many years later, after she had left us, my husband would find nickers and pants and would hang him on a twig of an apple tree while he continued gardening, and as we had a little path at the bottom on the garden, people must of wondered what kind of people lived in that house.

However her peeing was causing damp carpets, and I was almost wondering whether we should send her back to where we had found her.  (This was early days).  But I did feel she was very stressed after all these homes she had visited, and so, against everyone's views I smacked her and then hugged her.  And she stopped. She was almost like a child wetting the bed.

She stayed with us for years, insisting on coming everywhere us, climbing rocky mountains, sitting in a boat which made things difficult, watching fireworks and the fire,in November and of course always in the car.   She had a slipped disc (I think twice) and just couldn't get up without great pain.  My husband always slept downstairs with them when they were ill, and he would manage to hold her up as she spent her pennies in the garden, leaning sometimes on a small plant.

After she went, we were so miserable, even the cat, ( who would go for walks with us), that I went and found another dog needing a home, and found a dog who looked desperate, and that was Jet.  He just ate out of all the bins when they were put out.  (But I have told about Jet somewhere else).  The cat did not like him, missing Dusty so much.

After Jet we had Nell who was a lovely flat coat retriever, and she and my husband would be seen in the car, my husband chatting away as they passed.  But Nell was so intelligent she wanted entertaining all the time, and I felt another dog might help her(and us) - someone to play with, so we found Susie who was a golden retriever.  They looked beautiful together.  They loved each other  greatly and when poor Nell went we had to get Susie a friend and found Holly who was a short cut hair dog, quite big, pointed nose, large ears standing up.  Susie wasn't keen on her, but it WAS a sort of friend.

Susie ate anything she could find, and tending to vomit extraordinarily large things up at the wrong times (under the table  while we were eating for instance), and once I found a small thing lying upstairs on the landing, when I looked at it thinking it was a turd, I found it had designs on it, and it was a boys long sock.  She would be frightened at night and would have us down - I think the silence and the dark frightened her, and she had no Holly to be with her.  She would ask to go out at night and we would have to take her out, usually through the front door as the kitchen had steps which she couldn't managed.  My husband had a stroke, and I was dealing with her all the time - he had actually sleeping downstairs with her.  She missed him so much looking in the garden  and one night she went through the front door and headed to the road, and the more I shouted the faster she ran.And me running up the road in my pyjamas.  I know myself when you are deaf you have no idea where sounds are coming from!

It broke my heart when I had to have her put to sleep.  she needed more care than I had for her, looking after my husband, who was finally in hospital, and asking for her all the time, and she looking for him, I had to say I had  found her dead at the bottom of the stairs.

As time went on I had no dogs, and am now living in a flat where dogs are not llowead, and actually I now would find it difficult as I am older.  But I do love dogs.

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