Friday, August 16, 2013

Ubirr, Bowali and Mamaluka

There is a lot to be seen in Kakadu, so we did a second tour. This time it was with Victor Cooper, an Aboriginal tour guide with his own company, Ayal Tours.. We had Victor to ourselves as the others had not turned up. That was fine by us. At this stage we didn't know whether we would duplicate anything we did the day before, but as it turned out, we didn't. This trip was quite different.

We went to Border Crossing, as yesterday, but from there we turned off to Ubirr, a rock art gallery. There was another tour group there, but most of the time we had it to ourselves. Victor and I climbed quite a steep hill and there were 360 degree views to be had. Photos don't really give much of an impression, but here is one of Victor looking out.

We climbed down again, and went to the rock art gallery which I had all to myself for a while. I took photos, listened to the birds, and felt awestruck as I imagined the people those thousands of years ago. These are immensely old paintings, and there is one, very high up, of a thylacine. These have been extinct on the mainland for a very long time. I asked Victor how the artist got up so high, and he said the belief was that the Mimi spirits could turn the rock so the artist could reach.

There were wonderfully detailed X-ray style paintings of fish, turtles, and much more.

We encountered a woman sitting at the base of the big c.imb, waiting for her younger companions to return. She was reading a brochure which she proudly announced was 27 years old, and she had kept it in a drawer all those years after her last visit. Victor looked at it, and pointed to a picture of a fuzzy haired youth. "That's me, twenty seven years ago!"

We returned to Border Crossing, and looked at the river's edge. Victor took our photo, and yes, there are crocodiles behind us.

We then drove to Bowali Visitor Centre where we bought lunch to take away, and looked at the exhibits. Then to the lunch site and on to Mamaluka, a bird haven. More bird pictures!

After our return I had a swim and finished reading my book. I brought only the Kindle, and read My Brilliant Career (again). Loved it. Next on the agenda is Mill on the Floss, as I am going through a George Eliot phase for the first time. We did Middlemarch in my book group and that has motivated me. Silas Marner is next.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oenpelli and Gunbalanya

Tuesday16th August

Our day started at six am, and was spent in the capable hands of tour guide Gerry, with the Arnhemlander Cultural and Heritage tour. An all day tour in a big truck converted to a bus, high off the ground and 4WD so it can manage the terrain, wet or dry (depending on how wet).  We counted the number of times we got in and out of that bus and it was eight or nine in/outs, sixteen altogether. 

Gerry was informative, interesting, intelligent and very likeable.  He described himself as a tradie, a carpenter, who had lived and worked in Arnhemland for many years.  He didn't seem as ground down by the tourist trade as I would be!  We had several Italians on our tour of eleven people and I wonder how they managed with Gerry's English patter.  Better then I would have managed an Italian tour, I am sure.

The tour went out from Jabiru along the Arnhem Highway (sealed) to the Border Crossing cafĂ© and shop where Gerry picked up our packed lunches.  The scenery is magnificent with wetlands, grasslands, and the Kakadu escarpment.  Our first stop was a rocky outcrop looking out over the flood plain and the stone country,  where Gerry talked to us about the geology, flora and fauna (warning us graphically of the ever-present threat of crocodiles) and the aboriginal inhabitants.  He pointed out some rock art.  He showed us bones of meals past - fish, snake, goanna, turtle, magpie geese. Alas there are far fewer goanna than there used to be, since the incursion of the cane toad.  He told us about the early settlers and military posts, and about the buffalo hunters, then the buffalo eradication programme.  We saw no buffalo.  He talked about the weather. They measure rainfall in metres here.  Up to three metres in a season is not unusual. It would be such a different place in The Wet, and Gerry said it was fabulous. Gerry is a very positive guy. 

Gerry leads the way. 

Onwards we went to a site where there was substantial gallery of rock art. It was a bit of a steep climb but well worth it.  I took lots of photos and was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out.  It reveals them in such detail, more than you can see with the naked eye.  

It was time then to go somewhere for lunch.  This is where we needed the 4WD as it was cross country to a glorious spot beside the water. Again stern warnings about crocodiles.  The signs are everywhere. 

After lunch we drove back across country and I sat up front with Gerry. It is like climbing a ladder to get up to the cabin but the big front window makes for a terrific view.  

We then went to the Injalak Arts and Crafts store at the aboriginal community of Gunbalanya.  There were artists in residence, and we mulled over what to buy,  but confined ourselves to a few small things.  The people looked in poor condition.  They smoke too much, their diet is poor.  It was a bit depressing in some ways.  

The view from the town is spectacular.  Vivid blue and green, and the stone country in the background, and the helicopter as a colourful if incongruent note in the foreground.   

On the way back we stopped at another rock art site and sacred burial ground.  Photos are permitted, but not below a certain line on the rock. We treat the place with respect.  

On the way home we stopped again the Border Crossing to drop off the dirty dishes.  I walked across the road and down a path to see a pocket of rainforest and a colony of flying foxes, plus a riverside scene.  

Yes, the ubiquitous crocodiles. 

Home again, and dinner in the hotel restaurant. Crocodile risotto. Yum. 

Kaka doodle do! And Kakadoodle done

What a busy few days we have had.  While maintaining the paper travel diary I have not been too good at the electronic version, so this is a bit of a summary.

We flew to Darwin on Sunday 11th August, seeking a rise in our core temperatures.  Sydney is gorgeous with a very mild winter, but Darwin is warmer.  The flight was uneventful and a good length, not too gruelling.  We had booked a night at the airport Rydges and that was achieved without fuss.  However the car pickup was not without fuss.  Our itinerary said we had a Europcar, but Europcar said we did not.  We had waited about forty minutes in a queue to be told this, and were not very happy about it.  "Try one of the other companies" suggested the desk clerk.  We were not happy about that either, as there were five or more, and most of them still had queues.  I tried Avis, the only one without a queue, and lo and behold our name was there.  They had a car for us!  Phew.  

The next morning we set off for the long drive to Jabiru, in Kakadu. We were booked in at the crocodile hotel, the Gagadju Holiday Inn.  They had our booking!  It is a very cavernous reception area.  They sent us around to the front right leg of the crocodile, and we hauled our bags up the leg, around to our room.  

Our first adventure was the Yellow Water boat cruise at 4.30 p.m.  We hadn't realised that this  was about an hour's drive from Jabiru so that didn't leave us much time.  Off we went, and made it in good time.  Distances are long, but not much traffic.  We saw hardly anyone on the road, but there were three boats full of people at this time.  Where did they all come from?

The cruise was wonderful, with our grizzled guide Murray telling us all about the wildlife.  Crocodiles galore.  We would have seen at least six or seven, if not more.  I was not at all tempted to swim, or even trail my hands in the water.  We saw all kinds of birds, and lovely scenery.  I was glad Michael had encouraged me to take the big camera with both lenses, including the 80-200 zoomer.  it helped to get some good bird pictures, but paled in comparison to some of the very large equipment carried by some of the others.  I suffered serious lens envy.  It was about two hours with an hour's drive each way, and we had no lunch so we were quite hungry when we got back to the Croc later that night.  We ate dinner in the restaurant.  Michael had the buffet, I had a steak.  Good food.  

Here are some of the pictures of the sunset cruise.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Dust, mop, polish

Whew it is dusty in here! Time to bring out the power cleaning tools and clean up before we head off to Darwin on our annual winter holiday, to be documented in these screens.

Although Sydney has been glorious lately it is still cardigan and woolly socks weather. Nothing wrong with that for this happy knitter. But Darwin promises warm weather and sunshine, so off we go for a couple of weeks.

We have lots planned, including Kakadu. On our last trip we went to Litchfield National Park and Katherine Gorge, so now is our chance to go to Kakadu. We had planned a trip to Bathurst Island but alas it was cancelled. I have my packing list, and on it is big camera and both its lenses. There will be lots of photos. Other gizmos include the Apple Airport wifi, an iPad and iPhone each, the Kindle, the card reader for uploading pics, my UP bracelet to track the tropical steps, and all the associated cables and plugs.

Knitting will be the Clark Cable mitts Julie gave me for my birthday. I have all the notions in a ziploc bag. I am also thinking about crocheting some summer cotton gloves. Yes yes, I know. Ridiculous. When would I ever wear them? But they are so pretty and I want to do them. I have the book and will take some crochet cotton and hooks. Nice small projects.

Will I take my rollup keyboard to learn the latest Scriabin Etude? Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The evolution of the entertainment centre

Knowing I will have time to myself, without the demands of home and pug, I like to bring plenty to do. That involves reading of course. Also the book of sudoku puzzles to improve my technique. Knitting, of course. The Irtfa'a Shawl is well under way and getting towards the end. Two of my Seven Pillars of Retirement are Creativity and Learning. I always like to bring something that will require concentration and is a new technique. Two years ago it was string games. Two years before that it was filet netting. This year it is Celtic knotwork.

I happened to pick up a book on this subject at Vinnie's a while ago and thought this would be the ideal time to concentrate on it. I brought my colored pencils and my Palomino Blackwing pencil, plus some square graph paper. The results do far are visible in the picture. I am pretty pleased with the outcome, and yes, I realise that the red one isn't right, but it is a start. What fun it is, how soothing. It really appeals to my sense of pattern and rhythm. As a child I used to spend hours folding paper into squares and then decorating the squares with repeat patterns. There will be more!

As a bonus there was a sample is someone's handiwork tucked into the book, in lovely metallic felt pen.

Question. How can I use this new skill? Greeting cards? Just for fun? Knitting patterns in Celtic cables? Tatting? Much to think about.

Friday, August 31, 2012

We are failed consumers

One of our missions was to go to Waikele Premium Outlets BEFORE we went to Ala Moana Mall. (We didn't quite succeed at that, but we didn't buy anything other than the mini router we needed for wifi. ) Off we set this morning, armed with shopping bags and lists. What did we buy? Nothing. Nada. Zip. We looked hard, but nothing appealed. Michael's excuse is that Brooks Bros is no longer there. My excuse is that I had a nice time with my sister in the US in April and am only just now wearing the summer clothes I bought then. I don't NEED anything. Pitiful excuse, I know, and it won't stop me later, but everything I saw was just boring or worse.

I wanted to go browse in Shanghai Tang at Ala Mo, but they have gone. So has Chico.

Oh well, maybe I will find another swimsuit in the Royal Hawaiian Mall. Perhaps a new snorkel from Snorkel Bob. Maybe I will find something nice at AnnTaylor. I am glad I had a test run learning to play the ukulele because I am not tempted to buy one.

In the meantime, Mr. Honu the large turtle had a swim-by with me this arvo. I bumped into my niece's extended family walking back after my swim, and Julie and Martin arrived. The family is gathering.

Getting here, getting connected

I arrived on Tuesday morning and sailed through Immigration. My fingerprints were no trouble at all. Collected my bag, found my way to the rental car courtesy bus, was shown to our car. There was the usual palaver about insurance. I showed my gold Amex card, I told them, I had travel insurance, and that seemed to be enough. Got into our slaty blue Ford Fusion and drove it back to the airport Carpark, memorizing the number plate and the carpark position. I found my way to the correct terminal and baggage carousel and sat down to wait an hour or so for Michael to arrive. My phone beeped - landed! He appeared, and eventually so did his bags. We made it back to the car and drove straight to the Waikiki Shore. We are in 804 this time, two down and one closer to the ocean from 1005 where we usually stay. The only thing that seems to have changed is that Mark no longer works here. It was time, he was very jaded and hated dealing with the public. He may have gotten one too many negative reviews on TripAdvisor. Isaac is still here though. Parcels were waiting for us at the desk, not for Michael to see.

It is now Friday, and we are well settled. Of major importance was connectivity. I suggested that as we are on holiday perhaps we didn't need to be connected, and that was greeted with the disdain it deserved. We went straight to the Apple store at Ala Moana mall, carrying our two iPads and iPhones. We bought an Airport Express, plugged it into the hotel connection and voila! Lanai Link is up and running with all four devices running perfectly. What a change from days of yore wrestling with connections and dialup modems.

We have crosswords, sudoku, knitting, ample books including Kindle and paper, drawing paper and pencils, so the entertainment system is fully operational. We have been to Safeways and stocked up on Illy blue coffee, bacon, eggs, icecream, fruit, vegetables, soda, and other essentials.

I have been swimming twice (missed out the day of arrival, too whacked). Swim 1 showed me a large turtle very close, and a very large blue iridescent fish - pale dappled blue, not a groper deep blue. Swim 2 had TWO turtles, one large and looked like the same one from yesterday, and one a bit smaller. They seem totally unconcerned by my presence, and I am awestruck and delighted.

Hawaii again

It is time for the blog/trip diary to be dusted off again, as I sit on the plane bound for Hawaii. Last year we went to Darwin to escape the winter weather, but it is time for Hawaii again.

Michael and I are flying toward each other. We boarded our respective planes at almost exactly the same time, he in Omaha and me in Sydney. He thought that as we were going to Hawaii he might take two weeks extra and go to Hastings to visit his mother, and do a little research. I stayed home and looked after mother and the pug. We texted each other until we both boarded. Both of us are in the air as I type this.

It was an eventful day for me, trying to get everything done. Sheree is staying in the house to look after Majic, and I wanted things to be nice for her. Early in the morning I noticed that the hot tub was leaking from one of its pipes, so I called the tub people. Alex talked me though wrestling the pipes undone, to discover that where there ought to have been an O ring, there was none. He phoned around the spa shops to find that a shop in Kingsford had them, so I set off with the just-bathed pug (no, he didn't get bathed in the hot tub) to get them. Mission successful, but on my way home a woman in a car near an intersection reversed as I was passing her. I swerved very quickly but she caught my rear left fender, then blamed me! Only paint damage. It is one of my fears that I will have a car accident the day I have to leave for an overseas trip, and this was it. It could have been worse. I checked the road rules online and I am pretty sure it was her fault. Reversing a car must be done only when safe, and it obviously was not. Anyway, Majic and I had a romp in the park, then we got home and I fixed the tub's leak. Then I got in, just to make sure it was OK.

Everything got done, and as noted above, I am now on the plane, and have just had some dinner. Not bad food, I have to say. Hawaiian Airlines isn't too bad. Flying economy as I think this is a short flight at just under ten hours. My seat mate is an Amazonian basketball player returning home to Hawaii. She hardly moved a muscle while I twitched and fidgeted the entire way

I am anxious about immigration in the US, given my seeming lack of fingerprints. What will happen this time? Last time it took me ages to get through and I had to go through secondary identification. We await with interest and will report.

Man, ten hours seems like an eternity.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The long road home

I sincerely hope that by the time this is published on the blog we will be home at last. We left Austin on Thursday morning as planned, getting there early so that we could go with sister Gwen who left an hour before we did. The flight to Salt Lake City was smooth and uneventful, and the change to the flight to Los Angeles also went well. We even commented on how efficient Delta seemed to be. Famous last words.

We waited in the airline lounge for about five hours. It passed reasonably quickly, and then we went down to the gate. Lots of milling about. The time for boarding passed. The solitary gate agent made an announcement that there was only one of him and that he could only do so much, and please don't keep coming up to the desk asking the same questions. Uh oh. I got up and went to stand at the desk to see what was happening. I am so glad I did that. What was NOT happening was the flight. It had been cancelled. I stood my ground at the desk, and two or three others beside me were dealt with. On my right was a couple whose flight had been cancelled two nights before and there were no seats on the day before. They were pretty cranky. There was an announcement that we should use our smartphones with the Delta app to try and get alternative flights. The two sisters on my left were put on separate flights the following night, one to Brisbane with Virgin, one to Sydney. A very very long line had formed behind us, and it was obvious that it was going to be a very long night for most. Announcements were made that those with young children were to go to another gate, where as I learned later, they were ignored.

We were given what looked like boarding passes for the Qantas flight on the following night. Also hotel and meal vouchers. All the while I was using Viber on my Iphone to keep husband informed. What a great way we have come in communications. I am still gobsmacked by it all, and very grateful. We went to baggage claim, got our bags, and fortunately we're the last ones allowed on the courtesy bus for the hotel. The two sisters on my left told me later in the hotel that they had waited an hour and a half to get in that bus, and didn't get into their hotel room until 3 am.

We were very hungry by the time we arrived at 11.30 so we used some of our vouchers t eat a bowl of chicken noodle soup and some execrable Caesar salad in the hotel restaurant. Then we fell into bed and slept soundly until the next morning.

It was a lovely sunny day, and the meal before had been so bad that we took to the streets in search of better. The Hacienda hotel is on Sepulveda Boulevarde and there was a lot to choose from. We eschewed the IHOP in favour of a little cafe called the Petit Cafe, which served us an excellent breakfast. We then walked down the block and across the road to a Walgreen's where I got some cold and flu tablets for what feels like it is brewing, and some cosmetics. When in doubt, buy cosmetics. Back to the hotel for some exploration. I looked into the fitness room, which counts as fitness points, I looked at the pool, and was tempted, but instead went back to the room to have a little nap.

I looked at the Qantas vouchers and could see no class (Wes had been flying business class) and no seat assignment. I rang Delta and Qantas, and wasn't very happy with what either of them said. I emailed everyone to let them all know what had happened. Not trusting any of this, I suggested to Mum that we take th shuttle back to the airport and discuss it there, in person. First Qantas. I told the story to one, then two, then three staff who said that we weren't in their system at all, and that the flight in question was already overbooked. Then they all went away and someone else came out. "Can I help you?" she said. "Do I have to tell you the story all over again?" I asked. Yes, I did. She said there were seats, was getting us a new travel order, I asked about business class. This led to a long discussion which culminated in a phone call to Delta, whereupon she informed us. That we had been confirmed on the DELTA flight out tonight. We should go to the Delta terminal. We did, trotting from terminal 3 to 5. We spoke to a lovely young woman from delta who got us onto this evening's flight, and gave us seat allocation. I wasn't going to leave without confirmed at allocation. By this time Mum was getting very tired and I was getting aggrieved and teary. There is more to the story regarding what class we could fly in, but the upshot was that we had no choice but to fly steerage, aka coach, in seats which appeared to be separated by someone into middle. By this stage we we're taking what we could get.

We returned to the hotel with some more meal vouchers I which we used in the hotel, for a rather better lunch, and a bit of repacking and resting. The hotelmismfull of Australians, each with a story to tell. By five we decided to return to the airport, check in, confirm that we had seats, and sit in the lounge again eating carrots and resting. I also remembered to confirm with them that we had ordered a gluten free meal for Mum, which they did confirm.

I am so glad we confirmed those seats. There were many others waiting there who had those funky non-boarding passes waiting for confirmation which never came. There were some distressed people there. The appointed time came, and we boarded. Our seats are the last in the plane, and despite being A and C, there is nobody between us, just the seats. What a relief when the plane took off. We are on our way.

I settled in to watch a pretty bad Korean movie as I usually like them. Mum had a good sleep. Dinner came, and I told the stewardess about the gluten free meal. She said she would go look - uh oh, not on the list. At this stage I lost my temper, shouted, banged my tray table with my fist. Mum tried to calm me down, as did the stewardess, and it took some doing. It was the last straw and my patience had snapped. A compromise was reached and the stewardess was very nice, but enough is enough. Will I contact Delta and complain? I think I might.

Only another 11.15 hours to go, and I might try and snooze as it is now 1.44 am wherever my iPad thinks I am.

Whatever the pain getting home, it was worth the trip to see my dearest family. It was very hard leaving them, and we had a wonderful time.

Sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, cousins.

Family. It is why we went. My sister, my mother's sister. Her two daughters, and her two daughters. We all met In Round Rock, Texas. There were four pairs of sisters spanning three generations.

My mother and her sister are in their nineties. My mum, June, is about to turn ninety, and her older sister Jane is ninety six. Seeing them together was such a great treat, laughing and reminiscing.

Jane senior has two daughters, Jane jr and Susan, my cousins. Susan came down from Reno to join the fun. We have always been close, despite the distance. When we were kids my sister and I wore the clothes they had grown out of, and we all shared our memories of favorite outfits.

Jane the Younger has two daughters, Sara and Kimberly. They drove over from Baton Rouge, along with Sara's husband Jeremy and their baby Michael. Those two brave boys managed to withstand the onslaught of eight women.

We had five days there, and that gave us time to go out a lot, and to stay in. We formed small groups, catching up with each other individually and as a series of subsets. Sister with sister, aunt with niece, cousin with cousin, mother with daughter. There was remarkably little friction - we all get along so well, and only wish we could get together more often. We went through family photos and I scanned some of the important pictures and documents. We thought about those who had gone before and those who could not be with us. I wish my daughter Julie could have come too.

When the time came to leave there were tears, of course, but we are left with such happy memories of an amazing reunion.


We have had many memorable meals in Florida. Perhaps my favorite was at the Fish Camp in Sarasota. We began with a jar of fish paste on Saltines. Then we moved on to the deep fried dill pickle spears with a cornmeal batter. Unexpectedly, these were utterly fabulous. We had a second round, they were so good. I might try them at home. I moved on to a fried oyster po boy sandwich, which was truly good. A spoonful of Gwen's blackeyed peas was heaven, as was a spoonful of Mona's succotash. There was no room for dessert which was just as well as they all looked as though they would lead to an instant increase in dress size.

Another memorable meal was at Maison Blanche where the appetizer of mushroom and truffle ravioli was silky, profound, delicious. Everything was delicious there, and the ambience and service were outstanding.

Collard greens grown and cooked by Gwen were terrific.

A meal with Carol and Stan at Truluck's featured stone crab claws, sweet potato fries, halibut with a mustard fruits and Moroccan spice sauce, and supremely decadent carrot cake. Key lime pie at the yacht club with Gray and Natalie was to die for. Gray cooked a great meal of grilled shrimp with his own special sauce, and corn on the cob.

We had many great meals in Texas, including a feat from Rudy's BBQ. Brisket, turkey, chicken, ribs, coleslaw, potatoes, beans. Yee haa! It made for great leftovers the next day.

The Salt Grass grill was sensational with its brochettes of steak on a bed of caramelised onions. Perhaps the comfiest was Laurie's in Georgetown, where Laurie was the star in her apron featuring a button down arrangement on the bib for storing straws. What a sweetheart she is. The food was home made, fresh and delicious. I had a spinach and artichoke quiche with a green mandarin salad, plus raspberry iced tea.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Blood gets thicker as you get older

There were four things on my agenda in Florida. First and foremost was to see my sister and her family in Sarasota.

Another was to see my good friend Carol, with whom I worked at SilverPlatter many years ago. Then there was a visit to Aunt Ruth, wife of my mother's twin brother, and who I have not seen since 1965.

Why are they all here? Sister married a Florida native when we visited in our twenties. Aunt and Uncle retired to Naples thirty years ago. My mother being from the US, it isn't surprising that there is a family connection.

Finally, though, I was on the trail of a relative on my father's side. Dad was an Australian, yet he spent his teens and early twenties in the US. This is the back story, and why there is a Naples, Florida connection on his side.

Dad's father, Babington Owen, was one of four brothers from Pen-y-Clawdd, in Monmouth, Wales. Three of these brothers left Wales to travel the world, and eventually so did their mother, the redoubtable matriarch Ada Catherine. They were all very well educated and at least two graduated from Eton and Cambridge.

Eric Vivian Rees stayed in Wales and went into the church, like his father Canon William Rees. Nugent William Craufurd was in the Royal Hussars, and he came to Australia, where he joined the Light Horse and went to Egypt during WW I, before becoming a farmer in Murgon, Qld. Babington Owen followed, after an illness nearly killed him in the damp environs of Wales. Craufurd and Owen went to Queensland. They both married Queensland girls and had children. Owen and Jessie Rees had three children, including my Dad. Mackworth Gwynne Rees, the youngest (and very good looking) brother, went to the United States.

Owen's health was never good, and he died aged 42. My Dad became the man of the house at around age 15, and had to leave school to go to work. His Uncle Mackworth had done extremely well in the US. He was an inventor with many patents in the automotive industry. He was good friends with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. He was an enthusiastic and talented electronics and radar expert. He was very wealthy, but had no children. He was also a very generous man. He offered to take my Dad to the US to finish his schooling, send him to University. This is how come I have an American mother.

On our grand tour to meet the rellies in 1965 we came to Naples to visit Mackworth and his wife Edith in their summer home. Mackworth had a big business in Detroit, where they lived in the Whittier Hotel, but Naples was where they retired to. As I was coming to Florida I thought it would be fun to revisit his home, take a driveby, see what traces are left and rekindle memories of that trip. Of course I googled him, and came across many mentions of the meeting room bearing his name in the county library. I also came across this reference in the Naples News

I was staying with Carol, Gwen and mum in a hotel nearby. We visited Aunt Ruth. The next morning, Carol and I went to the Library to see the meeting room. We asked at the desk if there was any further information, and the librarian said "We have just had someone else ask about that! I looked over and there were Gwen and Mum. We joined forces to find out the address of the house, and set off. It was an easy drive.

We parked, got out, and took some photos of the house. The owners, David and Judy Bishop, happened to be home and saw us. They offered to tell us what they knew about the house and were thrilled to find out we were relatives. We had a wonderful hour or so with them and they graciously took us through the whole house. They showed us their album which included family photos none of us had seen before! It was just fantastic, and we learned a lot. We also found that he had willed some money to the Library, hence the naming of the room in their honour. What a great day.