Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Monday, November 07, 2011

What I've Been Doing!

Once again I've been rather busy and not had much time to either blog or comment recently. There was a rather large pile of letters to answer and I've managed to get some work done in my garden too though there's still a long way to go there I'm afraid. I'd intended doing more outside today but it started drizzling while I was up on Blackamoor with B Baggins this morning so I've done other bits and pieces indoors instead. This afternoon I'm trying to catch up a little with the blogging world. Making the Christmas cake was one of the things that kept me away from the computer. It's turned out OK I think and will be wrapped in clingfilm and put up on top of a kitchen cupboard now until ten days or so before Christmas only coming down briefly a couple of times to be fed with sherry.

I've made the mincemeat as well and used some of the pretty labels that I bought at Country Living Spring Fair earlier this year. On Wednesday I'm off to London again with my friend L for the Country Living Christmas Fair where I'm hoping to find something (or even more than one something!)on which to spend the money I got for my birthday in September. I turned 65 this year and one of my gifts was £1 for each year of my age:)

This is what has really been taking up a lot of my time though. For the last couple of years two friends and I have been researching the lives of the ten men on our local War Memorial who died in the First World War. Jim and Pauline did five of them and I did the other five and also wrote the introduction, a chapter on the village in 1914 and a conclusion. It doesn't sound much but it took ages as I had to do quite a bit of research to discover something about life here at the start of the Great War. It has finally been published to coincide with Armistice Day as that seemed a fitting time for it's appearance. Now we are hoping that a few people will buy it! The vicar of the local parish church is basing his sermon for Remembrance Sunday on our book and Jim, Pauline and I will be laying a wreath at the War Memorial. Last year I did it but this year Jim is going to do it as one of the soldiers is (was?) his uncle.

A couple of peeks inside, this is the first chapter on the village as it was in 1914 and....

.....this is part of the story of Jim's uncle with a wonderful family photo. Hopefully this year instead of being just a list of names on a brass plaque these men will become real people who once lived here in our village and whose deaths will have left a huge gap in the lives of their families and friends.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing book project Rowan! You have been very busy.

Good to see you here.

Bovey Belle said...

Oh well done, on all three counts, but especially the book of course. I know how much hard work you must have put into the research and writing it with the others.

Enjoy your day out at the Country Living christmas Fair (deeply envious!)

WOL said...

When there is no longer anyone to remember them when they were alive, what were once living, breathing human beings become reduced to statistics -- faceless names on a monument. An important part of the purpose of Remembrance Day is to remind ourselves of the terrible human cost of war. WWI pretty much wiped out a whole generation. It's not just the families of the dead who suffered a loss. These men were lost to the community as well, and any contributions they might have made were lost with them. The ancient Egyptians believed that to speak the name of the dead was to make them live again. What a very human thing you and your friends have done, to preserve the history of these men.

Kathy said...

What a lovely post.... and what a labour of love! We have a wonderful brass plaque in our school which remembers pupils and staff killed in WWI ... and a few people connected to the local church have done some research about the soldiers. It's been published online.
Good luck with the sales of your book!

Hollace said...

That is a beautiful looking Christmas cake. I remember the year my girlfriend made one and we had a giggle about her giving it 'drinks' every once in a while. Your book project sounds enormous but rewarding. It seems difficult to find accurate history from 1914 on the personal level, which this project was aiming towards. I am curious about how you found your sources since contemporaries of the fallen are also gone by now. These days a lot of attention is going to the soldiers of WWII but it is fitting to remember the soldiers and their families of the devastating WWI. Congrats on meeting your deadline.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Congratulations and well done Rowan. Your book will certainly help to bring history alive. What an achievement!

Comfrey Cottages said...

What a worthy book project! I can fully understand how time consuming such things are. Lovely cake and labels:) Have fun in London! xxx

Victoria said...

Yay Rowan..what a magnificent post! You have been busy creating ..wonderful..such a touching and lovely story and book! Shine on! Wonderful news!
and lovely and yummy treats..looks divine! Thanks for adding sparkles to my day!
Wishing you a beautiful November and magical season ahead!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Rowan, what a wonderful deed you are doing, my hat is off to you.I don't know how I've missed your last few posts, I have some catching up to do. The Christmas cake looks lovey, is it an English version of a fruitcake? The mincemeat looks so pretty too. Lucky girl, going to the Country Living Christmas Fair, sounds most enjoyable, take lots of photos to share. Your friend from across the pond, Julie.

Morning's Minion said...

As a girl one of the most moving ceremonies associated with Memorial Day was, for me, the moment when the names on our small town's War Memorial were read out. It was years later before I could recognize something of how deeply the loss of these men affected both their immediate families and future generations. Those who didn't die as a result of battle likewise gave so much--and came home forever altered.
A project which brings their names and lives again to remembrance is truly a labor of love and respect.

Diane said...

Well done Rowan - where can I buy a copy of that book? And belated happy birthday! xxxxx

Rosie said...

You have been very busy making all those lovely goodies. Glad to see your book in print it looks interesting and what a lot of research you have done to find out about those brave men. Is it only available locally? Hope you enjoy your visit to the Christmas Fair and spending your birthday money:)

Cuby said...

I opened your blog and could smell the Christmas cake mmmm........lovely. Your project for your book sounds fascinating involving a great deal of hard work. What an interesting page. Thank you.

Mac n' Janet said...

How wonderful, to write a book and have it published.
You have given new life to the dead. I just finished reading a book about WWI, Duty to the Dead, and it reminded me what a debt we owe those who have served and died.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you have been very busy and productive. It looks wonderful. Congrats on the book !!!
Have a wonderful day.

Roy said...

Creating that book was a lovely tribute D.
Such a nice thing to do. It must have been difficult to obtain the info after all this time.
The Christmas cake looks really nice.

Rowan said...

Rosie, the book is only available locally apart from two small shops in Sheffield, it was only a small print run as we know that we have a limited audience for a book like this.

Wanda..... said...

Congratulations on finishing the book, Rowan. I remember you speaking of it before and also that wonderful Christmas cake you make each year. It must be delicious!

Gracie said...

Well, if I'd live there I will surely buy a copy of your book, I like to know more about the place I live in! Great job!

debbie bailey said...

Congratulations on the publication of your book. That's a dream for a lot of us. I'm sure it'll be very well received in your own village as well as the larger world.

Granny Sue said...

Book and cakes and mincemeat, oh my! You have been busy. The cake looks awesome and the book--what a treasure.

Heidi said...

What wonderful projects to keep you busy Rowan! The Christmas cake looks perfect. Will you decorate it also just before the holidays? Normally, I see many of the English bloggers busy with Christmas cake but you are my first this year.

Hugs from Holland ~

Pattypan said...

By they look scrummy someone has been really busy.

Just to let you know that I have nominated you for an award. If you would like to visit my blog to collect the same.

Take care and enjoy