I really enjoy winter days like today. It's rather grey and miserable, the once pristine snow is now slushy and dirty looking and it's the perfect day for staying inside and doing interesting things. All three of the things are connected with my daughter-in-law Cesca in one way or another:) In the autumn she asked me if I would do this cross stitch sampler for her and so here it is well on the way. I'm enjoying stitching it as it is uses all my favourite colours and is depicting my favourite season.
In between stitching I'm re-reading some books by George Ewart Evans who wrote several books about the area of Suffolk where Cesca comes from. They are based on the many oral history recordings he made of local people. The books were originally published in the 1950s so many of the old people were born in and clearly remembered rural life in the 19th century. I've almost finished 'Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay' and shall be moving on to ' The Crooked Scythe' shortly. I've also just acquired 'The Horse in the Furrow' which is saving the best until last as far as I'm concerned as I have a real love of the big working horses and the old horsemen who spent their days ploughing and reaping and sowing. I'm hoping to do a post on the subject soon if I can find photographs to use whose copyright owners don't wish to charge me £10 for using them rather than just settling for an ackowledgement!! I do have a particular person in mind here of course.
Last but by no means least is some family history research again in Suffolk. Cesca's paternal ancestors include some of the old Suffolk horsemen and also a newly discovered shepherd. Soon I shall have to abandon the computer and spend some time in Ipswich looking at Parish Registers. There's only so much that you can do online then you need to go back to the old-fashioned way of researching so that you can check and cross check the information you have. I have to say that I'm happy to have any excuse to spend time in Suffolk - and also Essex now that I've found the shepherd who came from St Osyth. So which of my possible pastimes shall I follow now? The family history trail I think:)