Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My mum's response ...

Well how do you like that?

It seems my mum was the "unknown author" on Grandma's diary. My grandad asked her to write some things in it - he apparently dictated much of it ...

Anyway here is my Mum's reponse to reading it all back ...

"How do I describe my feelings and thoughts of seeing my Mother's Green Five Year Diary, wrapped by a silk wide ribbon,laying upright on a cushion of my bed?

My first impulse was a feeling of Pure Love! The vibrations were hitting me so strongly knowing of its originality.

I was mesmerized, so much so I just wanted to savor the moment and its feelings as long as possible, yet at the same time wanting to enter and read its contents...

It looked so lovely sitting there.

I kept going in and out of the room, still not believing my eyes and thoughts.

Finally.....after about three hours the urge was so strong to pick it up and untie the ribbon, yet not really wanting to disturb it.

I carefully untied the ribbon,gently opened the cover, read what was written there and then read each of the following pages.

I could relate to most all she wrote about and the people she mentioned. Her written abruptly stopped on October 16th 1960 and from here someone else took over and as I continued to read I kept saying it looks like my writing, the more I read the more I knew it was my writing, but so help me I could not remember writing it,but then this was 45 years ago.

After re-reading it came to me. Yes, I now do remember writing in it for Pa. He wanted me to do the writing as he never did much writting and when he needed correspondence done he usually dictated to my Mom, now he was dictating to me.

Reading this diary has brought up many questions in my mind that need to be addressed.

Acknowledgement: Many Thanks to my niece Reba Miller for sending this Diary down to Pamela and many Thanks for sharing it with me.

Love to all! Ella Weatherill (Nee Miller)."

Monday, February 19, 2007

How it all ends ...

For those of you following the path of my grandmother's diary from Canada to Australia I have the end of the diary for you ...

If you remember right her last entry was on October 16 ...

Then the handwriting changed to someone who is currently 'unknown'. And here is how her diary ends [TISSUE ALERT for the more sensitive among you]:
October 30 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Pa got sick to-night & Ma stayed up all night to look after Pa.

October 31 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Ma took sick to-night and Pa stayed up all night to look after her.

November 1 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Bea took Ma to the hospital today.

November 2 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Bea and Michael took Pa to the hospital.

Thursday November 3 1960
[Unknown author writing]
The Dr said to-day that Pas has pleurisy & pneumonia.

November 5 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Dr said Ma has had a heart attack.

Sun November 6 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Bonko came down to-day from La Morey. Mum had 2 attacks to-day.

November 7 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Mum feels a bit better to-day. Ella [My mum] & Pete phones Pa to-day & said they would be up on Friday.

November 11 1960
[Pa’s writing] Mun wanted Ella [My mum] to write in her diary to morrow. Mum passed away smiling at 12.40. Mun knew she was leaving us. The best wife and mother in the world.
[Unknown author writing]
Ella & Pete got up to see Ma 3 times to-day. She looked grand.

November 12 1960
[Unknown author writing]
To-day is very sad. We are all mourning the loss of a wonderful mother. There’s nothing too good in this world for her. God bless Her! At last she is at peace.

November 12 1960

[Unknown author writing]
To-day has been so long. Just can’t seem to think straight. All the family stayed with Pa at the hospital when we could.

November 14 1960
[Unknown author writing]
We (the family) visited Pa at the hospital & are trying to think of the things to be arranged for Ma’s funeral.

November 15 1960
[Unknown author writing]
The family have been running around all day to get everything settles. Visited Pa all day. Elsie, Frank, Henry came up from Salmon Arm to-night.

November 16 1960
[Unknown author writing]
Bill W [My dad], Bill M & Margaret came up by bus. Ma’s funeral was to-day, we all paid her our last respects. Pa’s house was full of people, over 50. Ma had a lovely bunch of flowers. Over 50 wreaths in all. She had a lovely service at the church & the Legion had one at the cemetery, with armed guards & last post.

I will write more later, on the subject of multiple people writing in a journal, but will leave you with this lovely set of entries for now. Hopefully when My mum finishes reading the diary she will comment here so you all get to read her response!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Grandma's Diary is on its way ...

Well Grandma's diary is on its way to Bunbury W.A. to be with my Mum tomorrow ... It has been so fun having it here and reading it, scanning it, devouring it again then transcribing some of it as well ... Oh and sharing it with any poor soul who walks through the doors ...

Once I know my Mum has had a chance to read it I will tell you the story of how it ends ... just get your tissues ready ...

Can't wait to hear what my Mum has to say - it was great to read my Grandmother's diary ... imagine what it would be like to read your mother's diary????

Saturday, February 17, 2007

All things young and new ...

New life is a useful tool for the creative spirit ...

We are surrounded by it here at the moment ... new fluffy kittens (really fluffy as their Mum is a Persian tortoiseshell) and new baby budgies and more eggs ready to hatch ...

The way the kittens play, then the dogs react to the kittens playing, and even better when Mum Cat (Emily) reacts to the dogs reacting to the kittens ... it is really funny at times ...

I suggest that any writer cloistering themselves up to consider having a pet ... and I know where there are some kittens looking for a good home!!!

Madison Town ... circa 2007

Those of us bloggers with partners in real life know about the compromise... you know the one? The one where YOU want to blog, and work on your latest writing project ... and THEY want some real life interaction with you ...

We have a solution in our household! A suitably addictive hobby for my man! AND .... (drum roll) ... one that feeds my creative nature as a writer at the same time ...

Stuart has joined the millions of guys around the world that spend their time, dollars and other resources into setting up a model train and associated landscape and village! Now I must be honest here - if I wasn't so damn addicted to the writing work I do, I might even be tempted to join in (which would defeat the purpose I alluded to in the beginning) ...

While he has just started this hobby recently it was a long time in the wishing! We finally broke through the resistance, visited our local Hobby Shop and there HIS addiction began.

Madison Town has begun - and I must say its sparking all kinds of creative responses in me ... While I am not heavily in to the train part of it, I insisted that the landscape needed some people models to populate it ... and now .. I find myself writing the inner lives of the little OO size model people sitting on park benches in a vilage that is just beginning ...

But I'll stop there - non-writers will be sending the men in white coats over soon if I carry on ...

The best bit? I'm here blogging away ... and Stu is happily engaged in creating Madison Town ... where Jimmy is sitting under a tree wondering whether the couple on the bench are going to move soon so he can sit on it while he watches the trains go by ...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Saskia's Valentines Contribution!

Well she's done it again! Saskia Walker has published another hot read, and was sooooooo sweet as to send me a signed copy (nearly) in time for Valentine's Day!

As I said to my daughter " I wanna be just like her when I grow up" (despite thinking I might be a tad older than Saskia!). Saskia's new novella Sex, Lies and Bondage Tape is in KINK ... and if you like erotic romance you really need to have a read.

Us Aussie readers need to get it on Amazon - but if you're in the UK, US, or Canada you are lucky lucky punters and can buy your own hot copy!

I had fun when I picked mine up from my P.O. box ... I can never resist opening a parcel straight away, so there I was with those poor people who work a nine to five work day, first thing in the morning in their suits and office gear ... they opened their mail boxes to a day's worth of correspondence to deal with ... and ... now I'm living the writer's life ... I could stand there with my red hot copy of KINK and saunter to the local cafe for a read ... I am sure the look on their faces was one of jealousy ... or perhaps it was just intrigue at the cover of the book ...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My daughter thinks all I do is blog ...

I'm sure she thinks all I do is blog all day .... (check out the lack of blogging in the last month to see this is NOT true!).

Anyways ... she sent me a fun little site called Blog Things .... where I got this little quiz about blogging. It's all lies of course ... I have NO class when it comes to who I share my blog with ... I share it with anyone who will read it ha ha!

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Grandma's last Diary entry ....

My grandmother's diary, is from the last year that she was with us ... She died on November 11 1960 ....

Her last entry is here on October 16 1960 ...

There is actually a lot more written after this date but I don't want to spoil the reading for my Mum. I'm taking the diary down to her next Sunday. So after she has read it I will publish more here ...

It is a story worth hearing ... but be warned, you have a week to buy tissues!

Here is a picture of my (2nd) Cousin who is visiting from Canada (Carissa) and my Mum (Evelyn). It was Carissa's Mum (Reba) that sent the diary for us Aussie family to read!

Here's One for Esther's Namesake

Here's a little more of Esther Miller's diary from 1960, she was living in Quesnel, BC Canada ...

It appears that she was given the diary for Christmas 1959 ... She addressed herself as Mrs J.A. Miller (her husband was James Adelbert).

You can enlarge any of these by simply clicking on them ... it makes them clearer to read ...

I purposely put one in here where she has a win at Bingo. My sister was named after Grandma (she was born before Grandma died) ... my sister Esther married a guy with the last name of Miller so she ended up with the whole same name as our grandmother - Esther Miller! Seems they both also had Bingo in common! Winning $1.50 was obviously a big won in those days ...

There are lots of entries that give you an idea of the cold winter being married to a Railway man who worked away at times ... with grown up family and grandkids all around her.

And some references to the Cariboo region in which she lived (for 37 years it says here in this entry).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Journal Journeys

You can learn heaps from reading someones journal.

However ...

You must always remember that the journal is never the whole story. They might have been fictionalised, sanitised or written knowing someone was going to read them and thus have an audience that you aren't really sure of. They must always be rad with respect. Unless of course someone has published their own journals and I reckon that gives you full permission to critique them the same as any other publication ...

And I want to repeat here that it is rude to read the journal of another person without some kind of permission. Published journals are fine. Journals that have been willingly passed down (or given) to family members (as long as you abide by any instructions) are fine, but other than that leave journals alone. Even if you stumble across an open page of your loved one's journal sitting on your desk!!!

Having put out that proviso - I will continue writing about my grandmother's journal here. There are some pages I don't wawnt to talk about until my Mum (now head of that particular line of the family) has read it. For now tho ... I just feel like yelling from the roof tops!

It is so much fun to discover my Grandma as a mum of adult children and grandchildren. To be connecting with a part of my heritage. Especially my female heritage right now ... sitting between my own mother before me and my daughter coming up behind ...

Does your diary or journal provide useful stories and memories for a future generation?(Click on images to enlarge)

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Grandmother's Journal is in Australia (travelled from Canada!)

(double click on picture to enlarge)

I am actually rather overwhelmed today. Really overwhelmed to be honest.

Regular 'New Century Notebook' readers will know the basic background ... but here's a summary. I live in Perth Western Australia - possibly the furtherest Capital City from British Columbia Canada where I was born. I left there when I was 8 ... (yeah you can do the maths and work out my age ... it was 1970 when we left). The only blood family here in Australia are my kids, mum and dad, one brother ( & his kids) and my sister. I grew up not knowing my extended family - and with sketchy memories to say the least. My Grandma died 2 years before I was born.

Recently, my cousin's daughter has come to visit us here from Canada. It's been a blast having family around .... and one of the stories she told was about having read her Great Grandmother's diary. Check out previous post regarding my excitement that there was even a diary in existence ... My partner Stuart put up with me ranting non stop about how I really wanted to read Grandma's journal ... I needed to read it ... but didn't dare think I could actually hold it in my hands, thousands of miles from its origins ...

... The diary is now here ... sitting on my desk ... in front of me ...

You can only imagine the crazy emotions. I collect old diaries as part of my research, and to have my grandmother's here is such a gift. My cousin Reba is the most amazing cousin to have (albeit across the miles). First she lent us her daughter Carissa for a while (!) and then she posted the diary so we could all have a read here in the Antipodes.

I will feature the diary in some future posts - believe me there is some tear jerking to come. For now I just wanted to let regular readers know the exciting news and say a big THANK YOU to my cousin Reba!

Typo Queen

OK OK OK ... I get the message.

Those of you who are sick and tired of my typos will be pleased to know that I have downloaded Blogger for Word and the typos should cease.

I understand your frustration - imagine how I feel? Freelance writer, editing, lecturing and marking University papers for goodness sakes.

But ... consider this ... I am so comfortable in the company of such a wonderful blogging community that my typos are merely a demonstration of my comfort with you - a little like wearing ugg boots around the house when no one is looking ...

I mean really ... my blog is like one of my notebooks ... and perfect just ain't part of the game ...

I hereby promise to take more time when I am blogging and not irritate the more perfect of you in the blogosphere ... hee hee