Sunday, August 11, 2013

it's all in the details...

today was trip planning day

 plane tickets are bought, rail passes and pounds sterling are ordered, the london hotel is booked and today was all about the itinerary...

we have a beautiful large work table in the garage, just the right size to spread out an extra-large map and just the right height to stand and pore over it for hours... ipad in one hand with the britrail map in view... pen in the other for making notes

mentally over-lapping the two to see if we can get where we want to go

it really didn't take all that long - we had a fairly good idea of where we need to go to see what we want to see - it was more a matter of deciding how many days to stay where

 in looking so very closely at the map, it was amazing to me how many of the place names are familiar...the early canadian settlers were not very imaginative when it came to naming towns and rivers...

and along with finding the original holders of many canadian place-names, i found reading the map was also like re-visiting old nursery rhymes...

"ride a cock horse to banbury cross
to see a fine lady upon a white horse
with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
she shall have music where ever she goes"

sometimes i get overwhelmed when i think of how much england and scotland are so completely entwined with who i am... nursery rhymes, poetry, high school english literature and western civilization classes, geography and of course, family history

the people in the photograph below are one set of great-grandparents, the ones that emigrated to canada from scotland less than 100 years ago; above is where they came from

the child in the photograph was my grand-father, pictured below with his wife, my grand-mother

my grand-mother's mother emigrated from england along with her mother at around about the same time, her husband following a little later

the ring you see above and again below, was given to me on my wedding day; it belonged to my grand-mother's grand-mother, my great-great-grandmother julia

 oddly enough i've managed to trace julia's family back to scotland as well, to a small town about 12 miles from where my grand-father's family had lived for generations... small, small world

i'm taking the ring with me

maybe i've seen and read "lord of the rings" too many times, but ever since it was given to me i have known i would take it back someday... for whatever reason, i know i have to wear that ring on this trip

after scotland we go to the south of england

marc has a hankering to go to penzance

"a cannibal bold of penzance
ate an uncle and two of his aunts
a cow and a calf, an ox and half
and now he can't button his pants!"

 in my searching out of family history, i have had less success with my mother's side... her maternal grand-parents also emigrated from england, from westham but so far that's all i know

gentleman, caddy, turvey, eadie, henderson, whitehead, roberts, marshall, their names are tumbling around in my head, fleeting images of sober faces in dark clothes

(sometimes i forget that though their pictures may have been taken in black and white, the world they lived in was filled with the same beautiful colours we see today...)

i want to see where they lived, look at the same stars sparkling and wheeling in the night-sky, watch the same trees dancing in the wind, older now, and bigger, follow well-worn paths, smoothed a little by their very steps, and marvel at the water that still runs in the same river, sparkling in the sun as it streams through the little villages they called home...


Angela Richardson said...

Hi Jillayne,
My daughter, as a child, thought the world was black and white and was quite surprised when I assured her that we too had colour.
It sound like your planning is coming along wonderfully.
I've often visited these places and have been picturing them as I read your post.
Many old English towns have a stone monument at a cross roads, Banbury being one of them.
Penzance is in Cornwall, my favourite county, with St Ives nearby, with it's art galleries and beautiful light.
I'm so looking forward to meeting on your trip.
Have fun planning!!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh my what a wonderful trip you are planning. History and romance.

Enjoy and I look forward to hearing all about it when you get back.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Marj Talbot said...

You are planning such a wonderful trip - one to remember forever.
As I look through this post, it reminds me of the many black and white pictures that I "sifted" through while putting together our family memory book. While my grandparents/parents came from different parts of the world, so many things were the same. The clothes, the styles, the homes, so much the same yet different. While we live different lives in different places, we are so much the same.

Mosaic Magpie said...

The photo of the ring, speaks nice for you to wear it "home" again.

karen said...

I am so excited reading this!! You will go to places I have never been...Penzance...I have never been further south than Kent...never over ''the other side''....

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Oh boy! What a totally fun adventure this is going to be!

Createology said...

Jillayne Dear what a blessed and treasured trip this will be. To experience your childhood dream and to visit your ancestral past is once in a lifetime bliss. Your planning will pay off so that you can enjoy the days while you are there. To wear your ring home again is amazing. Plan away dear...

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,
How wonderful for you, that you are able to take for a vacation to Scotland, and England, and to searge for your relatives history ,and maybe visiting the cities and places they lived!! So interesting and special for you. I love the old verces you shared :-)
When are you leaving Jillayne?
Thankyou for your lovely comment ,and kind wisches.
We have had wonderful weeks together,- but now the school started ,and I am also back to normal!!
I wish you a happy week, my friend.

Tina @ TinyBear Studio said...

I do see some familiar towns and places on your map. Bleinheim Palace, Woodstock, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheltenham :-)
You´re going to have a wonderful trip.
Will you be up near Liverpool? I´m leaving London on Sept. 10 for Liverpool and will be there until saturday 14th. After that´I´ll be in Morecambe with the Lakes

epocktextiles said...

Rest assured that you Canadians are not the only ones with all those place names from the "mother country" - Australia as well. Lucky you to be doing such a trip. When I was 18 and on an exchange in Indiana, I was able to visit the graves of my Great-great-great-grandparents - yes its a small world

epocktextiles said...

Rest assured that you Canadians are not the only ones with all those place names from the "mother country" - Australia as well. Lucky you to be doing such a trip. When I was 18 and on an exchange in Indiana, I was able to visit the graves of my Great-great-great-grandparents - yes its a small world

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Jillayne, how wonderful that you are taking your great-great-grandmother's ring with you on your magical journey; completing the circle. Safe and wonderful travels and watch out for the pirates in Penzance!

Monica said...

Haha! I even see my home on the map!:)
You will have a gooorgeous time here, Jillayne!