Saturday, February 14, 2015

Easy Rider revisited

Friday 13 February 2015

Mild 4 degrees rising to 15
Sunny with tiny mackerel cloud banks

Rise early with sunlight filtering through the shutters.  A frisky wind is chasing the leaves around the courtyard and the crows are cawing in the high poplars.  Put on full war paint and smart clothing ahead of Austrian client visits.  Austrian rings to say he is still 80 kms away and thinks he can do it in half an hour.  I suggest 45 minutes is more appropriate and take the delighted dog for a quick walk.

An hour later, I am in the town hotel foyer with the Austrian, who reminds me of a rugged, older version of Peter Fonda in Easy Rider.  He has round steel rimmed glasses which change hue with the sunlight and likes 'a little smoke'.  He has done many continents on the back of a Harley Davidson and worked all over the world.

thanks Rolling Stone magazine

He now wants to find a house which is 'it'.  He currently lives on a remote island at the top end of Europe.  His wife wants something livelier.  My colleague had told me that they didn't want a house in the town, they didn't want neighbours, they wanted lots of land. Ah no! said the client 'I have changed my mind on all that, we want to be able to walk to the shops'.  I say silent thanks to perspicacity that lead me to bring a whole bag full of keys for all types of housing.  

First house is south about 15 minutes.  The owner lurks in the garden and his gorgeous dogs follow us around, sitting in the doorways whilst we look at the rooms, and wagging their tales encouragingly.  The kids have left home and there is a lot less clobber in their rooms.  Discover it has made it all into the loft, but there is plenty of room up there.  The client sniffs and has a little smoke and says the house is too classic, too square.  I think he may be concerned by the bamboo also.  The owner had pointed to a fresh springy 9 metre outcrop and said it was last seasons growth.  Must remind him not to say that to future buyers.  He has fortunately stopped telling people about Japanese bamboo torture techniques.  You can know too much about bamboo imo.

We go to the next house and he says the village is 'not interesting'.  Actually it isn't at all. We go to the nearest village and have another coffee and another little smoke.  He tells me that he is very impressed with my area and it is much more interesting than to the north. The locals peer at him through the steamy windows (we are the only ones on the terrace and the frisky wind is doing nothing for my coiffure) like he is an exotic specimen, which he is.  

Back to my town and I discover I havent brought the right keys for the house we are standing outside of.  He doesnt like it anyway.  To last house and he is very impressed and takes many, many photos.  I drop him back off at the hotel and catch up with OH at the rental units.  He is sanding and the air is full of particles.  Back home and have lunch and walk dog and do masses of dishes (again!) and battle with fire.  Feel very tired.  Have remains of last night's chili.

Talk on Skype to WF who is progressing well and making sales.  He says two people have been fired - one for leaving messages in an Indian accent (hilarious!!) and the other for refusing to do outbound calls.  OH talks to him about doing professional exams.  He has had today and yesterday off and is working the weekend.  He is also earning more than RJ from whom we have not heard in a few weeks.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Playing on the heartstrings of desperate people

Thursday 12 February 2015

4 degrees rising to 15!

Rose early to listen to the replay of E Herv Eker's 'Masterclass' on MindValley.  If possible, it was even lighter on content than that of Christie Sheldon and lasted two and a half hours. The joy of the replay is being able to bypass the obligatory sob story (76 minutes) and then, what a surprise, he makes a breakthrough by embracing the idea that he can be spiritual and really, really, really (he loves repetition) rich.  He also gives us the nugget that your route to success must match who you are.  Much, much later, he does a visualisation of being at a fork in the road and going in the right hand direction and all is bad etc etc and how does that make you feel and then back to the fork in the road and take the left hand road and all is wonderful.  And to take the right fork, you have to buy his Spiritual Laws of Money products and they are nearly 300 dollars.   Apparently 147 people signed up for this crap on the first day.  Oh, sad and desperate people.   If Eker is indeed a multi, multi (counted to ten on his fingers) millionnaire and desperately wants to help people, why the fuck is he charging them?   The first step to being a millionnaire is to have your scruples cut out and burn them.   Decided to write a help book myself.

Dropped off utility vehicle for MOT then back home to drop off OH and go to meet today's clients.

Hung around in a car park, waiting for the clients, and they were waiting in a different car park.  Finally met up and took them to the house and they were impressed by the interior, which is indeed lovely.  They were not so keen by the barricades erected by the frankly strange neighbour and also there were quite a few trees.  They are selling because there are a lot of trees and the guy is fed up of picking up the leaves.  We are there for well over an hour.  They are going to draw up a list of favourite properties to revisit next week and will then make a decision.  I suggest two other properties and send them the details.

Back home and find OH just about to take the dog out and did I want to trail around in the mud with him.  No I didnt.  Not pleased to find that, yet again, no dishes washed and crap all over the floor.  Cleaned up, in bad mood.  Filed papers that were trailing around everywhere.  Looking at my meter readings for the rental units, I really hope I have read them incorrectly because the difference between last years consumption and this one is absolutely vast and over 1000 euros.

Made chili and did the VAT return online after having turned out all my bags and pockets to find the maximum of chargeable receipts.

Down at the gym, my subscription card had disappeared and no one was available to help so I took the card of a person with a similar sounding name and dived into the blissfully warm and frothing waters.  The lifeguard did notice and I said it was a mistake and he said OK and went back to throwing the bikes in the small pool for the aquabike session.  They landed with some force and large waves splashed over the people who were still doing lengths.  Sod health and safety.  You have just got to love it.

Did 30 lengths and the sun shone on the water and steam rose off the wavelets.  Heaven. Watched GBSB.  Very difficult waistcoat as first task then some brilliant relooking projects and then a 3d construction exercise.  Puffing, pouting black haired lady bunged off.  Men are very strong contenders this year.

A day of bits and pieces

Wednesday 11 February 2015

2 degrees rising to 12
sun at last feeling like it has some warmth

Retook mandate on a property which I had had some time ago.  Perched on a ridge and with a fabulous garden and a swimming pool which is in great condition, it is inhabited by a lady from Andalusia and her Portuguese husband.  We speak of Ronda and she tells me how much building has gone on there, that the last time she went with her sister, it was an hour before they managed to find the house in which she had lived the first 15 years of her life. She spent many years in France, as did I, and she said she found the French very 'closed' - meaning not open to relationships with others and also with the meaning of not entertaining new ideas.  I asked her why the Spanish are so different - why do they all live in apartments, even in the middle of the country where there are acres of land - why they all promenade in the evening - why no one goes to bed before the early hours of the morning? She didn't know but said that everyone knew everyone in a town and that could only be a good thing. We laughed and agreed that the Spanish were not at all, in any way, like the French.

Their house is not so lovely from the inside and has the most villainous artex, in a selection of patterns for the visitor to detest, over all of the interior walls.  Not sure I could live with it. It transpires that my clients for tomorrow have indeed seen the house and the artex was a big no-no.

Back home for quick lunch then had to take the utility vehicle for new tyres before the MOT tomorrow.  A long wait, horrible coffee from the machine, and an interesting article on how people in French kitchens are abused, treated like dogs, made to drink water that they have over salted, kicked up the bums and punched. Shame on you Joel Robuchon!

Finally liberated and went to take back a Livebox to the phone shop, then tried to get a certificate out of the social security office for an English couple who have gone back to England and are still officially in the system because they have not asked for this certificate. You have to write a letter - text the man, who we were great friends with and give him the words to write.   Have good coffee and doughnut in a local store and watch the locals drinking wine and beer and small children warming up on hot chocolate and cakes.  Back to our town and pick up some keys for the visit tomorrow.   Look at the car and realise the poor MOT man will not be able to see a thing so have to take it to the car wash and blast off the mud and crud.

Back home and OH is making a throw it all in the pot casserole.  Rabbit and red wine that was too horrible to drink with some chili.  Not his most successful dish.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Snow, snow, not glorious snow (if you live in Boston)

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Cold start but warming to 9 degrees later

You may be forgiven for thinking that I never do any visits with buyers, having read and digested my posts for this month.  Estate agency is feast or famine. Just you wait til May. You will have your fill.  May is always manic but often the rest of the year, clients are sporadic.  Hence why I will be winning the Lotto on Friday 13th, mysteriously seen as lucky out here, and never doing estate agency again. A neighbour once said to me, how lovely it must be to spend my time looking at houses and talking to people.  That bit is lovely, and often hilarious.  The wrangling over furniture, undisclosed information, difficulties of communication, legalities and sheer pig headedness is not.  Being self employed means that if I do not sell, I do not earn.  Every time I go out with a buyer, the WTF demon is sitting at the back of my brain and whispering 'you had better sell to this one, Mrs'.  I hide my desperation and despair under a cheery air and happy smile but I wonder if it seeps out and makes an invisible cloud around me.  Part of the journey this year is to dispel the unhappiness and longing for another life and to become at the very base level, accepting of what I have and content with it.

OH went out to dog walk and shop and I caught up with emails and did VAT return.  List of things seems to be getting longer rather than shorter.  After at least three blissfully peaceful hours, OH rang and said the car had broken down in a village where there was no mobile reception so he had had an extra long walk up a hill.  He was not in the best of moods. Went out and recovered him - a tyre had blown out.  Back home to have cup of tea and get tools and then an hour getting the old tyre off and the new one on.  That ate up the rest of the day.

Thursdays client rang up and said he wanted to cancel one of the appointments so got on my thinking hat and found a house which I had had on sale last year.  Rang up the owners and they were interested in putting their house back on market.  On Friday I will be seeing a guy who appears to be seeing every house between me and Paris.

Went out and tackled the passion vine which had taken the opportunity to develop a stem thicker than my wrist and run riot over the cow shed.   Unravelled it from the wisteria, which it must be suppressing, and left elbows of it sticking out where I couldn't reach at it.  Sawed off the stem.  Noted lots of little sprouts of it which had rooted in the lower bed.  Sun was warm and gentle.  Blue tits and great tits queuing up on the bird table to enjoy the balls of fat.

Client in the States sent me pictures of her dogs in the snow.  I think they are very small dogs but apparently the snow is very very deep.  She says her dogs are fed up of it and so is she.   Boston is running out of spaces for where to put it

The Great Snow Of 2015

Recently, I wrote about the Great Snow of 1717 a series of 4 storms in 10 days. When that event was over, Cotton Mather reported 3 feet of snow in Boston Common in what was an unprecedented snow event. Fast forward almost exactly 300 years and we have done it again and then some. What’s transpired meteorologically the past 18 days is simply amazing. Part of the reason it’s so incredible is because we don’t have anything officially in the record books to compare this to. We’ve had more snow than any other 14,20 or even 30 day period since the late 1800s and there is still more snow in the forecast.
winter 201512143.png

It's not only the snow, but the cold too. Since the onslaught of snow began the lack of warm air has kept much of the snow from melting. Ironically, it's the prolonged cold which has allowed the snow to pile so high, but has also prevented a heavy wet snow which would have been devastating to the power grid.
There are so many ways to view all this snow. Meteorologcially it’s fascinating to see records being shattered. But the records only go back 130 years or so, a small amount of time when you widen the window of the past beyond what we’ve recorded. How do we know this type of event wasn’t occurring 500 years ago or some other time period? It’s historical to us, in our records, but where it fits in the big picture we really have no idea.
We try to form some meaning around it all, but in actuality it’s just a lot of snow. In 8 weeks, it will be gone, just a few large piles remaining in scattered parking lots or in the deep shade on the north side of your house.
This area many of us live and work is a leader in so many arenas. Millions of us go to daily jobs feeling the pressure of performing for our co-workers, our boss or self-imposed ideas on taking our career to a higher level. Now, the snow has just put a halt to much of it. Sure you can work from home, but the meeting you had yesterday or today is cancelled. While the day off might seem relaxing for some, stress levels may have actually increased due to the lack of being able to get stuff done. Students are missing school, teachers aren’t able to teach, a house that was being built down the road halted construction and the state’s largest mass transit system isn’t even working.
In 1987 when the stock market crashed it looked like a really big deal and in many ways it was. But nearly 28 years later that dip has been smoothed by time and is barely noticeable on a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial over the past 100 years. At some point in the future, maybe next week, maybe next year, all that is being missed during this Great Snow of 2015 will be barely a memory. You’ll likely remember the snowbanks, the shoveling, the days off from school, but most of the other stuff just fades with time.
This isn’t to diminish the real affects and pain the snow is causing. Medical emergencies and other public safety issues are real and hurt real people. The snow has highlighted what we all knew; the public transit system on which so many depend isn’t dependable. I can’t imagine the pressure being felt by those charged with maintaining or managing this system. The snow has reminded us of the vulnerability of so many who reply on on public transportation in getting from point A to B. If we add another major storm, the danger level in Boston and other urban areas will grow even more precarious.
20 days ago, when the ground was bare, traffic was a part of living here. Today, because of the snow, the use of a car in the areas hardest hit by all the snow takes on a whole new meaning. At least for the next few weeks, the added time to go somewhere must now be factored in to our lives. Trillions upon trillions of tiny crystals have forced a collective traffic jam normally reserved for Friday night commutes to Cape Cod in the summer or the occasional weekday snowstorm in winter.
The Great Snow of 2015 isn’t over. There is more snow coming Thursday and perhaps again on Sunday. I'll update here and on Twitter @growingwisdom on those two possibilities later today.

As the streets continue to narrow and our tolerance and patience for the transformed world we live grows short, think about the collective experience all of us are sharing. No one is immune from these storms; all of us have our own way of existing during this historical period of weather. You might not be fazed by the winter onslaught, perhaps you even enjoy it. Maybe you would do anything to be anywhere else, but no matter what your feelings about it, we’re all living it. Everyone has a story about the snow or what the snow is doing. Ice dams might force water to be coming down the walls of your living room, or the snow banks are so high you take your life into your hands every time you pull out of your driveway. Maybe you’ve shoveled paths or even tunnels for your dog or child so much your aching back is making it hard to walk correctly. Perhaps you’ve been feeling like you’re solely responsible for keeping the birds alive through all these storms. Or possibly, you’ve made more money than you could ever have hoped for in a single winter season plowing.
Whatever your personal take on this, everyone is connected, because most of us can't escape the weather. We often use the term "hardy" as a way for New Englanders to describe ourselves. We are agile and nimble, smart and innovative, we will keep on shoveling and pushing through, that is what we do. When summer arrives, we’ll still talk about it, brag about it, show pictures of it and recount how collectively, how we shoveled, pushed, climbed, and moved all that snow making it through the Great Snow of 2015.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heart of Glass

Monday 9 February 2015

Distinctly warmer feel to the air 4 degrees

OH feeling ill again.  I go down to the shops and get stuck in the Monday morning supermarket shop queues.  People shop on a daily basis here, and, deprived of being able to shop on a Sunday, shop to drop on a Monday.   I always let people with a few items go ahead of me.  The locals practice a special eye swivelling motion which means they can unload their massive trolleys, very slowly, onto the moving carpets and then pay by cheque, but only after having extracted wads of vouchers from their wallets.  RJ has a theory that queues containing women are slow and queues containing old women are mortal.  I now follow his theory of going for queues containing as many men as possible, and ideally young men.  It still takes a long time.  Get back home and OH has crawled out of bed so we look at the weekends emails.  

Speak to colleague in the North who is sending down a Swiss client at the end of the week. He is seeing a huge range of property in three different geographic areas.  Not a good prognosis.  My area easily the most expensive.  Also speak to the clients who were down a couple of weeks ago.  He has decided to buy in the Alps.  Bugger.

OH has gone back to burning things in the garden so I go for a swim and am not recognised by the partner of a friend.  I know I havent seen him for ages but I didnt think I had changed that much.  He shows me his hip replacement scar.  Nice.

I phone a local man who has just sold his house and is hot to go.  He only wants to see the houses he has selected and is rather short tempered.  One of the vendors I ring has the dreadful news that his wife has colon cancer.  Poor lady!  Her dream was to go back to the UK and spend time with her grandchildren.  Fix up other visits.  Discover that the client has been out with my partner agent who has been showing him very expensive houses and says the client had expressed interest in one.  Mine are cheaper  but I now only have two to show.  Look through my old, withdrawn properties and find one that is good.  Too late to ring as it was then 8.30.

OH decides to 'treat' me to another cultural evening of yet another Werner Herzog film.  A film of such utter bizarreness, that the Wrath of God seemed almost normal.  It kicked off with a savant cowherd looking at cows.  That was about ten minutes.  OH said we would give it until the break to see if it 'warmed up'.  A crowd of the most strange people then appeared to ask the cowherd to come and save them from the giant who was ripping out their hearts.  The cowherd told them it was just a dwarf and they were looking at his shadow.  When we had finished laughing, I managed to go to sleep for a while. Unfortunately, when I woke up, it was still on.  Two men were facing one another across a table.  One said, I will sleep off my hangover on your corpse.  He then smashed his glass over the other guys head.   Later on, when there had been an accident in a barn and one man was dead and the other insensible across his body, everyone said the cowherd was right and towards the end of the film, the drunk brought the corpse into the bar and danced with it.  Bavarian glassmakers had lost the knowledge of how to make the ruby glass and their Lord was as mad as a box of frogs.   The evenings entertainment was rounded off with an episode of the Beverley Hillbillies.  Now that is what I do call entertainment (especially after Heart of Glass)

Here is a review by someone who liked the film,

Werner Herzog's "Heart of Glass" (1976) is a vision of man's future as desolation. In a film set entirely in a Bavarian village around 1800, it foresees the wars and calamities of the next two centuries and extends on into the 21st with humanity's nightfall. In the story of the failure of a small glassblowing factory, it sees the rise and collapse of the industrial revolution, the despair of communities depending on manufacture, the aimlessness of men and women without a sense of purpose.
None of these things is specifically stated. They come in the form of prophecies by a shepherd, who pronounces them in a trance to townspeople who think he must be mad. His words don't specify any of the events we know to have taken place, but they're uncanny in their ability to evoke what was coming. His words are the way a man might describe nuclear destruction, tyranny, ecological disaster and the dominance of the crowd over the individual--if that man lacked words for the fearful images that appeared to him.
This is one of the least seen and most famous of Herzog's films, known as the one where most of the actors were hypnotized in most of the scenes. It hasn't been much seen, perhaps because it isn't to the taste of most people, seeming too slow, dark and despairing. There's no proper story, no conclusion, and the final scene is a parable seemingly not connected to anything that has gone before. I think it should be approached like a piece of music, in which we comprehend everything in terms of mood and aura, and know how it makes us feel even if we can't say what it makes us think.
Herzog's canvas has two shots from the tops of peaks, looking down over the earth. For the rest, he sets his film entirely within the village, in a few houses, a beer hall, a glass factory, and in the surrounding forest. The people depend for their existence on the manufacture of beautiful and valued rose-colored glassware. The master glassmaker Muhlbeck has died, taking to the grave the secret of the glass. Desperate experiments are undertaken to rediscover the recipe, but all fail. A reasonable person might say, "All right then, the factory can make other kinds of glass." There are no reasonable people in the village.
Herzog indeed hypnotized them for most of the scenes; that is not simply publicity. The dialogue which they repeat under hypnosis is pronounced with a dread certainty. It lacks life and individuality. Is this how hypnotized people speak? Not necessarily. Usually they speak more like--themselves. Eerily, it occurs to me that what we may actually be hearing are the intonations of Herzog's own voice as he hypnotized them and told them what to say. He is acting through them.
He removes all individuality from the performances. He removes all self-awareness. These are not "characters," although they have distinct characteristics. They are men who have had their souls taken from them by the failure of their work. With nothing to do and nothing to hope for, they no longer have the will to survive. I am reminded of the Chinese factory workers in the documentary "Last Train Home," who leave the provinces and live in dormitories to work for meager wages which they send home to support their children. It is a dismal life, but it is a purpose, and if while absent 50 weeks a year they lose the love of their children, then the secret of the glass has been lost.
Certain citizens stand out from the small population. There is Hias (Joseph Bierbichler), the prophetic shepherd. The heir to the factory. The dwarfish sycophant. A brazen woman. A glass blower. Two friends, who quarrel and fall drunken from a hayloft, one living, one dying because his body cushions the other's fall. The survivor dances inconsolably with his friend's body. His macabre dance, and many other scenes, take place within a beer hall where the people drink and stare. In a well-known scene, one of the friends breaks a beer stain over the head of the other, who doesn't react. Then, slowly, he pours his own beer over the first one's head, again getting no reaction.
You can sense what Herzog is getting at. In the ordinary world one man doesn't break a mug over another's head without some ostensible reason, based on their personalities, the situation, and what they've said. All of that is redundant for Herzog's purpose. He shows the essence of the two men quarreling. They require no occasion. They are bereft of reason and a purpose for living, and reduced to automatons of hopelessness and hostility.
The interiors are darkly lit, with shadows gathered around them. The music of Popul Vul seems like melodies from Purgatory. Ordinary conversation is lacking, ordinary routines abandoned. These are people solemnly waiting for…nothing. Although some have found the film slow and one reported dozing off, I find it terrifying in its emptiness. It is like looking down into a vertiginous fall at the edge of time. Like many good "slow" films, it seems to move more quickly on additional viewings.
I mentioned two scenes on mountain peaks. They open and close the film. The first shows a man looking down into a vast valley, through which a river of clouds pours. In 1976 these clouds were not created by CGI; Herzog used special effects to combine the man and the image. I learn he worked 12 days to get the shot. The effect is haunting. What it evokes for me is the sense of Man standing above Time and glimpsing it on its flow toward Eternity. I learn from the critic Neil Young that Herzog's "debt to 19th-century German artists is evident, with Caspar David Friedrich prominent among the influences." He says this shot "recreates his famous 'Wanderer Over a Sea of Fog'."
The final scene involves a man on a mountain peak who looks out to sea. Herzog intercuts sea birds on the mountain side, moving in nervous waves of flight. A narrator explains that the man concludes there must be something on the other side of the ocean. Transfixed by his conviction, men set out to cross the sea, rowing with fierce determination in a pitifully small boat after land disappears behind them and no land appears before them. The narrator tells us they took it as a good omen that the birds followed them out to sea.
What does this mean? It is better to row into oblivion than to wait for it to come to you? I don't know. Some images are complete without translation into words. "Heart of Glass" strikes me as a film of such images. From it I get a feeling that evokes my gloom as I see a world sinking into self-destruction, and feel I am lucky to be old because there may not be another lifetime's length of happiness left for most people on this planet. For most of my time here there was still rose-colored glass.
Herzog fascinates me. I feel a film like "Heart of Glass" comes as close to any single one of his titles to expressing the inchoate feelings in his heart. He was once asked what he would do if he had one day to live. It's a meaningless question, but I appreciated his answer: "Martin Luther said that if he knew the world were ending tomorrow, he would plant a tree. I would start a new film."

Brambling in the pale winter sun

Sunday 8 February 2015

White and cold and -2

Had thought we were going to an art gallery today but OH said we needed to combine trip with a visit to a DIY store, so will have to be later in the week.  Sun was out so we walked the land and discovered that the brambles were strangling the mixed hedging planted over a couple of autumns ago.

OH watched rugby and I tackled the brambles which were tip rooted as well as very deeply main rooted.  Got off two huge barrow loads.  Discovered beautiful briar rose growing in the thicket so left that to flower over the hedge this summer.  Brambles up to five metres long and intertwined in the hedge.  Took some time and OH came out and assisted and I then left him to play his favourite winter game of 'pick up sticks' and he made a huge bonfire. Dog enjoys playing pick up sticks too but is rubbish at putting them on the fire.

Put the chicken and potatoes on to roast and went back to looking at family history.  Made more progress with my Aunt Alice, whose christian name was relatively unusual in the late 19th century.  Having found a site which gives free access to the censuses, I found an Alice Roberts living with a Chetwood family in 1911 and she was their grand daughter aged 6 and born in Llanfyllin in Montgomeryshire.  She had become a Chetwood by the time she married my Uncle Alfred in 1931.   I am now wondering if both my grandmother, Ada, married a Chetwood but was actually born a Roberts, and had Alice before she married. That could be another reason why Alice was born in such a remote corner of Wales.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Why did my rellies keep changing names?

Saturday 7 February 2015

4 degrees

OH had long lie in whilst I battled with my changing name relations.   I find an Ada Rosanna Roberts born 1888.  However, when I find mum and her siblings, the maiden name of the mother is Chatwood/Chetwood.  I find an Ada Chetwood marrying my grandfather Frank Richards.  Looking through my old diaries, I find some information following a discussion I had with mum.  Oh why didnt I write down more?  Even so, trying to get a logical sequence of events out of my mother was like chasing a very small rabbit around a very large warren.  It appears that my maternal great grandmother was called Roberts.  Oh bugger, that it makes it easy (not).  Looking through which I discovered has free access to the census records!!!, I find my Aunt Mabel aged 6 living with her grandparents in Shropshire.  She is bearing the name Roberts at this point - but is called Chetwood by the time she marries my uncle Alf in 1931.  I am very confused.  I still cant find anyone by the name of Ada Chetwood or Chatwood linked with the name Roberts in the late 19th century.  This is all riveting but I think there is more to be discovered.  Mum had a huge box full of family photos and information.  Must ring up my cousin and sister.

OH traipsed me around some more boggy fields. It was not interesting.  Went for a foul coffee and bought lottery tickets for this evening.  When I win the lotto, I am paying something to delve into my name swopping relatives.