Saturday, 1 May 2010

Catching Up

Happy May Day everyone. Did anyone wash their hair in the May morning dew today? No, neither did I but I can tell you - it works.

Twenty-seven years ago I walked around the grounds of Pendley Manor in Tring, Hertfordshire in the early hours of the morning of May 1st (I remember because I walked with M, who was my new boyfriend at the time). We got soaked because it was raining - you know, that fine misty rain that fools you into thinking you're not really getting wet. In the weeks that followed I had so many compliments about my hair. Never had it looked so good. I put it down to the May day dew. Or perhaps it was love, who knows?


A few weeks ago I won my very first giveaway prize:

Donna at Brynwood Needleworks drew my name out of the hat. My prize was waiting for me when I returned from my extended holiday. An Alice in Wonderland bookmark.

Thank you so much, Donna. I'm thrilled.

You may remember that I also received this award from Funkymonkey and Vintage at the Corner House:

I was to list five things I enjoy doing. So, rather belatedly, here they are:


I love it. I feel so happy when I'm walking around talking to the stall holders, picking up a bargain. As a child I was always searching for treasure. I guess this is the adult version. I'm thrilled the season has started again, but it looks like being a washout this weekend. Sigh.


Oh the hours I've spent doing this. It's one of my favourite occupations and it's a must for writing fiction. Many of my stories have evolved because of my musings of 'What if...?'. And of course, it's a world only you control - anything can happen.


Even a year ago this would not have appeared on my list. For some reason, an interest in gardening has just exploded within me. Right now I'm so excited to find the garden changing daily with things growing, opening, appearing. We are fortunate to have quite a large garden but it's a bit boring. Just a lawn and a narrow bed running in a straight line either side. A few apple trees, a few shrubs and that's it. Well, things are about to change! I have such plans and a lot of enthusiasm. Just hope my back holds out!


Going to it and taking part in it. When I walk into my community theatre I feel so at home. I love being involved in a play, watching it develop along with all the characters. The absolute fear before curtain up and the elation after. Wonderful. Going to the theatre is one of the few things M and I share an interest in. In fact we met because of the theatre. Would you like to hear the story?

Once upon a time my theatre group was putting on a review called 'Rags to Riches'. I was singing Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend. Now, I thought I knew where the audience might laugh and was prepared for it. Unfortunately, when a lone, loud laugh (M's) exploded from the audience at a place in the song I hadn't expected a laugh, I'm afraid it threw me (had my wig slipped? Had my robe come undone?) and I forgot the next line of the song. After the show M went backstage wanting to know 'Who was that fantastic blond?' and I went backstage saying 'Who was that *%@!** @*$#!! who put me off my song?'

We've been in love ever since!


I began my research many years ago when it involved taking time off work to go to St. Catherine's House in London and spend the day heaving huge ledgers off the shelves and fighting for a space on the tables on which to put them. It is SOOOO much easier now that many records are on the Internet and I have found out so much more than I ever could because of it. I am interested in everyone, but mostly my female line. There's something about the womb-to-womb trail that intrigues me. I have a set of Russian dolls, one for each woman starting with the smallest which is my daughter. It helps her to memorise the women we came from. There are nine dolls. I need to go back just one more generation to complete the set.


Andi xx


  1. No, no morning dew for me: too cold lol! Nice to read a bit more about you.

    Blessings, Shirl x

  2. Congrats on your win and award.I like all those things too...especially the car booting!

    Bellaboo :0)

  3. Congratulations on your win.

    Hugs RosieP x

  4. Blessings at Beltane! Kath x

  5. It's lovley to hear more about you. Like you, I've become more interested in gardening. I love watching Alys Fowler in The Edible Garden and wish my little plot looked like hers.


  6. What a super post! Loved the bit about the rain and the effect on your hair...... Lovely bookmarks too, lucky you.

  7. I'm with you on the car-booting and daydreaming, seem to do too much of the latter though!

  8. Good morning, Andi! So glad I found your lovely blog today! I'll be back often...hope your day is fabulous!

  9. so how come you only tell us about the early morning dew AFTER may day :(
    The way I look at the moment I think I'd have!
    xx happily rolled around in a great big puddle

  10. I must try that sometime, Washing my hair in the Mayday dew! I loved to hear more about you, especially your love story! :) Congratulations on winning the beautiful book mark! suzie xxx

  11. Oh, I absolutely LOVE the idea of using the Russian dolls to represent female desendents, and 9 generations??? Wow! Loved the story about the May dew--probably a combination of the two--the moisture and the love hormones. I like 'tag sales'/garage sales/'boot' sales--they are the same. I think it is the thrill of finding a treasure. It's like you never know what might be waiting for you around the corner--a simply wonderful treasure at a simply stupendous price! I spent a lot of time day dreaming in school--and my grades suffered for it... but good grief,how boring to be contained in a school classroom when a beautiful day is wasting away! The story of how you and M met is cute. Have a great day! You are always faithful to stop by my blog and leave a kind comment--thank you!

  12. Hi Andi!

    Thank-you for sharing about intuition.

    I adore your May Dew story! I think Joy has it right...all the love chemistry!Walking around the park of a manor...oh how i love it. I used to be a National Trust member....know most of the great houses in Southern England.

    Way to go on getting back in theatre! Fantastic! I bet you are GREAT!

    Anyway--hope to be back in the UK this fall. Hope the dollar gets better to the Euro....

    love, kelee

  13. Oh rats.. I have a whole year to wait now till the first of May.. or can I wash it any day in May?
    What will the neighbours say when they see me dunking my head in the flower bed.

    Michele x

  14. Hi Andi,
    You asked on my blog why the government has released the census records early. I don't know why. I always thought they realeased them to the public after 80 years, but all the genealogical sites say it's 72 years now. (At least in the United States.) So over here genealogists are already excited about April 2012 when the 1940 census comes out.

    I like your idea of following your female ancestors. In my father's case, that's all we have for his father's parents. No father was ever named and the child took his mother's last name. What a scandal that must have been back in 1900!

  15. Hi Andi - loved this post and have all the same hobbies except daydreaming and I've never known how - I expect that's why you're the writer and I'm the would be librarian!


I'd be really pleased to hear from you.