the new hobby

In our town, it has never been easier to find a park (except perhaps on certain days in November 2010) and at the supermarket in what is normally the crazy peak just after work hour on pay day night, there were two lanes free.  By day, I do my normal things, like alternately harass and adore my kids (actually the adore bit is usually at night when they are asleep), organise food, go to work, visit Mary K, do loads of laundry, conspicuously not manage any other housekeeping and thus witness the slide into Septemberitis which happens after eight months of busyness each year, chat to my friends, discuss the state of the world with FH, and sneak out into the garden even just to admire the current sea of white and yellow on green formed by the daisies on the unmown lawn, the daffodils and the white and yellow irises and the rocket run to seed.

By night I have a new hobby. 

I've had this bug before, when I was 19.  My flatmate would warn people at parties: "Watch out!  She'll talk to you about dead people and cemeteries!"  Some people played sport on Saturdays to keep fit; I kept incidentally fit by cycling to cemeteries on the far side of town and working out where my Irish forbears had made their new life in 19th century Christchurch.

This time, I've got the bug for my Cornish stories.  When I was 19, the internet was still some silicone valley pipe dream.  Now, there is so much I can find out online.  I've been finding out about my great grandmother and my great grandfather who emigrated separately from Cornwall and married in New Zealand.  Along the way, I'm learning a little about their siblings and the places they've been.  I've been looking up history articles to learn some more context, particularly about the links between Penarth, near Cardiff, and Cornwall. 

Not so far from life in Wetville after all.  Massive emigration from Cornwall 1861-1901 was prompted in part by the closure of the tin mines.  Cornish miners were valued world wide for their high level of skill in deep mining.  The mines in Glamorgan, Wales, or the docks for exporting the coals in Penarth, part of Glamorgan, appear to have been the reason that some of my ancestors moved to Penarth before eventually moving to Western Australia.  When I found that one of my great grandmother's sisters had moved, with her Cornish husband and the first couple of children, to Penarth, where they had more children, it suggested an origin for an old, delicately made pin with 'PENARTH' on it and surrounded by flowers that Mary K gave me earlier this week:

My camera couldn't manage to retain clarity on such a small object, so the script is illegible and flowers a bit fuzzy.


Sharonnz said…
Ooooh...would love to look closer at that. Looks kinda similar to a brooch my grandmother's brother brought back from Egypt in WWII.

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