54: Picture Analysis

Posted in Diary posts, Family stuff on August 11th, 2018 by Peter Baker

July 2018

One hundred and forty-three years of information about my family were contained in the Ancestor Chest. That’s the time between the oldest unambiguously dated document it contained (1867) and the year it ceased to act as clearing house for precious but hard-to-file stuff (2010).

During that period, there were ups and downs. The captured episodes most obviously intriguing to posterity were the international adventures: Read more »

53: Photos of Dead Relatives

Posted in Diary posts, Family stuff on May 8th, 2018 by Peter Baker

April 2018

Using a chest of photos of dead relatives to peer into the recent past was proving insightful. Following my initial one-box, 698-image investigation of the Ancestor Chest, I had a detailed sense of the pictures it contained.
Read more »

52: The Ancestor Chest

Posted in Diary posts, Family stuff on April 27th, 2018 by Peter Baker

March 2018

My mother once told me that you’re not a proper adult until both your parents are dead. Thanks, Mum. Could have done without that particular life opinion. Some years later, on Radio 4, someone wise stated that – definitionally – you’re an adult when you stop obsessing about your own life and look-up to the ones around you. Still working on that.  Read more »

51: Great Grandfather John Donnelly’s Strong Box

Posted in Diary posts, Family stuff on February 11th, 2017 by Peter Baker

March 2017

Following the death our final parent last year, we’ve been investigating and organising their residual possessions. In November, we opened Great Grandfather John Donnelly’s 100-year-old strong box.

Of all the belongings Mum and Dad left us, the most interesting was a chest of photos and documents. These were accumulated across more than a century – stretching back through the old family house at Earlings, the earlier, larger, one at Lufkins, and my maternal grandparent’s previous base in Derbyshire from before 1942.

I was carrying four hemp bags worth of the chest’s contents when I visited cousin Donna in Suffolk, in November. Read more »

50: The Sustainability of Civilisation

Posted in Diary posts, Worldview on December 8th, 2012 by Peter Baker

It’s time to add meat to the bone of the worldview sketched-out in The Jolly Pilgrim.

Thanks to all those who commented on that optimistic worldview. Bar these counterarguments, the central critique seems to be that – even though we live during the most enlightened and open-minded, least violent, least diseased, best fed, wealthiest, coolest, most exciting epoch the world has ever seen – it won’t count for much if Earth’s ecosphere goes into meltdown.

That’s a good point. Thanks to those who’ve made it. Read more »