2019 – Quite a Year

Another year has flown by. Again I’ve not posted as much on this blog as I would have liked to over this past year.

In January I finally sold the house I had with my ex-husband. A process that took far longer than it should have thanks to having used some rather shoddy solicitors who seemed to have no concept of timely communication or chasing up the documentation they were sending to the buyer’s solicitors! In one instance waiting over a month to discover something they sent hadn’t arrived. Not to mention the annoyance with the estate agents – seemingly never dealing with the same person twice and each new person always referring to me as Mr Cleverley. Numerous complaints were made to them about it – got an apology – happened again straight away. They also sent my ex-husband a Christmas card to the both of us, even though they knew we were getting divorced! Bit of a farce really, but glad it all got sorted out in the end and it gave us both a chunk of money to start over again.

In the same month I also beavered away looking into the DNA mystery to try to answer the question of who my maternal grandmother’s father was – you can read about it here for part one and here for part two! That was a real highlight for me.

On 1st February we had an unexpected snow fall and we went out to explore and had a beautiful wintery walk around the historic site of Avebury.

Also in February I did my first genealogy consultation over Skype with a client I did some work for several years ago. It was great to get back in touch with her and to give her some advice and pointers about progressing her research herself and untangling a bit of a mess with multiple trees using Family Tree Maker.

Later that month my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have actually been together for 53 years, but it is a remarkable milestone to reach and I wish them many more years together.

In March I got a new car and we hit the first predicted date of leaving the European Union – and passed through it with nothing happening – as I expected! (I am very strongly anti-Brexit.)

In April we had the boys during part of their school holidays and took them to the Cotswold Range to do a spot of air rifle shooting and archery. They had a great time.

Paul and I also visited some amazing places – like Sudeley Castle – home to Queen Katherine Parr (where she lived and died) and Blenheim Palace – home to Sir Winston Churchill and his ancestors. We also had a picnic with the boys at Savernake Forest near Marlborough and Paul’s youngest son had a driving experience in a Mini (aged just 11 – and he did fantastically well.)

In May we went on holiday to Menorca with the boys and had a fantastic time.

When we came back from our holiday we went to see the fantastic comedian Bill Bailey.  In June Paul joined a local archery club.

On the 6th July we celebrated a year of being engaged and went out the following night to see the great comedian Russell Kane. We also celebrated Paul’s birthday soon after that and then between that and my birthday my divorce came through. It was a mixture of feelings, the end of a chapter of my life and the opening of another. I am glad that my ex-husband and I are on good terms and the process was all very simple and straightforward with no issues.

We also took the boys to have a morning larking about on an inflatable obstacle course at the Cotswold Water Park & Beachat the end of July.

In August we had a lovely trip to my parents for a few days with the boys. Enjoyed a day out in Shrewsbury and even a fun couple of games of Scrabble with the kids as the internet was out at my parents so they were not attached to devices the whole time!

I organised the Summer BBQ at my day job and had a good evening.

We also took the boys to the Museum of Computing in Swindon – it is quite small but still very interesting.

In September we took a trip down to the Isle of Wight to surprise Paul’s eldest sister for her 50th birthday. It was the first time I had met Paul’s family so it was lovely to meet his two sisters and one of his half brothers. It was also lovely to meet the extended family with nieces, and nephews and their children too.

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Later that month we took Paul’s youngest son to the Cotswold Wildlife Park and I also hosted the Macmillan Coffee Morning at my day job. This is a charitable event raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support who do an amazing job supporting those with cancer and their families. We raised over £700 and came at a very poignant time with one of my work colleagues having lost their wife to cancer that same week.

In October we celebrated having our beautiful cat Moss with us for a year.

We also went to see the comedian Romesh Ranganathan in Oxford which was great.

In the half term holidays Paul’s eldest son went on a school trip to Berlin for his GSCE History and had a good time – it was very important that they went there and learned more about the horrors of the Holocaust. While he was there we had his younger brother with us and took him to the local Steam Museum – all built around the old Great Western Railway Works which is a short walk from our house.

The end of October saw another Brexit date come and go…

In November we went to London for the day and went to see the Tutankhamen exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. It was amazing to see the artefacts close up and learn more about the boy king. We also had a quick trip to the British Museum before heading back home.

We also had the run up to a general election – with a flurry of political goings on over the course of November and December.

At the end of November we started the ball rolling on part exchanging our house for a new build home – hopefully aiming to be ready to move at the end of January or start of February next year.

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Paul did his first indoor archery competition in Bristol at the start of December.

We voted in the general election and were very disappointed to see that the Conservatives remained in power. At the end of that week we went to see the Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert to try and cheer ourselves up.

Our house went on the market – thankfully we are not dependant on the sale of it with our move. We have put a lot of hard work into the house since Paul bought it in late 2016, with complete renovation and redecoration.We are very proud of what we have achieved but know it is now time to move on.

We suffered a major blow on 19th December when I got a phone call at work from the local vets to tell me that our beloved cat Moss had been knocked down and killed by a car. We were devastated – and still are. His loss is keenly felt by us all. He was a wonderful, friendly, loving, playful boy. He melted my heart every single day. He was definitely a big part of our family and will always be loved and missed by us.

We spent Christmas with Paul’s kids and had a nice relaxing time, met up with my parents and my aunt for a post-Christmas lunch with my sister and her family and then had a nice quiet new year – just the two of us.

I’ve also had a productive year working on research for many clients, mostly returning customers which is always lovely. I’ve also continued to work on my own family tree and Paul’s – notably being pleased at being able to take a branch of Paul’s family tree back a considerable way which I will be sharing with you in my next post.

I’ve also had some enquiries for new work in January which will be good to delve into. (If you would like to make an enquiry for help researching your family history – please do use the contact form here or visit my website.)

This year will be bringing me several things, a new home, a new husband and some new challenges in my day job.

I wish you all a fantastic New Year and hope to get back into blogging more regularly!