It’s about 16 miles by bike out to Broxbourne from where we live in east London – all along the canal towpath. It took about 2.5 hours on the way out and then fuelled by a pub lunch it took just under 2 hours to get back again. A lovely day for a bike ride.
These amazing little turtles hatched while we were swimming in the sea. Thankfully I’d bought my new camera down to the beach with me. Unfortunately I’d had a couple of Caribs already, it was raining and I got a bit confused with my settings at times.
Considering how tiny they were they seemed to move really fast!
This past weekend would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday as well as my mum and dad’s 40th wedding anniversary. It felt like the perfect weekend to go back in time.
My mum was born in London and brought up in NW3 and NW6. When my brothers moved to London they chose West Hampstead and Kilburn and so that’s where I moved too for the first year I was here, though I’m now much more at home in east London. We didn’t realise at the time how many connections we had to the places we were living. My brother John moved just round the corner from where my mum had lived as a child on West End Lane, not far from the bookshop our grandmother had run.
We realised how many more connections we had when, a few years ago, my mum and I started work on her family tree and traced her parents’ lines back a few generations. We recently delved a bit further and found the actual addresses they were living at, through the census and through the birth certificates of their siblings. There was a lot of moving around but on the whole my mum’s father’s line lived very centrally – in Soho and Clerkenwell – and her mother’s side lived in east London – in Bow, around Stratford.
Through Ancestry.com we’ve found a few intrigues and illegitimate children along the way but it was fascinating in itself for me to see where they were living and find out a bit about the social context.
This weekend we tracked down some of the addresses that my great grandparents lived at. Most have gone, probably through slum clearance or after bomb damage but some of the homes are still standing.
This scene was striking by its absence of a view. Tower Bridge was hidden by the thick fog that came down over London this morning. Stood on London Bridge I could just catch a glimpse of the top of one of the towers and the outline of HMS Belfast looking like an eerie ghost ship.