Archive | April, 2019

Day 15 Portobello and Rosslyn chapel.

30 Apr

Father wanted to go to the ward where he and mother had been married and were he had served most of his building mission.

We went early so he could talk to people.

He introduced us to several people. That he knew from when he and mum were on a temple mission . Then one guy that he knew from his building mission days.

The importance of Edinburgh chapel is quite important. It’s where mother and father met and they were the first couple married in the newly constructed building. My oldest sister was the first baby blest in chapel

Elizabeth had organised with cousin Fiona to have a picnic at Portobello beach. It’s just outside of Edinburgh. When we were at Aunt Joys she had invited her to go along.

One of the things I wanted to do before leaving the Edinburgh area was see Rosslyn chapel. It would be a once in a life time opportunity. It is a special place with possible links to the new world before it was found by Columbus.

So I couldn’t miss it. But it meant that we could only stay for a short time at Portobello.

As we were leaving Edinburgh chapel I noticed the are a we were in one of the 4 churches of my ancestors was in the are at.cuthberts. I only needed a few photos so I thought it wouldn’t take us much time.

Then I thought that I might go swimming at Portobello so we needed to go back to the apartment. By this time we were running half an hour late.

We headed towards Dalkeith. When we were about halfway Elizabeth phoned Aunt Joy to say we’d be late but through the conversation Elizabeth learned that Joy was expecting to spend hours with us.. So Joy decided to stay home.

We changed directions and headed to Portobello.

After a few texts and phone calls we met up with cousin Fiona. We were able to meet her husband Richard for the first time.

I went looking for a change room but there wasn’t one.

So I rolled up my pants. Kaitlyn had already raced into the water so I followed her.

Kaitlyn was sad when we first arrived as she thought she was gonna get to meet all my kids. Fiona explained that they were back in Australia.

Unlike Brighton Portobello had real sand. It was surprisingly warmer than Brighton even though it was further north.

We said goodbye bye then raced off to Rosslyn Chapel

It closed at 4.15 so we were racing to get there before then we arrived at 3.50. thinking we wouldn’t have much time turned out 3.50 was the last entry but didn’t have to rush as much as I thought. One disappointment was that no photos were allowed to be taken . I still snuck a few anyway .

However one of the most important things I wanted to get a pic of didn’t turn out. At about 4.30 . The people at Rosslyn chapel started to tell us it was time to leave I raced down to the crypt hoping that no one would be there and O could get a photo. There is a beautiful stained glass window of the saviour. A guide came down the stairs just as I was abt to take a photo so I had to put the phone quickly in my pocket.

I hung around as long as I could.

The we left and went back to the apartment. It was our last night there we were leaving Edinburgh in the morning. The time had passed by do quickly.

Harry Potter and the Canon of Falkirk.

30 Apr

We had a the Edinburgh Harry Potter Walking. At 11 so I had the morning to myself.There were 4 churches that I planned to visit while in Edinburgh.So in the morning I decided to try to get to Canongate. This was one of the most significant of the church’s that I wanted to visit as alot of events relating to my family history, christenings and weddings I have been unable to find burial records.So I walked down to canongate church. Along the way I saw some things that I’d missed previously. I saw what is called Edinburghs folly.The story is that some prior Lord provost decided that Edinburgh needed some Greek archetechture to make it look more European. They started to build a Parthenon similar to the one in Athens. It was partly built but never fully completed as a later Lord provost saw that the building was bankrupting the city and ordered it stopped.I kept going and arrived at Canongate Kirk.Some major restoration was going on so I could notget good picks of the front of the church.I walked through the grave yard hoping that I might see some of my ancestors buried there but I had no luck.I found this strange statue at the front of the church. I have no idea what something like this is doing at a church.As I walked around I saw signs to several famous graves. I found two.Robert Ferguson a poet and Adam Smith the father of modern Capitalism. Wanted to desicrate his grave get has given us nothing but misery.I left the church and headed to were I was meeting Elizabeth for the Harry Potter walk.While on the way there I passed the house were the Scottish reformer John Knox.Sarah was our guide.We started at the Duke Wellington statue as it was across the road from the Balmoral hotel. Which is Edinburghs most expensive hotel jk Rowling stayed there to finish the final Harry Potter book. She had stacks of money by then. She booked a whole suit for 6 months.They has since renamed the suite in her name it cost her Abt 200 pounds a night. After she left the owners increased it to 1800 pounds a nightI can’t remember all the best places we stopped now.We stopped at the cafe the elephant room we’re she first started to write Harry Potter. She went there as they gave away free paper to budding authors. After she got famous every author was going there so they had to stop the practice as it was sending them broke.We walked past Waverly station . It was during the trip from London to Edinburgh that Jk Rowling came up with most of the character s and the plot to the first book.We visited various sites that inspired her for different sections of the book.Victoria street inspired her for diagonally. Also another Edinburgh St inspired her for coxturn St inspired her for the seedy knockturn Ally.We stopped at a suvioneer shop they had a copy of the first Harry Potter book written in broad Scott’s even though I couldn’t afford it I just had to buy it.We finished the tour at Greyfrairs kirkyard. There were a few graves that inspired her for names for the book.There is a William McGonagall a comedian and playwright. Who gave her the name for professor McGonagall.The last stop was at the grave of Tom riddle. Who became the main evil character for the book Lord Voldemort.Then we walked back to the apartment as were to meet father there before going out for the afternoon.For the afternoon we had planned to go to 3 places Falkirk, Glasgow and Lanark.First we went to falkirk. I wanted to get to the kinelli museum before it shut as it had one of the best preserved Roman fortlets along Antoine’s wall.Then while there we heard of a place called rough castle that had the best preserved section of the wall plus the remaind of a fort. Father and Elizabeth were getting pretty tired and over it all.So I eventually found Rough castle and went for a walk and took pics.The we headed to Glasgow . It was getting very late in the day.I just quickly got out and went to Glasgow Cathedral on my way there I found a real live police box. I couldn’t believe it.By that time everyone was tired so we decided to to skip Lanark and go back to the apartment.There ends another exciting day of our continuing adventures in the lands of our ancestors.

Day 13.Counttry Cruising.

29 Apr

When we met my cousin Fiona she had reminded me to contact my Mum’s Aunt Joy so I did that a few days ago and we organised to meet at Dalkeith around 1. So we needed to find something to do in the morning.

Father had been wanting to go to New register House.I was a bit reluctant to go as I felt that most of what was there could be gotten on line . Father was so determined to go that I did want him to be disappointed so I went along.

It cost us 30 pounds. To get in . I thought it was a bit over rated.

We spent a few hours there. The one benifit was that unlike online we could view as many records as possible with out it costing us online credits.

I was able to get some valuable information about how to look up businesses that my ancestors had owned.

After that we headed back to the apartment.

We got back at 12.30 we took off straight away to Dalkieth.

It was quite easy to get there and find. Aunt Joy is a wonderful woman who has done much with her life .I recorded much of what she said.

We were with her for about an hour We could have stayeed there all afternoon but had more places to see and visit.

Dalkieth Midlothian and west lothian are the areas that my ancestors have been in for many generations . Father wanted to show us some of the areas where his family was from. These are all name that are very familiar to me as I have written them out time and again while doing family history over the years.

But to actually drive through these are and see for real the places my ancestors walk gives me a connection to the land that I never expected.

We went to pumpherston it’s we’re my Granny was from. At several points I recorded Father’s recollections of what transpired in the area.

Then on to Livingston and linlithgow . One of he things I was trying to do was find a grave of my ancestors.

I thought that father knew exactly we’re his father and grandfather we’re buried so we drove all over the place trying to find these two.

We couldn’t find the place we’re Grandad Gray was buried. But we did find the place we’re Great Grandpa Gray was buried. But unfortunately the graveyard was locked by the time we got there. Elizabeth had had enough and just wanted to get back to the apartment. I was getting tired as well.

I it had been in my younger days I would have jumped the gate and gone to find the grave .

we stopped in town got some Chinese food then called it a day and went home I think we did stop at one more place but Elizabeth be and I both stayed in the car and father got our and walked around.

We arrived back at the apartment all the walking I’ve been doing over the last week has been unexpected yet good.

I’m getting a bit behind with keeping up with these blogs hope I don’t miss any exciting details. People are always welcome to comment and ask questions. Bye til tomorrow

Day 12 High on the Rock.

27 Apr

We left the apartment at about 9.30. There were several sights on the Royal mile that Father wanted us to see. We slowly made our way from the apartment. We first headed to the National museum of Scotland. I specifically want to see early Celtic life and some info ABT Antoine’s wall. It was a fortification built by the Romans in Scotland. They had some info on but not much.


e then headed to the Egyptian exhibit I was expecting to see something different bit it was mostly stuff I’d seen before.

So we left there and headed to Edinburgh castle we got there just before one we were hoping to see the firing of the Canon. But we seemed to miss it. We went and saw the Scottish crown jewels. But I wasn’t able to take any pictures.

I was quite exhausted by the time we decided to leave. We stopped a souvenir shop. I got a maroon beanie with Edinburgh written on it and a little Scottish flag.

We slowly walked back to the apartment. We passed by one of Edinburgh’s main cathedrals. St.Giles. while it wasn’t associated with any of our ancestors like others I want to see. I figured it would be beneficial to see it any way.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside. It was beautiful. The guide was really knowledgeable. He didn’t answer my question about what it would have been like for my ancestors to be married in a church like St.giles.

We went home. Then I had a sleep for a few hours.

The others didn’t want to go out again. So I decided to go for a walk by me self. There are 4 churches in Edinburgh that while doing family history research have popped up again and again. St.Cuthberts, Canongate, Newington and South Leith. As South Leith was the closest to the flat that is were I decided to go. A few generations back Alexander Gray married Elizabeth McLean Elizabeth was blessed at South Leith her parents and grandparents were married there. I hoped that maybe I’d find some graves that belonged to the family but I didn’t.

I walked back and went to sleep . We had planned to do some driving to visit some country places that had meaning to father.

Day 11. Family reconections.

25 Apr

Woke up really early in the morning as father and I are sharing the same bed and he kept on using all the blankets so I got cold. I was in a kind of tug o war with him I would pull back the blanket then he would roll over taking it again. Eventually I gave up and got up and wrote yesterday’s blog then did some stuff on the computer.

When everyone was awake we sat down and planned out what we were going to do for the day.

We decided that it seemed like a good day to go visit the places that had meaning to father.

I plotted it all out on Google maps then we headed off . The first place we went to were Salisbury crags and Arthur’s seat.

Father didn’t live too far from there when growing up .

His mother would bring him there to play.

There is a ring road around the whole mountain. We drove it to get multiple views of the area.

We stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast.

After that we went to a car park at the base of the mountain .

We were contemplating walking to the top of the smaller hill,but when we got a whiles up the hill we turned back. Both Elizabeth and I were wearing clothes the the wind just wipped through making us cold.

After the climb we headed to the apartment father grew up in.

When my Father was growing up . His parents ran a boarding house . Today it’s a private residence.

We were hoping that we could get a look inside but weren’t able to . However the house next door is now used as a bnb so we were able to look in here. Father said that the houses are mostly all similar inside.

His friends had lived there and he’d been in that house many times.

Father regaled us with stories of his childhood.

After listening to some I got the idea to start recording what he was saying. So that I can share it with the kids in future.

We left there and went down the road to a place that changed my father’s life for ever.

When he was 11 he was hit by a car as he was crossing the road.

He landed face first on the road. While at the time they took him to the hospital. The checked him over. Cleaned him up then. Then as they were won’t to do at the time they said you’ll be right and sent him home.

Once again I got a recording of father telling us what happened.

From there we went to the place were mother and father were living just before they left the country.

They lived on the 14th floor. Apartment 5. The building was called forteviot. I recorded father telling us the story big how he decided to come to Australia.

He was looking out on the city one early February and was thinking to him self there had to be something better than this . So he looked at immigrating he looked at going to either Canada , America or Australia. Canada was his first choice but he didn’t have the skills they needed .America was asking for money they didn’t have . So Australia it was. He started the process they moved in May

We then went looking for the place were mum was living when Mother and father were dating. We drove around the area for a while hoping that something would jog father’s memory. Sadly it didn’t happen.

We ended up in the area were father went to school. He told us a bit about what it it was like to go to school.

How due to his accident he missed taking the 11+ test. it sorted kids out into different highschools.

But the accident made it so the darroch junior secondary. The primary school he went to was James Gillespie boys ,we went to see what it was like.

It was no longer a school bit was now an apartment complex and some shops

Once again I recorded father talking about the area

By that time I was getting pretty tired. So we went back to the appartment. Ifell asleep . For about an hour.

Elizabeth had been in contact with our cousin Fiona Moon.

We met her and her daughter Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn reminded me of Phoebee .she is bright and bubbly talks alot and likes cat and Roblox

Fiona Moon shouted us dinner at place on the docks in Leith. called Brewers Fayre. It was a bit like sizzler.

I at chicken and had afudge brownie for desert.

We talked with Fiona about so much stuff, that it’s hard to remember. Exactly what we talked about but we had a good time and agreed to meet again on Sunday afternoon.

It was quite late by the time that we left it’s the first time driving at night. Then I thought it would be nice if we could finish the night by finding mums old house. We found the right street. But in the dark it was hard to find the house that was the right one so we called it a night and went back to the appartments and I was going to go straight to sleep. .

Fiona was up and I texted her for a while she is going through a tough time. then I was about to go to sleep again when Caelan texted. About some phone stuff I answered him then I could go to sleep. I hope you.are all enjoying. Our exploits over here in the motherland

Day 10. Home to the motherland.

24 Apr

It occurred to me yesterday that I have been numbering the days I’ve been away but the count may be out due to when I was on the plane.

Yesterday was another long driving day.

We had stopped at York for the night. I was a bit grumpy in the morning. Probably due to the long days drive yesterday. Snapped at father.

Was trying to write yesterday s blog and also communicate with Fiona. He kept on interrupting my train of thought.

Elizabeth and Father went down to breakfast. While I finished what I was doing then I headed down.

My stomach was queasy. So I decided not to have bacon and eggs for breakfast just some fruit and pastries.

At the breakfast buffet they also had some black pudding. Which is heard about but never tasted before . So I thought I’d give it ago. To me it tasted like a really salty sausage but with the texture of cake.

We were heading to Hull to check out an area where Elizabeth’s husband Steven spent some crucial years.

So We drove the hour to Hull . The place were Steven went to church is now a mosque I had been hoping to get a look inside but it was shut.

We had a look at the house he stayed at and the school he went to. Elizabeth was taking photos . A security guard came up and told her photos of students weren’t allowed and to move on.

We had the choice of heading to Scotland via Newcastle or Carlisle.

The others didn’t really care so we went to Carlisle. I wanted to go there are a few chapters of the novel I’m wr6 are set just outside Carlisle . Also I’d heard that there were theories that it was the true Camelot.

Hull to Carlisle was one of the longest trips we have driven so far. After about 50 miles I was starting to nod off so I pulled over and asked Elizabeth if she was willing to drive. As it was highway driving she was fine with it.

I went in the back seat . I used my suit case as a pillow. I fell alseep . When I woke up we were about 60 miles out side Carlisle I’d slept for about 90 miles drive. When we were about 30 miles from the city I took over driving again.

After we had decided on Carlisle I had looked at where to see Hadrians wall and the info said Tillie museum was the best place in Carlisle .

We parked at a Multi story car park and walked to the museum.

We passed by Carlisle Cathedral and stopped there to have a look around it was a beautiful ly serene place .

Then we continued on to the museum.

At first we thought it was only one floor. We were leaving when I asked an attendant a question about Hadrians wall. He replied have you seen our replica on the first floor .

We hadn’t so father and I went there while Elizabeth went to the gift shop.

Time was growing late . So I had to rush through the museum. It was a fascinating place. There was so much about Celtic and Roman life and how the interacted.

I rushed around taking pictures of everything I could see. Elizabeth was getting tired and wanted to get to Edinburgh as soon as possible.

It was so angonising to be pulled away from that place.

I had mostly what I needed . So I didn’t need to go to the castle.

We met out side and they were ok with not going to the castle and just going to Edinburgh.

When we got to the border we stopped and got a photo.

For some reason the GPS took us on a scenic route to Edinburgh.

It was good as another part of my novel is set in the valley we drove through.

We arrived in Edinburgh finally and got to the appartment we’ll be staying in for the next 5 days.

I parked the car hoping I wouldn’t get a ticket. Then took my luggage up 4 flights of stairs.

I went to sleep right away. I was so exhausted. We will be having a planning meeting in the morning so we can work out were we want to go for the next few days

Day 8 & 9.Rest and then long driving.

23 Apr

We had a rest day on Sunday we went to church at East Grinstead. Then went back to the hotel and rested for the rest of the day.We talked and I watched a few movies on Netflix’s then we organised our next day as it was going to involve slot of driving .Then went to sleepElizabeths alarm woke us at 6. We packed ourbagsWe showered and changed then headed done to breakfast. We had planned to do a temple session. But we got the time wrong I thought it started at 8 when it started at nine. So we got permission to go to the celestial room and have some time for prayer and meditation.Also it turned out that the cleaners at the hotel had accidentally picked up my white shirt and sent it to the laundry. It will come back eventually but not in the time I’m here. Also my temple recommend was in the pocket.So I no longer have it. It’s ok as I’m on the database.So we spent 30 mins in the celestial room then headed off to Colchester. To look at the temple of Claudia’s or what is left of it.We needed to get to Nottingham before 6 . There is a model shop called Warlords that has army models that aren’t available in Oz Elizabeth husband asked us to stop there if we could it was on the way so we decided to try to get there in time.I would have liked to of stayed in Colchester longer but we couldn’t due to time constraints.We arrived at the shop with 30 minutes to spare and Liz purchased the stuff for Steven.The we headed off to York. .We got there just after dark. Planned our next day then slept.

Day 7. South Coast Driving.

21 Apr

Yesterday we went for a drive to Brighton.It was an hour drive south of the temple. It was nice to drive through the country.When we arrived it was hard to work out how to pay for parking. They pay over there mobile phones we couldn’t work out how to do it so this nice couple payed for two hours of parkingWe walked along to Brighton pierThen walked to the end of the pier. They had info stops explaining history of the peir.Father got us an ice cream as we walked back to the car by this time it was abt midday. Then we were deciding what to do. I saw a road sign say Hastings this way.I knew how important there battle of Hastings was to European history.So I asked the others if we could go there they had no problem.So I put it into the GPS and we headed off. We had 2 hour coastal drive looking over the channel.The we arrived in Hastings. We discovered that the battle was outside of town. We replotted the GPS and headed there.I dropped the others at the abbey on the top of the hill and went to find a place to parkI found a park 4 mins away.Then walked to them.We took a self guided tour around the battle field I felt so sad at some points for the loss of life.The Norman’s gave the British no quarter and slaughtered them all.The pope wasn’t happy with the loss of life. So commanded them to build an abbey as pennance.We went to a traditional English pub for dinner.Then headed home. We were going to go to the temple. But by the time we came back it was almost 7. Elizabeth and I were really tired so decided to skip the temple for that day.

Day 6 Good bye! London.

21 Apr

It was our last day in London. We woke up and planned the day then headed down to breakfast for our last time at that hotel.

We headed back to the room and packed everything. I went down first to pay for parking.

I was concerned that I’d have trouble getting into the car after the hassles I had originally

But I had no problem.

I was pleasantly surprised when I payed for it. I was expecting it to cost 50 to 60 pounds but it only cost 28. I drove the car around and picked up Elizabeth.

We had limited time. So we had to make a choice we could either visit London bridge or go to Hyde Park.

Hyde Park was more it important as we have a personal connection to it.

Hyde Park chapel was were father discover the gospel and was converted and baptized into the church.

As it was the first day of the Easter long weekend there was very little traffic on the road. But we still had problems with the car GPS so I used a combination of the cars GPS and my phone’s.

We got to Hyde Park chapel eventually.

it was a really good experience. There is a missionary couple stationed there to give people tours. He told us the history of the chapel and how the church came to acquire it.

In Hyde Park I wanted to go to the famous speakers corner. For two reasons one was due to the extinction rebellion people yesterday telling me that I was more likely able to get a badge and a flag there.

The other was due to it being a famous place.

We parked our car under Hyde Park chapel.

Then headed off walking it is a beautiful park with lots of interesting features. We eventually arrived at speakers corner. The event there was bigger than the one at Westminster square probably due to there being more space.

I went about asking were to get badges . They seemed to be all out.

Elizabeth found a place giving out stickers .

So she got one for me . We walked around. There was one brave guy there who was protesting the protest by saying it was a waste of time.

Elizabeth was conscious of time. So we headed back we were to meet father in the temple at 5.

We got to the temple with ten minutes to spare.

The temple people were really nice and waited for us to get changed before starting the endowment session.

We met father and got together. It was great to be in there on Easter Friday.

Then we went back to the hotel. Then fell asleep.

Day 5 Harry Potter Extinction.

19 Apr

We had to be at the Harry Potter walking tour by 8.45 in the morning so it meant we needed to get up early.

We went down to breakfast at 7. I was going to go back up to the room to change my shoes and go to the toilet. But Elizabeth suggested that we leave straight away as we only had 50 minutes to get there . So we took off.

We got there barely in time. By that time I was busting to go to the toilet. I told Elizabeth that I would meet her were the tour started.

So I rushed around Westminster station trying to find a toilet barely holding it in. Just made it there on time.

When I caught up with the group. There were 26 of us from all different nationalities.

Chris told us about all the to movie details

She met Chris our guide for the next 3 hours. It would be to much to go into all the details.

Even now I barely remember everything that the guide said. Elizabeth told him I had gone to the toilet.

I got back and we started the tour.

At Westminster. Our guide told us all the movies that had used it for locations. As a prominent land mark . It is one of the most recognised.

So we walked around the city while Chris talked and told us about sites used for the Harry Potter movies.

Also events surrounding the launch of the book series.

We also saw many of the famous sites of London. I took a lot of photos so was always lagging behind the group.

We could hear Chris as we had these devices that allowed him to speak into a head set and we had ear pieces and could hear what he said.

We caught two trains during the tour . The first one we went to the escalator was so steep the I felt like I was gonna fall over the whole time

Towards the end of the tour we came to this section were there was a large market. I had stopped to take a photo I could still gets Chris describing stuff.

But then he must have gone out of distance as there was only static in my ear.

Then I saw some from our group so I went to them. But they had no idea were the main group was.

I just felt to go a certain way . I stopped to get get my bearings. I knew we were finishing at Kingscross. Then I got a text from Elizabeth saying the guide was coming to find me. I texted some landmarks and I was actually only a few hundred metres from the rest of the group.

We caught a second train and ended up at Kingscross station.

We went to the Harry Potter shop. .

The que to take pics at were the trolley disappears into the wall was too long so we didn’t wait.

Then we walked back to the hotel. which wasn’t that far from the station.

I had seen some extinction rebellion protesters near Westminster so I felt I needed to connect with them.

So when we got back to the hotel I had a break then went back to Westminster square .

I wanted to go there for a bit then get to st Paul’s for the 5.30 service. that didn’t end up happening as I spent too much time talking to the people at the extinction rebellion.

Made some new contacts.

Then I left I stopped in at the national gallery . Im not really into that type of thing

But I did want to see some van go and piscaso.

Then I met Elizabeth for dinner at taco Bell again she likes the place now.

Today we leave London and go pic up father and spend Easter in the south of England.

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