A torrential downpour on Sunday morning woke me at just after 5am and half an hour later I'd abandoned trying to go back to sleep and had a wander around the garden in the drizzle instead. After emptying the bins and spritzing the seedlings I made tea, took it back to bed and read until 8am. This book's a gripping read, a British We Need To Talk About Kevin.
The second outing in a fortnight for my Dilli Grey dress (via eBay), worn with charity shopped velvet boots & necklace and my artisan-made metallic tote bag from Jaipur, made from recycled leather.
The charity shop had just opened when we arrived and, after handing over our donations, spent about 40 minutes browsing. There was a huge queue outside the Holiday Hypermarket, after 16 weeks of travel being illegal, the restrictions are to ease from 17th May and bookings have gone into overdrive.
What did we find in the chazza? A grisly Victorian crime novel set in the Black Country (for me!) and a 1960s gents raincoat, 1980s denim jacket, vintage military shirt and snazzy dinner jacket which are all destined for the stockroom. I've been searching for some affordable & bastard massive copal tribal beads for years, I can't believe I found a set for 50p. The 1970s tiered cotton slip will be perfect under my sheer Indian cotton dresses, my vintage nylon slips can go back to the charity shop next week. As you know, Jon collects vintage watches so when I spotted this 1980s Citizen Digi-Ana I soon grabbed it. I was amazed to discover that they're rather desirable and often sell for a few hundred quid - this cost £1!
Using the rocks from the old rockery I'd dismantled a few weeks ago I created a border on the pond side of the path. The bluebells usually annoy me but they've been beautiful this year.
Tea was a Greek feast with Jon's homemade tzatziki and feta and watermelon salad. Later we watched more of Johnny Vegas's Glamping programme and a couple of episodes of Waking The Dead.
On Monday I slapped on some conditioner, did my Wii Fit workout and washed my hair. I wrapped the weekend eBay sales and had just about managed to catch up with blog comments before Jon got up. Richard arrived with the post, which included a new Maybelline lip ink for me. I've not worn red lipstick since a brief flirtation with it in the 1980s and after finding it on eBay for a third of the retail price, thought I'd give it another try.
I love discovering new combinations with my vintage block prints. The Alpnani tunic and Third Eye wraparound are perfect together (well, they are in my eyes and that's all that matters!)
Jon whizzed round to the post office whilst I rolled up my sleeves and cracked on with the garden. The weather was ridiculous and I had to keep downing tools and running inside to shelter from the torrential rain.
There was nothing else for it but to have a look at the family tree and to continue cross-referencing the names on my inherited family tree with Ancestry.com. As mentioned previously, Andrew (the gardener) and Harriet Chapman, my 4 x great-grandparents, had nine children. James Robison Chapman emigrated to Australia in 1849 and my 3 x great-grandfather, Robert Chapman (b.1808), was an architect who lived in Staffordshire all his life. Robert had seven children, Sarah, Robert, John, Andrew, Lucy, Eleanor and Constance. I thought I'd look at the life of Andrew Edward Chapman (b.12th May 1856) and guess what? 29 years after his uncle's epic voyage, in 1878, at the tender age of 21, Andrew arrived in Queensland on the Aberdeen-built ship, Southesk (pictured below). I was able to access the immigration documents and discovered that he'd taken advantage of the assisted immigration programme, which was subsidised by the Australian government for those with useful occupations. His voyage, as a single man, would have cost £4 but sadly, couldn't access any information about his occupation once he arrived in Australia.