Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Wind Doth Blow

Hello, thank you for calling in and thank you for all the comments you left on my last post.  I was a little nervous about "coming out" as a Eurovision fan and it is immensely reassuring to know that not everyone thinks I am bonkers. 
This is half term week in England so the schools are closed and there is no work for the Best Beloved.  We had planned a little camping trip but the weather is far too cold - it's perfectly doable in the daytime, we can wear lots of layers and we have a gas heater for the tent but cold nights are difficult, you can't sleep if you are too cold, you spend most of the night adding layers of clothing and huddling and the next day you are tired, aching and miserable, so those plans are shelved until the weather warms up. 
Instead, yesterday we went to Anglesey for the day.  We left at 8am, stopped for breakfast on the way and just before 11.30am we reached our destination: the South Stack Cliffs RSPB Reserve.  This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its geological and biological features, but mainly we come here to see the birds.  There are more than five thousand guillemots and razorbills making a great deal of noise on the cliffs at the moment.  They arrive in the early spring to lay their eggs, which are conical in shape so that they don't fall off the narrow ledges, and by August they are gone, out in the ocean somewhere until next spring.  We come here every year to see them.  Here you are -

There are also puffins here, but in order to see them we would have had to descend 200+ steps and then climb back up them, and I have seen plenty of puffins before so we didn't bother.  But we did see fulmars, gulls and a pair of choughs, which pleased me greatly.  There are only five hundred pairs of choughs in the UK and twelve of them are here.  An RSPB volunteer explained to me that the reserve is maintained specifically to support the choughs: non-intensive grazing encourages the insects they feed on.  They don't need to do anything to support the auks, there are plenty of them and they like the cliffs. 
Ah, the cliffs. According to the Countryside Council for Wales they are "some of the most magnificent exposures of folded sedimentary rocks in Great Britain".   They really are spectacular and the added bonus at this time of year is the flowers. 

The South Stack lighthouse is an iconic image of Anglesey, it sits on a little rocky island called Ynys Lawd and you  can reach it by descending more than four hundred steps hewn out of the rock and crossing a bridge.  You can find out more about it here.  The low buildings next to it are the houses where the lighthouse keepers and their families lived before the lighthouse became fully automated in 1984 (it is now controlled from the Trinity House Operational Control Centre in Harwich in Essex).  Can you see that the light is on in this picture? -
That's because the weather wasn't great.  We left home in the sunshine and I had packed suncream and sunglasses but when we arrived I was very glad that I had also packed a scarf and wristwarmers.  It's so high up that it's always windy there but it was also dull and overcast and after visiting the RSPB information centre in Ellin's Tower and spending an inordinately long time watching the birds through our binoculars we headed to the cafĂ© for a pot of tea and a piece of cake while the rain fell outside.  (The cake here is very good.)
We then drove round the coast to Porth Dafarch, a lovely cove even in the wind and rain.  I love being on the beach whatever the weather, I am just glad to be there.  This is a Blue Fag beach so it's very clean, very safe and has good amenities.  The water there is tested 20 times over the course of the summer season and in fact while we were there the water engineer arrived, put on a pair of waders, walked out into the sea and took a sample of the water.   We walked out along the headland and looked back -

The rocks here are fascinating -

I looked at this lichen-covered one beside the path and asked the Best Beloved to photograph it.  "It's quite interesting," I said.  He laughed.  (At this point I should let you know that I didn't take any of the photos in this post, he took all of them and would like you to know that the copyright belongs to him!  I should also let you know that he selected the title of this post.

Up on the headland, the ground was covered with beautiful blue spring squill.

By the time we got back to the car it was really raining quite hard so we decided to head for home.  On the way we took a detour up the Great Orme at Llandudno.  The Best Beloved told me that when he worked in field sales, more than twenty years ago, if he was in Llandudno he would drive up to the top of the Great Orme to eat his packed lunch because the views are so spectacular.  But this time, we didn't go for the views, we went for the wind.  It was so windy that we had trouble opening the car door, so windy that we could open our coats, lie back and "rest" on the wind, so windy that the raindrops really stung our faces as they hit us horizontally.  Once we were up there with my parents and the wind literally blew Dad's spectacles off his face!  I know, we are bonkers after all.  We only did it for a few minutes before wrestling the car doors open and collapsing inside, laughing.
We arrived home shortly after 6pm and obviously, because we are English, the first thing we did was put the kettle on.  Later we had a Chinese takeaway and a bottle of wine.  It was a perfect day.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Sunday, 24 May 2015

A Confession

Hello, thank you for calling in.  I am very tired today because I was up late last night, partying: it was our annual Eurovision Song Contest party.  I know that such parties have become very popular in recent years, but we have been doing it since the 1990s.  Get me, ahead of a trend!
If you are not familiar with this annual event, it began in 1956, when seven European countries participated.  The UK joined the party in 1957 and the first one I can really remember is 1974, when seventeen countries took part.  Olivia Newton-John was our chosen representative and one Saturday evening in February, she sang six songs in a special tv programme.  Viewers sent in their votes on a postcard and the winning song was announced the following Saturday.  How quaint that seems now!  No telephone votes, no internet votes, just the good old Royal Mail. (I have just told The Mathematician about that and she is killing herself laughing.)  We chose Long Live Love, and by the time the contest was held three months later, we knew all the words, the song having been played to death on the radio and television, and we knew that it was one of the favourites to win.  You can have a listen here if you'd like to.  Glory, glory, hallelujah!
So, fast forward to the big night in May and the contest was held in Brighton.  I was staying with my grandparents and being of very tender years, I had to go to bed before the end.  So it wasn't until the following morning when I saw the newspaper headlines that I discovered that Olivia hadn't won, despite a terrific performance.  What a disappointment!  The winners, of course, were an unknown Swedish group called ... ABBA! 
And so began my love affair with Eurovision (and ABBA, but I'll save that for another time).  I can sing all the words to "Ding A Dong" by Teach In, who won for The Netherlands in 1975; I can do all the dance moves to Brotherhood of Man's "Save Your Kisses For Me", our winning entry from 1976; I can sing "Rock Bottom" by Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran, our second-placed entry from 1977.  I loved it - please remember that I was still at primary school.  It's OK to love pop music when you are at primary school, isn't it?
I fell out of love with Eurovision in the 1980s - I was growing up and I had far better things to do on a Saturday night than stay in and watch the television. 
By the 1990s, I had small children and no babysitter, so watching television was just about all I could do on a Saturday night.  Michael Ball, 1992, "One Step Out Of Time" - terrible song, why on earth did we select it?  His performance was brilliant, though, he did his best to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and there I was, watching Eurovision again.  In 1994 we got together with two other families and decided to have a Eurovision party.  Twenty-five countries participated and we had a dish or a beverage from each of them - bear in mind that we didn't have the internet for research then, it was much more difficult but we had a spectacularly successful evening.  Frances Ruffelle represented the UK and came tenth but nobody really cared who won that year because the interval act blew us all away: it was Riverdance
We have had a Eurovision party every year since.  Sometimes, our children's friends have attended.  We always have score sheets - we used to have to make our own and we devised our own categories because let's face it, it's about so much more than the song!  We gave points for choreography, costumes, amount of glitter...and there's always an extra ten points for a gold bikini.  However, I can be quite moralistic and I deduct points for "slutty costumes" and inappropriate dance moves.  I deducted quite a lot of points from Poland in 2014 (and confiscated the Best Beloved's spectacles).
As the contest grew and grew and so many countries wanted to participate that semi-finals were introduced, it became unrealistic to represent every country in food and drink, especially as there are now just two of us providing the meal, so now we do a themed buffet with dishes from the host country.  Here are some pictures of last night's Austrian fare -

Pork schnitzel...

Tiroler Eirspiese, a hot dish of potatoes, eggs, anchovies and breadcrumbs...

Tomaten Kohl, another hot dish, tomatoes and cabbage with caraway seeds and allspice...

Liptauer, cream cheese with paprika, capers, caraway seeds and mustard...

This is a sort of pate, a "bread spread" made of chicken livers, onions, garlic and paprika...
We do get ridiculously excited about this, researching dishes online and putting our menu together and along the way, we learn about the food and culture of other countries.  We found it difficult this year to find suitable recipes.  Which leads me to the next picture, which I am showing you in the interests of authenticity.  Here is The Burnt Thing -
This is kasdonnala, a sort of cross between a pizza and a quiche.  It took us ages to find a recipe and when we did, it was in German, of which I have none, and we used the computer to translate it.  This meant that it wasn't very easy to follow!  I cooked it for the recommended time and was really disappointed when I took it out of the oven because, as you can see, it looked burnt.  I could have cried.  I toyed with the idea of putting it straight in the bin but was persuaded to take it with us...and it all went!  It really didn't taste burnt and everyone loved it.  Lesson learned.  I think I'll be making it again.
We printed ready-made score sheets off the computer -
As always, we had a fabulous evening: good food, plenty of wine, super company and a very entertaining (and very long) show on the television.  Again, the UK gained very few votes, again, the Balkan countries all voted for each other and again, Sweden came up trumps.  They really are good at this - remember Charlotte singing Take Me To Your Heaven in 1999?  I do, and no, I didn't just look that up, I really do remember it.  If you were here, I could sing it to you.
So thank you to Myra for hosting our party, to the European Broadcasting Union for remaining committed to uniting countries through music, to Austria for hosting the contest, to the forty countries who took part this year (although thankfully, only twenty-seven sang in the final), to Electro Velvet whose cracking performance deserved more than five points and to the very winsome Mans Zelmerlow who deserved to win.  You can watch him here.  See you in Stockholm next year.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Friday, 22 May 2015

Five On Friday

Hello, thank you for dropping in, especially if you have come here via Amy at Love Made My Home.  It's been cold here this week, less than 10 degrees Celsius, and very wet, but it got a bit warmer yesterday, thank goodness.  On the other hand, I was chatting to a farming friend yesterday and she said,
"A cold wet May makes a full bay."
I had never heard that expression before so I asked her what it meant.  She told me that it means that if the weather in May is cold and wet, the grass will grow well and there will be a good hay harvest, enough to fill all the bays in the Dutch barn and so feed the animals through the winter.  Thank you, Mary.

To be quite honest, I didn't expect to be blogging today, but I have had one of those days which takes you by surprise.  I had promised to visit a rather lonely friend who lives over three miles away and as the bus service is expensive and infrequent, I have no choice but to cycle there.  Now, as I have said before, three miles may not sound much but it's not flat around here and I, er, do not have a cyclist's physique.  Frankly, it's a bit of a slog.
However, I really enjoyed the ride there (and I must be getting fitter because I get there a little quicker each time I go).  The weather was just right for cycling - dry, overcast and mild - and the views are always lovely, even though the cycle path is by a busy road.  Busy, that is, by Shropshire standards!  Today it was the flowers which struck me.  To me, May in the countryside is defined by three flowers: bluebells, cow parsley and hawthorn blossom.  Here are the bluebells -

Now, I know that Blogland is awash with pictures of English bluebells at the moment and this one isn't brilliant, but it records what I saw today.  I didn't actually go into the woods, I just parked my bike by the stone wall, leant over it and snapped what I could see, a lovely mist of blue drifting away in front of me.  Next, the cow parsley -
 Also called Queen Anne's Lace, this is one of the first wild flowers whose name I learnt.  It is all along the verges and the hedgerows at the moment, romantic, frothy and delicate in its abundance.  I love it.  (Oh yeah, and I am on the cycle path and on the left you can see the aforementioned busy road.  It did say that it's busy by Shropshire standards.)  And here is the hawthorn -

There is lots of this in the hedges and they look absolutely glorious in full bloom.  This is why the tree's other name is May! 
But there were plenty of other flowers to be seen in the verges: red clover, plantain, buttercup, speedwell, common vetch.  The closer I looked, the more I saw.  Nature's jewels.  I wish this were Six or Seven or Eight on Friday but it's not, it's Five, so I can't show you all of them.  So I'll show you only this, the white deadnettle -
Don't worry, it doesn't sting.  Do you know the Enid Blyton story called "A Fairy Secret"?  The story explains that fairies keep their golden dancing slippers inside the flowers of this plant - if you lift up the top "lip" you can see them.  It's true, give it a try next time you find a clump.
And finally, this last is not a flower, but a bird -
I think it's a kestrel and I was dead chuffed to capture it with my little point-and-click camera as it hovered over the field.  Get me!
So there you are, five photos this Friday taken on a journey which turned out to be unexpectedly enjoyable.  If you have time, you could hop over to Amy's blog and see who else is joining in today. 
Thanks, Amy.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Monday, 18 May 2015

Another Day Out in Ilam

Hello, thank you for dropping in.  It's Monday morning and it's pouring with rain - in fact, the rain woke me in the night so it's been falling for hours.  I am sure the garden will be grateful but the laundry basket isn't. 
Saturday, on the other hand, was glorious.  I was in Ilam in the Peak District with some friends and although it was a bit nippy when a cloud covered the sun, it didn't happen much.  I was here in February when it was grey but this time, it was overwhelmingly green, so much so that it quite took my breath away.  Have a look at this (it will get bigger if you click on it) -

And this -

All that new green foliage, living and vital, set my heart soaring.  The sun sparkled on the River Manifold -

The water is so clear -

And the bank was covered with flowers.  Here are wild garlic, pink campion, yellow archangel and forget-me-nots (I think, please correct me if I'm wrong) all growing together -

There was a LOT of wild garlic, it lined the paths -

And we all stopped and got our cameras out when we reached this spot -

Yep, that whole bank is carpeted with wild garlic.  I know that it's very pretty and that many people love it, but I really don't like the smell and in such abundance it absolutely stank.  So, a feast for the eyes but not for the nose.
There is a little church in Ilam which houses the tomb of St Bertram who lived and then died here about 1,300 years ago.  It is a special place.  The church is usually open but if you arrive and find it locked, go to Dovedale House, the old vicarage which is in sight of the church, and find Lizzie and Mark, who are the keyholders, and they will open it up for you.  It's worth a visit. 
It was a memorable day: a beautiful place, good weather and lovely company.  That's why I wanted to record it here and share it with you.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Friday, 15 May 2015

Five On Friday

Hello, thank you for calling in, especially if you have arrived via  Amy at Love Made My Home which I am joining in with again today.  I have been busy with meetings every day this week, nothing blogworthy, so today I would like to share with you five things I did yesterday.

This is what I was doing at 8am.  Next week I am involved with a charity event and we are giving goody bags to all attendees, so this is my contribution.  Have you done this?  It's a lot of impact for a small amount of cost and effort and it's easy.  I bought the washi tape from amazon - if you haven't come across it before, it's made of fabric and it's adhesive so you just peel off the backing strip as you wrap it around the tealight.  That's all there is to it.


Your eyes are not deceiving you, those are knitted bosoms!  By 10am I was at our local hospital, delivering handknitted items to the maternity and neonatal units on behalf of said charity: crib blankets, tiny cardigans, bonnets with flaps in them for babies who are on ventilators, long mittens for babies who have canulae in their arms, angel pockets for stillborn babies and knitted boobs which are used to demonstrate breastfeeding and expressing milk.  It's funny, but no woman can resist squooshing a knitted boob!  I'm not sure about the men.  Maybe they would like to but are too inhibited?

I was home by midday and shortly afterwards, there was an unexpected knock on the front door.  It was an engineer from the water company, asking if she could test the water as it came out of my kitchen tap.  I agreed and we had a fascinating conversation.  Apparently they do random tests all the time, from reservoir to tap, my street came up on her list today and I was the first door she knocked on.  That reading you can see in the photo shows that my water is just about as hard as it could be and this is because our water comes from bore holes, up through the rock.  She told me where the local reservoirs are and that they can't be seen because they are not open to the elements, but covered.  I think I need to investigate.

I didn't take any photographs of this afternoon's activities as I don't think pictures of a sparkling clean bathroom or a newly-dusted mantelpiece are very interesting, so here we are at 6pm dinner (and I am truly sorry for the very poor quality of this photo).  I roasted a piece of  pork shoulder which we bought to cook last Sunday but then didn't fancy when it came to it - the weather has been cold and wet today, just right for a roast - but instead of the usual roast potatoes and steamed vegetables, I cooked some green lentils, stirred in half a bag of spinach until it wilted and added black pepper and the juice of half a lemon.  It was just right.  I have had a real craving for greens all week: yesterday we had French-style braised lettuce and peas with onions, the day before it was a huge mound of steamed curly kale and peas.  I am trying to ring the changes so that the Best Beloved doesn't get bored.   

By 9pm I had washed up, cleaned up the kitchen and got everything ready for this morning so I made a pot of tea and sat down.  The Best Beloved was out so I WATCHED WHATEVER I WANTED TO WATCH ON THE TELEVISION!  No discussions, no negotiations and yours truly in full control with a pot of Earl Grey.  It doesn't happen often enough. 

So there you are, five snapshots of a day in the life of Mrs Tiggywinkle.  If you fancy it, hop over to Love Made My Home and see who else is joining in today.

See you soon.

Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Friday, 8 May 2015

Shoulder to Shoulder

Hello, thank you for dropping in.  I am in a quandary. Today is the day after a general election, and therefore an historic day, a day full of the promise and potential of change, a day full of hope and uncertainty.  I voted because I am entitled to vote, because some suffragettes endured terrible experiences to win the vote for women, because I believe in equality and democracy, because I can remember the photographs of the 1994 election in South Africa on the front pages of the newspapers, the first held there with universal adult suffrage, when many people queued for days to exercise their newly-acquired right to vote .  I always vote.  When my children were young I always took them to the polling station with me so that they would understand the importance of voting.  So I hope you understand why I feel this should be the subject of today's writings.
On the other hand, I try to keep religion and politics out of this blog.  These are subjective topics and I have no wish to alienate or upset readers.  This space I keep precious, a space for inclusivity and positivity, a space to share other things, creative things, things which enrich and sustain the rhythm of my life.
On the other hand, I think it's important to be authentic when blogging, and I cannot deny the political animal that I am.
So I hope you understand my quandary.  I am not going to write about the election, although in explaining myself, I think I have been authentic and shared something with you.  Neither am I going to write about anything else today, because nothing else is as important as the election today, not the photos of my lovely and unexpected walk in the Peak District yesterday, not even the 70th anniversary of VE Day (and I am truly sorry if I have upset you with that last remark). 
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Walking On The Edge

Hello and thank you for calling in.  Were you able to make the most of the bank holiday weekend?  It was so cold on Friday and Saturday evenings that we lit the fire, which is almost unheard of in May, but on Monday the weather was sunny and mild so The Teacher came over and she, the Best Beloved and I went to Wenlock Edge for a walk.
It was SOOOOOOOOOO beautiful up there yesterday.  Even the hedges are beautiful - look how you can peep through here straight down to the horses in the barn at the bottom of the field -

And then we rounded a corner and found apple blossom in the hedge -
There were so many flowers in the hedgerows: violets, wood anemones, buttercups, jack by the hedge, stitchwort, herb robert, bluebells, cowslips... we didn't take enough photographs.
The Best Beloved did capture this, though, and asked me what it was -
"Peacock," I said and they laughed and said that I could have said anything and they would have accepted it.  For the rest of the afternoon it was referred to as the Medusa Butterfly, the Unicorn Butterfly, the Persephone Butterfly, if I had said any of these they would have believed me.  After a while, we left the track and crossed a field  -
Now, my camera has a "super vivid" setting, so I thought I would experiment.  Here is the same view in "super vivid" -
Wow!  When I looked at this one on the camera I thought that it looked daft, a bit cartoonish, but actually, that is how I remember it.  At this time of year, the new green growth is so bright and vibrant and in the sunshine it really did seem this, well, vivid!   Those yellow flowers in the grass are dandelions but these in the next meadow -
are cowslips.  They are everywhere around here, in the meadows and  in the hedgerows, reminding me of John Clare's poem The Cowslips, which you can read here, which says that "all the meadows turn from green to gold".  Would you like a close-up, courtesy of the Best Beloved? -

Through the gates and down the tracks we went -
This one's not in "super vivid", those lush, new, green leaves on the trees were exactly that lush.
So that was our walk on Wenlock Edge yesterday afternoon.  It felt like a perfect English spring walk - sunshine, new green growth, a patchwork of fields and meadows, flowers and birdsong. Yesterday evening I kept saying, "I loved it up there today," because I really did and the wonderful views were still in my head.  We'd like to go back soon, very soon, while the flowers are still out. 
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Westminster, 1840

Hello, thank you for calling in.  You are a member of a very small group and I value each and every one of you. 
I have had a tiring and difficult week, the weather seems to have lost its way and I have dug out the hot water bottle which I thought I had put away until the end of the year.  It's a bank holiday weekend so obviously, it's raining and it's cold.  Plans for outings and gardening have been shelved BUT I am not downhearted!  I have a large mug of Earl Grey, half a bar of chocolate and nothing else planned, so I can do some family history research!  It's one of my favourite indoor pursuits.  I would like to introduce you to William Green.

William was born in the spring of 1795 and didn’t marry until he was 35 years old; his bride was 28 year-old Mary Drake and they were married at St Margaret’s Church in Westminster on 15th December 1830.  This does not mean that they were in any way grand, it simply means that they lived in that parish and in fact, William was working as a humble dyer when their son George John was born almost two years later.  Then came three daughters: Fanny Elizabeth in 1835, Mary Ann in 1837 and Jane Joan in 1840.  Little Jane was baptised on 28th June but William couldn’t attend.

By 1840 William had been employed for several years as a gravedigger at St Margaret’s, the same church where he had been married and all of his children baptised. 

I have shown you this picture before and mentioned that this church appears in several branches of my family tree.  That green space in front of the church is the old churchyard. Presumably, the bodies are still there, underneath the grass.

I expect William was kept very busy as the years 1836-1842 saw major epidemics of influenza, typhus, typhoid and cholera across the UK -  in 1840 alone typhus killed more than 17,000 people in London.  It was a horrible job, the churchyards had become so full that coffins were often buried within inches of each other, or even stacked on top of each other, the stench was horrendous and there were serious concerns about the effect this was having on public health, particularly in crowded cities.  A Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed to investigate The Effect of Interment of Bodies in Towns and in June 1842 reported that

“The practice of burying in over-filled churchyards makes the office of gravedigger a loathsome and unhealthy employment, degrading to the persons who perform it and inevitably driving them to habits of drunkenness.”

The report goes on to state that gravediggers were known to drink large amounts of spirits, partly to try and kill off any trace of illness they may have picked up from the dead bodies and partly to blot out the horrors of their work. 

So, in the spring of 1840 William was digging a grave in the overcrowded churchyard when his pickaxe accidentally penetrated a coffin which was already down there.  He was “suddenly seized with faintness, excessive chilliness, giddiness and an inability to move his limbs” and fell down in the grave.  Showing very little signs of life, he was quickly taken not to a doctor, but to a pub!  They tried to revive him there with “warm beer, brandy and other stimulants” and he seemed to recover a little, so they took him home to 11 Little Chapel Street and his own doctor came out to see him and gave him the usual treatments (whatever they were), although he could see that there was no hope of recovery.  Within a week, William was dead, leaving behind a pregnant widow, an elderly mother-in-law and three children under the age of eight.   

The story doesn’t end there: four days after William died, his doctor died and three or four days after that, the doctor’s maidservant died.  The Select Committee reported that

“The symptoms of these cases of peculiarly malignant typhus were nearly as rapid and decisive as if it had been the plague.  There can be no doubt that it was generated in the gravedigger by the effluvia from the coffin into which he struck his pickaxe; yet it is equally certain that this disease so generated was communicated from him to his medical attendant, and from the latter again to his maidservant, both of whom likewise died.”

So how do I know all this?  When William’s doctor became ill he was treated by his doctor, J.C Atkinson, who subsequently wrote about the case in The Lancet, Volume 2 in an article entitled “Fatal Consequences of the Effluvium in Metropolitan Grave-yards” and called for the cleaning-up of such overcrowded areas in order to improve the health of the poor.  You can read the article here if you are interested.  Dr Atkinson’s article was used by the House of Commons Select Committee in their investigation and the facts of the case were included in their report, which I read online in The Law Magazine, or Quarterly Review of Jurisprudence and which you can read here

Now, there is a lesson here for genealogists.  Before I knew all this, I simply had a copy of William's death certificate which records the cause of his death as "Erysipelas" and his occupation as "Grave-digger at St Margaret's West.".  I could simply have left it there but decided to Google " William Green gravedigger St Margaret's Westminster" to see if there was any information about him out there in the ether.  As you can see, there was a whole story to be told.  Thank goodness for the internet.
William was my great, great, great, great grandfather.  I carry his genes.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x