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Working with tenuously-linked relatives (i.e. 20th cousin twice-removed), I have managed to make some headway with my mother's maternal grandmother and her side of the family line. Whereas the Gordons enjoyed silly adventures and fell from a position of monied idleness in Scotland (I wonder if Alexander ever regretted running away with the maidservant), the Gauls were just one long line of Fail.

Robert Gaul was born around 1800, possibly in Lincoln, before deciding to set off on his merry way and go and see Liverpool. There, he fell in with Esther Connor, an Irish immigrant and they had an amazing life together.

If by Amazing Life, we mean thrown into the Walton workhouse, along with their children. Esther died there at 47 years of age; Robert once again disappears from history.

All their children made their way out of the workhouse eventually, although one son, Thomas (and a direct ancestor of mine) seemed to really, really like that place. For what does he do but get slung back in there when he's 50? His wife Ann either scarpered or died, which really was probably the most sensible option. What a joyless lot! They could have at least called one of their sons Asterix.

Anyway, so I Googled Walton workhouse. Pssh! Good thing nobody ends up there these days. And it was this: 

At which point, I was all OMGWTF! Because, during a particularly depressing and awful, awful stint working at Aintree hospital, I had to go to the grey, ugly, despairing Walton hospital site to work. I honestly thought my working life could not get any worse. And the view from my window in that hellish place was... this clock tower. Yes, Walton Workhouse became Walton Hospital. The Gaul Fail continues for another generation. D: 

rebness: (Snow Cross)

O hay, everyone! Hope you all had a merry Christmas and stuff. I've had a great Christmas, mingling with the family just enough to be happy but not stabby and with my doggies, of whom I can never tire (the cat is a different story). I've walked in winter sunshine on a crisp Christmas morning, met with Chris and Pen and Kelly and shopped. My mother and I cooked a ridiculously fantastic Christmas dinner and there is central heating and double-glazing. It's been great, but not as great to be online again and have hours of my life sapped away by the internet. :D

Let me tell you about my worst gift, in the spirit of Scrooge: my brother bought me an insultingly cheap, indifferent book called Cities, presumably because he picked it up, thought 'Oh, Becky likes cities and stuff' and thought that'd do.

EXCEPT. It has a bright yellow cover, with stupid text and a painting of some fake city and it's a FANTASY BOOK WITH EXCERPTS FROM STORIES ABOUT CITIES. AND PROBABLY GOBLINS AND UNICORNS. I could not be less likely to read a book unless it was written by Jade Goody. I am so upset. At least a crappy bathset is still useful; a bad book hurts to the core. I dread to see what loserface gets me for my birthday.

My sister got me the Nightwatch DVDs, the Twilight Watch book and, continuing with the Russian theme in a more dubious manner, In the Court of the Red Tsar. That's a little more like it. The rest of the stuff was horribly useful: a bathrobe, slippers, gloves, clothes, household knicknacks. I have finally grown up. :D

The best present was a laptop. All right, so I bought it for me, but I've been promising myself this since I started my new job. I chose an HP laptop, partly because my work one is pretty damned good and also out of company loyalty. Er, yeah. Don't let me down, bb. I also caved and bought the O2 modem for mobile broadband, which offers a slow connection but at least is a connection of sorts. It was also less than a third of the price for the 3G one, so I guess I can't be too choosy.

I thought I'd get a lot of reading done whilst I was at home, but forgot about the dogs and the family and the friend!visits, so all I've managed in the last week and a half is a book of short stories by Ian McEwan: First Love, Last Rites.

Now, I lovelovelove Atonement and I know I'll plunder my way through the rest of his books, but this collection is weird, man. The stories are unpleasant, though obviously well-written. None of them have really affected me, although I do love short stories. It's very much a 'meh' read, but good to pass the time. Incidentally, he uses the word 'c*nt' in most of the stories. Oh, Ian. You're such a c...ard.


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August 2013

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