Still snowing, well again really as there were a couple of days when it didn't. So I did a bit of weeding and Fiona did a bit of planting. Trees in both cases and the weeded ones are now chopped and stacked for a spot of seasoning. Some conifer that was blocking the light to the back track and a leylandii that was casting shadow on the solar panels. I had intended to just take the top off that one, but I was worried that the multi-stem would bring down the phone line, so I called in a tree surgeon to do it properly. I guess he may have misunderstood because within an hour or so the phone-line was on the ground. Fortunately a man in an Openreach van was in the area and the line was working again in a few hours. The line was above the trees a couple of days later, the delay between the two was because it would have been running through another tree and I had to trim that first. Odd really, since the tree was there and about the same height when the pole was put in a couple of years ago. I didn't argue because they weren't looking for any money. I had a very plausible story about a storm and a rotten branch, but I imagine they'd spot the 'adjusted' tree and have a pretty good idea of the likely event sequence. The tree surgeon carries insurance against that kind of event, but unsurprisingly prefers not to worry the insurers with such small events.
Still, I took out the next couple myself as there was little risk and plenty of room. I'm not qualified at dropping trees, so I go at it very carefully and usually pull them over in a semi controlled manner using chains and winches. The last one was with Derek's anchor chain, I must remember to thank him.
Other activities, well a hundred years ago yesterday the RAF was created from the RFC, and as that happened a chap called Andrew Scott Turnbull was being trained as a pilot. He was lucky enough to survive the war as it ended quite soon after, and went on to paint. We inherited some of his paintings and Mum thought it would make a nice exhibition in a local RFC museum at Middle Wallop. In the family we have about 10 paintings which will do nicely for their modest display. If it goes ahead it should be for the better part of May and June.
Scotty visited the Farm fairly regularly and there was a quite complicated link between Elizabeth, who owned the farm, my paternal grand-parents and maternal great aunt. Through a series of links and connections my Father met my Mother and it all went downhill from there. Sadly I don't remember Scotty myself on account of the incident mentioned in the previous newsletter.
Curiously and at a bit of a tangent my paternal grandparents brought Ian, Scotty's son, up for a while. the coincidence was that my grandfather's uncle was Maurice Hewlett who was married to 'The Old Bird'. Her company in turn made aircraft for the RFC.
I always assumed I simply had rather unimpressive recall skills, but it is difficult identifying gaps in your memory if you don't know what you've missed. I've only recently looked at the matter carefully enough to realise how much is missing. Very occasionally bits emerge from the fog, so I think it is all still there, just sealed away somehow. It might seem a bit tragic, but I wonder if I'd still be me if it all came back, so I'm not that bothered, it's better to get on with now and leave the past behind.
Anyway this may be fascinating to me, and newsletters are a good way of stirring the pool, but back to the story.
Scotty never put any of his pictures up for sale, but gave them to family and friends so we don't have a value to put on them, which makes them uninsurable. Perhaps we'll get an idea of what they could or should be worth. It's a bit academic though as they aren't for sale, and would only increase my insurance premium.
With a bit of luck more pictures, stories or information will emerge. I did find that Ian, Scotty and Dorothy's only son, joined the army at one point, and played rugby for the London Scottish. It was the Curator, Ms Lindsay, at the museum of Army Flying https://www.armyflying.com/ who was able to get into the records and find out most of what we know now, I found the internet based ancestry search tools far too complicated and rather expensive.
Perhaps you have to stick to the one hobby to develop any skills, and more to the point remember them. I have been delving into photography so that we can reproduce some of Scotty's pictures as postcards. There's one on the right. A farm near Woolacombe Bay in Devon and that's Ian with the wheelbarrow. If you click on the picture it'll bring up a bigger version.
I've had to re-learn about geometric distortion, F numbers and iso values. I learned all of that in radiography, but have long since forgotten it and a lot else. Like most people I have a fairly simple camera, but although some of the controls are still there I usually use the automatic function, which is never going to be at professional standards. I think the mobile phone camera is possibly the worst invention for photography, but it does mean almost everybody has a camera on them at all times. The selfie stick is unforgivable though, if used in public. I cannot see the point of going to famous monuments and landmarks and then taking a photo of yourself.