Thursday, 26 February 2009

Random pictures


La Gacilly

History lesson 1

Andre Hue
Andre Hunter Alfred Hue, soldier and businessman: born Swansea, Glamorgan 7 December 1923; DSO 1944; married 1957 Maureen Taylor (one daughter); died Chichester, West Sussex 11 January 2005.

Half-Welsh, half-French Andre was born in Swansea, his mother Welsh and his father French, he was bought up in Le Havre. The book covers his life from birth to the end of WWII, Hue was a leader of the resistance local to where I live, there's a Museum dedicated to the resistance and a memorial in the nearby village of St Marcell. This books a great book to keep in the car and as we tour the area we like to be able to find the places where this recent history took place. I will add some information and photographs to this post over the next few months.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Chicken in a bag

Cleaned the chucks out, usual Saturday job, Paul was digging a veg patch, I was putting the old straw into the wheel barrow so Paul could spread it over the area to suppress the weeds, when the weathers dry I usually fill a couple of bin bags with straw so I am sure of having dry straw for the animals, today when I had finished cleaning out the pens I went to the bag and found a chicken had beat me to it and had decided to nest in it.

I had put the bag on to the wheel barrow so I gently lifted the bag out but the chicken fell out, I put the bag on the roof of the pens and the chicken jumped up went back into the bag and laid an egg.

First Bumbly Bee of the year

I was sitting in the garden, yes its warm enough in the middle of the day to relax in the sun, OK I'm wearing a jumper but its pleasant enough. Eyes closed listening to the Cockerels competing with each other wioth there calls, birds singing in the trees, then I heard a sound I haven't heard in what seems like ages, a bee, a very big bee, what a lovely sight, proof that spring, then summer is coming, the sun, the birds, the bee, how good that sounds, I got a couple of photographs, not very clear, but clear enough, of the bee on a pansy.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

France, What you wont find in the guide books. 2

Urinating. Its a man's right to piddle wherever he likes as long as he has his back to the road. In the olden days the men had the Pissoir. Sometimes just a length of guttering hidden behind a mettle sheet, in the main towns though they would heve these;
But times have moved on and those old erections have been replaced by more modern facility's;

Why cant they just wait like we women have to, driving home and the need to "go" the man pulls over finds a tree and lets go, meanwhile we sit crossed legged wishing he would hurry up. Even worse, imagine walking past the pissoir only to be greeted by a neighbour, shake hands, kiss, I feel sick, pretend you haven't seen them and move on, quickly. But why, you ask don't you use the "ladies", I must take some photographs, to go into the cubical guess what you have to walk past? Yes, the line of men using the urinals just outside the ladies door. Some times you don't know which way to look.

Anyone remember these, what evil, tortured mind thought this was a good idea? And they still exist.

Yet this is the country to invent these. The pay as you go musical toilet, well maybe it was the Japanese.

France, What you wont find in the guide books. 1

Queues. Supermarkets, after loading up your trolley with cheap wine you head for the checkout, you notice one checkout has only one customer in it, and you park up behind the customer and unload your trolley, how was you to know that the the customer and the employee were friends/related and they were having a long discussion on some subject or another, meanwhile people are joining the queue behind you, after a while the conversation ends and the customer produces his debit card, at last movement you think, in goes the card, and is rejected, the card is removed and given a quick polish on the sleeve, while this is happening another checkout opens, now in the UK the person behind you (you've already emptied your trolley) will move to the newly opened checkout, not in France, there's a mad dash to be first, often its the person at the back with less manoeuvring to do that wins, with no guilt or even a thought to what they have done, there goods are passed through the scanner, paid for and the customer departs while the customer in front of you has his card polished for the fifth or sixth time, but success the card goes through and its your turn. The other favourite trick is to start filling the checkout then continue shopping adding to it as its passed over the scanner, this of course means that when they've finished shopping and its all totalled up they still have to load everything into the bags.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The weekend

We've replaced the roof on the chicken housing, well screwed down, but then we thought it was before,
The young chicks are now in there new home.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

John de Saulles

All the following concerning John de Saulles is taken from Wikipedia, I have left all the links intact;

John "Jack" de Saulles was born in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the son of Arthur Brice de Saulles and Catherine Heckscher. He became a star quarterback and captain of the Yale University's varsity team of 1901, being chosen as the quarterback on the all-American team. In 1902 he was named Head Coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football team,[1] where he compiled a 8-1-1 record. In 1911, he travelled to Chile as representative of the South American Concessions Syndicate, a concern made up largely of Americans living in London, which was active in promoting the Trans Andean Railroad, connecting the railway systems of Chile and Argentina. While there, the 32-years old De Saulles met 17-years old Chilean heiress Blanca Errázuriz. They were soon engaged and on December 14, 1911 he married her at the English Church,[2] in Paris, France.[3]

Blanca Errázuriz and John De Saulles (1912)
The married couple settled in New York City, where he became a partner of real estate firm of Heckscher & de Saulles. He participated very actively in the 1912 presidential election, where De Saulles organised 72,000 college men for Wilson. In the campaign De Saulles and President Wilson became close friends, and he was rewarded with an appointment as US Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Paraguay,[4] but after the Senate had confirmed the appointment and even though he took the oath of office, he resigned before traveling to take up the post, preferring to concentrate on his real estate business and explaining that his business interests here made it impossible for him to accept.[5]


[edit] The divorce

In 1915, Blanca Errázuriz befriended Rudolph Valentino in New York City, where he was working as an exhibition dancer and had gained attention for his rendition of the Argentine tango, which was the craze at the time. Valentino enjoyed befriending many people of high society, and Blanca Errázuriz was unhappily married to De Saulles by whom she already had a son. Whether the two, Valentino and Errázuriz, actually had a romantic relationship is unknown, but Valentino was quite smitten with her so when Blanca was seeking a divorce from her husband, Valentino agreed to provide proof in court that Joan Sawyer, his dancing partner, was having an adulterous relationship with De Saulles; and took the stand to support Blanca's claim of John's well known infidelities.[6]

Mr. de Saulle was not pleased with this and once the divorce was granted on December 1916,[7] he used his political connections to have Valentino arrested along with a Mrs. Thyme, who was a known "madam", on vice charges (the exact charges are unknown). The evidence was flimsy at best (Valentino having been near the wrong place at the wrong time) and after a few days in jail, Valentino's bail was lowered from $10,000 to $1,500.[8] The scandal was well publicized along with the trial and Valentino felt degraded. No one would hire him and his old friends would no longer talk to him. Blanca seemed to not even thank him for his testimony.

[edit] The murder

Blanca Errázuriz and son (1917)

Shortly after the divorce, on August 3, 1917, Blanca had herself driven from her home in Roslyn, New York to the The Box, in Meadowbrook Colony, near Westbury, New York; home of her ex-husband. She had legal claims over the custody of their son, since her and her husband had been given shared-custody over him, but de Saulles refused to acknowledge the court's decision. She arrived at The Box shortly after 8 PM, and found de Saulles sitting in the porch of the house. They started to argue, and she pointed a gun at his head demanding of him to immediately hand over the child to her. When he tried to disarm her, she shot him five times.[9] He was rushed to the Nassau County Hospital, but died there at 10:20 PM of his injuries.[10] In the meantime, she awaited at the house for the arrival of the police, to whom she surrendered. She was charged with murder in the first degree and imprisoned in the Nassau County Jail at Mineola, New York, leading to a sensational trial.[11]

The widely-reported case went on for months, relegating the First World War that was raging in Europe to the inside pages of the newspapers. Blanca was defended by Henry Uterhart, a noted criminalist of the time, and the principal witness for the defense was Suzanne Monteau, Blanca's French maid, who had accompanied her that night and completely supported her version of the facts.[12] Blanca Errázuriz became the darling of the press, and the champion of the suffragettes who portrayed her as the victim of the chauvinism prevalent in the society of the time,[13] while Valentino's name was again dragged through the mud though he had nothing to do with Blanca by this point.

Blanca Errázuriz was unanimously acquitted of the murder charges on December 1, 1917 in what was called a "popular" verdict.[14] Valentino changed his name from Rodolfo Guglielmi to various variations of Rudolph Valentino, partly to avoid association with the scandal[citation needed] and partly because Americans had trouble pronouncing Guglielmi. After the trial, he moved to Hollywood,[8] where he started his successful movie career. Years later he tried to contact her again, but she would neither respond his calls or agree to see him. Blanca Errázuriz lived until 1940, when she committed suicide.

Family history


The person doing the family tree received this


5th April, 2001

Dear Mr. Pearce-Bennett,

Thank you for your letter of 10 March relating to your ancestors, the De Saulles family. Our records mention only two members of the family,Samuel De Saulles, who was a Page, and George Frederick, who worked in the Royal kitchen. The names and job descriptions do not quite agree with the details that you gave but I list you the details below in the hope that they will be of interest to you.

Samuel De Saulles entered royal service as a Page of the Presence, Second Class, on 5 July 1821 (ref.: PRO LC3/69/38). Following the accession of King William IV, he received a warrant to continue in this position on 24 July 1830 (ref.: LC3/70/8), and on 3 August in that same year he was promoted to Page of the Presence, First Class (ref.: LC3/70/14). He died in the early months of 1833, being replaced about 4 April that year by William Loades (ref.: LC3/70/93), and his widow, Anne, was granted a pension of £50 on 1 April (ref.: LC3/22). All the references given here are to records of The Lord Chamberlain's Department at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU.

We also have some information in the Royal Archives concerning his son, George Frederick De Saulles, who entered royal service as a Kitchen Apprentice in 1838 and seems to have served the normal five years' apprenticeship, leaving in 1842. He returned c.1845 as Larderer and Storer. (It seems to have been quite usual for successful Kitchen Apprentices to have to seek work elsewhere for a short period whilst awaiting a permanent post in the Household, during which time, of course, they could gain valuable outside experience). By 1853, George Frederick was First Larderer and Storer, and that year he was promoted to Second Yeoman of the Kitchen. He remained as a Yeoman until 11 May1869, when he was promoted to Fourth Master Cook. On 26 June 1874 he received the Victoria Faithful Service Medal for 36 years service. On 4 May 1876 he was promoted to Third Master Cook, and on 3 August 1880 to Second Master Cook. He retired on 6 July 1881, and died on 7 November that year. His widow, another Anne, was granted a pension later that month, which she continued to receive until her own death in August 1899. Her death was reported by her son, W. De Saulles, who was then living at 11 Prospect Place, Surbiton.

I hope you will find this information helpful in your genealogical research. We do make a charge of £11.75 (including VAT) for the work involved in providing these details, and I should be grateful if you would send a cheque for this amount, made payable to the Royal Collection Trust.

Incidentally, you may like to know that there is a photograph of George Frederick De Saulles in the Royal Photograph Collection, and if you would like a copy of it you should write to the Curator of the Royal Photograph Collection, here at Windsor Castle.

I hope that you will find the above information of assistance in your research.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. J. Kelsey
Deputy Registrar

The Royal Collection Trust
Windsor Castle

01753 868286

Monday, 9 February 2009

Update on the wind

Just sat down with a glass of wine, ready for Emmerdale, suddenly a bang out side and the dogs went mad, I grabbed my coat and rushed outside, worried my animals had got hurt, as it was it was a patio chair that had blown against the shutter, Paul explained that he would have helped but he had a knot in his shoe lace, but he took some photographs.

Including the kitchen sink

A quick post on the off chance anyone reads this. My neighbour said 110kph winds, a check on the weather forecast said 45 - 60 so no worries. We were having dinner when the front door blew open and the dogs raced out, Paul went after them just in time to see the corrugated roof lift off the chicken pens and fly across the garden, I'm not sure if Paul shouted "your on your own" to the dogs or just retreated quickly back into the house.

However summing up all his bravery he followed me out into the heavy wind driven rain, we located the corrugated sheets and stood on them deciding how we were going to deal with the problem, every so often the wind would drop, we decided every time the wind dropped we would move the sheet,then when the wind threatened to rip the sheets out of our hands we stood on it, we did this till we had it by the houses, then I stood on the sheet while Paul assembled some weights, pallets, breeze blocks, logs and a kitchen sink, after man handling the sheets back on we covered in as much ballast as we could, Paul told me "NO", the animals could not come in to the house for the night. Another job for the weekend, hope the roof holds.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Just scanned some old pictures.

My Nan (Mothers side), with my Mom and Dad

My Mother.

Back three from the woman with glasses is my (Dads family) Nan, Grandad and my Mom, I think my sister Denise is in the pram, the others are cousins.

Mike looks so cute. Of course Dan does as well.

80's hair cut. I would have that again, but Paul wont let me have my hair that short.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Bantams arrived

Half Acre Farms new chickens have finally arrived, having got lost the first time we wrote down the directions and found the house we were looking for, 12 full size and 9 just 3 weeks old, the young ones and the mother hen are in a cage in the bathroom till the weekend, Paul will put a door on one of the spare houses and move them the weekend,


The adults are in a new house, just needs a new hinge to finish it, again a job for the week end. Paul might cover all the houses with tongue and groove to make things a little neater, but that's not a priority.


I let the adults out this morning, I hadn't really had a look at them till today, we loaded them in a dark shed and it was night before we got them home, there's three cockerels, but I don't think they are going to be any good for eating so we will let them get on with things and see how it goes, as usual the dogs ran at the chickens when they were let out, our old ones just jump out the way, the new ones took flight, I've never seen a chicken fly before, over the fence and over the next door house.


The three cockerels all have a good voice, our number one coq has a deep smokers cry, his son a clear what I would call normal call, the three bantams are high pitched.


I love the call of the cockerel so it wont bother me, but it confused our neighbour Franck this morning he heard this commotion outside, he opened his front door to find one of the cockerels with his three ladies demanding there breakfast.
Heres some photographs, including a photo of a goose, duck and bantam egg.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Justin and Gizmo gone, sob

Half Acre Farm is just that, half an acre, Justin and Gizmo have now moved on to a two acre piece of land with a lake and trees. Up till today we had four goats, Justin, Gizmo and there two kids George and Charlie, the problem we had was three males and one female, Charlie and George were showing a unhealthy attitude to there mother and Justin was having to fight them off, it was decided that as George and Charlie were raised here and I helped Gizmo deliver and feed them that they would stay and as Justin and Gizmo have always been together, they should go to a new home as a couple, I'm a bit soft with my animals thats why so many bought for the pot avoid the chop, and I was very upset that Justin and Gizmo have had to go, but trying to live the type of life I am trying to live means making these desisions, and this though very upsetting, is the right desision for us and for the goats. Bye Justin and Gizmo, I will miss you.

Our First Goose Egg

In the goat house in the hay we found our first goose egg, here's some photographs along side a duck and a chickens egg. Paul's going to make an omelette with the egg, he's added a chicken egg to compare size, but as our geese are mating we will incubate any eggs laid after the end of the month.