22 Feb 2008
20 Feb 2008
Well thats a bit drastic but you know what I mean.
Due to changes in her job (which is closely linked to mine in the Police) she had to learn to drive. My friend is in her thirties so this was quite a challenge for her. However she finally plucked up the courage to do it.
When I learnt to drive it was a driving test on the road, a few questions on the highway code and "well done Teresa you've passed"! Hooray. Fling arms round neck of examiner and vow eternal love.
So my friend after several lessons in a small Fiesta went off to do her theory test and passed first time. Plucking up even more courage she put "L" plates on the family seven seater people carrier and drove her husband and myself to Tenterden which is no mean feat from where we live and in rush hour with little darlings coming out of schools.
Within three months tongue in cheek she put in for her driving test. This woman was on a mission and her job relied on her passing a.s.a.p. Unbelievably she passed first time. Even she didn't believe it.
The following morning at 07.30am she phoned me. I was on a rest day but I dragged myself awake.
"I'm scraping the ice off the windows (we had a hoare frost overnight). Is there a quicker way to defrost"? I suggested she turned the engine on and let the car warm up which would help.
This woman was going to travel 20 miles in the family seven seater which had now been designated her car. What pluck she had!
She turned the engine on......... nothing! Three times she tried with the same result. The end of a long story ......... she got picked up and driven in to work.
Gutted all day, she text me on the way home, "I will be round to pick you up soon we can go for a spin".
This was about 5pm and bearing in my mind it gets dark at about 6pm.
1. She hasn't driven in the dark before.
2. This would be only the second time she has driven this vehicle.
However, she turned up on my doorstep her courage still intact and carrying a change of underwear.
I took one look at her face and said
"would you like me to sit beside you while you drive home"? (A matter of ten minutes up the road. Half an hour if you walk).
"Oh yes please" she said
So yes we had a bit of a spin.
We got back to hers and I helped her park it. We had a cup of coffee and a debrief of her driving (exemplary I might add) for about an hour and I ended up getting a taxi back to my house which cost me nearly £6.
I related the story to the taxi driver who I know very well and he never stopped laughing until we pulled up outside of my house.
What a day ......................... and I still luv her to bits.
15 Feb 2008
Thought you might like to view a couple of me poems this time.
I'm not very good at food receipes. (see Grayling) :-)
8 Feb 2008
Well I promised you the reputed story of my ancestors so here goes then...
Mary Ann Plumb was born the eldest of five children in 1800 and lived in the parish of
At eighteen she went into service and met Richard Geering. Discovering she was pregnant they eventually married at
Richard and Mary lived in a cottage near Guestling, where Richard worked as a labourer. Although it wasn’t a particularly happy marriage they had several children.
It was during this time that they moved to Guestling Green and Richard secured employment. For thirty years they lived in a tiny cottage. He earned a living for them while she devotedly raised the children.
In 1846 Richard Geering was left the sum of £20 which he deposited in the Hastings Savings Bank and the deposit book was given to his sister for safe keeping.
About this time, Mary’s eldest son William lost his wife to consumption, and he and his three children went to live with his parents at the cottage.
During September 1848 things took a violent change. Richard Geering was taken ill with a sickness and five days later died. The diagnosis was given as heart disease.
Four months later twenty one year old George became ill with violent bouts of sickness and raging thirst. Although nursed by his mother during the day and brother James by night he finally died.
Six weeks after George’s funeral James aged 26 was taken ill with the same symptoms and died on 6th March in the same year. About three weeks later on Easter Sunday, Benjamin Geering eighteen years old was taken ill, and after two or three days of sickness he was attended by two doctors who removed him from his mothers care. Benjamin recovered which threw suspicion on his mother. The doctors finally came to the obvious conclusion that he had been poisoned. The coroner under Police supervision exhumed all the bodies in the family and Mary Ann Geering was arrested on suspicion of poisoning her husband and two sons. She was sent to Hastings Gaol and the three youngest children were sent to the poor house.
At the inquest evidence showed that she had purchased arsenic from a chemist in
Dressed all in black and wearing a black shawl with a multicoloured border, bare headed, she finally admitted to the murders.
Mary Ann Geering known as the Guestling Murderess or Murdering mother was found guilty of murder at Lewis Assizes and sentenced to hang. She died aged forty nine years old.
In 1996 I visited the Stag Inn at
One evening having retired to our room in the converted attic area, he visited the bathroom and then called out to me to come in which surprised me. (Any bathroom business was always considered very private as far as he was concerned).
As I walked in there was an eerie cold feeling that I hadn’t noticed before but obviously he was aware of it. It was much larger than the average bathroom and I sat in a comfy chair in the corner. Suddenly he told me not to turn round but to just listen. In a completely calm voice he stated that on the whitewashed wall behind me he could see a woman in a black dress and shawl with coloured edges, pouring a drink from an old pot, which she handed to a man in old clothes. After drinking the man clutched at his throat and rolled to the floor writhing in agony. He then laid still.
Startled I naturally turned to view what he was seeing and needless to say I could see nothing. He told me that the wall was now as it was before which was plain whitewash.
He was a bit shaken and we returned to the bedroom. After he went to sleep I began to ponder on what he had seen and questioned the publican. He explained that the
I met up with my cousin and he confirmed that the information I had given him was indeed concerning our ancestor. This had only been recorded in two books........The Sussex Murders and Gaolers Diary of Historic Hastings.
My son was far too young to have read either of these books and I had no idea of any of these related facts.
1 Feb 2008
I was born and raised in Hastings Sussex and was part of the fishing community. My great great (how many do you want to go back?) grandfathers through to modern day were all fishermen or went to sea as sailors.
Yep, somewhere in their one or two were smugglers in the Old Town. Mostly around the old churches, and the Stag Inn which is still there today (The rector of the parish in those days was a bit of a naughty man by all accounts)
My parents on many occasions used to help out in the Inn. I whiled away the time in one of the upstairs room imagining smugglers running riot in the cellars of the pub with the bow street runners in hot pursuit. I had a very vivid imagination even then.
When my son was still quite young I decided to revisit the Stag Inn for a short break and also research my family history. The fishermen in my family were all called “Old Lapper” and all fishermen had nicknames carried down through history.
I took my son to visit the infamous St. Clements Caves which is now a commercial enterprise. I hadn’t been there since my teens. My son had wandered off and I found myself alone in one of the caves surrounded by someone’s vivid imagination of what probably happened to smugglers when they were caught. (I admit it is very realistic and worth a visit – cheque maybe payable to........).
As I stood there absorbing the atmosphere the air became even chillier and I got the feeling that someone was behind me. As I began to turn I heard a voice whisper behind me “So you want to know about Old Lapper then”. Startled I looked to find the owner of the voice – the cave was empty! My son had wandered through to the next cave and was also quite alone preoccupied with the next feature on smuggling.
To this day I have kept an open mind as to what happened.
Oh I forgot apparently another one of my ancestors back in 1800 was the Guestling Murderess Mary Anne Geering!!
I will tell you more about that next time...