Day 5.3: Purple DNA in Bridgnorth

More stuttering and stalling and stopping, and we arrive in Bridgnorth. I’m feeling more than excited, because I know that there are many, many souls wandering the streets of Bridgnorth, who are fortunate enough to have inherited some of my ancestors’ DNA. Whoever I happen to bump into, or even just catch a glimpse of,…

Sagging Rear

Rear hanging in the balance, sagging through the split panels of a garden perch stuck, unliftable, wedged in and permanently planted and fused into an in-law’s trunk. A family tree conjoined – sprouting. Copyright of text & photography owned by Jay Cool, June 2018

Day 3: Game for a Day in Shrewsbury?

Far from over. Friendly Poo image courtesy of Pixabay.com Famous last words that have returned to haunt me. I, Jay Cool, am sitting here on the luxury loo in my ensuite at The Red Lion’s Lodge, faced with a stark (runny) reminder of yesterday’s indulgences at Ellesmere’s Asian Spice restaurant. Coriander, cumin and turmeric, smells…

Day 2: Close Encounters with Prehistoric Giants in Ellesmere

And here he is – Richard Maddox, the ancestor from Myddle, responsible for the unfortunate revelation that my hubby is very likely some kind of a distant cousin, and – my – he’s huge! He’s carrying a great barn (1) on his vast Herculean back. He’s more giant than the humungous-dwarf oxymoron in Marvel’s ‘Infinity…

Puke Pie Prelude

  Immingham, South Humberside, 1981   Chimneys. Smoke. Fertiliser. Photo by David Wright But the black clouds and vomit-inducing stench were just a prelude. The hallucination that greeted the Cool family, recently departed from Aberdeen, was Killingholme. The village of Killingholme merely represented the pearly gates to its larger-all-embracing neighbour – the after world … Immingham. But the Cool family didn’t…

Sacred Carpet

  Colneis Junior School, Felixstowe, 1977-78   “Mrs Smith?” I called out timidly. It had taken many long minutes, before I’d ventured to put my hand up in the first place. Because, there I was, in the first year of Junior School, sitting on a this-is-new-and-sacred-common-room carpet, surrounded. Surrounded by seven-year old somethings blasting out…

Sun, Saltwater and Stones

Felixstowe, 1977 to 1978 From Fleetwood to Felixstowe. From the Fisherman’s Mission to the British Sailor’s Society. From a dingy flat amidst other dingy flats, in the middle of noisy, smelly and drunken docklands; to a three-bed semi, with a beautiful-red-shiny front door – our own front door – at the beginning of a quiet…

The Sarky Ear

  1600 – 1652 Jane Lyttleton (1600-1652) of Frankley, Worcestershire (Jay Cool’s 5th cousin 10 X removed via her paternal line; and mother-in-law of 1st cousin 1X removed via maternal line); daughter of John Lyttleton, MP for Worcestershire (1561-1601)     A groom had been chosen and the marriage date set. Muriel Bromley, widow of my 4th cousin and…

Feckless Fools: Part Four

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Gread Grandad & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire On awakening, bright and early, or more likely befuzzled and early, with a splitting headache, Lots-of-Greats Granduncledad Humphrey [1]needed a quick fix. What better than a ride into Shrewsbury for a little therapeutic impulse shopping at…

Feckless Fools: Part Three

Sir Humphrey Kynaston (1468-1534), Jay Cool’s 12th Great Grandad & 15th Great Uncle, of Myddle Castle and Nescliffe Cave, Shropshire My Great-Granduncledad-Something Humphrey Kynaston did, of course, do what all of my genes do best. He fled. Fled from his wife, his children, and his tumble-down castle [1]and his …. No, he didn’t flee from his…