Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Friday, 23 May 2014

Fota House and Gardens

Fota House, Fota, Cork

Banana plants in the borders at Fota

Fota House & Gardens

The Frameyard at Fota. See the tajinaste, native of Tenerife.

Gardners' accommodation at Fota

The Orangery at Fota

Kitchen at Fota House

My great-grandmother's address at the time of her marriage was given simply as, "Fota" and there will have been nothing on the island, other than this estate. Could she have been a servant there? My gran used to talk about her and her mother baking cakes "for the big house". Could this be where she meant? It's also possible that my 2x great-grandfather worked for the estate as a gardener. 


Casement Square, Cobh

Pearse Square, Cobh

Commodore Hotel, Cobh

It wasn't photo taking weather by any means while we were in Cobh.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Workhouse, Cork

Entrance block to what was the Workhouse in Cork

Madden’s Buildings in Blackpool, Cork

Madden's Buildings, Co. Cork

We were given to understand that a couple of my great-aunts may have ended up in the workhouse in Cork, but after a whole day squinting at microfiche records at the Cork Records Office in Blackpool, Cork, we drew a blank. As the reason they were supposedly sent there was because they'd, allegedly, committed the deadly sin of begetting children outside of marriage, I'm now fearing worse that they ended up somewhere like Magdalene Laundries. Currently they're dead ends. 

My great-uncle died, from TB, in the Workhouse Infirmary in Cork in 1926.

My 2nd great-grandmother may have died in a similar house to those shown. We saw one of these listed for sale. It was described by the estate agent as having a "two piece bathroom": i.e. a toilet and basin (out back) with no bath, nor shower. No doubt even that was a huge improvement from when they were new! 

Christ Church, Rushbrooke

Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

Interior of the Sanctuary at Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

The Jones Family Church Lodge Rushbrooke at Rest, at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh)

Cobh (Queenstown as it was), Cork, where my great-grandfather, David Jones, had been Sexton of Christ Church, Rushbrooke: where he married the second time to my great-grandmother and where all eleven of his children were baptised.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Breast cancer mammograms: overrated, overhyped and over-diagnosing women

It is time to radically re-think the flawed philosophy behind the 'early detection' tenet of the breast cancer awareness movement.

They go against the Hippocratic Oath (they do harm)! At last somebody else is saying it. It's why I've been refusing mammograms (and NOT supporting pink-ribbon "awareness" campaigns) for years; that and the pain of them ( unbearable pain when you have fibromyalgia) and having had a false positive diagnosis of breast cancer myself back in the 1990's, with all the accompanying stress that brought. I cannot adequately describe how that diagnosis affected me (severely compounded by the fact that it was delivered with a total lack of tact and compassion, publicly in the busy corridor of a Spanish hospital), but I 'lost' several days where I could not function, could not speak, could not think, could not sleep, could not eat ... That stress alone was enough to cause PTSD.

Yes, undoubtedly, this is not as bad as actually having cancer, but there was no way for me to know that at the time and, by then the harm was done.
"In calculating the role of population-based screening, the absence of benefit is only compounded by evidence of harm: 21.9% of breast cancers found through mammography screening represented over-diagnosis, according to the Swiss Medical Board. This means that one in five women who was told she had breast cancer after mammography screening received unnecessary treatment."
It's lucky I was sceptical and rejected the (barbaric) treatment offered me as the only option, or the end of this tale might have been very much worse indeed.

Breast cancer mammograms: overrated – and over-diagnosing women

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Saturday, 7 December 2013


Christmas lights on trees in a cold and wet Swansea

From the 6-8 Dec 2013, we visited Swansea, primarily because family history has it that one of my ancestors, Thomas Jones, came from the city, which indeed he claims on the 1851 Census. It may well be true, but the chances of proving it with almost no clues and a name that common in Wales, is probably lower than finding rocking horse poo and hens teeth on the same day as a tory telling a truth! 

We visited the lovely Swansea Market, found a nice Italian restaurant, watched the girlies tottering from bar to bar in Wind Street in ridiculous heels and very short skirts that they had to keep pulling down to [often unsuccessfully] cover their bums and discovered the Cherry Stag coctail at TGI Fridays. Sadly no longer on the menu, it's a good job I kept the recipe: Jim Beam Black Cherry infused bourbon shaken with Amaretto, cherry brandy and a dash of lemon juice.

And this was the only photo I managed to get on the trip.

Friday, 27 September 2013


Bridge of Sighs

Piazza San Marco in Venice, with St. Mark's Campanile.

Piazza San Marco

Grand Canal (Venice)

Venice was magical, despite the crowds. Would love to go back when it's quiet.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


The Juliet balcony wasn't even added until the 20th-century!

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Piazza delle Erbe, Verona

Verona Arena

Piazza Bra with Verona Arena and Palazzo Barbieri (Verona's Town Hall)
Not sure if they were installing a piece of art or a new large drain!
Mobile phones arrived early in Verona, like about the Roman Era!

Verona was interesting and unintentionally amusing for all the wrong reasons. The things that stand out in my memory, apart from the crowds (as everywhere), were the especially bad basement - down dodgy steps - unisex toilets; the market in the Piazza delle Erbe that was selling almost entirely tourist tat with Chinese stall holders; discovering that "that balcony" is actually inside a tiny, tiny courtyard into which hoards of tourists as squashed tightly (never mind that it's the totally not real imaginings of a fictional story to begin with), and then at the Arena there was the Roman in the wrong type of costume that quality-wise looked like he'd got it off ebay, nattering away on his "out of character" mobile phone! That did make us laugh, but it also made me think that, to allow it, the authorities in Verona are really being disrespectful to visitors if they think we're stupid enough to be taken in by it, which kinda spoilt the impression I took away of the city.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


The Castle in Sirimione

Place to find very cheeky birds

When we went, Sirmione was uncomfortably busy. Still fascinating, but hard to see for the crowds in a flying visit [birds, geddit?] that couldn't do it justice.