Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo Capulet to Juliet Montague.

Truly though?  What does your name say about you?

My current surname is Evans, and there are millions of us, (the tenth most popular name in England) not rating as high as Smith (most prevalent) or Jones (most frequently in use.)

All my English family names are craft or workmanlike names 

Cooper - Barrel maker
Smith - Blacksmith
Turner - Woodturner - sometimes thought to be from the Norman invasion

My first husband's surname Buxton - was a little more elevated, the surname of a Baronet and a beer maker (Truman Hanbury and Buxton) 

My Irish Family are descended from King Kevan apparently according to my much loved but deceased aunt.

But the name Clifford came from the de Clifford family, so that part of the family were either vassals or Knights of the de Clifford clan living in Northern Ireland

Burke another Irish name is also an aristocratic origin from Normandy.

What does it all mean?  Is it important?

Well yes, if your name is Darren or Kaley or Chardonnay, your work life choices are limited.
If your name is Tobias, Matthew, Ashley, Millie or Rosie you are going to be middle class, probably go to uni and get a reasonable job.

If your name is Cressida, Leandra or Phaedra, Jack or James or Jasper, whatever you do in life you will be successful because your parents and their friends will make it so.

I am a Margaret - it used to be the most popular name in England at the time I was born.
I wasn't named after Princess Margaret, but all the eldest girls in our family were traditionally called Margaret, my mother was a Margaret, her sister baptised, while my grandmother was still recovering from the birth was also a Margaret (a mistake) so her middle name became her first when Granny found out what had happened!

Margaret Cooper Evans - added my maiden name as there are so many writers called Margaret Evans!   

If you haven't got the right name, even these days of so called equality, you won't fit.
It doesn't matter how educated you are or how high your IQ is, as I found out in the BBC if you have the "right" name you are fast-tracked.  I worked with Lady Jane Wellesley at the BBC and she didn't use her title or her name because she wanted to earn her promotions, we worked together, and were both getting no-where fast. When she decided to use her name, she was promoted and promoted in a year, and me - well it took a lot longer.
I always admired her for trying.

So why this why now?  Well my book The Women of the English Civil War, is being "re-imagined" by two upper class ladies with names that don't include Evans Cooper Turner.
Whose first names are classical mythical beauties. Who on the back of my 20 years of research are making money from my work. Whose parents are wealthy.

I'm JAM just about managing.  When I complain I am told I am in the wrong, they didn't use my research word for word (they did) or copy my book format (they did).  It's all my imagination.

To use Agatha Christie's famous Murder Mystery title "Why didn't they ask Evans?"

Because with a name like mine you are deemed unimportant.


Sunday, 14 January 2018

It's been a while!

Yes it has, I sit here leg in splint with kneecap held in place after dislocating it turning over in my sleep on Thursday at 2am.

I was hoping for a different January, one where I went with the Sealed Knot to Nantwich and caroused in the pubs, marched in the street, then visited friends.

Not happening.

One where I was going to Waddesdon Manor to hear about the Christmas debrief.


One where I was going to meet friends for coffee and go out shopping.  


One where I was going to have physio to fix my back and to the hairdresser to fix my hair.


We were going to look at a new house on Saturday - bigger.

Didn't happen.

So start of the year a bit of a non starter. I was really hoping my run of bad luck didn't run into 2018. As I was sitting in the Ambulance on Friday morning all I could think of was that I had one month 28 days of nothing horrible happening.

I spent five and a half hours in A&E waiting to be seen on Friday, two and a half hours in the fracture clinic on Saturday, and I can't walk for 6 weeks. 6 WEEKS!!

So with leg elevated, temper short and on the verge of tears - again. What do I do now?
Hubby has to work on Monday.

That IS going to happen.

I wish I had another child, a girl, girls are good at looking after their Mums, but Verity decided not to come and join us 16 years ago, so I am on my own.  AGAIN.


I will write again when things improve.


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Happy New Year Everybody!

I intend it to be. I've been having a break from all things electronic over the holidays. I wanted to be present in the moment and not have everything filtered through a screen for me.

I felt cold as I heard 17th Century Carols sung in a building of the same age, I wandered through Christmas lights hanging in trees where I work. I felt ill, I felt well, I danced, I had a few drinks.

I wrote, I drew, I laughed, I dressed up, I slobbed out.  I had two whole weeks without twitter, blog, e.mails etc.  I read some old classic books, GK Chesterton, Agatha Christie and I read some new authors that are younger than some of my shoes.

It's said what you concentrate on, you get more of. That was certainly true of the fruit cake and the cheese biscuits and the mince pies and the shortbread I made.  Now all gone, probably to the same place as my waistline.

I met friends, sat and chatted, watched the fire flicker in the woodburner, entertained my new little cat to whom everything was new and exciting.

Appreciated the time with my darling husband, who spent more time asleep than awake!

So now it's back to work, we take the decorations down on the 6th, we have seen in the New Year by first footing and having a Yule log, and chased the old year out of the back door by banging and clattering stuff in the kitchen.

For the first time in ages recovering from New Years Eve took most of the following day, and I guess I wasn't the only person that day wearing a cold headache strip on my head.

So now it begins again, the year rolls round, we all get older, the world more dangerous,
whoever said "The more things change, the more they stay the same" was absolutely right.

Anyway I hope you all have a Happy Prosperous and Wonderful New 2018. It's up to us to try and make it what we want. That's no small order, but if you think how far the world has come in just the last 30 years - remember someone had to think of all these things we use today and make them work!! 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas is coming......

Sounds like a threat - especially for the geese, and the turkeys.
I meant to do so much this year and it's been stymied by illness and deaths of relatives and pets. I am sort of looking forward to Christmas. This is our garden today. We are pretty much snowed in.
I hate snow, like illness, it's one of the things that keeps me housebound. Especially when it's over a foot deep. So today I blitzed the house, everything is clean sparkly and Christmassy!
I have given my money to my charities, not much this year as I haven't earned much. So the Salvation Army has enough for one person's Christmas dinner £10. The Blue Cross can feed unwanted Xmas dogs and cats for a week. £12. The Salvation Army can provide hot soup or drinks to those living on the streets £10. The Movember Foundation has £40 to save young men from suicide and older men from prostate cancer. Shelterbox a Cornish Charity that takes a home in a box to war zones and natural disasters £10. Then there are the coins that I throw into the buckets at Sainsburys and Tescos.

I have tried to get an innocent woman released from prison in Iran. I have tried to give National Trust visitors a happy Christmas visit to my place of work.  To me it's never enough.
People in the world sit on huge amounts of money that could do so much good to those who through no fault of their own are suffering this Christmas.

Here is the story of the widow's mite, a coin so small as to be almost worthless -

"He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two mites, coins worth less than two pennies. Jesus said to them, 'I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.'[

How dare you be religious at Christmas I hear some people cry!  

Even the original Saint Nicholas gave away his wealth see below:

Nicholas was born to a wealthy family in Patara, Lycia. When his parents died, and he inherited a considerable sum of money he kept none of it. In the most famous story about his life, he threw bags of gold through the windows of three young girls about to be forced into lives of prostitution.

So give your widows mite or some of your wealth, or your time and love to someone who needs it this Christmas.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Nazanin Zaghari Radcliffe

Yesterday thanks to Boris Johnson, a young mum visiting her family in Iran, was given a 21 year sentence for training journalists.  She collapsed in shock.

With a Foreign Minister like Boris there is no hope for the future. He constantly puts his foot in his mouth and shoves it right down.

He is constantly guarded and protected from dismissal, when he is the worst Minister in office today.  Others guide him and try and project a moral compass for him but it doesn't work.

As for me I have never felt worse in my health, but this has made me come alive to try and help in whatever way I can.

So it you are reading this, tweet Boris to do something to free her, tweet No.10, tweet your own PMs. Facebook, Blog etc.

This young woman won't live another year under this strain.  Please lovely worldwide readers please push to get this poor lady freed.

Thank you.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Been a while

Sure has, found it hard to write some days.

Today I am waiting to hear if my little rescue cat of a year old has cancer.

Heard from my Doctor that my heart is not working as it should - so that's scary - he's put me on different tablets to sort it out.

Fingers crossed.

I'm so exhausted I can hardly move and finding it hard to look to the future.

Many of my friends are struggling with their own lives, so I can't talk to them.

My husband's career is really starting to take off, while I feel I'm wearing out.

Life Jim, but not as we know it.
Quote from Star Trek's Spock.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017


This is my real hair colour on the right, my son is on the left - used in a card design for my business in Cornwall.  Called Coppernob Design.

Someone else has taken the name now.  Just as well, with all the illnesses I've had recently the top of my hair is white and the bottom half is red.

Being a redhead is part of me,  I loved it.  My distinctive hair colour pleased me. Both my sisters and mother and father had black hair. Black Irish from the Spanish who were wrecked on the shores of Ireland after the failed Armada attack.

But I like my Irish grandad am a throwback to the Vikings, another invading force. I have freckles and very white skin, not like the olive skin of my two sisters.

I want it back, not just the colour of my hair but my health. I want to have long red hair and be back in Cornwall where I was happiest, looking out of the bedroom window at the cobalt blue sea.
Oxfordshire is pretty, but it doesn't suit me. I feel I've lost my identity here, and certainly my health.  

I want to shop in Truro for a treat on Saturday, go to the Penlee Gallery on Sunday and look at the exhibits and have a coffee. Perhaps it's just a holiday I need, it's been a very hard year.

We're going to St Ives for New Years Eve.  Looking forward to it. It's always fun. Last time it was with friends and family. Since we moved back to be with everybody for some reason we are now "billy no mates" and spend our time mostly alone.  

Feeling ill and nostalgic today as the year winds to it's close. God 2016 was bad enough but 2017 topped that with cherries on.

For the past six months I have been in hospital, visiting A&Es, at the Doctor, at the specialists, carted off with a minor stroke, just this week already 2 visits for Llabrinthitus a nice new illness foisted on me because I didn't have enough!

Last week only the Hospital, the Doctors, the opticians. Seems never ending.  I feel I have achieved nothing this year apart from keeping alive and I have to thank my Guardian Angels for that - they are amazing.

Even my Sealed Knot adventures have been curtailed. 

I didn't realise how lucky I was until it was all gone, at my best I had a house in Cornwall of my own bought after my divorce, a little motorhome, shared a house in Buckinghamshire with my new husband, had a great job, my Sealed Knot, my family around me, a reasonable amount of health.

Today I sit alone feeling morose, (which is one of the after effects of a stroke), they tell me.
Trying to make sense of it all.

I haven't written much.  No energy.

This is the most I've written for weeks.

Will write again when I feel a bit more cheerful and less sorry for myself.