Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Update from John Stokes and family

An update from John Stokes: 

Wrapped up in Windsor
In January [2012] we shifted from the Channel Islands to Australia, primarily to be warm again, but also because of the public schools which, for our eldest daughter who is heading for high school next year, are of a better standard, in our opinion!

After a couple of years of soaking up a little bit of Europe, which we really enjoyed, I have to say - and after visiting Brittany in north western France we are dead set to return there on a more permanent basis when circumstances permit - we are glad to be back down under, and the familiar Aussie twang, last heard on Omaha Beach in Normandy, funnily enough, is now part of our lives!
Basking and bathing in Brisbane....

The children have adapted to the change in countries with aplomb; they really are very adaptable things, are children! Lucy is shuttling between 2 sites, one here in Hervey Bay, and one in Maryborough and seems happy enough. As for me, well, I am toying with the idea of going to uni....   I know, I know; no-one is more surprised than I!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just out of interest, I had a look at the stats relating to this blog.   Here's a summary of the countries from which people checked it out over the last week....

New Zealand               14
Australia                     11
United States                8
Czech Republic            7
Indonesia                     7
United Kingdom           6
France                         4
Brazil                           3
China                           3
Russia                         3

Pretty intriguing mix, huh?   Do we really have relatives in all these countries checking things out?   Probably unlikely; I guess some of the page views were from people who got to us by mistake, but it would be interesting to know for sure....

Two stories

This blog has suffered a bit of neglect over the last year, in spite of the fact that I've been retired since last April.  So this is by way of a bit of an update.

Some of you will know that our younger son, Dominic, the baby of the family, got married in Idaho, in January, to Elizabeth Anne Nelson - who just happens to have the same first two names as my youngest daughter, Libby, meaning that currently we actually have two Elizabeth Anne Crowls in the family.  The new Mrs Crowl is normally known as Liz, however.

We were blessed out of our socks because a bunch of people from our church decided that we should go to the wedding, even though we'd decided that we really couldn't afford it.   So they clubbed together and paid for the airfares - no small sum.  We stayed with Liz's parents, Chris and Cindy - along with my other son, Ben, who'd paid his own way, and various other relatives: Liz's brother, Daniel, Liz herself at times, one of Cindy's sisters and her husband, Chris's sister from California, and one of Cindy's oldest friends, also from California - which is where the family hails from originally.   So it was a full house for the week.

Confused?  Liz's family consists of Chris and Cindy Nelson (the parents) and Daniel and Sarah - her siblings.  Sarah is married to Joel, whose surname I've forgotten.   Cindy has eight brothers and sisters, but only four of them made it to the wedding.

We had a great time in Nampa (a kind of suburb of the capital of Idaho, Boise - pronounced Boy-see, and derived from the French word for trees).  Nampa is about twenty miles from Boise itself, and we were further out still, in what was a fairly rural area, on a wide open plain where there's no irrigation except via the man-made canals, which the snow off the mountains is supposed to fill up each year.  While we were there the snow hadn't arrived at all, and was over two months late.  It was mostly like a mild Dunedin winter - very pleasant and sunny.

On another tack altogether, while Celia and I were cleaning out some cupboards yesterday, trying to find a particular thing and throwing out other stuff that had survived uselessly for some time, we came across a page of the Joyce family tree that my mother's cousin (now deceased) had put together for me some years back.  I'd started to include it on the online family tree, but had never finished.

Working my way down the page I was intrigued to discover our mechanic's name!  He's married to my second cousin's daughter, Debra Joyce.  Celia knew there was some relationship, because Debra's aunt used to live over the fence behind the old house in Stanley St for most of her married life.  And Celia had played badminton with her and her sister - who's Debra's mother.   So I rang the mechanic, just for a laugh, and wound up with the names and details of his two sons, and their birthdays.   If only all genealogy was so easy!

The photos are of Dom and Liz on their wedding day, Liz with Cindy and Chris, and Liz with a friend after they both graduated as Physician's Assistants.  The interesting thing about this photo, if you enlarge it, is that Liz has Elizabeth Crowl on her name badge - this was some weeks before she got married....