Bringing the past into the present!

After a long absence…

I now feel ready to start blogging again.  I’m not sure how frequently.

I’ve re-started my History degree… and, as you may have noticed I’ve posted the rather sketchy “study diary” that I started when AA100 started.

So far, AA100 has proved interesting.  The trouble is, The Arts, doesn’t really appeal to me as a route to go down, however, I do enjoy classical studies and religious studies.  My first assignment was a 500 word essay on the relationship between Cleopatra and Antony, followed by a 500 word essay comparing Cezanne to Vecchio.
Ironically enough, despite me hating Cezanne with a passion, I actually fared better.  I scored in the 70’s for both together.

So, to date, I’ve been to Egypt, Elizabethan England, 19th Century France, Stalin’s Russia, and now Tibet… I’m more excited about the second book than this first so I can’t wait to finish the Chapter on the Dalai Lama.


Doctor Faustus – A Different Interpretation

The second chapter of Book 1, Reputations focused on Doctor Faustus, written by Christopher Marlowe in the late 16th Century.  Taking the stance of a Morality Play, it features Dr John Faustus, an excellent scholar, who feels he has learned all he can by human means.  He makes a deal with Mephistopheles that, for a period of twenty-four years, he will live a life of luxury and unimaginable knowledge.  However, in doing so, and refusing to repent, Faustus in damned perpetually.

On hearing that an adaptation of the play was being performed at a theater local to me, I knew I had to go and see it. It was enlightening.  Adapted by Katharine Hurst and Stuart Walker, of Scene Productions, and directed by Kelly Taylor-Smith and Katharine Hurst, it provided an alternative insight into the life of the protagonist.
The scene was set with a simple yet effective desk that adapted to suit the needs of the performance.  The lighting and sound effects provided much of the atmosphere.
Dr Faustus was a great performance of physical theatre that permitted the audience’s imaginations to enter the fictional world.

Three actors and a puppet completed the cast and they gave a performance of a lifetime.
Faustus was performed by a puppet (and controlled by the third actor) and while I originally felt it was a strange choice for the protagonist, the decision grew on me.  The puppet fitted well with this particular adaptation.
Lucifer and Mephistopheles worked well together and the overall effect demonstrated that Mephistopheles was Lucifer’s puppet.
The female actor, who played Lucifer, was dynamic and energetic.  She filled the stage with her enigmatic performance.   Mephistopheles was adaptable and energetic.

I can highly recommend this adaptation, however, it will not suit all tastes.. If you like to view performances that are played ‘by the book’, then this isn’t for you.  If you like different interpretations then go and see it… :)

For information on future performances of Dr Faustus throughout the UK then click here to visit the Scene Production website.

Much more positive……

My post earlier today summed up how much I was struggling with the second part of the first TMA for AA100.  However, this evening, I am feeling much more positive.  I have 491 words of Part 2 and still have the in-text references to add.  It’s a good feeling, although how much of it I’ve written that makes sense is still debatable.  The joy of having 3 weeks left before it having to be submitted is that I have plenty of time to restructure, delete and add to the final draft plus I have another face-to-face tutorial before the cut-off date.

I’m going to be honest and say I still find analysing art and using the correct terminology difficult.  I understand what words like delineation, modelling, tone, picture space and picture plane mean but using them in a sentence is much more difficult than learning definitions.

I have discovered through writing this part of the TMA that I actually love writing essays.  I am enjoying my return to studying and look forward to reading the next chapter of the book.

Struggling already?

I’m currently 3 weeks ahead of the course planner, allowing for half term (where I will have to take a week off because I have no childcare and two monkeys to look after) and the extra time it will take to write my assignments.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cleopatra and Doctor Faustus but the chapter on Cezanne was one of the most boring I had ever come across.  I became bored and kept getting sidetracked by housework throughout the chapter.  I was disappointed that TMA01 is partly based on the Cezanne chapter but decided I’d better make the most of it.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though.  If this module wasn’t compulsory, I wouldn’t be doing it… I have no interest in the Arts, the lives of the great and famous…. My passion within history is the lives and trials of normal working class folk.  I’d love to be studying the life of the Ag Lab from a little village in Northants… but still, I suppose AA100 is a means to an end.

I’m currently writing this as a means of escaping writing Part 2 of TMA01… so I guess I’d better get cracking…

See you later….

The start of my degree……

I’m studying with the final goal of earning a BA History with honours with the Open University…

I studied DD101 – Introducing the Social Sciences in 2010 when my youngest was just 8 weeks old.  I haven’t studied since because of family commitments and many other factors.  Now though, with my princess starting Nursery in January I’ve decided to delve back in.

My second level 1 course, AA100 – The Arts Past and Present started on the 6th October and I am now quickly steaming towards my first assignment….

I’m also currently reading through The Arts Good Study Guide, in a bid to improve my study skills…

You will hear enough about my study plans and achievements soon enough… so for now I say bye bye! :)

Planning for the future…

I’m not the best at being consistent with my blog posts at the moment.  Real life is moving at a faster pace, the children are lovely and I’m finding more time for reading yet less time for writing.  I have also been thinking more and more about my future and what my descendants will say about me.  I don’t suppose our ancestors really thought about what we could say about them.  They lived in simpler times; times where the vast majority of men worked to put food on the table and women spent their days bringing up the children and taking pride in their homes.  My ancestors were mostly working class ag labs, nailors and miners.

The world has progressed, women now have the right to vote; women can hold high status positions; and women are no longer expected to stay at home with the children.  My place, while my children are still young, is at home with them, but what about when my children grow up?
It is with this in mind that I have taken my next step… starting from October, I will (as long as everything falls into place) be going back to study with the Open University.  The end result will be, should everything go to plan, a BA (hons) in History with my primary focus being on Heritage Studies.  My time will be precious from October, but the baby starts Nursery in January leaving me with 2.5 hours each day to study!

Ancestor Biographies – Leah ATTEWELL

Leah Attewell was born around September 1856 in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire, as the second child of Jacob Attewell and Rebecca Jones. She had four siblings, namely: William Thomas, Charles, George Isaac, and William Jesse. She died during the 1st quarter of 1944 in Cardiff, Glamorgan. When she was 24, She married William Dunn in the 4th quarter of 1880 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.

Leah Attewell was baptized on the 16th Oct 1859 in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire. She lived in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire in 1861. By 1891, she had moved to Roath, Cardiff where she remained until her death.

William Dunn and Leah Attewell had the following children:

  • William Tom Dunn was born in 1881 in Cardiff, Glamorgan. He died in 1934 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan. He married Susan Beatrice Locke in 1904 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Albert Charles A Dunn was born in 1885 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Martin Dunn was born in 1887 in Cardiff, Glamorgan. He died on 30th Nov 1955 in Cottingham, Yorkshire. He married Alice May Johnson in 1913 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Alfred John Dunn was born in 1889 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Lilian May Dunn was born in 1892 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Reginald George Dunn was born in 1895 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Victoria Winifred Dunn was born in 1901 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
  • Wilfred Allan Dunn was born in 1902 in Cardiff, Glamorgan.


Ancestor Biography – Charles Attewell

Charles Attewell was born around September 1859 in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire as the third child of Jacob Attewell and Rebecca Jones. He had four siblings, namely: William Thomas, Leah, George Isaac, and William Jesse. He died on 18 Apr 1918 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire. When he was 37, He married Mary Jane Hancox Parkes 01 Feb 1897 in Monmouthshire.

Charles Attewell was baptized on 16 Oct 1859 in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire. He lived in Shirenewton, Monmouthshire until the 1870’s.  In 1881 he possibly lived in Cardiff, Glamorgan. He lived in Bristol, Gloucestershire in 1901 and was the landlord of the Masons Arms, Temple Street.

Charles Attewell and Mary Jane Hancox Parkes had the following children:

  • Charles Thomas Attewell was born 11 Apr 1899 in Bristol, Gloucestershire. He died 06 Mar 1942 in Blandford St Mary, Dorset. He married Hilda Evelyn Jones in the 3rd quarter of 1930 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.


AWOL Ancestors – Ann ALMEY

Ann ALMEY was born around 1773 in Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, England. She died in the fourth quarter of 1862 in Leicester Registration District, Leicestershire.

When she was 25, She married Joseph Blakesley on 9th Nov 1798 in Wigston Magna, Leicestershire.

Joseph Blakesley and Ann Almey had the following known children:

  • John Blakesley was born around 1803 in Wigston, Leicestershire, England. He died on 4th Mar 1864 in Leicestershire, England. He married Ann Willett on the 10th Aug 1824 in Thornton, Leicestershire, England.
  • Benjamin Blakesley was born around 1808 in Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, England.
  • Elizabeth Blakesley was born around 1800 in Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, England.
  • Samuel Blakesley was born around 1805.


AWOL Ancestors – Elizabeth Aldridge

Elizabeth Aldridge was born around 1818 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England. She died during the fourth quarter of 1894 in Lexden Registration District, Essex. When she was 19, she married George Hazell, the son of John Hazell and Hannah Maria Rudd, 28 Jul 1837 in Wivenhoe, Essex.

Elizabeth remained in Wivenhoe, Essex her whole life bringing up her children while her husband, George, worked at home and abroad as a Mariner.

George Hazell and Elizabeth Aldridge had the following children:

  1. George Joseph Hazell was born in 1846 in Wivenhoe, Essex. He died 21 Sep 1923 in Wivenhoe, Essex.
  2. Henry George Hazell was born on 23 Mar 1838 in Wivenhoe, Essex.
  3. Mary Ann Hazell was born in 1840 in Wivenhoe, Essex.
  4. Elizabeth Ann Hazell was born in 1849 in Wivenhoe, Essex. She died in 1924 in Tendring, Essex, England.
  5. Sarah Ann Hazell was born in 1852 in Wivenhoe, Essex.
  6. James John Hazell was born in 1854 in Wivenhoe, Essex.
  7. John Hazell was born in 1857 in Wivenhoe, Essex.