Post Graduation

As you can see, I really did mean it when I first started writing this blog and I said that my posts would be sporadic. My last post to this blog was over a year ago, and I have no excuse or explanation as to why I have left it so long. I also have no idea how I came to be back here now, writing this post, whatever this post may end up being. But here I am, at my computer, typing away with no real direction or purpose.

This last year has probably been my most interesting yet. I’ve graduated university, left full time education, and somehow found myself living an adult life that does not yet feel adult. I was under no illusion that I would finish my time at university and fall into an amazing career. I mean, I’ve never known what I wanted to do career-wise, so that was hardly a surprise. I decided to take this year and find out what made me tick, and what I wanted out of my working life. In doing so, I have found myself volunteering my time in schools, working for a summer camp, working 12 hour shifts in a factory, and doing boat loads of research.

And after all of this, am I any closer in discovering what my calling is? Well, yes and no. I have met an array of people this year, many just fleeting appearances and many who continue to remain a part of my life. I have gained respect for those I did not consider on a day to day basis, realising the work people do and lives people lead in order to earn money. I have met people who love what they do, people who literally count down the hours until the day is over and they can go home, and people like me who are also finding their way in the world.

Through meeting all of these people, I have a far better understanding of myself and the life, working and personal, that I want to lead, than I have ever had before. I have realised what is important to me in my own life and what is important to me when it comes to finding that future career.

Although I have gained this knowledge I have had numerous times over this last year where I have found myself questioning what I was doing, and where I was going. I have found myself in pits of despair and negativity, comparing myself and my journey to those around me. To those who appear to have their careers in order and are progressing in the way society assumes graduates should. This led me to doubting my choices and I started to believe that time is ticking and all i’m doing is wasting it away.

I have came to the conclusion though that everybody’s timescale is different. That I should not look at other peoples paths and think ‘why am I not like that?’ or ‘I need to get my life sorted like theirs’. I am happy in the realisation that throughout this year, although I have not started an amazing career, I have progressed as an individual and have gained far more knowledge and understanding than I could have hoped for. That graduating university and entering into a career is not something that should be or needs to be rushed.



May, You’ve Done Me Good

It’s May and I’ve done it. I’ve completed three years at university studying for my English degree. It feels like I’ve reached this point far quicker than I ever imagined. It’s a cliché, but the day I moved to Liverpool in September 2014 honestly feels like it was yesterday. Although saying that, I am happy these three years are drawing to their end. Not because I haven’t enjoyed my time here, it’s definitely been a fun three years, however, I feel like I’m ready to move on. Move on to what? I’m still unsure, but I’m ready for the next phase of my life.

the alchemMy last assignments were submitted a couple of weeks ago, so now it is just a waiting game to distinguish exactly what level of degree I am leaving Liverpool with. However, that is not something I am thinking about just yet. I am simply happy to have a free mind and so much free time to relax and do what I want to do, without the pressures of assignments. Luckily for me, the end of my degree has tied in with my 22nd birthday. I have not been out a lot during third year so a night out was one hundred per cent needed. Since going out is a rare occasion, I thought it was only right to go to The Alchemist for a meal and cocktails. If you have been there before then you will understand what I mean when I say it is a beautiful place. – in all areas: aesthetics, food, drinks, people.

Following that, we went to one of my favourite night time destinations in Liverpool: Mathew St. And, I am fully confident now that I have been to every pub/bar/club that is down that street. – well, that is apart from the Cavern Club. (what kind of student residing in Liverpool has not been to the most famous drinking establishment in the city? Really. I’m such a sorry excuse for a student) I’m confident, however, I will get to the Cavern Club before I leave Liverpool for good. So, Mathew St was great. I highly recommend it if you want to be away from the student populated night life. Although, a lot of the time the lack of students is replaced with tourists. So, I guess it’s all about preferences.

sister actAs well as celebrating my birthday in Liverpool I also went home for a few days. I went to see Sister Act, a musical directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, at the theatre in Stoke. Which was honestly so good. I didn’t know what to expect, when you’ve watched the original films so often it’s sometimes hard to separate the characters from the original actors (i.e Whoopi Goldberg). However, the cast behind the Sister Act musical were fab, so thankfully I didn’t find myself making comparisons between the portrayal of the characters in the film and the musical.

Following my birthday celebrations, I also had my English Graduation Ball, at the Bluecoat Chambers. I wasn’t going to attend this as it didn’t sound like something that I would enjoy. However, a few of us decided ‘I’ll go if you go’. So, naturally, I found myself attending the ball. It was an enjoyable night with course friends, prosecco, a three-course meal, dancing, moreball 1 prosecco, a photo booth…oh and more prosecco. It has been so long since we’ve had a chance to dress up nicely, that it was great to have an excuse to make a bit more an effort than the usual jeans and trainers. Though, by the end of the night, and when I found myself sat in a tequila bar, shot in hand, I was majorly regretting not wearing flat shoes. Nevertheless, it was a great night and just shows that although I may think something will be… meh, it can turn out to be enjoyable. So, mental note taken for the next time I have doubts about an event or the like.

Well, that’s been my life over the last month or so. – I’ve completed university, I’ve turned 22 and I had a couple of enjoyable nights out. I have had a great May, however, now that I have finished I am finding myself with little to do. I am currently working one day a week on an internship…which I realise I haven’t spoken too much about, so maybe that’ll be a future post. And, although I am working for that day, the rest of the weeks have been a mission to fill, which hasn’t been made easy with the terrible weather. However, I have been productive, and I have planned the best week ahead. I will not go into detail about this yet, as I will save this for a future post. So, keep your eyes peeled, and i’ll leave you with these fantastic pictures from my solo, drunken trip to the photo booth at the grad ball.

photo booth 1

Until next time…


General Election 2017 – Why You Should Be Registering

There are less than two days for you to register your vote in the 2017 General Election. Registering your vote is an easy act and takes no time at all, so what are you waiting for?

I’ll be honest, it is only over the last year or two that I have become more aware of the political world. It’s not that I never knew of its importance, it’s just that I wasn’t necessarily previously interested. And because of this lack of interest, and I will hold my hands up and say I did not vote in the 2015 general election. – I can’t even remember whether I registered or not. Now, as somebody who has previously ignored their right to vote, I will not judge or shame you if you have zero interest. However, since I now understand the importance of my vote I want to urge you to at least register to vote.

election 2In the past, I have had thoughts like ‘it doesn’t affect me’ or ‘what change can I make’ run through my mind. So, I completely understand that many people go through this internal struggle. However, what I feel is significant about my ‘political journey’ – if you will – is that these are no longer thoughts that cross my mind. Although I am no political expert, I have become far more informed and conscious of how my single vote could help to sway a result. Thus, I want to tackle these thoughts that I have previously had, and thoughts that I know other people have when thinking about general elections:

“It doesn’t affect me”

Wrong – The government are in control of everything in your day to day life. Health care, taxes, human rights, education, employer/employee rights, the economy, and I could go on. Therefore, you will be affected by the outcome of the general election in all areas of your life. So, the argument that the outcome of the election will not affect you has no standing, it affects everybody in one way or another. Therefore, it is important for you to distinguish what you value and what you want in these aspects of life in order to make an informed decision.

“What difference will my vote make?”

In 2010, 15.9 million people did not vote. That is far more people than any party was supported by. Just think about the difference that those people could have made. If even half of these people realised that their votes matter, and can have an impact, the results of the general election could have been significantly different. Alongside this, if everybody who could vote voted, we would have a government that is far more representative of our population. After all isn’t that the greatness of having a democratic society? That it is the people who make the choices and the people who are represented.election 1

“I’m only 18, what does it have to do with me?”

This is your future, more than anybody else’s. In 2015, only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted, compared to the 78% of people aged 65 and over. This means that it is the older generations who are having the most say in your future. Where is the logic in that? No matter what you are doing with yourself, whether you’re in college, at university, on an apprenticeship, or in the workplace you will be affected by the outcome. You will not get this chance to make your voice heard about what is important for YOUR future until 2022, do not waste this opportunity.

“I wouldn’t know who to vote for, so why should I register?”

Voting registration closes on May 22nd 2017, but the general election is not until June 8th 2017. That means you have over two weeks to make an informed decision as to who you want to vote for. Each party has released election manifestos, there are websites you can use to discover which party suits your values, and there are continuous discussions over all social media platforms. Therefore, coming to a conclusion as to who you should be supporting is easier than you think. Even if you get to June 8th and still have not concluded who you want to support, then it is your right to not vote. However, you will not get to make that decision if you do not at least register.

If you have got to this point and have realised your voting potential, please do not just sit back and forget about how important this is. Personally, I do not care who you are voting for. As long as you are making an informed decision that is right for you, then that is perfect. Too often I hear of people who vote a certain party because ‘that’s who my parents vote for” or they vote for the party who is getting the better press, or they vote for who their friends are voting for. Although it’s great you’re voting, these are not informed methods of doing so. So, please, after coming to the realisation of the importance of your vote, continue that realisation with realising the importance of making an informed decision.election 4

Bringing it back to myself, and to demonstrate that I am practising what I am attempting to preach. I have registered to vote in the general election, both in my hometown and in my university city. This is because I am currently back and forth between the two locations. Therefore, I did not want to get to June 8th and discover that I was in the wrong place to cast my vote. I have also taken a couple of quizzes, watched videos and debates and I am currently making my way through the manifestos. This is all to enhance my ability to make an informed choice. So, you see I have done and I am doing exactly what I am asking you to do!

To put it simply, here are some steps you can take to make the most of this general election

  • Register your vote. (Students can register at both your uni address and your home address)
  • Determine what is important to you (health care, taxes, human rights, the environment etc)
  • Get informed on your party options: Read the party manifestos – take some online quizzes, use google
  • Measure up the pros and cons each party offers on the aspects of life you value the most
  • Turn up on June 8th 2017 and vote.


Useful websites

Vote registration

More registration information

Who should you vote for‘ quiz

I Side With’ quiz

2017 Party Manifestos (the ones I could find so far):



Liberal Democrats 

Green Party



His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet

His bloody project

His Bloody Project is the 2016 novel by Graeme Macrae Burnet. I picked it up on a whim whilst I was browsing the tables in Waterstones at the beginning of the year. I had come to read it a couple of times but for a reason I cannot pinpoint I just never got further than the first few pages. However, a couple of weeks ago I found myself in my ‘reading zone’, so I thought I would try again. This time, I had my full attention on the text in front of me, and I found that I just could not put the book down. I am usually quite a slow reader, so I was surprised to find I had finished the book in two days.

The story itself is set in 1869 and tells of the brutal murders of three people in Scotland. There is no mistaking who committed these murders, however, what we do not know is how the boy responsible found himself in the positon to commit the crime. And, at a time when hanging was still a punishment, we are taken on a journey to establish what will be the consequences of his actions.

I feel Burnet created something truly unique with his creation of His Bloody Project. I have searched online repeatedly trying to establish whether this was a true story, or whether it is simply imagination. I found myself doing this because the novel is so well structured. We are given witness accounts, a memoir written whilst the alleged murderer is in jail, doctors reports and a day by day retelling of the trial. Therefore, the novel is easily mistaken for being simply a collection of found documents. So, although as far as I am aware it is completely fiction, we get a sense of an author who has done thorough research into his subject. As a reader this gives us a real sense of rural life in Scotland in the mid-19th century, as well as insight into the approach taken in the criminal justice system at the time.

If you have read one of my previous blog posts, So much history…, you will be aware I am currently taking part in a research project, Writing Lives, which looks into working-class autobiographies. Throughout my participation in this project I have been focusing on a memoir written by a man in rural England. So, when it came to reading His Bloody Project I was completely in my zone. The ‘memoir’ that Burnet includes was my favourite section of the novel. This is because we got a sense of what the alleged murderer was thinking leading up to the crime and whilst he was in prison. Through my participation is Writing Lives I have acquired the skills to look at a piece of autobiographical writing and read between the lines, thus, the memoir that Burnet created was a joy to read…even if it is fiction.

Although His Bloody Project does not follow the traditional ideals of novels that I am used to, and that I love, I would recommend the book for others to read. It provides brilliant insight into a world away from the one many of us are used to. Each, and every, section of the novel entices you to want to continue in your journey. Therefore, do not be surprised if you, like me, rush through this novel in a couple of days. It an interesting and remember able journey and destination that the Burnet takes you to. And, if you do enjoy this book, make sure you do check out the Writing Lives project, for some fascinating and very true memoirs penned by the British working-class.


The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

the light between oceans

The Light Between Oceans is the 2012 debut novel by M. L. Stedman. It is a novel classed as war fiction, however, aside from Tom Sherbourne’s (one of the main characters) PTSD and few references about the First World War, there is little content that is explicitly about the war. The novel follows Tom after his return to Australia, from the Western front, and his decision to take a job as a lighthouse keeper on the isolated Janus Rock.

I think this is one of the best novels I have read in a while. It is beautifully written, and is a truly unique story. In the novel, Stedman effectively explores human morals, and the effects our decisions can have, not just on ourselves, but those around us. The struggle I had with this novel, and why it pulled on my heartstrings, was because the main characters Tom and Isabel are good people. They both had good intentions, they just make a bad decision. Stedman created so much depth in the characters and the story that I found myself struggling to dislike the characters for their actions. You truly find yourself justifying their decisions and hoping that their lives will continue happily. However, like any good novel, this does not necessarily happen the way you would expect. Stedman, as the story progresses, does not deliver a conclusion that is easily guessed. The story continues to throw us off, and gives us twists and turns, making it impossible to know where the story will end, until it does.

The novel itself was adapted into a film in 2016, starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. I watched this film after reading Stedman’s novel, and although it is fairly true to the book, I could not help but feel a disconnection with it. I feel in the book we are given a better insight into the run up to the ‘decision’ and the feelings involved in it. Thus, the movie, for me, did not provide the emotional, heart wrenching response that the novel gave me. I wanted to touch upon the film though because sometimes people do the book/film order the other way around to me. I.e watch the film and then read the book. Therefore, if you have watched the film and not connected with it, I do not want you to be put off from reading Stedman’s novel. I promise you, you will not regret it!

This novel is great for those who love a good romance, or who like a good period drama or who want to read something with more depth. I found it to be one of those books that just stayed with me for some time after I had finished it – it truly haunted me for some time. I cannot give enough praise to M. L. Stedman for her work, thus I encourage you to pick up this novel and immerse yourself in the story.


Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, Book 1) by Christina Henry

Alice is the first book by Christina Henry in The Chronicles of Alice series. To put it simply, the book is a twist on the popular children’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking-Glass, written by Lewis Carroll. Though it is a twist on these children’s books, I would not recommend Henry’s books to be read by a child. It is a dark story with some explicit ideologies, thus it should be left to an older audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed this twist on Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland stories. Henry’s story is a completely unique reinvention of the story we all know. The dark and disturbing elements just make the original so much more compelling. Although the story can be vulgar, I think it is a quite enjoyable adventure that Henry takes us on, as she provides twists and turns throughout her novel. Although it is a unique story, Henry effectively includes so many of Carroll’s elements. For example, the characters are all there, just re-imagined into something else, and most of all, Henry’s novel is just as ‘trippy’ (for want of a better word) as Carroll’s original story.

I honestly cannot think of much that I did not like, aside from the fact that the novel did not go on for longer. However, since this is the first in a series, I can accept that this fantastic re-imagination will continue in Henry’s second book, Red Queen. If you are looking for something with a lot of depth and deep meaning, however, this book is probably not for you. I did not find that this book lead me to question our existence, or my path in life etc, but it is a novel that will leave you thinking ‘what did I just read’. – In the most positive way possible!

I am somebody who is not easily offended though. I like reading and exploring a huge range of topics, including the more dark and taboo concepts. However, I realise many people are not like this. So, as a warning, I will say that the book contains a lot of violence, and a lot of references to rape. This is a ‘theme’, is you like, that runs throughout the novel, therefore if this is something that you are not necessarily comfortable with, I would possibly think twice about reading this novel.


The Grand National: Ladies Day


For the very few of you that do not realise, this weekend has been Randox Health’s Grand National. Admittedly, I am one of those people who only pays attention to horse racing this one weekend in the year. There’s just this hype around it, and you really get swept along…even more so living in Liverpool, just down the road from Aintree Race Course. I have wanted to go to Ladies Day for a few years now, but unfortunately it just has not happened for me yet. There’s always next year, right? I am digressing though, it not the horse racing or the events themselves that has me writing today. It is the media, and the newspapers that report on the weekend that have brought me here. One newspaper in particular has me frustrated, I will not however give them the satisfaction of naming them. Though as I go on, I’m sure many of you will figure out who that newspaper is.

Year after year I see this newspaper report on the Grand National, which is only right, it is a big event. However, the headlines that I continuously see from them revolve around Ladies Day. Their photographer takes countless photographs of the women attending the event, all looking fabulous I must say. However, rather than focus on the fact that these women have come together to enjoy a day out at the races, they put a more negative spin on the day; And that is putting it lightly. They take photographs from purposefully unflattering angles and comment on how ‘classless’, ‘inappropriate’, and ultimately how ‘unladylike’ they view the woman attending the event are. I cannot speak for their physical newspaper, as I am more of an online newsreader. However, their website is covered in photographs that they present to the world, with the idea of shaming and embarrassing these women. What infuriates me most though is that this article has been published by an unknown reporter at the newspaper…

Why, if you are proud of your work and proud of what you do, would you post anonymously?

I can give you a reason. You post anonymously because you know the backlash you are going to receive for this article. That although you attempt to shame and embarrass these women that attended the Grand National’s Ladies Day, you will be met with hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are in support of these women, and who will look at you with disdain. You know why? Because these women are having a damn good time! They are enjoying their day at the races thoroughly, and creating memories that they will look back fondly on. These are confident, independent, glammed up women, who are not afraid to have fun. They’ve spent their day in the sunshine, surrounded by their friends, enjoying a high-profile event. And what have you done with your day? You’ve wasted a whole day judging other people for having a good time. Where is the logic in that? And nobody even knows who you are, literally, because your name is not on the article.

I only hope the person responsible for this article is not female. Because I can guarantee at some point in their life they would have been subject to some form of judgement…as most women are. Therefore, as a woman, they should realise that this kind of judgmental article is just not acceptable.

Where is the girl power?

And if they are male? Well, what do you want us girls to do, spend our days indoors, catering to your every need? Ha, we are not in 1950. If a woman wants to go out and have fun, if she wants to drink until she cannot drink anymore, if she wants to take off her shoes after a long day (because heels hurt, I commend them for spending the amount of time they did in them, I’m not sure I would have been that strong myself), if she wants to wear clothes that show off her body, then who are you to stop them?

All I want to say to the women who attended Ladies Day at the Grand National is: YOU GO GIRLS; I’m only jealous I was not there to look as fabulous and have as much fun as you all did!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

the haunting of hill house

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a twentieth century horror novel, considered one of the best of the century. The story sees four strangers, Dr.Montague, Eleanor, Theodora and Luke, make a visit to Hill House. Hill House is an eight-year-old mansion built by the long-gone Hugh Crain. The strangers are brought to Hill House by Dr.Montague who hopes to find evidence that the paranormal exists.

This is a novel that I was required to read for my university course, and surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is not often I read a book that I am told I must read and find that I really enjoy it. Just like many gothic novels this novel keeps the reader guessing throughout its entirety. The characters experience numerous events, and the reader is left questioning whether the events are really happening. This is because alongside the paranormal events, Jackson creates characters who are far more in depth than the stereotypical characters in horror movies. i.e hot, college students having a sleepover; you know the ones! Eleanor, for example, the reader learns to be a very vulnerable woman suffering from guilt over her mother’s death. And Theodora is very much the opposite, she is an eccentric artist who we learn has had psychic experiences. Therefore, Jackson’s characters are very subjective to what is going on in the novel, so they cannot necessarily be relied upon

Though I believe this novel to be brilliant, I was a little bit disappointed with the ending. I thought the ending of the story was very abrupt. I even had to go back over the last couple of pages when I had finished, as I did not process what had happened. This was not because I could not believe it, but more because I just did not understand what had happened. I felt it was not as explicit as it should have been. Jackson does however carry on after the final event for one last paragraph. I feel this small paragraph is an attempt to close the novel seamlessly, however for me, it just did not work.

Out of all the novels I have read, The Haunting of Hill House has quickly become one of my favourite horror novels. Therefore, I would one hundred percent recommend this novel to anybody who is into horror novels. However, I would also recommend this novel to somebody who is not necessarily a fan of the horror genre. This is because there is so much more going on, aside from the apparent poltergeist. It is an adventure to be discovered!

side note: The novel has also been adapted into two films, both titled simply ‘The Haunting’. One from the 1960’s and the other from the 1990’s which stars Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson. 


Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

billy and me

Billy and Me, Giovanna Fletcher’s debut novel, is quite simply a romance novel. It focuses upon a small town / village girl Sophie May and Billy, a famous actor. The basis for the story line is pretty much ‘can these two total opposites successfully be together in a committed relationship?’ Alongside this though, the reader is teased with a secret that Sophie May is anxious to divulge to her love interest, Billy.

I enjoyed this novel, but only to an extent. I liked the concept behind the story, the idea of exploring whether two opposites can really be happy together. I liked the exploration of family bonds and relationships that Fletcher uses alongside the main story line. I liked the contrasting worlds that Fletcher presented between Sophie May’s life and Billy’s life. And I liked the first half of the novel – maybe a little less than that though. Harsh? Maybe. But I just could not stomach the character of Sophie May. At the beginning of the novel I was optimistic for her character but as time went on I just felt this huge dislike for her build and build. Now, if this dislike in the main character had been built on purpose, I may have been able to accept it. However, I do not believe that this was Fletcher’s intentions. To me, it appears Fletcher was desperately trying to make the reader feel sympathy for Sophie May and her situation, but I feel the intense effort in trying to accomplish this let the character down.

A big part of the story line in Billy and Me is the secret that Sophie May holds from Billy. This is built up for some of the novel, however Sophie May soon divulges said secret to the reader (Billy still being unaware). Although this story telling technique is often very effective, I felt this to heighten my dislike for Sophie May. This is because I was aware of her secret and why she was panicking at times, however I just could not justify her responses and worry over the said event. Maybe I’ve read too many crime and thriller novels, but I wanted the secret to be far more gripping, and a little less underwhelming.

I tend to pick up romance novels as a break from the intense reads that I am required to read on my university course. I find the romance genre to be full of easy reads, something I can just relax with, both mentally and physically. So, I did not pick up Billy and Me thinking it would be a world changing piece of work, I was simply hoping for an ‘easy read’. However, due to my complete dislike for the main character I found this novel to be far from an ‘easy read’. I was constantly rolling my eyes at the character’s actions and thoughts, and crying for the women everywhere, because of the way the novel portrays us.

Billy and Me is therefore a novel that I would struggle to recommend to a friend. However, if you are somebody who does not get too irked by characters in books maybe you’ll have some luck with this novel. Although I have been disappointed with the novel i would love to hear what you think about Fletcher’s story and characters. Maybe you’ll help to open my eyes and heart to Fletcher’s creation…maybe.


So much history…

I am going to use this post to talk about a separate project I am currently working on. Usually I would not blur the lines between my personal blog and the blogging I do for university. However, it is a project that I enjoy taking part in, and it has taken up much of my life, so it would be wrong not to have it mentioned here.

This project is called Writing Lives. It is a module on my English course at Liverpool John Moore’s University. The aim of this project is to make working-class autobiographies available to the public. To do this, each student is required to pick an author from the Burnett Archive of Working-Class Autobiographies and write weekly posts regarding the author’s writing and life experiences. I have an interest in the first world war, so I made it my mission when searching through the archives to find an author who talked about their experiences of the war. As a result of this search I came across a man called Walter John Eugene Elliott (1890 – 1977). Who, to my excitement, served in the first world war 1914-1918 and had a lot to talk about regarding his experiences in the war.

Following my selection of Walter’s ‘Untitled’ memoirs, I spent a great portion of my time researching his family history and where he grew up. Luckily, he provided a lot of detail of his family ancestry prior to beginning his written memoirs. However, what I was really intrigued about was the family he did not list, the family that came after him, his children,
and grandchildren. This is because I was eager to find photographs of Walter and some more information about him that he did not necessarily divulge in his memoirs. Unfortunately, this search has not been of great success, I am yet to find a living relative of Walter. However, I am continuing to research aspects of his life that are mentioned inCaroline-Place-c1948-Royal-Oak-Hotel-awaiting-normal-demolition. his memoirs. For example, Walter goes into detail about some of his hobbies as a young adult. He names a hotel where he spent Wednesday evenings attending the Hastings Bird Club. I have from this come across a website that features many old photographs of the Hastings area and found a photograph of this hotel in the 1940’s.

I wanted to talk about this project here, on this blog, for two reasons. One, I wanted this project to reach an even wider audience that would not necessarily stumble across it otherwise. This is because I find a project like this to be so vital to our history in the United Kingdom. We often hear about the big events and the famous people, but why only them? These working-class autobiographies provide an insight in to the everyday, and how most people lived their lives at various points in history. Therefore, surely these accounts of life are just as important, if not more important, than the accounts of those who were considered remarkable and exceptional.

The second reason why I wanted to talk about this project is because it has led me to become more interested in my own family history, and where I came from. Thus, over the last few months, I have carried out research into my own heritage. I have always been intrigued in ancestry but I never believed I would get much further than my grandparents. This was mainly because I was unaware just how many sources are available to an amateur researcher. By this I mean I did not realise what I could access from my bedroom, using only my computer: from census, to marriage records, it is all available to us! It was the Writing Lives Project that opened my eyes to all of this “hidden” information. I began to realise how easy it is for me, and everyone else, to access the documentation needed to trace my family footsteps. Granted, there are some documents that you either cannot access or you need permission to access, but what there is out there is plentiful. Therefore, I wanted to bring this to light for those that were, like myself, also unaware of all the information available at our fingertips.

family tre

Researching real people, whether they be connected to you or not, is an extremely satisfying and rewarding process. I know many people myself who have considered researching their family history, but have believed it would be a fruitless task. So I know for sure many of you reading this will believe that too. However, I assure you, it is not! I therefore encourage you to take this journey, to discover where you have come from, if you have not already done so. You may find some fascinating stories, from your own history, and I promise you, it will not be a wasted effort!

  • You can find all my posts on Walter John Eugene Elliott here on the Writing Lives website
  • Check out my Writing Lives Twitter page for all the latest updates regarding my research on Walter, or check out the Writing Lives website Twitter page for updates on the project as a whole.
  • If you would like any advice or information as to how to go about beginning your own search, please don’t hesitate, contact me!

Until next time…