22nd October...time flies

I write this for the last time at my dad's lovely little cottage in west Cornwall. It has been a tough slog, but dad has finally found a home that he likes and so will no longer be returning here. My half term began on Friday and since then I have been restoring and emptying this home ready for tenants to move in.

Although I have begun on a sombre tone, I'd like to say that things with dad are much more settled then they have been for a long time. He is happy and, while he is not making massive progress, he is at least comfortable and in pleasant surroundings. He is in a home where he can see and hear the ocean and he is well looked after. He has his big screen tv, his desktop computer and his electric wheelchair as well as 24 hour care and support. He doesn't feel lonely anymore. Having said that, he'd still be more than happy to receive visitors, so if you are going to be in Cornwall, please feel free to drop me an email for his address and pop in for a visit.

As things stand, I will close this chapter of my dad's blog as it is expected by both the doctors, carers and by us, his family, that dad will not make any massive progress, but hopefully he will not get significantly worse either. Of course I will let you know if there is anything significant to report, however since August he has simply moved from hospital to home and become settled. I very much look forward to knowing that he is safe and that I won't need to spend 10+ hours a month travelling down to check on him.

I have been furiously packing and have rediscovered all of my dad's writing notes from the book, along with a vast portion of family history from his mother's side. I have decided that I am going to make Harry's sister Kate part of my history teaching in my school since I share her name - I would like to spend a lesson with my Year 5 (9-10year old) class asking them the question "who was Catherine Lamin?" starting with the sampler which hung in my childhood home and confused a much younger version of myself since it was made by someone with my name, but who was clearly not me. I think it would be a good way to understand women in the Victorian era, although, of course, Catherine was born nearer the end of Victoria's reign. Nevertheless, there are a large selection of artefacts, including photographs of her father, of her and of the rest of the Lamin family. I hope I can help the children in my class to really understand what life was like 120 years ago using my family as an example.

Anyway, thank you again for all of your support over the last two years and hopefully, from here on in, you can all assume that no news is good news :)


PS I apologise to about 5 or 6 people who replied to the previous post, I somehow pressed delete instead of post to the comments and can't seem to recover them! Please forgive me, I am very tired!!!!


peter said...

Hallo Catherine, just chanced to log in and see your last 2 posts. Great to hear that the news is better if not great for Bill. Would love to get in contact but have no email address for you or Bill. My brother is an occasional visitor to Cornwall and knows Bill well so could possibly drop in. Perhaps you could get him to go online with his skype account (that's how we communicated previously). Best wishes to all your family, Peter Bartlett, Munich (ex Imperial College).

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart, Catherine. What a long journey it's been for you since Bill's surgery & stroke years ago now. It is heartwarming to know that both you and Bill are in a good place. I will continue to check the blog frequently and be glad when no news is probably good news. Good luck with your teaching project. It should be an interesting subject for inquisitive children. Please let us know how that goes. Best Wishes always.

Unknown said...

Catherine as you are aware, countless people from around the world, have followed your Dad's blog from the start. I am humbled to have been allowed to follow and learn about history through your family. If I was closer I would be a regular visitor, but alas Inverness, Nova Scotia does not allow that. I wish your Dad, you and the rest of you family all the best and please extend my thanks, love and wishes to all.

Michael MacIsaac
Inverness, NS, Canada

Linda H-F said...

Catherine and Bill,

Thank you again for all you have shared with us, from your grandfather's blog through your own journey. You have enriched my life and those of thousands -- probably tens or hundreds of thousands -- of other people's lives as well. I have been watching Downton Abbey the last few weeks (how I missed it all these years I don't know...) and I knew so much more about what the characters were facing because of knowing what Willie experienced. And I have come to love and appreciate my own British family history more as well. Thank you again, so much, and yes, I will keep watching for any updates you care to share with us. I'm glad kitty and Bill -- and Catherine and all the rest of you -- are doing well, and welcome to Felicity! Gratefully, Linda H-F, Daly City (Near San Francisco) California USA

Unknown said...

Thanks so much Catherine for the updates.
I am glad to know that Bill is now in a nice home where he will be able to enjoy his days.

M Stephens said...

Thank you for your updates, Catherine. My warmest regards to you, Bill and the whole family. Thank you all for everything you have done.
M Stephens, Wellington, New Zealand

David McGovern said...

Glad to see that Bill is settled, and you also have the peace of mind knowing he is safe all the time. I seem to have lost touch with Bill, reasons understandable, but am grateful for the chance to be with him on the battlefield tour in '08. Please keep the blog going - the next few years will help people realise what Harry and his friends contributed.

David in Canada said...

My sincerest best wishes to you, your dad, and all your family. I am honoured to have been following this blog for so long. It is, by far, the best blog that has ever been written, bar none.

All of you are in my thoughts.

Linda H-F said...

Hi, Catherine and Bill,

Just popping in to say hello! I don't know if there might be somewhere where we could send a card or letter for Bill... as someone else noted, I also have no email address or idea of how to send a note. Still thinking of you all, with great gratitude. Linda H-F, Daly City (Near San Francisco), California, USA

Pte Harry Lamin said...

Hi Linda,

If you leave a comment with your email address I promise I won't post it and I can't message you contact details for dad - hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you Catherine, to Bill and to all in your family.
Charlotte (from France).

Carol said...

Hi there Catherine

My husband's mum has recently passed away and in her personal belongings we came across a lot of her dad's WW1 bits and pieces, including his personal war diaries from 1917-19.

From managing to decipher a few entries, as the writing is very small with lots of abbreviations, and faded, we decided that we would love to do more research and recount his WW1 story on my own blog - www.lifeofpottering.co.uk.

We started out by tracking down his official war record, which we managed to find through Ancestry.co.uk, which made really interesting reading.

We found out that he served in the 9th Y&L Battalion from 1917 and knew that a Battalion war diary was available at Kew.

From researching one of the cards that we found we came across your blog. The card we were looking at was the one commemorating the Battle of Menin Road, which Martin's graddad was at (his name is William Preston Sidney). Maybe Will & Harry were there together.

Anyway, from your blog, we found that you'd already been to Kew and transcribed the Battalion War Diary and I wanted to ask if you would mind if we used your transcription in Will's story. It is really useful to help interpret some of Will's diary, the place names especially.

Sadly, we don't have any actual letters, but we do have lots of post cards and lace cards that Will sent to his future wife, Ethel.

If you wouldn't mind us referring to your transcript we'd be really grateful.

Carol & Martin Dunhill

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying reading Harry Lamin's letters and your posts. It is so important to share and to remember. I’ve nominated you for a 7 in 1 blog award which goes live this Thursday on http://selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com/.

Unknown said...

Dear Catherine,
I do hope that no news is still good news.

My best wishes!