Mar 292015

When I was ‘a tiddler’, Ma & Pa FWL had the unenviable task of bringing me up. I am sure this task was not easy when I was a child, nor any easier when I became a teenager and then an adult. Teaching me right from wrong when I was a child was simple though, I would imagine: it’s wrong to steal, it’s wrong to tell lies (you should always tell the truth), etc. If only things could stay the same when we are adults…. Just what is the difference between right and wrong?

Well, some things are governed by law, so that makes it very black and white. That said, the adult world is more complicated, sometimes confusing and morally ambiguous. We – at FWL –  ensure that we maintain high ethical standards in our work. But what happens when people try to ‘do us down’?

RightWrongIt’s tough at the top and not everyone likes to watch others succeed in their field. We are ‘new’ – well, if you can call genealogists and people tracers with over eight decades of experience between us ‘new’ – and we are young. Ever experienced the disdain of others (perhaps, the older generations) when you start ‘stepping on their patch’ and heaven forbid, you are under 50? We do, regularly. Does that make us wrong? No. Does that mean we should shuffle off and stop doing what we do? No.

We can all work in the same professional arena, doing our own thing and working ‘together’, can’t we? We, at FWL, would like to think so. If not, we just let the others ‘get on with it’, don’t we? If people don’t and then start speaking ‘out of school’ about us, there is a danger of being involved in actions we would rather not spend our precious time on. The law is the law. Let’s stick to it, eh….

Taking property which is not your own is illegal. Making a false claim about someone’s character or actions is illegal. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. I was brought up that way by Ma & Pa FWL. I hope that others had the same excellent upbringing I had….

Mar 282015

Gertrude has now been replaced by Doris who, it appears, has an occasional US accent. We thought we had fathomed the reason for the switch but apparently, we were mistaken. Today, Mr FWL and I have been in Lincolnshire. A brief dalliance to Forest Pines this morning for just over an hour, we then navigated the A15 to Lincoln on a magical mystery tour. Prior to departure from the land of FWL, we had not massively planned our weekend away – partly because our lives are so dictated by schedules and also due to the lack of time because of them. So, Doris at the ready, we headed off in random directions experiencing pouring rain, howling gales and beautiful sunshine …. all in one day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho knew that Lincoln was so original in their street names …. yes, ‘Steep Hill‘ is exactly that! And on said Steep Hill, is Jew’s Court – the oldest synagogue in the British Isles. It’s a Norman building immediately above Jew’s House and dates back to between 1150 and 1180. Now, it’s a bookshop and I managed to spend a grand total of £2.95 on FOUR books! [And the best part is that one book cost 5 pence and two of them cost 20 pence!!! – got to love a good bookshop.]

Lincoln Cathedral is something else and the wind was whipping around the higher hills of the city. Beautiful and quite unexpected (having not bothered to look before we travelled!)…. We had spoken to two longstanding friends before leaving Forest Pines who said “You must visit the Humber Bridge”. Well, in the pouring rain, it wasn’t much of an attraction. However, after visiting Lincoln in glorious sunshine, we headed back up the A15 to Barton upon Humber to the viewpoint of the Humber Bridge. Very much worth visiting! In fact, we travelled over it twice (which cost us just £3 in toll fees). I decided I wanted to visit Skidby Mill – not many working windmills around these days – and it was on the map, so I figured we should go and see it! When will me and Mr FWL return to this area? Jolly good question!

Mar 272015

Running FWL (and all the other things I do) means that me and Mr FWL don’t get much ‘time out’ together. So this weekend, we have decided to have some time away. He took the day off today (rare) and at lunchtime, we headed off to our undisclosed destination. Gertrude (the Satnav) informed me that the ‘still-unnamed’ new car would deliver us to the specified venue in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Usually, Gertrude tells the truth. Sadly today, she chose to tell whopping great lies.


As I commented on several weeks ago, the 50 mile an hour average speed cameras drive me nuts. I cannot even tell you how many of these we experienced on our journey. Along with reduced speed limits for probably nearly 100 miles, we also contended with a broken down car blocking the inside lane in the middle of the roadworks, a Mazda which had managed to cave in the back of Mercedes and cause several miles of tailbacks and more idiotic drivers than I have seen in many months. In fact, I think this may go down in history as the longest journey I have ever driven! Gertrude – try 6.5 hours…. Zzzzz…..

Having arrived at the undisclosed location, we will be residing in a fine example of Lenny Henry’s accommodation for a few nights. The last time we managed to get away was in the Autumn (Fall for you Americans!) although we managed some fine weather and a visit to the beach. Personally, I am hopeful for a toe dip during the weekend, though I may regret that when chillblains set in. Whichever which way, a change is as good as a rest so here’s to some peace, quiet, rest and relaxation over the next 48 hours. Happy Weekend folks!

Mar 262015

It’s a funny phrase, don’t you think? “When push comes to shove” or “when the chips are down” or “when the gloves come off” are phrases usually accompanied by “you know who you can rely on”. It’s true. I remember when I was young, Ma FWL was part of a babysitting circle. I don’t think any money changed hands (though I might be wrong) but it worked more on a kind of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ basis. You gained points for doing a turn at babysitting and you had points deducted from your total when you had someone sit on your child/ren – I mean, look after your child/ren!

GlovesLife is still like that, even in the hectic world we now live in with all this modern technology which ensures we never have a minute’s peace. Whether it’s in a social setting, business or whatever, those who ‘get on’ help each other out, maybe by suggesting a good plumber or offering a hand to do something or another…. Sometimes favours come from associates from long ago because they remember what a ‘jolly good egg‘ you were (and probably still are!). Earlier this year, and on a number of occasions since, I have talked about positivity rules. If you do something positive for someone, they’ll remember you positively. Do something negative and it only takes a minute to destroy any good feelings that person ever had for you.

When push comes to shove, I support the people I care about, our customers and clients and I get that back in bucket loads. If/when the gloves need to come off, that means they have my back or even fight with/for me and I do the same for them. Gone are the days when children play out in the street together (I lived in a cul-de-sac, I hasten to add) like we did when I was young but the sense of community and mutual support hasn’t completely ‘departed this life‘. Have a think …. when was the last time you did something positive, without knowing you would be ‘rewarded’? It’s really worthwhile, especially for those times when the chips are down for you.

Mar 252015

How many hours are there in a day? I know that the sensible, mathematical answer is 24. How many of those should be waking ones? 16 is probably the medical answer. We are supposed to have eight hours sleep, so I am told…. but how can that work when there is so much networking and genealogy to be done?!

Despite the fact that two people tried to tell me this morning that it was Thursday, amazing developments have taken place today – Wednesday. Having met someone at networking last week, we managed to trace his birth mother’s life (and sadly, decease) within an hour of receiving his email. A lifetime of questions, finally resolved for just £20. New business relationships formed and old ones renewed in the early hours of this morning at an excellent Chapter meeting of BNI Spire – great to have the opportunity to meet one of the two new Executive Directors for BNI Wiltshire, network with business professionals and represent Frank Miller of Carlyia Ltd, the new Chapter Director as of next week!

Networking is crucial to FWL – we build our business based on relationships and professionalism. If you know, like and trust us, you’ll refer us with confidence and we are grateful for the superb feedback we have received from clients on Check A Professional already…. We were only approved last week as the first people tracers, Heir Hunters and professional family historians on their site!

It’s fair to say that people react in curious ways to the successes of others but hey, we can only control what we do, not how other people choose to conduct themselves. The team at FWL is superb, outstanding, phenomenal …. I could go on, and I (MD@FWL) am extremely proud of our achievements for our clients. Long may it continue and we will carry on ‘having a laugh’ as we go. Genealogy, family history, whatever you call it, is an extremely rewarding profession.

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