Wednesday, April 28, 2010

life before blogs

My Dad has just sent me the transcript of my Great Great Great Great Aunt Barbara's journal (I hope I have given her enough greats).  The journal is fascinating and I thought as well as some of my own blog posts I could share some of her journal entries. 

Barbara was born in 1831 in Scotland and emigrated to New Zealand as a young married woman in 1857.

"On Tuesday afternoon the 10th February 1857 we arrived at Melbourne, after a voyage of 58 days in the EARMC's steamer "European".  We had a beautiful voyage, but for me, not a very agreeable one.  Firstly I was so sick and then there was a low and vulgar set of people, hardly any one of them one could associate with, with any degree of pleasure.  the only nice ones were Mr and Mrs Ford, and Miss Garnham, the latter a most amiable girl but very delicate.  We stayed 4 days during the Christmas week at St Vincents, to coal and a hotter 4 days I never spent.  We went on shore once of twice, but there was nothing really worth seeing.  The place was devoid of anything like a tree, and the sun scorched every attempt at vegetation in the shape of grass.  It was just a perfect desert, and the town and its inhabitants were the most miserable I ever saw.  It proved the old adage that appearances are deceitful, for it looked most lovely from the steamer, as we lay anchored about half a mile from shore."

I am not sure where St Vincents is that she refers to. It may be in Haiti. 

Barbara's journal includes recipes (pickled tongues and raspberry vinagrette) as well as her daily observations.  It is fascinating partly because she does not hold back on her opinions of others.

4 comments:

clare's craftroom said...

How lucky are you ! I do a bit of family tree research (in my spare time ,lol ) and I would love to come across some history like that .I know I'm gushing but that is such a treasure !

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

Wow, can't wait to read more! I have dozens of journals from my youth, I wonder if someone will enjoy reading them someday. Maybe I should rip out the naughty parts now ;)

Lesley said...

I've just finished reading my copy of the journal! (I'm one of Lyndy's sisters). The funny part is that she quite often wrote in German, which the person who transcribed the journal couldn't translate. So, till now, at least, her secrets are safe - I wonder for how long, though?
It's a real family treasure!

Jenni said...

St Vincent and the Grenadines are a group of islands in the Carribean, near Grenada if I remember rightly.