How to Trace Your Family Tree: The Ultimate Guide to Genealogy

How to Trace Your Family Tree: The Ultimate Guide to Genealogy

If you’re looking for a way to learn more about your family history, genealogy is definitely the pursuit for you! When you trace your family tree you are entering a fascinating field that can tell you everything from where your ancestors came from to what they did for a living. It can also provide insights into the social and cultural changes that have taken place over time. In this guide, we will teach you everything you need to know about tracing your ancestry and discovering your roots. So whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been researching your family tree for years, this guide has something for everyone!

I want to trace my family tree, is it the same as Genealogy and why should we care about it?

Yes, Genealogy is the study of family history and can be traced back to the 18th century. When you trace your family tree you will learn about your ancestors and where you come from. By understanding the past, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around us. Genealogy can also provide insights into social and cultural changes that have taken place over time.

How do I start researching my family tree?

There are many ways to start researching your family history. One way is, to begin with, yourself and work your way backwards. You can gather information from birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, census records, immigration records, church records, and property records.

Another way to research your ancestry is to start with your grandparents or great-grandparents and work your way back if they are still alive, noting all the details they remember. Alternatively, start with your great-grandparents and then work forwards. This can be especially helpful if you don’t have much information about your immediate family. Whichever approach you choose, the important thing is to get started!

What are some helpful resources for genealogy research?

There are a number of resources available to help you with your genealogy research. FamilySearch is a free website that provides access to millions of records, including census data, birth and death records, marriage records, and more. is another popular website that offers paid subscriptions for access to billions of records. Local libraries and historical societies can also be a wealth of information for genealogy research.

“What are some common misconceptions about genealogy?”

One common misconception about genealogy is that it’s only for people with a lot of free time on their hands. However, this isn’t the case! Genealogy can be pursued as little or as much as you like. Another common misconception is that genealogy is only for old people. This may have been true in the past, but with the advent of online resources, anyone can get started with genealogy research. So whatever your age or interest level, there’s no excuse not to give it a try!

“What are some common mistakes people make when researching their family history?”

One common mistake people make when researching their family history is assuming that all records will be available online. However, this is often not the case. Many records, especially older ones, are only available in physical format. Another mistake people make is failing to plan ahead. Family history research can take months or even years to complete, so it’s important to set realistic goals and timelines for your project. Finally, another mistake people make is not being aware of privacy issues. When requesting information from government agencies or other organizations, be sure to include a statement indicating that you understand and will respect the privacy of the individuals involved.

“What are some tips for getting started with genealogy, as I want to trace my family history?”

If you’re just getting started with genealogy, there are a few things you can do to get off on the right foot. First, talk to your family members and see if they have any information about your ancestors. This can be a great starting point for your research. Second, take some time to familiarize yourself with the different types of records available. This will help you know where to look for information about your ancestors. Finally, consider joining a local genealogy society or attending a workshop on family history research. These resources can provide valuable guidance as you begin your journey into your family’s past.

“What are some of the most common questions people have about genealogy?”

Some of the most common questions people have about genealogy include: How do I get started? What records are available? Where can I find records? How do I use the records? and What do I do with the information I find? These are all great questions, and luckily there are plenty of resources available to help you find answers. FamilySearch,, and local libraries and historical societies are all good places to start your research.

“How can genealogy help us understand our past and ourselves better?”

Genealogy can help us understand our past and ourselves better in a number of ways. First, it can provide important insights into our family history. Second, it can help us understand how different aspects of society have evolved over time. Finally, by exploring our family tree, we can learn fascinating new things about the world around us. So if you’re interested in your history, genealogy is definitely worth checking out!

“What are some of the most interesting things you have learned from researching your family history?”

One of the most interesting things you can learn about your family is why they did the things they did. For example, you could discover that your great-great-grandmother was an Irish immigrant who went to America during the potato famine in the 1840s. You could have always known that you had Irish ancestors, but had no understanding of the circumstances that made her immigrate. Learning about your family’s history will give you a greater appreciation for their courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

“What are some of the benefits of researching your family history?”

Some of the benefits of researching your family history include:

  • discovering who you are and where you come from;
  • learning about different aspects of society;
  • understanding how the world has evolved over time; and
  • gaining a greater appreciation for your ancestors. So if you’re interested in your history, genealogy is definitely worth checking out! Thanks for reading! I hope this article has inspired you to start tracing your own ancestors. Remember, there’s no better time than the present to begin your journey into your family’s past!

In conclusion: Trace Your Family Tree

Thank you for taking the time to read this post on how to trace your family tree. I hope that after reading it, you will want to start tracing your own ancestors. There is no better moment than now to begin your family’s history journey! FamilySearch,, and local libraries and historical societies are all excellent places to begin your research. One of the most interesting things I have learned from researching my family history is that my great-great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant who came to America during the potato famine in the 1840s. I had always known that my ancestors were Irish, but I had never known the circumstances under which they came to America. Learning about my family’s history has given me a greater appreciation for their courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. So if you’re interested in your history, genealogy is definitely worth checking out!

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Overreaction or Censorship in the House of Commons?

Overreaction or Censorship in the House of Commons?

Have we started to introduce censorship in the House of Commons? The House of Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has given his view on the article published on Angela Rayner crossing and uncrossing her legs as a ploy to distract the Prime Minister. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s job is to determine who can and cannot speak during debates and to keep the MPs in ‘order’ stated: “I express my sympathy to Angela Rayner for this type of comment. It’s demeaning, offensive to women in Parliament and can only deter women who might be considering standing for election to the detriment of us all.”

Because of the article, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has summoned the editor of the Mail Online on Sunday and the chair of the press lobby for a meeting. He wants to discuss the issue and its effect on the parliamentary community.

The minister for Digital Economy, Chris Philp, stated that it is “offensive, misogynistic and abusive“.

The significant issue here is that no one knows who said the statement and what will be done to the person once they discover who it is. The story seems to have moved on a little to consider the role of the press in our everyday lives. Is this now moving toward some press censorship?

There are now two major issues here:

  1. Press censorship
  2. Women in Public Life, are they safe?

Press Censorship in the House of Commons

With Sir Lindsay Hoyle arranging a meeting with the newspaper and press lobby editor, are we now going to introduce press censorship because a story is unsavoury or misogynist? Indeed, we should focus on the thought pattern of the person who is looking at how a woman is sitting and ask even more fundamental questions, like, what is your view of women in the workplace, should women become members of Parliament? If the answer to the latter question is NO, I would suggest that we do not want this person in Parliament and certainly don’t want him to represent us as a whole.

Misogyny in the House of Commons

Censorship is never the answer. It only allows the person doing wrong to continue going about their business without consequences. We need to stand up and state that this behaviour is unacceptable. We need to shout out when we see misogyny, sexism, or other discrimination. Otherwise, we are complicit in their behaviour.

Is it true that today someone made a misogynistic comment about how Angela Rayner was sitting in Parliament? This doesn’t answer who made the statement. Should the journalist reveal their source, or should they keep the name of the informant secret? If the editor refuses to disclose their informant, is this also censorship? Can we accept that there are times when censorship in the house of commons is acceptable? Doesn’t Angela Rayner have a right to defend herself from the author of the comments?

There is no easy answer regarding freedom of the press and censorship. In a case like this, where there is potentially misogynistic behaviour, the public must have all the information available to them to make an informed decision. However, if revealing the source of information would put them in danger, it might be necessary to withhold some details. Ultimately, it is up to the journalist to weigh the pros and cons and decide based on what they believe is in the public’s best interests.

House of Commons is it safe for Women?

Is there a problem with misogyny in Parliament, and are women welcome in the House of Commons? Their actions indeed destroy the words used by many politicians to say. Yes, women are welcome. The statement against Angela Rayner and the comment that she uses her body to control or distract Boris Johnson from political points are disgraceful. Even thinking that a professional female Member of Parliament would use her body like this is outrageous. This behaviour has come to light, as reported in a national newspaper.

What is going on in Parliament with female MP and female staff? Why do men believe they can do, say, and have whatever they want? We do not know the sex of the person who commented. But the picture is of a group of men, so it would appear that this is something that men in The House of Commons have said. Is this the only instance of misogyny in Parliament? No, it is not. There have been other reports, and more will probably come. This is an issue that needs has to be addressed

Shocking behaviour towards Women in Public Office

At which point do you take threats seriously or dismiss them? I’ve had death threats on Twitter, or threats of violence. Do I just shrug it off, thinking it’s some person tweeting me at 3 am from California or is it someone who can access me? I have dismissed threats and considering this, I don’t think I can dismiss some of the comments directed at me. Online misogyny and death threats are all violence against women. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it any more acceptable than if it was in print or said verbally. The online world has to be safe for women as well. It’s not something that we should take and accept. It needs to be challenged, especially now.” Tulip Siddiq (Female MP).

The MP Jess Phillips reported she received over 600 rape threats via Twitter in one night. And numerous comments about her appearance. Wouls censorship in the house of commons prevent this type of attack on women in the house of commons?

Cover-up or Censorship In the House of Commons, what can we do?

  1. The media needs to continue to report on these types of issues. The public should know what is going on, it would be a disaster if we had censorship in the house of commons.
  2. Action against those who are guilty of making these comments.
  3. We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again by making some changes in Parliament

But we also need to remember one thing: this is not just a problem in Parliament, but in society. While we are dealing with the issue in Parliament, we need to be working on tackling misogyny in the community. Thank you for your time.

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Do you love binge-watching television? Here’s why you’re not alone and some great shows to get you hooked on

Do you love binge-watching television? Here’s why you’re not alone and some great shows to get you hooked on

I am a massive fan of Binge-Watching television, and I think it must have something to do with the fact I like to be in control. However, I can justify my reasoning as I love to get involved in the show and the story’s characters. I have my idea of what they should do and how each character will react in any situation. I like the predictability of the show’s premise, and it is comforting. When I work all day, I want entertainment. I don’t want to overthink, and I don’t want to be yelled at or told what I should think or do.

Take, for example, Supernatural. I have watched this series 15 times. I know this because there have been 15 seasons. The first five seasons were ‘page turners’. As the last episode of the previous season started, the next DVD was ready to be inserted into the DVD player. 

Let’s Talk Supernatural Numbers

Supernatural had 15 seasons, and each season had circa 22 episodes. That is 320 episodes in total. Every time a new season was released, I had to return to the first season and start afresh. That is fine until you get to season 13 onwards. It means that it takes months to get to the new season. 

The loss in Binge-Watching

Binge-Watching television is now the new norm
Binge-Watching television

The problem with binge-watching is that you suffer a loss once the show is over. First, there is Shock and Denial. Why did the show finish? Will they make another one? What are the actors doing now? What do I watch now? You then spend a few hours on google researching the actors, watching the bloopers and finally accepting the show is over. That empty feeling of what now finally kicks in. Goodbye, my friends. You never knew me, but I knew you, and I miss you already. The DVD goes back into the cupboard.

Looking for a new show

Then there is the pain of looking for something else to watch. It’s difficult. TV is so dull. It’s either news, game shows or reality TV. I don’t think I have watched regular television in years. If there is something I may like, I tend to record the show so I can watch what I want and fast forward the bits I don’t wish to watch. Investing in a new series is tricky as you know the investment you are about to put into the show is enormous.

After supernatural, I selected Criminal Minds. I watched three seasons in a row. I couldn’t face another episode of the brutal murder of a woman just because a man had a plan to do as much damage to another human being as possible. It made me feel very sad, and my worldview temporarily changed. I watched the entire series of The Big Bang Theory to wipe Criminal Minds from my memory.

Mistakes when selecting the Wrong Show

Choosing the wrong series is devastating, as selecting a show will be a significant part of your viewing life for months. Picking the wrong show makes you wish for the previous one to start over. The show becomes a friend; the characters are best mates and comfortable.

I moved on from Supernatural and The Big Bang Theory to Midsummer Murders. Twenty-two seasons, that’s 129 and today, I caught myself referring to the show as ‘Our normal reliable show’. I am on season 22, so there are only a few episodes left, and then the search will start over. Once you find a suitable series, it’s like welcoming a close friend over for tea. 

How to select a new show

I have several criteria when selecting a new TV show; the first is that the women have to be intelligent, independent and will never trip over a twig running away. I can’t bear pathetic women on TV shows.

Binge-watching TV is slowly becoming the new normal TV viewing. Indeed, Netflix and Amazon Prime have the science down to a tea. Just as one show finishes, you have 10 seconds to decide if you will watch the next episode. The show has piqued your interest, and before you know it, it’s 1 am, and you have to be at work in 5 hours. If, for any reason, your mind wonders, the show could have started.

Why do we Binge-Watch Television?

This binge-watching (the new word of the year in 2015) leaves people with a hit of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. We human beings take comfort from familiarity, from the constant sensation of dopamine, and we want more of that feeling. The need to have that feel good and exciting feeling is a massive driving force and we don’t want to be shocked. We want friendly and we want to tune in and out of the show and know we are not missing anything. We want nice, which is very different from person to person.

For example, I can’t stand zombies. The movies leave me cold. I can’t see the point of them. A lot of dead people walk around slowly dripping blood. You see nothing at all. However, a friend of mine loves them. They can’t get enough of them. Selecting our TV shows thus can become rather tricky.

Binge-watching Television, my Recommendations

Having written about some of my binge-watching television habits, I thought I should give you some of my recommendations. This list is not definitive and will change over the weeks and months, especially as new shows are online. However, as it stands today, this is my list of binge-watching television shoes I would recommend.

  1. Supernatural – Always, and the first show anyone should binge-watch
  2. Broadchurch – fantastic and a 1 am show
  3. Doctor Who – Has to be on any list
  4. Midsummer Murders – You diff entry don’t want to move there. It is the murder capital of the world, but in a very British middle-class kind of way.
  5. Aliens – all the movies, a bag of popcorn and chocolates and your set.
  6. Harry Potter – Good escape movie
  7. Blakes Seven – The scenery may wobble, and the acting is just as wobbly, but a good watch.
  8. Carry on movies – a feel-good set of movies
  9. Endeavour – the prequel to Morse. Slow and stays slow, but worth a watch
  10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel – maybe two shows, but it’s one in my mind

Services offering Binge-Watching Television

Most of these television services require a monthly fee, but you may be interested in finding out what shows they have to offer:

  1. Amazon prime
  2. Netflix
  3. Apple TV
  4. Britbox
  5. Sky 

In Conclusion to binge-watching television

I prefer to binge-watch television shows. It puts me in control of the television and what is playing. I don’t have to watch adverts, and I can watch the show at my convince and pause whenever I like. Have you watched any of the shows, I have mentioned? If you have any suggestions of shows you think would be worth investing in, please note them below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Misogyny in the House of Commons

Misogyny in the House of Commons

It was fascinating to read in the Sunday Mail on 24 April 2022 that they ran an article about the deputy labour leader Angela Rayner. The article is not complimentary, but one that attacks her on her sexuality. In brief, a conservative MP has accused Angela Rayner of crossing and uncrossing her legs every time Boris Johnson stands at the dispatch box to give a speech. This action, they have suggested, distracts Boris Johnson and thus ruins his speech. This is just one example of the misogyny that still exists in the House of Commons, even in 2022. Misogyny has no place in the 21st century. It is unacceptable that women are treated this way, and it needs to stop.

Let’s have a look at this implication.

It stinks that misogyny is in the House of Commons. Why would the observer look at a woman crossing and uncrossing her legs? What is it they hope to see? We can see that this is an obvious example of misogyny as the MP is attacking Angela Rayner based on her sexuality. This sort of treatment is unacceptable and needs to stop. We need to stand up to this kind of behaviour and treat women in whatever job they do as working colleges.

Image from Daily Mail via Ken McKay ITV REX Shutterstock

Angela Rayner is a professional woman at her place of work. Are they suggesting that a woman needs to revert to the suggestion of sexual favours to distract from the topic at hand?

We have been making great strides in recent years to break down the barriers that exist for women in the workplace. This sort of attack only reinforces those barriers and makes it harder for women to succeed. We need to show that this behaviour will not be tolerated in the House of Commons or anywhere else.

This behaviour is an unacceptable attack on Angela Rayner. Can a man not hold himself to account in front of a woman and control his sexual urges? Indeed, this is something that we should have moved on from by now. We need to clarify that this kind of behaviour has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. We need to create a working environment where everyone is respected. Let’s make sure we stamp it out once and for all.

This is not new

This article should be based on the MP reporting this and not on a woman doing her job. How insulting and pathetic is this person? This is not new. At the beginning of April 2022, David Warburton, the MP for Somerset and Frome, was suspended after two female colleagues complained to the Parliamentary harassment /Watchdog Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS). Not forgetting the comment by Donald Trump making lewd comments about a woman when he was on his tour bus. This behaviour needs to be stopped. If we are to create a respectful and professional working environment for everyone.

It is a concern that the people we elect to represent us are so easily distracted. What kind of message does this send to the rest of the world? That we are not serious in our politics? Our politicians are more concerned with what a woman is wearing or how she is sitting rather than the critical issues they should focus on. Is this the image we want to portray to the world, and does it need to change?

Even sadder are the comments from people about the report. Some suggest that it is not a big deal and that we should move on. Others are trying to make light of the situation and joking about it. But this is not a joke. Joking about it only serves to normalise the behaviour and make it seem like it is acceptable. Misogyny is a serious problem. It is not acceptable, and we need to make sure that everyone knows that.

A stand against misogyny in the House of Commons should be a priority. We need to send a powerful message to the rest of the world that we are a modern, progressive country that does not accept this behaviour.

Examples of the comments regarding the article.

  • The Tories could get Anne Widdecombe to do the same on the other side
  • When she opens her mouth and her legs, you will find she definitely isn’t Sharon Stone
  • Imagine the stench if she did actually uncross her legs.
  • Rayner, or as she is commonly known- Bike Shed Angie – Trevor Maxwell
  • She’s a woman. What do you expect? This is their currency and they’re always quick to use it against us to get what they want. – Chris
  • Diane Abbott now planning to do the same.- Major Hindsight

Angela Rayner has stated, “I stand accused of a ‘poly’ to ‘distract the helpless PM’. By being a woman, having legs and wearing clothes, I am conspiring to put him off his stride”.

A professional woman already has to be better at their job to be taken seriously. There are other considerations that many men may not understand when a woman steps into the workplace, for example, the clothes they wear. When buying clothes, concerns like, will the skirt rise too much, showing the top of a leg when I sit down, or would a lower neckline be unprofessional? If they show too much skin, they are unprofessional. If they don’t show enough, they are prudish. It is a no-win situation for women. It should not be this way at all. Clothes do not make a person.

Looks Weight in the Public Eye

Men rarely get attacked for their looks or weight, but women in the public eye are. It is sad that women still have to put up with this nonsense in this day and age.

It is time for a change. Misogyny has no place in society! It is time to stamp out Misogyny in the House of Commons once and for all! We need to clarify that this kind of behaviour has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. These are things that men will never have to think about. It is just another barrier against women in the workplace.

She added that women in politics face “sexism and misogyny every day.”

Women in politics face “sexism and misogyny every day”. This is an unfortunate truth that many professional women have to face. It’s unfair, making it harder for women to succeed in politics.

From Angela Rayner’s Twitter feed
From Angela Rayner’s Twitter feed

In Conclusion

Misogyny has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. It is time for us to stand up and demand better from our politicians. We need to show them that we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and that we expect them to act professionally at all times. Only then can we hope to create a working environment where everyone is treated with respect.

Read the article here

The Women’s Library

The Women’s Library

Did you know that a library in London is dedicated solely to Women’s History? It’s true! The Women’s Library, founded in 1926 and has provided valuable resources to women ever since. This library has a fascinating history, and it is still going strong today. If you have an interest in learning more about the Women’s Library, keep reading! This blog post will inspect the Library and its importance to women’s history. We will also discuss some of the interesting things that can be found in this library’s collection.

The Library began its life in a converted pub in London, England and was founded by the London Society For Woman Suffrage (LSWS) with two aims:

First, they wanted to preserve how far gender has changed since colonial times;

Secondly, they wanted to provide resources for newly enfranchised women to enter public life.


After moving from Marsham Street into larger premises near Gower Street, Westminster in 1929, the library changed its name to The Fawcett Library. In 2002, it changed back to The Women’s Library.

The first Librarian at the Women’s Library was Vera Douie

The Women's Library
Vera Douie, the firsts Librarian at the Women’s Library (image copied from google search)

Vera Douie was the first Librarian, taking her position in 1926, and remained the Librarian for over 41 years. The first library committee meeting took place on 25 January 1926, where the conversation revolved around finding space for the books, filing cabinets and raising funds. In the 1930s, Lady Astor donated 330 books, and Ruth Cavendish-Bentinck donated another 1000 books.

The Library moved several times before finding its home in Aldgate in 2002. During World War II, the library moved to Corsham Court in Wiltshire for safety, where it remained until 1947. The library returned to London and opened again on Gower Street. It is at The Legion, a building which also houses shelters for homeless women and library services for residents.

Not just books!

The Library is home to a wide variety of resources, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, posters, and more. The library also has an extensive collection of oral histories from women of all walks of life. These oral histories provide valuable first-hand accounts of what it was like to be a woman in the past. In addition to its collection of resources, the Library also offers a variety of services, such as talks, exhibitions, and educational programs.

The Women’s Library houses an impressive collection of books, archives, and artefacts relating to women’s history for equality. Besides its regular collection, the Women’s Library also has a unique collection of rare and valuable items. Some highlights of this collection include a copy of the first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, suffrage banners from the early 20th century, and a dress worn by Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Library offers a vital resource for anyone interested in learning more about women’s history. If you are ever in London, be sure to check it out!

Have you been to the Women’s Library?

Do you have any interesting stories about the Women’s Library? Share them with us in the comments section below! If you are interested in learning more about women’s history, then the Women’s Library is definitely worth visiting. This library has something for everyone!

The Library is a fascinating place and I’m so glad it exists. It’s important to have a dedicated space for Women’s History, where we can come to learn and appreciate all that women have done throughout the years. I definitely recommend paying a visit if you’re ever in London. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find something in the collection that sparks your interest! Until next time, happy reading! Please feel free to share this blog post on social media or on your own website! Julie.

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To find out more about the Women’s Library click here

First Time Buyers what they should really know

First Time Buyers what they should really know

First-Time Buyers should know how stressful and costly the process of buying a house could be. I cannot see any reason why it has to be any different from purchasing a car or any other item that cost a lot of money, and yet it is. If you buy an expensive piece of jewellery, for example, this bracelet, which is worth £195,049. You need to write a cheque, put it on your credit card or pay cash.

Hidden costs for first time buyers

First-time buyers bracelet

Now, if you are going to buy a house, there is much more involved. First of all, you need to find a house. For this, you go to an estate agent. Easy enough, walk along any high street, and there are usually three or four estate agents all wanting your custom. Alternatively, look online at a number of online property websites. If you are a first-time buyer than you enter the housing chain at the bottom of the pile, which means that you are purchasing the least expensive house in a chain that can result in a million-pound purchase for someone at the top of the chain.

Getting a Deposit the First-Time Buyers

Unlike the bracelet mentioned above, you may not have £195,049 just laying around. Which means you will need to borrow the money from a bank or building society. To do this, you will need to have a deposit, as these institutions will no longer loan 100% of the value of a house. This deposit is generally 10% of the value of the house but can range from 5% to 20%. Let’s assume that your first house is going to cost you £207,693 (according to the Halifax Building Society this is the average cost of a first-time buyers house, £12,644 more than our bracelet above). So, 10% of £207,693 will be £20,769. The average household income for first-time buyers is £35,635, and they spend on average five years saving for the deposit. First-time buyers also borrow on average £10,000 from the bank of mum and dad (according to The Independent)

You would think that once the deposit has been saved, you have the money from Mum and Dad. The next process would be simple quick and easy.

Well, it’s not, this is when the hard work starts, and you find that everyone you meet is standing there with their hands out wanting your money. First-Time buyers will not pay the Estate Agent, which is probably the only saving grace for an Estate Agent. Estate Agents don’t enjoy working with first-time buyers. They are an essential aspect of many purchases in a property chain, but first-time buyers are treated the same way as a throwaway product. You know those products, they get people in the door to buy more high-end purchases.

The House

Looking for a house for a first-time buyer is tough. There are so many beautiful houses for sale, and your expectations are high. You look at your parent’s home, your rented home or that of your friends. You want and expect the same type of home. The same space, the same furniture and well, the same lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is NOT going to happen.

For a start, they have all probably had two or three homes. They have also been on the property ladder for a number of years. You are a first-time buyer, and as such you get the runt of the litter. There is nothing wrong with the runt, but your expectations have to alter. A first-time buyers house will be small. When I say small, I mean small.

The second bedroom, if there is one will be the size of a double bed, or maybe a little bigger, but not much. You might be able to fit in a wardrobe or chest of draws, but that’s it. The Master bedroom will be able to fit in a double bed, wardrobe and chest of draws and you may even be able to walk around the bed. Don’t expect an au-suite. Your bathroom will have a bath with a shower attached to the bath, a sink and a loo. Not much else. Your kitchen will be small, one person in the kitchen and it will be crowded. The living room will be compact. You may get a sofa in, but don’t expect a sofa and a chair.

Remember you will need to find a place for the television and a small table to rest your coffee up on. If you are very, very lucky, you may have a dining room. Otherwise, you are eating on your knee for the next few years. Your garden will be small but manageable.

The Mortgage

Once you have found a house within your price range, and I say within your price range as this will not be your dream house, then the hands start to extend for your hard-earnt money. First of all, you will need to find a mortgage provider. Most offer their services for free. However, you will need to bear your financial life to the mortgage provider. They will want to know everything about you, your job, your income, savings and your inside leg measurement. It is stressful. This whole process can take up to 6 weeks.

You might be offered a mortgage in principle. It is in principle as they don’t know which house you are going to buy. Alternatively, you may have a house in mind and go to the mortgage company with that purchase, and they will take all the details you have and then ask for your inside leg measurement.

The mortgage is only offered in principle as they will want to check the house out. The mortgage company will do their survey on the property. Primarily to ensure that if you don’t repay your mortgage, they will want to get the property from you and sell it to cover the mortgage. Therefore, they need to ensure that the property is worth the money they are leading to you. This survey is generally free. However, if you put in an offer on the house and or some reason the house sale fails, you will need to pay for the next survey yourself. At the cost of around £300, depending on the mortgage company.

Your Surveyors Report

In addition to the Mortgage company doing a survey, it is advisable that you conduct your survey on the property. Everyone will be telling you to do this and will advise you to do the most comprehensive survey on the market. It is easy for them to tell you, it isn’t their money they are spending. There are four types of surveys on offer.

  • Condition Report – the condition of the property with any risks and potential legal issues with any critical defects identified. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £250 + VAT
  • Home Buyers Report – identify structural problems including subsidence and damp. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £400 + VAT
  • Building Survey – in-depth analysis of the condition of the property and advises on defects, repairs and maintenance. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £500 + VAT
  • Building or Full Structural Survey – an amalgamation of all of the above. The cost to the first-time buyers circa £800 + VAT

You decide on which survey you want. When you are saving your deposit, you will tell yourself that you will go for the best, but when it comes to it, £800 + Vat is a lot of money and can represent two- or three-months savings. It is your call.

The survey, in my experience, is a tick list of the surveyor covering his rear end. They will note everything that is wrong with the property. Just in case anyone decides to sue him or her because the property was damaged, in need of repair or any other issue. The report will be a perfect dissertation on house construction. They will advise on how to re-plaster walls, tell you the house has damp (all houses have a certain amount of damp) and other bits and bobs.

Once you have the survey, you will then need to read it, and then get someone to interoperate what the report is telling you. It is worth the cost no, do you need to get it done, just in case yes. A survey will be the final straw in deciding if you want to buy the house or not.

The Solicitor

Then you will need a solicitor. To purchase a house, you are looking at about £850 + Vat. The solicitor will be very helpful to you, but you will have to chase for updates. The solicitor’s work will take about six weeks. The first job you have to do is sign a contract with the solicitor and agree on prices. They will then start to work for you, but you will need to send them a cheque, generally about £300 before they do anything.

The solicitor will then start to run additional checks on the house at an extra charge to you:

  • Land Registry to ensure the house is there and that the garden belongs to the house etc. A fee circa £270.
  • A drainage enquiry. A fee of circa £30.
  • Then there is the cost of Local Searches, to see if there are going to be any power stations etc. built next to your new house. A fee of circa £112.
  • Then there is the cost of Land Transaction Return Form. A fee of circa £65 + VAT
  • Cost of Telegraphic transfer (sending the money to the seller of your house) £40 + VAT

The Government has its hand out

The government has its hand out when you are buying a house. For the average house purchase of £207,693, you won’t pay stamp duty. This only applies to purchases over £300,000. Therefore, any house over the value of £300,00 will have to pay a fee of £5% (Basically £50 for every £1000 added to the cost over £300,000).

More Costs for First-Time Buyers

There are even more costs. You then have movers that will move your positions from your current home to your new house. Also if you are doing this yourself, there is a cost involved.

In conclusion, it appears that if you don’t have enough money to buy a house, then you have to spend more money to get that house. Those with money don’t appear to have to spend as much. The UK has a system of house purchase that is created to ensure that no-one is able to get ahead unless you pay for it.

The purchase of a house in the UK is outdated, complicated and to be frank, a disgrace to this country and anyone who is trying to make a life for themselves.

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Educating Women after Marriage

Educating Women after Marriage

Educating Women in the United Kingdom, today is taken for granted whether you are married or not. A girl will start school at 4 or 5 and leave school when she is 16 or 17. Unless, of course, she is going on to higher education. However, not so long ago it was a very controversial issue. Just take a look at this video from 1961. The two who are women being interviewed discuss the merits of educating women when they are married.

What is sad and also surprising about this video is that the lady in the coat is advocating that educating women is detrimental to their mental health. As it could give them an unhappy and unsatisfactory lifestyle. Especially, when they have to leave work and stay at home and look after their husband and children.

This lady is speaking some truth. If you are married, an educated woman and ambitious then having to stay at home and become a housewife could be detrimental to a woman’s mental health. A life that revolves around three or four people at the expense of your happiness can be soul destroying.

From a personal point of view, my grandmother wanted to continue her education and work when married. Unfortunately, her husband wouldn’t allow it. As far as he was concerned it was his duty, as a man to provide for his wife. Her views and aspirations didn’t matter. My grandmother had two children, and her life was in the home. She had pocket money for household bills. Lived her life on a shoestring as her husband controlled the money. She thought this was normal as did her friends.

Giving up Work when Married

What neither of the women argued, is that as soon as a woman gets married why does she have to give up work and stay home. It is now, taken for granted that once a woman is married, she doesn’t have to give up work or her education. Only 40 years ago, it was expected that a woman

Educating Women who are married

ABC TV’s Jean Battersby chairs a debate between two educated women, Jean Inkster and Toni Thompson, on whether education is a waste of time for married women

would leave work once married and therefore educating women was not worth the effort.

Quotes about this video on Educating Women taken from YouTube

“Women, when I grew up in the 60s, should have been receptionists, teachers or nurses. In every way, women needed to be subservient to the needs of their family. As this video shows, there were women who bought into being ignorant”. alistairville

“As a wife and mother, I worked as a school teacher all day. When I came home, I had all of the housework, cooking etc. to do all night. I worked myself to death. It was like trying to be two people instead of one.
My husband worked (also a school teacher), and when he came home, he rested, ate the dinner I prepared and then rested some more, while I did the dishes, laundry, cleaned house, helped the children with homework etc.
Society has changed over time, and there are more women in the workplace than ever before. However; men’s roles haven’t all changed.” Amy Sutton

“In 1968 my parents were married, my Mum worked as a Typist for five yrs . until I came along, but when Mum got married, she had to leave her Job & reapply under her married name. Crazy” Leanne Blake

Alternatively, watch this video from Michelle Obama talking about Women and Education.

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Second Viewing of my Property

Second Viewing of my Property

So, I might have to admit I am maybe a little excited; I have a second viewing of my property. There’s a young couple, looking to buy their first house. They came to see my cottage last weekend. This weekend they will be bringing their parents with them. It’s going to be interesting to see if they remember what my cottage looks. I have commissioned a decorator to repaint the living room and the master bedroom. The master bedroom had a patterned wallpaper when they visited; now it is being changed to a magnolia. The living room will have a fresh coat of magnolia with a new coat of white for the ceiling.

I’m not sure how I feel about the parents coming along. It will go one of two ways.

  1. They look of the cottage, that was built in 1860 and say there is too much work to be done to maintain it or
  2. They fall head over heels in love with it instantly.

It’s hard to call. Before the second viewing my property the couple going to look at a brand new house in the price range. The new houses are tiny. The bedrooms of small, although some of them have on suites. My cottage doesn’t have an on-site. In a new build, the kitchen will be brand-new, although most new builds have an open plan feel about them. Having lived in an open plan house, I have to say I dislike that style of living. You have to keep on top of any mess at all times. There is no way, for example, you can cook a meal and not do the dishes instantly as they are an eyesore.

A second viewing of my property

The second viewing of my property is viewed favourably by the estate agents as someone wanting to put in an offer. I’m not sure that I would agree.

I don’t see a second viewing of my property as being an entirely positive outcome. This is why I am dubious and can’t seem to get excited about the about second viewings. You still have a lot of work to do. Keeping the house clean and tidy, making sure the rooms are all dressed, making sure the house smells nice and has that warm and cosy feel that wraps you in a warm blanket the moment they walk through the door. Anyone, who views a property doesn’t realise the that there is a three-hour ordeal for every viewing.

It will be easy to say that you should keep your house clean and tidy at all times. However, the reality is we don’t. For example, we walk into a room with a coffee cup and put it down, then go and get a packet of biscuits to eat with the coffee. We come back and sit down and watch television, while at the same time playing on an iPad or doing a craft. You then put those things down to go to the loo. On your way back to the living room you pick up a glass of water, or something else. Thus creating a mess where ever we go.

The Selling Process

Selling a home is stressful especially when you have a second viewing of my propertyIt has been almost eight months since I made the decision to put my cottage for sale. Although I had an offer and he pulled out 48 hours before exchange (his work sent him to another office) this is the first, second viewing of my property I have had.

To be honest; I hate it. I hate the whole process of putting my Cottage for sale. The fact you have estate agents telling you to hide or remove some of your valuable positions (they call it decluttering). Having to repaint, do additional repairs and letting people walk around your home and judging you. You know they are judging because you get feedback from the Estate Agents. Charming cottage, to small, couldn’t put a sofa in there, so you get a sofa. The rooms need painting, so you paint the rooms. The redecoration is the advice of the estate agents, who want to the colour pop and light bounce off the walls. The garden needs a good tidy, so you tidy the garden. The list just goes on and on.

Estate Agents

Then, of course, you have to deal with the estate agents. Even now, after eight-plus months, I am not sure if the estate agents are telling me the truth, a version of it that they think I want to hear or are just lying to me. I have no idea. Do I trust them? No, I don’t think they are all trustworthy? Do they talk a good talk? Absolutely. They all sound convincing, they seem as if they speak with conviction, but I am sure behind my back they have a giggle.

Also, my Cottage for sale is tiny, in comparison to the Million pound houses they sell. It’s a first-time buyer cottage and would suit a girl or a young couple. So do they push it, yes? Do they want the sale as much as me, I don’t know. There is a flat fee if they sell but nothing if they don’t. However, after eight months are they board of trying to sell it? I don’t know, I know I am bored of trying to sell it.

My Cottage for sale and those purchases

What I have learnt so far about any prospective purchasers is that they are blind, naïve or have no imagination. How is it that they can walk into a room and see that it’s packed with the current owner’s possessions and not see themselves living in there. What is it that a purchaser sees when they look around the house. I was told to ignore the positions people have and look at the ceiling. That will give you an idea of the space available and what it is you are buying. The current possessions in the house will be gone when the owners move out. Don’t look at them, don’t judge them, just look at the ceiling and use your imagination.

In Conclusion – A Second Viewing of my Property

Am I happy about the second viewing of my property? I think I am excited but daunted at the prospect of having four people criticise my cottage. Do I want to sell my cottage, yes absolutely? The cottage will look its best and offer that cosy blanket!

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What is Feminism and is it important

What is Feminism and is it important

Feminism What is it

.A woman should be equal to a man in every area of life. At its core, this is what feminism is. Feminism discusses several ideas and equality for both genders in various aspects including economic status or cultural life – but most importantly on an interpersonal level where they can break free from traditional roles which oftentimes advantage one sex over another (typically male). The basic theory behind this movement “Feminists want us all – indeed every human being–to live freely without restrictions based upon gender.”

With such a basic and broad definition of what Feminism is, it is hardly surprising that the understanding and narrative portrayed by women about ‘being a feminist and feminism is diverse and caused controversy among women and men alike.

Social Media and Feminism

The popularity of Social Media can demonstrate the diversity and potential misunderstanding of what feminism is. For the first time in history women and men are free to use their image

Feminism means different things to different people
Kim Kardashian, image taken from her Instagram account via Daily Mail

And publish that image in a manner that they chose and at a time of their choosing. For example, in the United States of America, Europe and Australasia, some women/feminists believe it is their right to take photographs of themselves topless and post the image on social media. It is these women, who have become social media celebrities, for example, Kim Kardashian, who use their sexuality to sell products and aspirational lifestyles. With millions of followers, all applauding them for their freedom, and freedom of expression and speech.

Are we all equal?

Other women, in the same countries, believe this is not feminism and brings feminism into disrepute. They believe that the image of a topless woman is a method of portraying female sexuality in a male-dominated environment. This image is not that of freedom of equality but a collaboration of female subligation even though the individual takes the image. The image is the male ideal of what a woman should be and how they should act and be available to him.

At the same time, women in some countries are fighting for the right to an education. They fight for the ability to walk the streets without being attacked. Without lude comments and being independent. Human slavery is increasing. Women’s rights to freedom of movement removed by law and voluntary curfews. In the papers on the 8 March 2017, a 14-year-old girl

What is Feminism and who does it affect.
Women are being beaten. The image was taken from Google.

had been given a total of £0.40 to attach a bomb to her body by terrorists. She then became a human bomb and died. An Indonesian woman publically flogged. Her crime? As a single woman, she was in close proximity to a man.

Personal Perspective on Feminism

Feminism is a broad issue and will mean different things to different people. This definition varies depending on your current lifestyle, where you live and your economic background.  As a middle-class European being treated equally to a man in the workplace is vital. Additionally, the right to voice your opinions and own your own image is important in society. The right to take a photograph of yourself and determine the distribution of that image is a right you have.  In other countries, such as Indonesia, feminism is the right to walk the street and talk to a man without being flogged to death!

In conclusion

Women’s history is the struggle to gain equal rights. In the UK, USA and Australia women have benefited from our predecessor’s struggles. We have rights because of their struggle, efforts and diligence. However, many other countries are now fighting for the rights we take for granted. Moreover, the rights we take for granted today are the same as those we have in the future. We need to remember our past to secure our present and our future.

Grans Recipes can be lost forever

Gran's Recipe of Sherry Trifle

Sherry Trifle image from

I am a big fan of QI and watched an episode on Dave a few days ago. Mr Alan Davies was talking to Sandi Toksvig about his memories of his grandmother. One of the greatest things Mr Davies misses about his grandmother was her homemade trifle. It’s such a shame to be in a position when you lose a Gran’s recipe like this. Mr Davies, Gran’s recipe for trifle could have so easily been saved. Mrs Toksvig has also stated that she recently purchased a book and it starting to write all her favourite recipes for her children. (more…)