Tag Archives: Inspiration

The True Story of Harriet Hopkins (1871) daughter of Jane Hopkins (Renier)

Harriet is the protagonist of RIDUNA.

Here’s her true story as far as we know it but in a nutshell:

Originally published by Pegasus Elliot McKenzie in 2009
Then Published in 2012 by Eventispress

Harriet Hopkins (known as Jane in Guernsey and subsequently) was my great grandmother. She lived on Alderney but moved to Guernsey between 1881 and 1890 and subsequently married my grandfather Thomas Jackson in 1890 on Guernsey. They moved to Woolston Southampton early in the new century.

Here’s where we first see Harriet in the 1871 census at 7 months:

NAME:Harriet Hopkins
AGE:7 Months
COUNTRY:Channel Islands
NEIGHBORS:View others on page
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS:Name Age Elizabeth Taylor 60 John Taylor 52 Nicholas Renin 48 John Smith 29 Harriet Frost 27 Rachel Hopkins 22 Ann E Smith 22 Nicholas Renin 14 Harriet Hopkins 7 Months

John Taylor was Harriet’s step father and Elizabeth Taylor was her grandmother as in the previous post.

They lived in Braye Road, Alderney (1881 census) in a place called The Reading Rooms.

Harriet’s father was John Hopkins, but though my Dad was sure that Jane, the daughter of Elizabeth Taylor was Harriet’s mother, but from the census above it looks as if Rachel was her mother.

Although this 1881 census tells a different story. Maybe Dad was right.

After 1870 Jane (or Rachel) Hopkins mother married Mr (Capt) John Hopkins. (no record was found)

We do know that Harriet became an orphan when both of her parents were lost at sea, but

I will tell the story of John Hopkins in a subsequent post.

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Filed under Alderney, Channel Islands, Family History, Inspiration, Planning a novel

Islands of Inspiration (3) ~ Iona

I first visited the Scottish western island of Iona, off the coast of Mull, in my 30’s on a pilgrimage with Aylesbury, St Mary’s. It was an incredible Easter experience and we stayed at the Abbey for a week ~ the likes of which I have never enjoyed since. See my original post in my series:

Pilgrims, Paths and Personal Journeys

This was my fifth trip to the island in all and we were visiting with two friends from here in Kinghorn, Fife.

How the island helped me in Mind, Body and Spirit

Staying in a pod, the only accommodation we could get, in the shadow on Dun I (Dun eeh) was as close to nature as we were going to get because Iona can feel like the end of the earth. And yet, to worship with the community at Iona Abbey, which we did both mornings, makes you truly grounded because addressing the suffering of the natural world and its people is at the heart of everything the community believes in.

You retreat from life in order to raise your awareness and live it in a more fruitful and fulfilling way.

We walked as much as we could, despite the rain, enjoying the wild north end of the island with its craggy shoreline and white sandy bays. We talked so much too; such a pleasure to be away with friends and to spend quality time with them. (and our visiting chickens!)

How I was inspired by the island of Iona

Like Tinos and Sifnos, the beauty of Iona could not help but stir my emotions and inspire me to describe the world around me in a deeper way. I was reminded of the social issues which drove me to write ‘MISSING, Past and Present’; homelessness, racial tension and injustice, and yet I have always been driven by the dichotomy of these issues – the positive relationships between refugee and foster carer, discovering mindfulness whilst wandering the lanes without a permanent home and racist attitudes that can just slip in unawares.

Above all, Iona made me think about the direction my writing would go in. So many projects begun but unfinished, mainly due to the events of the last two years. I have a glimmer of a direction now ~ watch this space …

Iona will always be close to my heart – a place where

‘the air between this world and the next is thin.’ ~ St Coumba

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Filed under MISSING Past and Present, Scotland, Writing

2020 and Friendship Over the Pond — Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom

As we watch and wait, viewing the changes around the world as if through a movie,

a thriller even,

and as our life as we know it gradually,

as in the case of us in the UK,

closes in on us;

I pray that we keep safe and healthy

and heed the warnings given by experts

who hold us entranced by their surreal words.

Thank you so much, Pat, for sharing my thoughts about our special on line friendship over the pond; vital in these uncertain and sometimes dangerous times as if battling with this unseen enemy. Hopefully we may retain our vitality for life and even our sense of humour, whatever difficulties we may face. Bless you Dx

Hello and welcome to a new decade and a new look, a work in progress. Here we are nearly a quarter of the way into this New Year and I’m just making my first appearance. 23 more words

via 2020 and Friendship Over the Pond — Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom

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March 17, 2020 · 10:22 am