Friday, May 29, 2009

How much is a page?

In case you're wondering, more often than not I have actually been publishing more than a single page - which has been obvious in the page numbering, but this most recent post represents a true page from the typed diary. It started one paragraph down on page 34 and finished one paragraph down on page 35. So, that is what I am up against... on my way to page 688 (not including bits and pieces pasted in at the end) I am ahead of schedule. Page 35 should be published on day 35 and I am up to day 10 (or 11) so I hope I can keep up that pace! I know I have a couple of readers/followers. Please let me know via comment or tweet if you are reading along or if you have any questions/feedback.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Explaining a few things & what not to post

Okay - I've had a flurry of typing tonight and have quite a few pages of the diary to publish, which is exciting, but I feel like I need to add a few links first and explain a section I plan to omit from the online section.
Checking the facts
Firstly, in the section just published, Uncle Bert refers to Australia Day 1917. When I was typing it I thought 'Uh-oh, he's made a mistake here' He joined up in April 1917 yet refers to forming the Guard of Honor for the Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Galway on Australia Day, 1917.

As most Australians know Australia Day is celebrated on January 26 to commemorate the arrival of the first fleet to our country in 1788. It is a national holiday. But it wasn't until 1946 that all states in Australia celebrated January 26 as "Australia day" and during the world war 1 years Australia Day was held on different dates in different states, with it being on July 27 in 1917 in South Australia, and therefore, of course, Uncle Bert did not make a mistake... and he has again led me to research an element of the history of my country!

From the Australian War Memorial website:

"From 1915-1918 in South Australia, however, a different 'Australia Day' was celebrated. It was held to celebrate the anniversary of Australia's entry into WWI, and was used as a means of raising money for soldiers and their dependents, with proceeds going to 'The South Australian Soldiers' Fund'. "

Now for the ommission.

As I was typing the section where he was at the "Bombing School" I realised he was describing how to make a bomb. Even though it was quite an antiquated bomb it rang alarm bells in my head that I was potentially about to publish a 'how to' guide on the internet. After discussions with my husband I have decided that I wont publish those paragraphs... One day if the book is ever published you can read that section :) I can assure it doesn't really take anything away from the diary itself, but only further demonstrates how meticulous Uncle Bert has been in his recollections!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chrononhotonthologos (what the?)

Uncle Bert refers to a 'merry tune' in his diary that was sung by his company on their marches... It lead to me trying to find out where it was from and discovering:

That ever was Tragedized
Company of Tragedians'

written by Henry Carey (1687-1743)

This wiki explains it was a satirical play written in 1734 and Henry Carey's works were the sort that later led to tongue twisters!!!

If you are so inclined to actually read this nonsensical play you can do so at the Chrononhotonthologos website

Friday, May 22, 2009

90 years from now...

Did my Great Uncle ever contemplate that more than 90 years after the event his great niece would be so intrigued by his diary and reminiscences she would commit to a daily project to re-type his words? Of course not. I know from some of his notes and comments that he did hope others would read his words but I am sure it would not be something that could ever have entered his consciousness that people all over the world would have the opportunity to read his words. Wow, that feels mind blowing to me! Every day I am reminded by how small the world is and how modern technology can facilitate the sharing of information and ideas and experiences.

Just this morning I was thinking about my Great Uncle Bert. In his final years he lived in Hawaii... so a long way from me in Australia. I am not sure exactly when he passed away but I'm guessing it would be the late 1970's or early 1980's (note to self - find out!) I don't even know if he ever met me as a baby or young child. I am sure my grandparents would have spoken of me to him when they visited him... and here I am, many many years later feeling so connected to him and such a need to honour his war time experiences, his words and him as a remarkable person. It made me think about my own experiences, my own words and myself as a person. Is there someone in my life, or in my future family who may feel the same way about me? In 90 years time will a grand child or great grand child or niece or nephew wonder at my life and my experiences and feel a connection to me, even though I will be long gone? It's one of the reasons I make my scrapbook albums. I want to document a little of my life and the life of my family. I want there to be a connection to my future family so they can look back and know a little of the person I was and the life we lived.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lessons along the way

Am really enjoying re-reading Uncle Bert's diary - I've read ahead a couple of paragraphs... The next part I will type starts April 25, 1917 and Bert will talk about Anzac day and marching through Adelaide to commemorate the Gallipoli landing! I'm amazed that Anzac day & the ill fated Gallipoli landing was commemorated so soon after it happening. I had assumed (wrongly!) that it would have come to being acknowledged and honoured after the War was over... I'm learning as I go :) Here's a link to a wikipedia entry about the Gallipoli Campaign

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Links to items referred to in Uncle Bert's diary

As I said earlier, re-typing this diary has roused my interest in this book all over again and as I re-type certain passages I am curious to search for some of the things that Uncle Bert references. I found this picture of the camp hut at Mitcham Army camp (circa 1914-1918).

I also found a reference to the German Zeppelin's referred to by Uncle Bert, when describing the nickname given to camp sausages.

I'm not the best googler, but hopefully my skills in this regard will improve :)

Michelle x

Monday, May 18, 2009

What have I done?

Okay - I have made the commitment to this project and am now wondering at the scale of it!! The 'diary' is about 690 pages!! It is organised into 25 chapters! Tonight I have typed and uploaded the foreword and chapter 1! I'm up to page 5!! (the foreword wasn't included in the page numbering) Each page is double spaced. Some pages are difficult to read as there has been some water damage when the diary was transported between Australia and Hawaii. Also, the diary was typed in 1924... it is in reasonable condition for something that old but the paper is thin and some of the type has bled through to the other side of the paper... However, I am determined to succeed at this! I have noticed that there is the odd news cutting pasted onto pages; as I come to those pages I will scan the cutting to include here as well. I last read this work many years ago (approx late 1980's) when I was studying a uni history subject called 'Australians at War'. Already I am intrigued by this book all over again. I want to know who 'Bargey' is and if he has family or descendants... Perhaps they would like to know about their great, great grand father, or uncle or cousin who fought in World War 1 and made the ultimate sacrifice. I now think there might be others who might be interested in a copy of this book. It makes me more determined to do it!!
Michelle x

A blog is born

Aren't there enough blogs out there? probably

Do I really have something to say? I think so

Why now? Well, I have been reading my friend Nicole's blog for quite some time now (NicinSweden) and I really enjoy catching up on what is happening to her on the other side of the world. It made me think that perhaps some people I know on the other side of the world, or the other side of the country, or city, or street for that matter might like to catch up on what is happening to me.

Also, I have recently started hearing about 'bucket lists'. At first I didn't know where the term came from - I knew they were a list of 'must do in my lifetime' things but I didn't know why they were called 'bucket lists' and then I found out it means 'Things to do before I kick the bucket!' Well... one of the things on my 'bucket list' is to publish a book! Now writing a blog is hardly going to satisfy that but I am hoping it might be a step toward achieving that goal!

How? Well, I decided that every time I write a regular post I would also re-type one page of my Great Uncle Bert's diary. Let me explain... My Great Uncle Bert wrote this amazing diary of his World War 1 experiences. He typed it up on an old fashioned type writer and had it bound into a book. It is hundreds of pages long... I will find out exactly how many and let you know... Anyway - a couple of people have attempted to "re-type" it so that everyone in the family can have a copy but it has been a difficult task to achieve, so, I am now going to do it via this blog. Every time I blog I will also create a blog entry that will represent one page of the diary. In a couple of years I will have achieved the task of re-typing the entire diary... so I can then get it published for all of my family to have a copy and I can tick that item on my bucket list 'publish a book'! True, it wont be my words but it will satisfy me! Each blog entry related to Uncle Bert's Diary will have a label and the top of the entry will have the page number, so hopefully people who come to my blog along the way can go back and read along.

Now, I am not only going to blog about Uncle Bert's diary... I will also find some other things to say! In a way I have been creating books about my family for about 7 years now as I have been a Creative Memories consultant creating albums for my family as well as gift albums for others; both family and friends. (my website)When StoryBook came along these 'albums' became like books in appearance and the ideas for 'books' are running wild in my brain so I will also blog about some ideas I have with regard to that! I am sure I will come up with some other random musings too...

At the end of the day, "I" have something to say, YOU have the choice to read it or skip it! I hope you choose to read it, and comment & I look forward to the process.

Michelle x