Rooted to the Spot

Magazine style section with articles about life at the Sticks on a theme inspired by Brexit

William Deakin restored


15 years of family history research available in our webtrees database (over 800 surnames and nearly 5000 individuals) plus a collection of birth, marriage and death certificates.  


Then and now

Tracing the  history of the house from early 1800s to the present day using historical documents and idenitying people who lived here before us

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Maps for local walks

Selection of our walking routes on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands. All accessible from convenient public car parks 


Boundless Optimism

Thanks go to John Redwood and his supporters for providing the inspiration for my  Rooted to the Spot Article of the week. He tweeted that the Treasury needed to have more "optimistic, realistic forecasts" about impact of Brexit. This must be one of the best for pushing the idea that all we need is more optimism.

Redwood Tweet

He needs to choose which he wants. Civil servants are professionals and are almost certainly trying to be realistic. They like everyone else will want the best outcome for the country, but they know that means they need to produce the most accurate forecasts they can to inform the decision making process. They may be wrong, but not deliberately so, and I may be naive but I still prefer to rely on their efforts rather than Mr Redwood's opinions. 

At the same time the Brexiters are urging the Chancellor to make more money available to cover the costs of supporting  a no-deal Brexit now. They don't appear to remember that they promote Brexit as a means of saving, even gaining, not costing money. In their frustration and anger over the so far unproductive discussions they are beginning to reveal their true colours.

So I fired up my optimism and applied it to the challenges, sorry, opportunities, facing me here at the Sticks following my retirement for this week's article.

Travel Diaries

In other sections I began the transcription of my 1983 USA travel diary. A nice reminder of the days of Maggie and Ronnie, and of course of my youth before I ever thought about the EU or EEC as it was known then. Another retirement project will be digitising my USA 1983 photographs, all currently on Kodak Kodachrome 64 (remember that Brexiters? The kids will love that for all their selfies and pictures of their dinner, and the good news is there are rumours it could possibly make a come back).


Latest Articles

Recent articles

  • Long hot summer
    Long hot summer
    03 August 2018
    Only the beginning of August and summer already seems to have lasted for ever. Of course when I was working I was indoors all day in an air conditioned office and almost oblivious...
  • Battle with the butterflies
    Battle with the butterflies
    03 August 2018
    I saw somewhere that butterflies are in decline. Maybe it was refering to a specific type because I've never seen so many as this year. Large and small white have been a menace for...
  • Good life
    Good life
    03 September 2018
    The long hot summer is over but Brexit madness seems unabated. As the shear scale of what they have unleashed, and the complexities of what they assured us was simple, become clear...

Popular series



Transcription of travel diaries made during the last 36 years starting with India and Nepal 1981 and including USA 1983, Syria 1993, South America 2000 and South Africa 2014 together with photographs. This is a work in progress as the diaries are transcribed, so check for updates.

Route to the Soul


A romantic mixture of emotion and practical tips from two young students discovering themselves and life as they recount their adventures away from home. The Student and her boyfriend share their passion for each other, travel and their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

Seeds & Weeds

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We aren't gardeners, we don't even listen to Gardeners' World very often, but we have a large garden with plenty of potential. We favour the wild, natural look and like the birds, butterflies, frogs and other small animals but we want it to be looked after and we want to revive our vegetable patch. This section is dedicated to reluctant gardeners in constant fight against the weeds. Solidarity among the nettled and scratched.