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Tracing the  history of the house from early 1800s to the present day using historical documents and idenitying people who lived here before us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



Independence preparations gain pace

With only four weeks to go before "Independence Day" my Brexit themed preparations for retirement are gathering pace. 

As I have previously mentioned the cushy number of "easy" money from forty years of employment has resulted in a lazy attitude here at The Sticks. Things were ignored: the garden, the decoration, even myself. I was substituting the challenges and achievements at work for developments in my own enterprise. While I had money coming in I could afford to let others do the work. I imported labour to the Sticks without stopping to think of how it was undermining my own competences.

Now I am busy putting that all in order before Independence Day. I have already renegotiated a few new trade deals much to my advantage; I have cleared out a lot of old junk to give me space for a fresh start and I have been regaining my decorating skills.

To be honest, it didn't take long. I guess it is like riding a bike. Once you know you can do it, it doesn't take long to get back in the saddle as it were. With the progress I'm making it will not take long before the whole house has been redecorated and all the furniture rearranged. 

The Sticks will be back to its former glory and under my control again in no time at all. 

Unreliable memory

I have continued to transcribe my USA travel diary from 1983 and it has been rather worrying. I thought I could remember it well, but the diary is revealing aspects (and even places and events) I had completely forgotten. Mostly when I read the diaries the memories begin to return but some parts remain a complete blank and other bits are different from what I had believed them to be. The diary is contradicting my recollection and revealing gaps, it is even describing a former me that isn't as perfect as I remember my self to be.  I can see it recorded in my own hand writing and I'm sure it is accurate. It is disconcerting, but I think we all do it: look back on the past with nostalgia and filter out the bits we didn't like and fill the gaps with exagerated versions of what we did like. 

So another successful step in identifying with Brexit. 

Inspiring views

The natural beauty of the surrounding countryside and the changing seasons is inspiring; a down to earth reminder that many of the valuable things in life are free and, subject to climate change, are virtually unchanged from generation to generation. I hope that the environment is something we will not spoil for our kids. 

One late afternoon this week we went for a run round the local lake. The light was perfect. The golden glow before sunset, lighting the autumn colours of the trees and the calm surface of the water. We didn't have our camera and I doubt we could have captured it, but to be there and to see it was inspiring. Nowhere could have been more perfect. 

Latest Articles

  • Phone 3 : Naples 0
    Phone 3 : Naples 0
    02 December 2018
    Thursday 30th August 2012 Our first full day in the Naples region. We decided to catch the train back into Naples and explore the city. Superficially we were in agreement but while...
  • A day in old Pompeii with a bored teenage daughter
    A day in old Pompeii with a bored teenage daughter
    29 November 2018
    Friday 31st August 2012 - Pompeii "No there won't be any shops," I say, exasperated, "but you're coming anyway. I didn't pay for you to come to Naples just to do shopping. While we...
  • Naples 2012
    Naples 2012
    27 November 2018
    A last minute trip, planned on Saturday started on Wednesday. Louise and I flew to Naples at the beginning of September. The webmaster decided not to accompany us. He stayed at hom...

Recent articles

  • USA and Canada 1987
    USA and Canada 1987
    26 November 2018
    By the Summer of 1987 I had been married for a year and my husband had been seriously ill, but now he seemed recovered and fit. When his sister and brother-in-law invited us to joi...
  • The Southern States 2017
    The Southern States 2017
    26 November 2018
    As my daughter was finishing her year of study in San Luis Obispo she wanted us to fly our to join her. She had started her holiday on the last day of term, 16th June, and embarked...
  • Europe
    26 November 2018
    My back yard. When I was young only the rich people travelled and my first overseas trip was a schools trip to Norway in 1973 when I was 16 years old. Since then I have travelled w...

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.