February 20, 2011
In his latest post, How Old Did You Say! blogger, Grumpy Old Ken, lays out his wonderful collection of vintage labour saving devices, which he would have us believe his wife still uses. My daughter, Kitty, would have me believe this labour saving device, that she helped me uncover in the Secret Garden, is really an alien space-craft. However, I can clearly remember carting water from it one parched, childhood summer, for my mother to wash the laundry in. I was fascinated, watching the transported mosquito larvae wriggling amongst the sheets in the bath!
It feels this week as though I am making great strides with the Skudder House, clearing the Sleeping Beauty-tangle from its skirts with help from Ashley School PTA members; fielding another visit by the Earthquake Commission and this time getting a chimney inspection. Re-building of one chimney will be necessary and possibly some re-pointing around the kitchen chimney breast, but the inspector considered the house safe. Coming after the structural engineer's accessment this is more reassurance that restoration of the house is going to be feasible.
And then today like a blessing from the past the Skudder House had visitors. Elaine Downes and her husband Lloyd, stopped to photograph the house while I was working inside this afternoon. I was immersed in my own family history discoveries, while Elaine was searching her roots. She is the great, great granddaughter of Thomas Skudder who built the house and has a wealth of information to share about the family. The Skudder family as far as I can tell have no named descendents locally, but Elaine, who lives far away in Mt Maunganui, named a giddying list of familiar locals, who are descended from the original Skudders.