March 2019

Found Objects – Postcards from Russia, OTMA

Among other interesting objects left by my parents, I inherited many Russian postcards. I assume they belonged to my maternal grandparents, Paul and Olga Woronoff. There are a couple of hundred of them and I know almost nothing about them. There are postcards depicting Tsar Nicholas I, his wife the

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Garlic wards off more than Vampires

According to Bram Stoker, garlic works a charm when warding off vampires. I am not sure what my grandfather thought about vampires, but he certainly believed in the power of garlic. My grandfather, pictured, learnt homeopathy and iridology in his middle age. He and his family had sought refuge in

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The Winter Palace fire and my great great grandfather

On 17 December 1837, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia, burst into flame. Almost as soon as the last embers ceased to burn, Tsar Nicholas I started to plan the rebuilding of this remarkable structure, hoping the new palace would wipe the memory of this disaster from the minds

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Multiple Marriages – a family trait?

Being married more than once seems to be a familiar pattern for the males on both sides of my family. On my father’s side, my great grandfather, Otto v. Fircks, was married twice. On 10 January 1854 he married Catharina Hilda v. Oelsen, who died in 1868. On 29 April

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Mother of the Groom

As the mother of three boys I am conscious of the choices they make, especially when it comes to choosing partners. I can only hope they choose someone who they love and who loves them back, but also someone who I can get along with. I am mindful that I

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