After a very long break, I'm back. Work has been crazy busy - we moved the Local History collection twice and have now finally settled into our final location. I have also launched a large WW1 volunteer project, a blog Historically Speaking and entered the Twitterverse .
Despite the busy-ness, I really missed working on my own family history and have decided to carve out time to pursue this once again. As summer rolls around again, memories of our trip to South Wales have flooded back and I'd like to share those with you.
As we landed at Gatwick on July 27th last year, the anticipation of meeting my Welsh cousins and seeing the hometowns of my great-grandfather, Thomas Huxtable Ball, was sweet. My husband and daughter were eager to see all the sights, but for me, Cardiff was going to be the highlight of my trip.
After the overnight flight to the UK and the train ride to Oxford, we tried to soak in as much of this wonderous university town as much as we could before crashing for the night. The next day, we made the pilgrimage to the Bodleian Library and wandered through the hallowed laneways and courtyards of the University. I even managed to have my first pint of real cider on tap - a luxury not often found at home. However, all through the day, I could not help but wonder what it would be like rolling into Cardiff and meeting up with my third cousin Matthew and his family for dinner.
The next morning, we made the long walk with suitcases in tow to the train station and boarded the first of two trains, headed in the direction of Cardiff. We changed trains at Didcot Parkway, just outside of Oxford. I didn't let the ominous skies dampen my excitement.
As our train pulled into Cardiff, I felt like it was a bit of a homecoming.