Thank heavens it was cooler today...it's all very well having a heatwave, but endless hot can be too much of a good thing. The novelty wore off with me after the first couple of days !

It meant I could do some sewing which was nice...I decided the vaccuming and dusting could wait ...it was much more important to learn how to make a bag with a bottom. All the bags I've made before have just been two oblongs with a handle but I found an excellent video on YouTube about making them with a gusset or bottom, with a lining and handles and no fiddling around with sewing bias binding round the top 'cos the lining does that.

Trouble was I kept forgetting the next bit, so was in and out a dozen times watching a bit of the video and then dashing back into my workroom to sew it quickly before I forgot again. So, I made a little bag...it all turned out well and I was pleased with my first effort...showed it to Himself and he immediately pointed out a teeny weeny little bit of the strap which had got caught when I sewed round the top...and he spotted that without his glasses on and it really pissed me off!

So I made another one and didn't show him when it was finished...he'd have been bound to see a loose thread or a wonky stitch.

Mother had small criticisms down to a fine art...she'd say my new hairstyle was flattering and then wonder why I didn't wear lipstick...'it would lift your dreadfully sallow skin'...funny how there are some things you never forget, no matter how long ago it was.

There was a message on Ancestry about the girl who supposedly died in either China or Tibet. The woman whose tree Mary is on, said she'd no idea how that information arose...was the first she'd heard of it...so the mystery deepens. It is an actual place and the site I went to has photos of it...awful bleak and very mountainous...but I'm wondering whether it is another case of Americans getting the addresses wrong 'cos there was another link to an American family tree where people were being born in this area...in 1100!

The Chinese history does have reports of White men visiting the remoter regions of China and Tibet way back in time...it's thought they were probably Portugese traders. Perhaps Mary was buying Ming dynasty vases...it was too early for Christian missonaries...Mary was born in the early 1600's and came from a Yeoman farming family, she'd have been thinking of a suitable marriage rather than travelling so far away among the heathen hordes and I don't suppose she'd have known about Ming vases either.

Most shops here have collection boxes on the counter for various good causes...the one which I avoid like the plague is 'For the Overseas Missions'...there is generally a scuffed photograph on the box of a priest in a brown habit looking hopeful. I once found and bought a tin collection box at the car boot sale...written on the side is For The Sick Priests Fund...they were put up in church doorways many years ago.

Our local priests are well fed and watered and drive about in brand-new cars but it can't have been an easy job a couple of hundred years ago when they were totally reliant on their parishioners for food on the table and a new pair of boots to wear as they tramped about the countryside. It must have been a terrible time to be a priest or a monk during the Reformation when they were slaughtered and the great monasteries were pulled down around them with the contents destroyed...

I always think of the books they had...all that information written in an exquisite hand and carefully and lovingly illustrated with inks they made themselves...ripped to shreds by soldiers and burned in great heaps within the monastery walls.

My friend Father Paddy reminded me of a priest from a couple of hundred years ago...he had wild white hair which was quite long and he wore stout walking boots and his habit flapped about as he strode around and he waved his arms about like whirly-gigs to illustrate a point he wanted to make...he was passionate about Irish history and the words would come tumbling out at such a great rate when he was telling a story about the legendary Queen Maeve or the Hag in the Cave...rest in the arms of your Lord Father Paddy...you were a good man.

Another priest I became friendly with was Father Tommy, who always wore jeans and a sweater...he lives up in the Ox mountains in a tiny village and I got to know him while I was staying with Mad Marie up the Mountain. He is another really good person and is also very knowledgeable about Irish history and the early Christian churches which are scattered all over the Western seaboard. His sitting room must be one of the most untidy spaces ever...heaped with papers and books in stacks on the floor and the walls smothered in water colours and old photographs...he used to make me a cup of coffee in a mug which I would eye suspiciously and wonder which old tramp had drunk out of it before me...and I'd have to dump a stack of papers and unfinished sermons on the floor before I'd find a seat. I simply couldn't ever imagine Father Tommy in the old days...maybe it's because he is rather staid in his ways and you've have had to have needed a fire in your belly to be a priest long ago.

Goodness....I seem to have written on forever tonight. One sentence will invariably lead to another subject and then I don't know when to stop!