Wednesday, January 4, 2012

7 Facts about Paula

1. My earliest celebrity crush was – dare I admit it? – Pat Boone.

2. When I was 14, I wrote a play about Lady Jane Grey, the doomed 9-day Queen of England in the 16th century. We performed it with my Girl Guide company. My main error was having Lady Jane sipping a cup of tea when tea wasn’t introduced to England until about 100 years later. Hmm, hope my research is better now!

3. I’ve been to every battlefield of the 15th century Wars of the Roses in England – it took over a year to get to all 17 of them. Some are now built over, but others remain as they would have been at the time, and one was in the middle of a pig farm. We avoided the pigs but tramped through thick mud to reach and photograph the battlefield monument.

4. I’ve directed about 15 musicals with teenagers, ranging from the Wizard of Oz (my first effort) to Guys and Dolls. My favourite was Calamity Jane, but look back at my post on June 2010 to see some of the ‘calamities’ that happened during this show.

5. I have a great-great grandfather who was a sea-captain but was fired in 1860 for being drunk in charge of his ship (yes, it’s all there in the minutes of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company). According to family legend, he then ran the blockade during the American Civil War, bringing cotton from the Confederacy back to the cotton mills in England.

6. One line of my family tree led me to landed (and rich!) gentry in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and from there back eventually to King Edward I of England – but the blue blood in my veins is now somewhat diluted (although William the Conqueror was my 35xgreat-grandfather!). Now, where’s my share of all that land my ancestors owned in the past??

7. In 1999, my ex-son-in-law (a computer engineer) brought me a modem to link my computer to the internet – and I said ‘Why do I need to be linked to the internet?’ Ha ha!


  1. Good list. I was smiling at the cup of tea in your play. I just finished reading The Other Boleyn Sister. No tea drinking, but lots of wine.

  2. Well-I think you are a very distant cousin to my husband who is also descended from Edward I King of England. I could never get my genealogy back that far--I'm perpetually stuck in Canada somewhere in the wilderness.

    Cheers, Jenn

  3. As an American, I always think it's cool when Europeans can trace their ancestors back to kings and queens. And I love the Internet comment. But Pat Boone? Really? :)

  4. I'd tease you about Pat Boone except I had a major thing for Donny Osmond. ;O)

  5. This was a fun expedition into the intricacies of you Paula, I enjoyed each one. I wish I had been involved in plays, and musicals when I was younger, it was always something I enjoyed, just never took that step toward it.

    My mother's side of the family goes back to England royalty, but I would have to dig it up to see where the line is drawn from.

    My favorite has to be the last one... irony at its best!


  6. Thanks, Ana!

    Brenda - no-one corrected me at the time over the cup of tea, it was only years later I realised what an anachronism it was!

    Jenn - they say that half the population of the UK could trace their ancestry back to the medieval Royals, if they could find the link - and I was lucky to find a link back at the end of the 17th century which led me into a voyage of discovery among all the landed gentry!

    Jen - Hmm, yes, well, I did wonder whether to admit to Pat Boone! But I was about 11 at the time and he seemed So good looking!

    Word Nerd - I won't tease you about Donny if you don't tease me about Pat LOL

    K - I always loved musicals, but only got involved the local group when I was in my 40's. I can't sing or dance to save my life, but I loved directing the shows.
    And my internet comment wasn't ironic at the time, I honestly didn't know anything about it, and no-one else I knew was connected.

  7. I love these autobiographical posts. So interesting! My first celebrity crush was Tony Curtis. I had a picture of him on my wall when I was around 9.

  8. I liked Tony Curtis too, Kat. think the first time I saw him was in Spartacus. But he didn't age very well, did he? I was quite shocked when I saw him in his 70's.

  9. Great list. My ex-brother-in-law was the one who got me going on the internet. It was such a big deal then. Now, it's such a part of our lives it's practically mundane!

  10. Loved your post. I had a thing for Donny Osmond! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  11. Great list. Amazing facts about your ancesters - very illustrious!

  12. Wow, Paula, what a fascinating background you have! I love medieval English history and I'd give anything to have ancestors from that time--unfortunately my family is all German :-( . As for the Wars of the Roses, I am a big supporter of Richard the Third as a good king and not an evil murderer. I'd love to see Bosworth Field someday. Oh, I might have you beat on first celebrity crush--mine was Liberace! (He had a TV show at the time and I loved his smile and curly hair. Hey, I was only about six.)

  13. Debra - hard to believe that we ever survived without the internet, isn't it?

    Suzy - Donny Osmond seemed to be the idol of every young teenage girl!

    Katheryn - it was amazing where all the different lines led, just from one 18th century ancestor who married well!

    Elaine - I've always thought Richard III was a victim of Tudor propaganda. Did you read that they now think the actual site of the Battle of Bosworth was several miles away from where the present battlefield trail? A case of 'oops, they got it wrong' LOL!