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Operation Bletchley

Operation Bletchley: Day 31 Mission Accomplished

In the end I walked over 110 miles in January, including a couple of walks over three miles. I have seen starling murmurations, and wandered around both Criccieth and Porthmadog. I have caught plenty of Pokemon, and seen signs of spring.

The Fundraising

You can sponsor me until the end of February 2022. https://events.soldierscharity.org/fundraisers/RuthWillmore/operation-bletchley-balkans

If you would like to have a go yourself the challenge is repeated each July, and again in January, with different codes to break each time. You can try previous codes in return for a donation.

Operation Bletchley is raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the National Charity of the British Army and you can make a real difference.

Berlin : 40 Miles

52 miles completed – daily walks

CodeJuniorCodebreakerCypher Expert
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40+ miles walked and 30 codes broken. I gave up on the final Super Cypher code received on 29th January, just too much for my tired brain!

The Balkans : 80 Miles

110 miles completed – every step counts

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80+ miles walked in a month, and 30 codes broken. I paid for a clue for the Super Cypher and we got it, with a whole day to spare.

It has been great fun, good exercise physically and mentally. The codebreaking is very much a team effort with my Mum, with Zoom sessions to work together on some of the trickier puzzles.
My fourth time taking part in Operation Bletchley and I am already looking forward to the next in the summer. Why not join in? You can walk anywhere in the world and earn a medal for completing any one level. You don’t even have to walk, you can log other forms of exercise or challenge instead.

What have I learned in July?

Pharos Intermediate Certificate I passed the one of the two final courses for the certificate, Military Records with a pass at 73% and I’m now just wating for my marks for Victorian Crime and Punishment. Strathclyde’s Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Palaeography I intend to spend some of the summer catching up on […]

Operation Bletchley: Day 28 Sitrep

I carried on walking, after all I still have Pokemon to catch, and Stepbet and Waybetter challenges to make. It has been a busy week – a new job, assignments due for Strathclyde and two Pharos courses… I did fit in a bit of codebreaking, and the weekend diary is cleared to finish the mission. […]

Operation Bletchley: Day 24 Sitrep

New job day! Very exciting, and not much walking or codebreaking! But I had a codebreaking session yesterday, with lots of help from Mum, and we cracked quite a lot. A walk late afternoon a few days ago to see the starling murmurations helped a lot with getting to the walking targets. The Fundraising Operation […]

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #9

What a wet miserable day! I made it outside for a walk, just to get some miles under my belt for Operation Bletchley, but definitely more a day to be inside. Not even snow which would be novel, just varying rain showers from light drizzle to a downpour!

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Nine Ladies Dancing in Banbury. The online data includes a “History of Banbury Historical & Antiquarian notices” . The collection of local records is very varied and is increasingly online.

On the ninth day of 12 Days Wild I spent my walk looking for a feather or some fungus, but the wet and windy weather was against me. I had a look at some of the events and courses being offered locally and considered signing up for a foraging course: https://www.smallwoods.org.uk/en/coedlleol/events/online-courses/ but I really do need to focus my time on genealogy so I have decided against it for now. I am looking forward to rejoining Carole on local nature walks later in the month though. https://www.facebook.com/events/443595600557549

I spotted what I think might have been a bird of prey flying above, what do you think?

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 9 was two of my favourites: Creamy Caramel and Cinnamon Hazelnut which both went down a treat this morning.

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #8

Happy New Year to you! Did you see the London firework/laser/drone display at midnight? Wow!

2022 certainly looks exciting from where I’m sitting right now. This year I should achieve the Pharos Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) certificate and be well on my way to a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Palaeography. I would hope that this year I will become an AGRA associate and launch a genealogy business.

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Eight Welsh Maids A-Milking. They suggest using their extensive collection of directories to look up Welsh farming ancestors amongst others.

Here is my 3rd great grandfather Thomas Hopkinson in Kelly’s 1881 Directory.

On the eighth day of 12 Days Wild I did a winter scavenger hunt provided by The Wildlife Trusts. Why not download your own copy. There are a couple of things I have no chance of finding in the mild weather we are having. I’m fairly sure that the animal tracks I found were a dog, but still an animal!

I did see a starling murmuration late in the afternoon, but didn’t manage to take a photograph. There aren’t many birds in them just yet.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 8 was Mint Chocolate and Very Vanilla instant coffees which both went down a treat this morning.

References:
  1. Directories. England. (1881) Kelly’s directory of Derbyshire, 1881. London: Kelly’s Directories Limited. p. 1158. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/ : accessed 09 August 2021.
Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #7

Happy New Year. We aren’t planning a celebration here, just a quiet evening in with the cats. I really don’t know what happened to today. Once of those where I just don’t feel like I have go much done.

Operation Bletchley starts tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’d be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, just click on the link: https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/9699/25059

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Seven Swan Memorial Inscriptions in Soho. Swan is a lovely surname! Memorial Inscriptions are invaluable to genealogists, and that is why I’m very slowly transcribing those in my local graveyards.

On the seventh day of 12 Days Wild I spotted a dead badger by the side of the road. I reported it to Badger Found Dead which is helping to evaluate the link between bovine tuberculosis and badgers.

I had an email later in the day to say that they would be collecting the remains.

My walk today was in Porthmadog and I didn’t take any pictures.

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 7 was double chocolate and Amaretto Almond instant coffees which both went down a treat this morning.

Categories
wildlife

12 Days of Christmas #6

Daily lateral flow tests are still negative, despite how many family and friends seem to be infected at the moment so I am looking forward to our regular pub quiz tonight. I am also looking forward to the start of Operation Bletchley on Saturday. I will need to walk at least 80 miles in January, and solve up to 60 codes. It is great fun, and a good fund raiser for ABF The Soldiers Charity. I’d be very grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, just click on the link: https://events.soldierscharity.org/s/9699/25059

The Society of Genealogists 12 days of Christmas, continues with Six Geese were A-Laying at Bury St Edmunds School.  It is thought that the boys played a game called Goose Latin, similar to Pig Latin. School records can be a very useful source.

Belper Cow Hill Girls School 1908 Admission book

This school admission book confirmed my great great aunt, Alice Green’s father’s name, and their address at the time. [1]

On the sixth day of 12 Days Wild I finished a wreath for the birds. I hope they like it! Pinecones smeared in lard and peanut butter, apricots, raisins and some seasonal greenery. I can see it from my office, and have already seen a few birds around.

Here are the instructions that I loosely followed: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-make-christmas-wreath-birds

I have a Beanies Coffee 12 Days of Christmas calendar. Day 6 was a Salted Caramel “All-in-One” There should be 6 “All-in-One” and 12 instant coffees so hopefully some to enjoy tomorrow.

References:
  1. Belper Cow Hill Girls School. Admissions. GREEN, Alice. 1908. D3002_5_1 http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 07 March 2021.