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    In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


      Youssef offered the following quirk: “unwilling magnet for talkative people in need of listening” (setting in a ghost town).

      Setting: A small ghost town in the middle of the Australian outback. The town was once thriving but now only a few stragglers remain, living in old, decrepit buildings. You find yourself in the town square, surrounded by the old post office, the saloon, and a few other ramshackle buildings.

      Quest: Your task is to find the source of the magnetic pull that attracts talkative people to you. You must find the reason behind it and break the spell, so you can continue your journey in peace.

      Direction to investigate: Start by talking to the residents of the town, they may have some information or insights on the strange happenings in the town. Explore the old post office and the saloon, they might hold the key to breaking the spell.

      Characters to engage: The residents of the town, including the old timer at the saloon and the postmaster at the post office.

      Tile to look for: A silver key in the shape of a tongue, symbolizing the power of speech.

      Proof of insert in real life: Take a picture of yourself holding the key, and send it to the game master as proof of completion.


        Potential Plot Arch

        The uncovered box in the garden of Bob & Clara is a Time Capsule which was actually buried in the future, but mistakenly sent to the past. It has symbols etched on it, that activate some nano-technology.
        Due to its contact with it, Bob starts recovering his memories, while retaining the hallucinations of his dead wife Jane, which actually become more credible and intense.

        Will Tarkin is actually a time traveler from the future, who came to live a simple life in the past, selling stone gargoyles at the local supermarket and rediscovering the ways of his ancestors.

        With the box being found and opened at the wrong time, it creates unwanted attention from the Time Dragglers who need to intervene to prevent alterations of the timeline.
        Contents of the box are in part encoded books of stories from local families and would have revealed important things about the past, Jane’s death, and Clara’s future.

        With Bob recovering his memories, it’s revealed Jane and Bob were actually also refugees from the future, but had aged naturally in the past, which is why Will seemed to recognize Bob. Bob was living in hiding from the Time Police, but with the box discovery, it changes everything. The box being opened at the wrong time disrupts the natural flow of events and starts causing unexpected consequences. This creates a complex web of relationships and events that must be untangled and understood in order to move forward.

        With his recovering of mental capacities, Bob partners with Will in order to restore the natural flow of time, even if it means his mental health will deteriorate again, which he is happy to do while continuing to live the rest of his life span with his daughter.

        Potential developments

        Clara Meets the Mysterious Will

        Nora finally reaches the little village where Clara and Bob live and is greeted by a man named Will
        Will seems to know Bob from somewhere
        Clara starts to feel suspicious of Will’s intentions and begins to investigate

        The Power of Memories

        Bob starts to have flashbacks of his past and begins to remember the connection between him, Will, and the mysterious time capsule
        Bob realizes that Jane, his wife, had been keeping something from him and that the time capsule holds the key to unlocking the truth
        Jane appears to Bob and urges him to tell Clara about their past and the significance of the time capsule

        The Truth Behind the Capsule

        Nora, Clara, and Bob finally find the answers they’ve been searching for by opening the time capsule
        The contents of the capsule reveal a shocking truth about Jane’s past and the reason behind her death
        They learn that Jane was part of a secret society that protected ancient knowledge and artifacts and that the time capsule was meant to be opened at a specific time
        The group realizes that they were meant to find the capsule and continue Jane’s work in protecting the knowledge and artifacts

        The Ties Between Living and Dead

        Bob comes to terms with Jane’s death and the role she played in their lives
        Clara and Bob grow closer as they work together to continue Jane’s work and preserve the knowledge and artifacts
        The group encounters obstacles but with the help of the spirits of the past, they are able to overcome them and succeed in their mission

        A Realization of the Past and Present

        Clara, Bob, and Nora come to realize the power of memories and how they shape our present and future
        They also learn that things never truly remain buried and that the past always finds a way to resurface
        The group successfully preserves the knowledge and artifacts, ensuring that they will be passed down for generations to come
        The story ends with Clara, Bob, and Nora sitting by the fire, reflecting on their journey and the lessons they’ve learned.


          A background on the excavated mysteries from Twists and One Return From the Time Capsule.

          BACKGROUND CONTENT: Focus is on key protagonists:

          • Clara (a woman in her late 40s, taking care of her father, living the two of them with her Malinois dog VanGogh),
          • her father Bob (a widowed man with early stage dementia, who can see and speak to his dead wife Jane)
          • and Nora (nicknamed Alienor, Clara’s friend, a local thrill-seeking artist and amateur archaeologist)

          in an story of discovery around a mystery of a box (which is a Time Capsule found by Clara’s dog VanGogh) during a time and place of travel restrictions (and possibly time-travel restrictions).

          Tone of story is curious and engrossed with a mystery of the ages, some supernatural grounded in plausibility, looking for connecting dots with the past sometimes long gone, and a present that slips away in our memories.

          An encounter with the mysterious Will (possibly Will Tarkin), who seems nice and seductive yet acts unscrupulously and manipulative (seemingly recognising Bob from somewhere), could be the key to a big reveal, and possible links to Jane’s pasts. All while struggling to keep away the nosy neighbour.
          The conclusion will bring some realisations about the power of memories, the ties between living and dead, and how things never remain buried for long.


            More developments

            Chapter 3: The Journey becomes more eggciting

            The Flovlinden Tree

            The group reaches the Flovlinden Tree, a massive linden tree in the heart of Oocrane, which is said to be sacred and is attracting crowds of pilgrims.
            They meet Olek, the old caretaker of the tree, who tells them the story of Saint Edigna. He explains how the tree is said to have magical healing properties, and how the tree is responsible for the sacred oil that the pilgrims come to collect.
            However, Olek reveals that the secret of Saint Edigna is not what it seems. Edna, an old woman who has been living far from the crowd for thousands of years, is actually Saint Edigna.
            Olek shares that Edna has been living in solitude for very long. He tells the group that if they want to learn more about the sacred tree and Edna, they must travel to her hidden home.
            The four friends were shocked to hear that Edna was still alive and wanted to meet her. They asked Olek for directions, and he gave them a map that showed the way to Edna’s remote dwelling.
            They bid farewell to Olek and set off on their journey to find Edna.

            A Run-In with Myroslava

            The group comes across a former war reporter, Myroslava, who is traveling on her own after leaving a group of journalists. She is being followed by mysterious individuals and is trying to lose them by hunting and making fire in bombed areas.
            Myroslava is frustrated and curses her lack of alcohol, wishing she could find a place to escape from her pursuers.
            The group approaches Myroslava and offers to help her. She joins forces with them and together, they set off on their journey.
            As they travel, Myroslava shares her experiences as a war reporter, and the group listens in awe. She explains how she has seen the worst of humanity, but also the best, and how it has changed her as a person.
            Myroslava and the group continue their journey, with the former reporter becoming more and more determined to shake off her pursuers and continue on her own.

            A Visit with Eusebius Kazandis’ Relatives

            The group reaches a small village where they are expected by relatives of Eusebius Kazandis, the cauldron seller that Rose has met at the Innsbruck fair.
            The relatives tell the group about Kazandis and his business, and how he has been traveling the world, selling his wares. They explain how he has become a legend in their village, and how proud they are of him.
            The group learns about Kazandis’ passion for cooking and how he uses his cauldrons to create delicious meals for his customers. They are also shown his secret recipe book, which has been passed down for generations.
            The relatives invite the group to try some of Kazandis’ famous dishes, and they are blown away by the delicious flavors.
            The group thanks the relatives for their hospitality and sets off on their journey, with a newfound appreciation for Kazandis and his love of cooking.

            A Surprising Encounter with Edna

            The group finally reaches Edna’s hidden home, a small cottage in the middle of a dense forest.
            As they approach the cottage, they are surprised to see Edna, who is actually the legendary Saint Edigna, standing outside, waiting for them.

            The four friends have finally arrived at Edna’s dwelling, where they learned about her vast knowledge of the families connected to her descendants. Edna showed them her books, and they were amazed to find that their own family was listed among her descendants. They were even more shocked to learn that they were related to President Voldomeer Zumbasky and Dumbass Voldomeer, who was said to be a distant relative and carpenter who made the President’s wooden leg. It was rumored that they shared a common ancestor, but in reality, they were possibly secret twins.

            The Secret of Dumbass Voldomeer

            The four friends were determined to find out more about Dumbass Voldomeer and his connection to their family. They learned that he lived in the small city of Duckailingtown in Dumbass, near the Rootian border. They also discovered that Dumbass Voldomeer had been enrolled to take the place of the President, who had succumbed from a mysterious swan flu virus, to which Dumbass Voldomeer was immune. As they set to Duckailingtown, they couldn’t help but wonder what other secrets and surprises lay ahead for them on this incredible journey.


              Premise is set:

              Olga, Egbert and Obadiah are key protagonists in an adventure of elderly people being evicted / escaping their nursing home of Oocrane (with Maryechka, Obadiah’s grand-daughter, in tow). They start traveling together and helping each other in a war-torn country, and as they travel, they connect with other characters.
              Tone is light-hearted and warm, with at times some bitter-sweet irony, and it unfolds into a surprisingly enthralling saga, with some down-to-earth mysteries, adding up to a satisfying open-ended conclusion that brings some deep life learning about healing the past, accepting the present and living life to its potential.

              A potential plot structure begins to develop henceforth:

              Chapter 2: The Journey Begins

              Departure from the Nursing Home

              Olga and Egbert make their way out the front gate with Obadiah, who has decided to join them on their journey, and they set out on the road together.
              Maryechka, Obadiah’s granddaughter, decides to come along as well out of concern about the elders’, and the group sets off towards an unknown destination.

              A Stop at the Market

              The group stops at a bustling market in the town and begins to gather supplies for their journey.
              Olga and Egbert haggle with vendors over prices, while Obadiah and Maryechka explore the market and gather food for the road.
              The group encounters a strange man selling mysterious trinkets and potions, who tries to sell them a “luck” charm.

              An Unexpected Detour

              The group encounters a roadblock on their path and are forced to take a detour through a dense forest.
              They encounter a group of bandits on the road, who demand their supplies and valuables.
              Olga, Egbert, and Obadiah band together to outwit the bandits and escape, while Maryechka uses her wits to distract them.

              A Close Call with a Wild Beast

              The group comes across a dangerous wild animal on the road, who threatens to attack them.
              Obadiah uses his quick thinking to distract the beast, while Egbert and Olga come up with a plan to trap it.
              Maryechka uses her bravery to lure the beast into a trap, saving the group from certain danger.

              A Night Under the Stars

              The group sets up camp for the night, exhausted from their journey so far.
              They sit around a campfire, sharing stories and reminiscing about their pasts.
              As they gaze up at the stars, they reflect on the challenges they have faced so far and the journey ahead of them. They go to bed, filled with hope and a sense of camaraderie, ready for whatever comes next.


              In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

              It was a pleasant 25 degrees as Zara stepped off the plane. The flat red land stretched as far as the eye could see, and although she prefered a more undulating terrain there was something awe inspiring about this vast landscape. It was quite a contrast from the past few hours spent inside mine tunnels.

              Bert, a weatherbeaten man of indeterminate advanced age, was there to meet her as arranged and led her to the car, a battered old four wheel drive.  Although clearly getting on in years, he was tall and spry and dressed in practical working clothes.

              “Welcome to Alice,” he said, taking her bag and putting in on the back seat.  “I expect you’ll be wanting to know a bit about the place.”

              “How long have you lived here?” Zara asked, as Bert settled into the creaky drivers seat and started the car.

              Bert gave her a funny look and replied “Longer than a ducks ass.”  Zara had never heard that expression before; she assumed it meant a long time but didn’t like to pursue the question.

              “All this land belongs to the Arrernte,” he said, pronouncing it Arrunda.  “The local aboriginals.  1862 when we got here. Well,” Bert turned to give Zara a lopsided smile, “Not me personally, I aint quite that old.”

              Zara chuckled politely as Bert continued, “It got kinda busy around these parts round 1887 with the gold.”

              “Oh, are there mines near here?”  Zara asked with some excitement.

              Bert gave her a sharp look. “Oh there’s mines alright. Abandoned now though, and dangerous. Dangerous places, old mines.  You’ll be more interested in the hiking trails than those old mines, some real nice hiking and rock gorges, and it’s a nice temperature this time of year.”

              Bert lapsed into silence for a few minutes, frowning.

              “If you’da been arriving back then, you’da been on a camel train, that’s how they did it back then. Camel trains.   They do camel tours for tourists nowadays.”

              “Do you get many tourists?”

              “Too dang many tourists if you ask me, Alice is full of them, and Ayers Rock’s crawling with ’em these days. We don’t get many out our way though.” Bert snorted, reminding Zara of Yasmin. “Our visitors like an off the beaten track kind of holiday, know what I mean?” Bert gave Zara another sideways lopsided smile.  “I reckon you’ll like it at The Flying Fish Inn.  Down to earth, know what I mean? Down to earth and off the wall.”  He laughed heartily at that and Zara wasn’t quite sure what to say, so she laughed too.

              “Sounds great.”

              “Family run, see, makes a difference.  No fancy airs and graces, no traffic ~ well, not much of anything really, just beautiful scenery and peace and quiet.  Aunt Idle thinks she’s in charge but me and old Mater do most of it, well Finly does most of it to be honest, and you dropped lucky coming now, the twins have just decorated the bedrooms. Real nice they look now, they fancied doing some dreamtime murials on the walls.  The twins are Idle’s neices, Clove and Corrie, turned out nice girls, despite everything.”

              “Despite ….?”

              “What? Oh, living in the outback. Youngsters usually leave and head for the cities.  Prune’s the youngest gal, she’s a real imp, that one, a real character.  And Devan calls by regular to see Mater, he works at the gas station.”

              “Are they all Idle’s neices and nephews? Where are their parents?”  Perhaps she shouldn’t have asked, Zara thought when she saw Bert’s face.

              “Long gone, mate, long since gone from round here.  We’ve taken good care of ’em.”  Bert turned off the road onto a dirt road.  “Only another five minutes now.  We’re outside the town a bit, but there aint much in town anyway. Population 79, our town. About right for a decent sized town if you ask me.”

              Bert rounded a bend in a eucalyptus grove and announced, “Here we are, then, the Flying Fish Inn.”  He parked the car and retrieved Zara’s bag from the back seat.  “Take a seat on the verandah and I’ll find Idle to show you to your room and get you a drink.  Oh, and don’t be put off by Idle’s appearance, she’s a sweetheart really.”

              Flying Fish Inn


              Aunt Idle was nowhere to be found though, having decided to go for a walk on impulse, quite forgetting the arrival of the first guest.    She saw Bert’s car approaching the hotel from her vantage point on a low hill, which reminded her she should be getting back.  It was a lovely evening and she didn’t rush.

              Aunt Idle walk


              Bert found Mater in the dining room gazing out of the window.  “Where the bloody hell is Idle? The guest’s outside on the verandah.”

              “She’s taken herself off for a walk, can you believe it?” sighed Mater.

              “Yep” Bert replied, “I can.  Which room’s she in? Can you show her to her room?”

              “Yes of course, Bert. Perhaps you’d see to getting a drink for her.”

              Mater dining room


                I’ve always felt like the odd one out in my family. Growing up at the Flying Fish Inn, I’ve always felt like I was on the outside looking in. My mother left when I was young, and my father disappeared not long after. I’ve always felt like I was the only one who didn’t fit in with the craziness of my family.

                I’ve always tried to keep my distance with the others. I didn’t want to get too involved, take sides about petty things, like growing weed in the backyard, making psychedelic termite honey, or trying to influence the twins to buy proper clothes. But truth is, you can’t get too far away. Town’s too small. Family always get back to you, and manage to get you involved in their shit, one way or another, even if you don’t say anything. That’s how it works. They don’t need my participation to use me as an argument.

                So I stopped paying attention, almost stopped caring. I lived my life working at the gas station, and drinking beers with my buddies Joe and Jasper, living in a semi-comatose state. I learned that word today when I came bringing little honey buns to mater. I know she secretly likes them, even if she pretend she doesn’t in front of Idle. But I can see the breadcrumbs on her cardigan when I come say hi at the end of the day. This morning, Idle was rocking in her favourite chair on the porch, looking at the clouds behind her mirrored sunglasses. Prune was talking to her, I saw she was angry because of the contraction of the muscles of her jaw and her eyes were darker than usual. She was saying to Idle that she was always in a semi-comatose state and doing nothing useful for the Inn when we had a bunch of tourists arriving. And something about the twins redecorating the rooms without proper design knowledge. Idle did what she usually does. She ignored the comment and kept on looking at the clouds. I’m not even sure she heard or understood that word that Prune said. Semi-comatose. It sounds like glucose. That’s how I’m spending my life between the Inn, the gas station and my buddies.

                But things changed today when I got back to my apartment for lunch. You can call it a hunch or a coincidence. But as we talked with Joe about that time when my dad left, making me think we were doing hide and seek, and he left me a note saying he would be back someday. I don’t know why I felt the need to go search that note afterwards. So I went back to the apartment and opened the mailbox. Among the bills and ads, I found a postcard with a few words written on the image and nothing except my address on the back. I knew it was from my dad.

                It was not signed or anything, but still I was sure it was his handwriting. I would recognise it anywhere. I went and took the shoebox I keep hidden on top of the kitchen closet, because I saw people do that in movies. That’s not very original, I know, but I’m not too bright either. I opened the box and took the note my dad left me when he disappeared.

                I put the card on the desk near the note. The handwritings matched. I felt so excited, and confused.

                A few words at the bottom of the card said : “Memories from the coldest place on Earth…”

                Why would dad go to such a place to send me a postcard after all those years ? Just to say that.

                That’s when I recalled what Prune had told me once as we were watching a detective movie : “Read everything with care and always double check your information.”

                On the back, it said that the image was from a scientific station in Antartica, but the stamp indicated it had been posted from a floating post office in the North Pole. I turned the card and looked at the text again. Above the station, a few words were written that sounded like a riddle.

                > A mine, a tile, dust piled high,
                Together they rest, yet always outside.
                One misstep, and you’ll surely fall,
                Into the depths, where danger lies all.

                It sure sounds like a warning. But I’m not too good with riddles. No need to worry Mater about that, in case of false hope and all that. Idle ? Don’t even think about it. She won’t believe me when I say it’s from dad. She never does believe me. And she’ll keep playing with the words trying to find her answer in the shape of smoke. The twins, they are a riddle on their own.

                No. It’s Prune’s help I need.


                  This is the outline for a short novel called “The Jorid’s Travels – 14 years on” that will unfold in this thread.
                  The novel is about the travels of Georges and Salomé.
                  The Jorid is the name of the vessel that can travel through dimensions as well as time, within certain boundaries. The Jorid has been built and is operated by Georges and his companion Salomé.

                  Short backstory for the main cast and secondary characters

                  Georges was a French thief possibly from the 1800s, turned other-dimensional explorer, and together with Salomé, a girl of mysterious origins who he first met in the Alienor dimension but believed to have origins in Northern India maybe Tibet from a distant past.
                  They have lived rich adventures together, and are deeply bound together, by love and mutual interests.
                  Georges, with his handsome face, dark hair and amber gaze, is a bit of a daredevil at times, curious and engaging with others. He is very interesting in anything that shines, strange mechanisms and generally the ways consciousness works in living matter.
                  Salomé, on the other hand is deeply intuitive, empath at times, quite logical and rational but also interested in mysticism, the ways of the Truth, and the “why” rather than the “how” of things.
                  The world of Alienor (a pale green sun under which twin planets originally orbited – Duane, Murtuane – with an additional third, Phreal, home planet of the Guardians, an alien race of builders with god-like powers) lived through cataclysmic changes, finished by the time this story is told.
                  The Jorid’s original prototype designed were crafted by Léonard, a mysterious figure, self-taught in the arts of dimensional magic in Alienor sects, acted as a mentor to Georges during his adventures. It is not known where he is now.
                  The story starts with Georges and Salomé looking for Léonard to adjust and calibrate the tiles navigational array of the Jorid, who seems to be affected by the auto-generated tiles which behave in too predictible fashion, instead of allowing for deeper explorations in the dimensions of space/time or dimensions of consciousness.
                  Leonard was last spotted in a desert in quadrant AVB 34-7•8 – Cosmic time triangulation congruent to 2023 AD Earth era. More precisely the sand deserts of Bluhm’Oxl in the Zathu sector.

                  When they find Léonard, they are propelled in new adventures. They possibly encounter new companions, and some mystery to solve in a similar fashion to the Odyssey, or Robinsons Lost in Space.

                  Being able to tune into the probable quantum realities, the Jorid is able to trace the plot of their adventures even before they’ve been starting to unfold in no less than 33 chapters, giving them evocative titles.

                  Here are the 33 chapters for the glorious adventures with some keywords under each to give some hints to the daring adventurers.

                  1. Chapter 1: The Search BeginsGeorges and Salomé, Léonard, Zathu sector, Bluhm’Oxl, dimensional magic
                  2. Chapter 2: A New Companion – unexpected ally, discovery, adventure
                  3. Chapter 3: Into the Desert – Bluhm’Oxl, sand dunes, treacherous journey
                  4. Chapter 4: The First Clue – search for Léonard, mystery, puzzle
                  5. Chapter 5: The Oasis – rest, rekindling hope, unexpected danger
                  6. Chapter 6: The Lost City – ancient civilization, artifacts, mystery
                  7. Chapter 7: A Dangerous Encounter – hostile aliens, survival, bravery
                  8. Chapter 8: A New Threat – ancient curse, ominous presence, danger
                  9. Chapter 9: The Key to the Past – uncovering secrets, solving puzzles, unlocking power
                  10. Chapter 10: The Guardian’s Temple – mystical portal, discovery, knowledge
                  11. Chapter 11: The Celestial Map – space-time navigation, discovery, enlightenment
                  12. Chapter 12: The First Step – journey through dimensions, bravery, adventure
                  13. Chapter 13: The Cosmic Rift – strange anomalies, dangerous zones, exploration
                  14. Chapter 14: A Surprising Discovery – unexpected allies, strange creatures, intrigue
                  15. Chapter 15: The Memory Stones – ancient wisdom, unlock hidden knowledge, unlock the past
                  16. Chapter 16: The Time Stream – navigating through time, adventure, danger
                  17. Chapter 17: The Mirror Dimension – parallel world, alternate reality, discovery
                  18. Chapter 18: A Distant Planet – alien world, strange cultures, exploration
                  19. Chapter 19: The Starlight Forest – enchanted forest, secrets, danger
                  20. Chapter 20: The Temple of the Mind – exploring consciousness, inner journey, enlightenment
                  21. Chapter 21: The Sea of Souls – mystical ocean, hidden knowledge, inner peace
                  22. Chapter 22: The Path of the Truth – search for meaning, self-discovery, enlightenment
                  23. Chapter 23: The Cosmic Library – ancient knowledge, discovery, enlightenment
                  24. Chapter 24: The Dream Plane – exploring the subconscious, self-discovery, enlightenment
                  25. Chapter 25: The Shadow Realm – dark dimensions, fear, danger
                  26. Chapter 26: The Fire Planet – intense heat, dangerous creatures, bravery
                  27. Chapter 27: The Floating Islands – aerial adventure, strange creatures, discovery
                  28. Chapter 28: The Crystal Caves – glittering beauty, hidden secrets, danger
                  29. Chapter 29: The Eternal Night – unknown world, strange creatures, fear
                  30. Chapter 30: The Lost Civilization – ancient ruins, mystery, adventure
                  31. Chapter 31: The Vortex – intense energy, danger, bravery
                  32. Chapter 32: The Cosmic Storm – weather extremes, danger, survival
                  33. Chapter 33: The Return – reunion with Léonard, returning to the Jorid, new adventures.

                  In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                  Yasmin was having a hard time with the heavy rains and mosquitoes in the real-world. She couldn’t seem to make a lot of progress on finding the snorting imp. She was feeling discouraged and unsure of what to do next.

                  Suddenly, an emoji of a snake appeared on her screen. It seemed to be slithering and wriggling, as if it was trying to grab her attention. Without hesitation, Yasmin clicked on the emoji.

                  She was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in tall grass and the sky was dark and stormy. She could see the snorting imp in the distance, but it was surrounded by a group of dangerous-looking snakes.

                  Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re having a hard time in the real world, but don’t let that discourage you in the game. The snorting imp is nearby and it seems like the snakes are guarding it. You’ll have to be brave and quick to catch it. Remember, the snorting imp represents your determination and bravery in real life.

                  Rude!  thought Yasmin. Telling me I’m having a hard time!  And I’m supposed to be the brains of the group! Suddenly the screen went blank. “Oh blimmin dodgy internet!” she moaned.


                  “Road’s closed with the flooding,” said a man from the kitchen door. Yasmin didn’t know him; he had a tinge of an accent and took up a lot of space in the doorway. “They reckon it should be clear by tomorrow though.”

                  Fred!” Sister Aliti looked up from chopping yam and beamed. She pointed her knife at Yasmin who was washing the breakfast dishes. “Have you met Yasmin? One of our new volunteers. Such a good girl.” The knife circled towards the door. “Yasmin this is FredFred drives the van for us when we are too busy to do it ourselves. So very kind.” She smiled fondly at the man.

                  Fred nodded and, taking a step into the kitchen, he stuck a hand towards Yasmin. She quickly wiped her damp hands on her skirt before taking it. Fred’s hand was brown and weathered like his face and he gripped her fingers firmly.

                  “Nice to meet you Yasmin. So where are you from?”

                  “Oh, um, I’ve been living in London most recently but originally from Manchester.” Yasmin noticed he had a snake tattoo curling up his inner  bicep, over his shoulder and disappearing under his black singlet. “Is your accent Australian?”

                  A flicker of a frown crossed Fred’s face and Yasmin felt anxious. “Sorry,” she mumbled, although she wasn’t sure what for. “It’s just I’m visiting soon …”

                  “Yeah, originally. But I’ve not been back home for while.” His eyes drifted to the kitchen window and stayed there. For a moment, they all watched the rain pelt against the glass.

                  Sister Aliti broke the silence. “Fred’s a writer,” she said sounding like a proud mother.

                  “Oh, that’s so cool! What do you write?” Yasmin immediately worried she’d been too nosy again. “I’ve always wanted to write!” she added brightly which wasn’t true, she’d never given it much thought. Realising this, and to her horror, she snort laughed.

                  Fred dragged his eyes back from the window and looked at her with amusement. “Yeah? Well you should go for it!” He turned to Sister Aliti. “Internet’s down again too with this weather,” He dug into the pocket of his shorts and dangled some keys in the air. “I’ll leave the van keys with you but I’ll be back tomorrow, if the rain’s stopped.” The keys clanked onto the bench.

                  “He’s such a chatterbox,” murmured Sister Aliti after Fred had gone and Yasmin laughed.

                  “Shall I put these in the office?” Yasmin gestured to the set of keys then gasped as she saw that on the keychain was a devilish looking imp grinning up at her.


                    The Jorid is a vessel that can travel through dimensions as well as time, within certain boundaries.

                    The Jorid has been built and is operated by Georges and his companion Salomé.
                    Georges was a French thief possibly from the 1800s, turned other-dimensional explorer, and along with Salomé, a girl of mysterious origins who he first met in the Alienor dimension but believed to be born in Northern India in a distant past, they have lived rich adventures together, and are deeply bound by love and mutual interests.

                    Georges, with his handsome face, dark hair and amber gaze, is a bit of a daredevil at times, curious and engaging with others. He is very interesting in anything that shines, strange mechanisms and generally the ways consciousness works in living matter. Salomé, on the other hand is deeply intuitive, empath at times, quite logical and rational but also interested in mysticism, the ways of the Truth, and the “why” rather than the “how” of things.

                    The world of Alienor (a pale green sun under which twin planets originally orbited – Duane, Murtuane – with an additional third, Phreal, home planet of the Guardians, an alien race of builders with god-like powers) lived through cataclysmic changes, finished by the time this story is told.

                    The Jorid’s original prototype designs were crafted by Léonard, a mysterious figure, self-taught in the arts of dimensional magic in Alienor sects, who acted as a mentor to Georges during his adventures. It is not known where he is now.

                    The story unfolds 14 years after we discovered Georges & Salomé in the story.


                    (for more background information, refer to this thread)


                      Aunt Idle:

                      You won’t beleive this, I said to Mater, and she said I probably won’t before giving me a chance to finish.  I ignored her as usual and told her about the bookings.   Bookings, she screeched like a demented parrot, bookings? Since when did we have bookings.   She even had the cheek to tell me I was living in the past, imagining we had bookings.  I told her she was the one living in the past, the past when we had no bookings, and that I was living in the present because we had four people booked to stay at the inn, and we did indeed have bookings and that she should take off that old red pantsuit and put something practical on because we had a great deal of cleaning to do.  Then she did her screeching parrot routine with the word cleaning, and I left her to it and went to tell Bert.

                      I don’t know what I’d have done without good old Bert over the years. I started to get a bit screechy myself with the panic when I was telling him, but he calmed me right down and started to make a list of the things that needed doing in order of importance.  Start with preparing a bedroom each, he said, and get Mater to go down to the kitchen and make a shopping list.  I said Bert are you sure that’s wise, Mater in charge of supplies, and he said no it aint wise but who else is going to do it?

                      I left Bert clanging away with the boiler trying to get some hot water out of it, and went to get some dusters and a broom and had to dust them off a bit, been a long time since anyone looked in the broom cupboard, and lo and behold Mater appears dressed as a 17th century serving wench.  I let that pass without comment, but I did tell her to try and be sensible with the shopping list.


                      In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                      Real-life Xavier was marveling at the new AL (Artificial Life) developments on this project he’d been working on. It’s been great at tidying the plot, confusing as the plot started to become with Real-life characters named the same as their Quirky counterparts ones.

                      Real-life Zara had not managed to remain off the computer for very long, despite her grand claims to the contrary. She’d made quick work of introducing a new player in the game, a reporter in an obscure newspaper, who’d seemed quirky enough to be their guide in the new game indeed. It was difficult to see if hers was a nickname or nom de plume, but strangely enough, she also named her own character the same as her name in the papers. Interestingly, Zara and Glimmer had some friends in common in Australia, where RL Zara was living at the moment.

                      Anyways… “Clever ALXavier smiled when he saw the output on the screen. “Yasmin will love a little tidiness; even if she is the brains of the group, she has always loved the help.”

                      Meanwhile, in the real world, Youssef was on his own adventure in Mongolia, trying to uncover the mystery of the Thi Gang. He had been hearing whispers and rumors about the ancient and powerful group, and he was determined to find out the truth. He had been traveling through the desert for weeks, following leads and piecing together clues, and he was getting closer to the truth.

                      Zara, Xavier, and Yasmin, on the other hand, were scattered around the world. Zara was in Australia, working on a conservation project and trying to save a group of endangered animals. Xavier was in Europe, working on a new project for a technology company. And Yasmin was in Asia, volunteering at a children’s hospital.

                      Despite being physically separated, the four friends kept in touch through video calls and messages. They were all excited about the upcoming adventure in the Land of the Quirks and the possibility of discovering their inner quirks. They were also looking forward to their trip to the Flying Fish Inn, where they hoped to find some clues about the game and their characters.

                      In the game, Glimmer Gambol’s interactions with the other characters will be taking place in the confines of the Land of the Quirks. As she is the one who has been playing the longest and has the most experience, she will probably be the one to lead the group and guide them through the game. She also has some information that the others don’t know about yet, and she will probably reveal it at the right time.

                      As the game and the real-world adventures are intertwined, the characters will have to navigate both worlds and find a way to balance them. They will have to use their unique skills and personalities to overcome challenges and solve puzzles, both in the game and in the real world. It will be an exciting and unpredictable journey, full of surprises and twists.


                      In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                        [Following the last comment] Fed the AL this context:

                        1. “A gripshawk is feline-like anthropomorphic creature living in the deserts in a fiction written by Yurara Fameliki. It is the least favorite character to pick by Zara who doesn’t like “fantasy stuff”.
                        2. The “Flying Fish Inn” is a fictional (or maybe real) Inn set in the Australian outback, owned by a family headed by the matriarch Mater and involved in many adventures, sometimes surnatural.
                        3. AL” is an AI build with Al’s persona (Albert Yokozo being a famous author, possibly a nom de plume of the mysterious Ernrich Lemwon) – it is known as Calli in another story.

                        Please continue the story unfolding here:

                        “Yeah, I’m not a fan of fantasy stuff either,” Youssef added, agreeing with Zara. “But I’m curious about the Flying Fish Inn and how it relates to the game. Maybe we should check it out and see if there are any clues there.”

                        “That’s a good idea,” Yasmin said. “I’ve heard the stories about the Inn and the adventures the family has had there. Some of them are quite intriguing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a connection to our game.”

                        “I’m not sure about the AI,” Xavier said. “It’s still a mystery to me, but I trust AL will guide us in the right direction. I’m curious to see where this all leads.”

                        “Alright, let’s plan a trip to the Flying Fish Inn,” Zara said, excitedly. “We’ll take a break from the game for a few days, but we’ll come back to it with fresh eyes and new insights. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find some quirky guests along the way.”

                        As they were discussing their plans, they all felt a sense of excitement and curiosity about what the future holds for them. The game and the world of the Land of the Quirks had captured their imagination and they were eager to see where it would lead them next.


                        “What in the good name of our Lady, have these two been on?” Miss Bossy was at a loss for words while Ricardo was waiting sheepishly at her desk, as though he was expecting an outburst.
                        “Look, Ricardo, I’m not against a little tweaking for newsworthiness, but this takes twisting reality to a whole new level!

                        Ricardo had just dropped their last article.

                        Local Hero at the Rescue – Stray Residents found after in a trip of a lifetime
                        article by Hilda Astoria & Continuity Brown

                        In a daring and heroic move, Nurse Trassie, a local hero and all-around fantastic human being, managed to track down and rescue three elderly women who had gone on an adventure of a lifetime. Sharon, Mavis, and Gloria (names may have been altered to preserve their anonymity) were residents of a UK nursing home who, in a moment of pure defiance and desire for adventure, decided to go off their meds and escape to the Nordics.

                        The three women, who had been feeling cooped up and underappreciated in their nursing home, decided to take matters into their own hands and embark on a journey to see the world. They had heard of the beautiful landscapes and friendly people of the Nordics and their rejuvenating traditional cures and were determined to experience it for themselves.

                        Their journey, however, was not without its challenges. They faced many obstacles, including harsh weather conditions and language barriers. But they were determined to press on, and their determination paid off when they were taken in by a kind-hearted local doctor who gave them asylum and helped them rehabilitate stray animals.

                        Nurse Trassie, who had been on the lookout for the women since their disappearance, finally caught wind of their whereabouts and set out to rescue them. She tracked them down to the Nordics, where she found them living in a small facility in the woods, surrounded by a menagerie of stray animals they had taken in and were nursing back to health, including rare orangutans retired from local circus.

                        Upon her arrival, Nurse Trassie was greeted with open arms by the women, who were overjoyed to see her. They told her of their adventures and showed her around their cabin, introducing her to the animals they had taken in and the progress they had made in rehabilitating them.

                        Nurse Trassie, who is known for her compassion and dedication to her patients, was deeply touched by the women’s story and their love for the animals. She knew that they needed to be back in the care of professionals and that the animals needed to be properly cared for, so she made arrangements to bring them back home.

                        The women were reluctant to leave their newfound home and the animals they had grown to love, but they knew that it was the right thing to do. They said their goodbyes and set off on the long journey back home with Nurse Trassie by their side.

                        The three women returned to their nursing home filled with stories to share, and Nurse Trassie was hailed as a hero for her efforts in rescuing them. They were greeted with cheers and applause from the staff and other residents, who were thrilled to have them back safe and sound.

                        Nurse Trassie, who is known for her sharp wit and sense of humor, commented on the situation with a tongue-in-cheek remark, “It’s not every day that you get to rescue three feisty elderlies from the wilds of the Nordics and bring them back to safety. I’m just glad I could be of service.”

                        In conclusion, the three women’s adventure in the Nordics may have been unorthodox, but it was an adventure nonetheless. They were able to see the world and help some animals in the process. Their story serves as a reminder to never give up on your dreams, no matter your age or circumstances. And of course, a big shoutout to Nurse Trassie for her heroic actions and dedication to her patients.

                        Bossy sighed. “It might do for now, but don’t let those two abuse the artificial intelligence to write article for them… I liked their old style better. This feels too… tidy. We’re not the A-News network, let’s not forget our purpose.”

                        Ricardo nodded. Miss Bossy had been more mellow since the sales of the newspaper had exploded during the pandemic. With people at home, looking for conspiracies and all, the newspaper had known a resurgence of interest, and they even had to hire new staff. Giles Gibber, Glimmer Gambol (came heavily recommended by Blithe, the PI friend of Hilda’s), Samuel Sproink and Fionna Flibbergibbet.

                        “And how is Sophie? That adventure into her past trauma was a bit much on her…” she mused.

                        “She’s doing alright” answered Ricardo. “She’s learning to hone her remote-viewing skills to send our staff into new mysteries to solve. With a bit of AI assist…”

                        “Oh, stop it already with your AI-this, AI-that! Hope there’ll still be room for some madness in all that neatly tidy purring of polite output.”

                        “That’s why we’re here for, I reckon.” Ric’ smiled wryly.


                        In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys


                          Write more about the group of people who lived inside of giant mushrooms, making it sound exciting and fun, and maybe a bit dangerous due to the nature of the mushrooms

                          As the group journeyed deeper into the Land of the Quirks, they stumbled upon a group of people living inside of giant mushrooms. The mushrooms were enormous, some as tall as skyscrapers, and they seemed to glow with an ethereal light. The group was amazed as they walked through the forest of mushrooms, each one unique in shape and size.

                          The people who lived inside of the mushrooms were a friendly and welcoming bunch, they welcomed the group with open arms and invited them to explore their homes. The inside of the mushrooms was a magical and mysterious place, the walls and ceilings were covered in a soft, velvety texture and the floors were made of a spongy, springy material. The light inside the mushrooms was soft and diffused, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

                          As the group explored the mushroom homes, they discovered that the people who lived there had a deep connection to the mushrooms. They used the mushrooms as a source of food, shelter, and medicine. They had learned to harness the unique properties of the mushrooms to create everything they needed to survive.

                          The group also discovered that the mushrooms had a dangerous side. The mushrooms were not only a source of life, but also a source of death. The group was warned that the mushrooms were unpredictable and that they should be careful when exploring. Some mushrooms were poisonous, others were carnivorous, and still, others had mind-altering properties.

                          Despite the danger, the group was excited to explore the mushrooms and learn more about the people who lived there. They knew that the journey would be filled with challenges, but they were determined to overcome them and discover the secrets of the mushrooms. The group had a lot of fun and adventure living with the people inside of giant mushrooms, and they learned a lot about the nature of the mushrooms and their own nature.


                            Prune has got me into this AI stuff… It sounds like gibberish to me, but Idle sounded amazed at the stuff it spewed out.

                            With some info on our family story, Prune got it to try and predict the future…

                            Sounds like a big plate of bog, but we’ll see how it goes.

                            Sure, here are a few possible events that could occur between Mater’s 100th birthday and her death in the Flying Fish Inn story:

                            1. Mater decides to throw herself a grand birthday party, inviting all of her friends and family from the small outback town. However, things take a turn for the strange when a group of extraterrestrial beings crash the party and reveal themselves to be long-time fans of Mater’s famous bush tucker cuisine.
                            2. Mater begins to experience vivid dreams and hallucinations, in which she is visited by the ghost of her late husband. As the dreams become more frequent, the family begins to suspect that there may be something more to them than just Mater’s mind playing tricks on her.
                            3. Mater’s granddaughter Prune becomes increasingly obsessed with her dream of traveling to Mars, and begins to notice strange occurrences happening around the inn that seem to be connected to her aspiration.
                            4. A group of eccentric scientists arrive at the inn, conducting research on the local flora and fauna. They eventually discover a species of sentient plants living in the area, and Mater becomes convinced that the plants are communicating with her in her dreams.
                            5. With her health declining, Mater begins to spend more and more time tending to her garden, where she is visited by an old kookaburra who seems to possess an otherworldly intelligence. The bird becomes Mater’s companion and confidant in the final days of her life.
                            6. As the Great Fires ravage the Australian bush, Mater makes the difficult decision to shut down the inn and evacuate the guests. But as they flee, they realize that the fire is not just a natural disaster, but something far more sinister and mystical.
                            7. In her final days, Mater begins to remember strange and vivid details of her life that she never could have known, as if she lived a previous life in another time and place. As she dies, she whispers something to Prune, which opens her eyes to a new reality that may have been hidden from her all along
                            8. It turns out the family had a lot of secrets, and the only way to escape it, was to leave the inn, but it was not an escape for all. Through the series of events, secrets are revealed, and some truths cannot be undone.Note that these events are fictional and whimsical in nature, but as they keeps it grounded to a sense of doldrums in the Australian bush and occasionally guests help to unravel some of the overarching mysteries it could make a fitting storyline for the story.

                              The Birmingham Bootmaker

                              Samuel Jones 1816-1875


                              Samuel Jones the elder was born in Belfast circa 1779.  He is one of just two direct ancestors found thus far born in Ireland.  Samuel married Jane Elizabeth Brooker (born in St Giles, London) on the 25th January 1807 at St George, Hanover Square in London.  Their first child Mary was born in 1808 in London, and then the family moved to Birmingham. Mary was my 3x great grandmother.

                              But this chapter is about her brother Samuel Jones.  I noticed that on a number of other trees on the Ancestry site, Samuel Jones was a convict transported to Australia, but this didn’t tally with the records I’d found for Samuel in Birmingham.  In fact another Samuel Jones born at the same time in the same place was transported, but his occupation was a baker.  Our Samuel Jones was a bootmaker like his father.

                              Samuel was born on 28th January 1816 in Birmingham and baptised at St Phillips on the 19th August of that year, the fourth child and first son of Samuel the elder and Jane’s eleven children.

                              On the 1839 electoral register a Samuel Jones owned a property on Colmore Row, Birmingham.

                              Samuel Jones, bootmaker of 15, Colmore Row is listed in the 1849 Birmingham post office directory, and in the 1855 White’s Directory.

                              On the 1851 census, Samuel was an unmarried bootmaker employing sixteen men at 15, Colmore Row.  A 9 year old nephew Henry Harris was living with him, and his mother Ruth Harris, as well as a female servant.  Samuel’s sister Ruth was born in 1818 and married Henry Harris in 1840. Henry died in 1848.

                              Samuel was a 45 year old bootmaker at 15 Colmore Row on the 1861 census, living with Maria Walcot, a 26 year old domestic servant.

                              In October 1863 Samuel married Maria Walcot at St Philips in Birmingham.  They don’t appear to have had any children as none appear on the 1871 census, where Samuel and Maria are living at the same address, with another female servant and two male lodgers by the name of Messant from Ipswich.

                              Marriage of Samuel Jones and Maria Walcot:

                              1863 Samuel Jones


                              In 1864 Samuel’s father died.  Samuel the son is mentioned in the probate records as one of the executors: “Samuel Jones of Colmore Row Birmingham in the county of Warwick boot and shoe manufacturer the son”.

                              1864 Samuel Jones


                              Indeed it could hardly be clearer that this Samuel Jones was not the convict transported to Australia in 1834!


                              In 1867 Samuel Jones, bootmaker, was mentioned in the Birmingham Daily Gazette with regard to an unfortunate incident involving his American lodger, Cory McFarland.  The verdict was accidental death.

                              Birmingham Daily Gazette – Friday 05 April 1867:

                              Cory McFarland 1


                              I asked a Birmingham history group for an old photo of Colmore Row. This photo is circa 1870 and number 15 is furthest from the camera.  The businesses on the street at the time were as follows:

                              7 homeopathic chemist George John Morris. 8 surgeon dentist Frederick Sims. 9 Saul & Walter Samuel, Australian merchants. Surgeons occupied 10, pawnbroker John Aaron at 11 & 12. 15 boot & shoemaker. 17 auctioneer…

                              Colmore Row 1870


                              from Bird’s Eye View of Birmingham, 1886:

                              Birmingham 1886



                                Isaac Stokes 1804-1877


                                Isaac was born in Churchill, Oxfordshire in 1804, and was the youngest brother of my 4X great grandfather Thomas Stokes. The Stokes family were stone masons for generations in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and Isaac’s occupation was a mason’s labourer in 1834 when he was sentenced at the Lent Assizes in Oxford to fourteen years transportation for stealing tools.

                                Churchill where the Stokes stonemasons came from: on 31 July 1684 a fire destroyed 20 houses and many other buildings, and killed four people. The village was rebuilt higher up the hill, with stone houses instead of the old timber-framed and thatched cottages. The fire was apparently caused by a baker who, to avoid chimney tax, had knocked through the wall from her oven to her neighbour’s chimney.

                                Isaac stole a pick axe, the value of 2 shillings and the property of Thomas Joyner of Churchill; a kibbeaux and a trowel value 3 shillings the property of Thomas Symms; a hammer and axe value 5 shillings, property of John Keen of Sarsden.

                                (The word kibbeaux seems to only exists in relation to Isaac Stokes sentence and whoever was the first to write it was perhaps being creative with the spelling of a kibbo, a miners or a metal bucket. This spelling is repeated in the criminal reports and the newspaper articles about Isaac, but nowhere else).

                                In March 1834 the Removal of Convicts was announced in the Oxford University and City Herald: Isaac Stokes and several other prisoners were removed from the Oxford county gaol to the Justitia hulk at Woolwich “persuant to their sentences of transportation at our Lent Assizes”.

                                via digitalpanopticon:

                                Hulks were decommissioned (and often unseaworthy) ships that were moored in rivers and estuaries and refitted to become floating prisons. The outbreak of war in America in 1775 meant that it was no longer possible to transport British convicts there. Transportation as a form of punishment had started in the late seventeenth century, and following the Transportation Act of 1718, some 44,000 British convicts were sent to the American colonies. The end of this punishment presented a major problem for the authorities in London, since in the decade before 1775, two-thirds of convicts at the Old Bailey received a sentence of transportation – on average 283 convicts a year. As a result, London’s prisons quickly filled to overflowing with convicted prisoners who were sentenced to transportation but had no place to go.

                                To increase London’s prison capacity, in 1776 Parliament passed the “Hulks Act” (16 Geo III, c.43). Although overseen by local justices of the peace, the hulks were to be directly managed and maintained by private contractors. The first contract to run a hulk was awarded to Duncan Campbell, a former transportation contractor. In August 1776, the Justicia, a former transportation ship moored in the River Thames, became the first prison hulk. This ship soon became full and Campbell quickly introduced a number of other hulks in London; by 1778 the fleet of hulks on the Thames held 510 prisoners.
                                Demand was so great that new hulks were introduced across the country. There were hulks located at Deptford, Chatham, Woolwich, Gosport, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Sheerness and Cork.

                                The Justitia via rmg collections:


                                Convicts perform hard labour at the Woolwich Warren. The hulk on the river is the ‘Justitia’. Prisoners were kept on board such ships for months awaiting deportation to Australia. The ‘Justitia’ was a 260 ton prison hulk that had been originally moored in the Thames when the American War of Independence put a stop to the transportation of criminals to the former colonies. The ‘Justitia’ belonged to the shipowner Duncan Campbell, who was the Government contractor who organized the prison-hulk system at that time. Campbell was subsequently involved in the shipping of convicts to the penal colony at Botany Bay (in fact Port Jackson, later Sydney, just to the north) in New South Wales, the ‘first fleet’ going out in 1788.


                                While searching for records for Isaac Stokes I discovered that another Isaac Stokes was transported to New South Wales in 1835 as well. The other one was a butcher born in 1809, sentenced in London for seven years, and he sailed on the Mary Ann. Our Isaac Stokes sailed on the Lady Nugent, arriving in NSW in April 1835, having set sail from England in December 1834.

                                Lady Nugent was built at Bombay in 1813. She made four voyages under contract to the British East India Company (EIC). She then made two voyages transporting convicts to Australia, one to New South Wales and one to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). (via Wikipedia)

                                via freesettlerorfelon website:

                                On 20 November 1834, 100 male convicts were transferred to the Lady Nugent from the Justitia Hulk and 60 from the Ganymede Hulk at Woolwich, all in apparent good health. The Lady Nugent departed Sheerness on 4 December 1834.

                                SURGEON OLIVER SPROULE

                                Oliver Sproule kept a Medical Journal from 7 November 1834 to 27 April 1835. He recorded in his journal the weather conditions they experienced in the first two weeks:

                                ‘In the course of the first week or ten days at sea, there were eight or nine on the sick list with catarrhal affections and one with dropsy which I attribute to the cold and wet we experienced during that period beating down channel. Indeed the foremost berths in the prison at this time were so wet from leaking in that part of the ship, that I was obliged to issue dry beds and bedding to a great many of the prisoners to preserve their health, but after crossing the Bay of Biscay the weather became fine and we got the damp beds and blankets dried, the leaks partially stopped and the prison well aired and ventilated which, I am happy to say soon manifested a favourable change in the health and appearance of the men.

                                Besides the cases given in the journal I had a great many others to treat, some of them similar to those mentioned but the greater part consisted of boils, scalds, and contusions which would not only be too tedious to enter but I fear would be irksome to the reader. There were four births on board during the passage which did well, therefore I did not consider it necessary to give a detailed account of them in my journal the more especially as they were all favourable cases.

                                Regularity and cleanliness in the prison, free ventilation and as far as possible dry decks turning all the prisoners up in fine weather as we were lucky enough to have two musicians amongst the convicts, dancing was tolerated every afternoon, strict attention to personal cleanliness and also to the cooking of their victuals with regular hours for their meals, were the only prophylactic means used on this occasion, which I found to answer my expectations to the utmost extent in as much as there was not a single case of contagious or infectious nature during the whole passage with the exception of a few cases of psora which soon yielded to the usual treatment. A few cases of scurvy however appeared on board at rather an early period which I can attribute to nothing else but the wet and hardships the prisoners endured during the first three or four weeks of the passage. I was prompt in my treatment of these cases and they got well, but before we arrived at Sydney I had about thirty others to treat.’

                                The Lady Nugent arrived in Port Jackson on 9 April 1835 with 284 male prisoners. Two men had died at sea. The prisoners were landed on 27th April 1835 and marched to Hyde Park Barracks prior to being assigned. Ten were under the age of 14 years.

                                The Lady Nugent:

                                Lady Nugent


                                Isaac’s distinguishing marks are noted on various criminal registers and record books:

                                “Height in feet & inches: 5 4; Complexion: Ruddy; Hair: Light brown; Eyes: Hazel; Marks or Scars: Yes [including] DEVIL on lower left arm, TSIS back of left hand, WS lower right arm, MHDW back of right hand.”

                                Another includes more detail about Isaac’s tattoos:

                                “Two slight scars right side of mouth, 2 moles above right breast, figure of the devil and DEVIL and raised mole, lower left arm; anchor, seven dots half moon, TSIS and cross, back of left hand; a mallet, door post, A, mans bust, sun, WS, lower right arm; woman, MHDW and shut knife, back of right hand.”


                                Lady Nugent record book


                                From How tattoos became fashionable in Victorian England (2019 article in TheConversation by Robert Shoemaker and Zoe Alkar):

                                “Historical tattooing was not restricted to sailors, soldiers and convicts, but was a growing and accepted phenomenon in Victorian England. Tattoos provide an important window into the lives of those who typically left no written records of their own. As a form of “history from below”, they give us a fleeting but intriguing understanding of the identities and emotions of ordinary people in the past.
                                As a practice for which typically the only record is the body itself, few systematic records survive before the advent of photography. One exception to this is the written descriptions of tattoos (and even the occasional sketch) that were kept of institutionalised people forced to submit to the recording of information about their bodies as a means of identifying them. This particularly applies to three groups – criminal convicts, soldiers and sailors. Of these, the convict records are the most voluminous and systematic.
                                Such records were first kept in large numbers for those who were transported to Australia from 1788 (since Australia was then an open prison) as the authorities needed some means of keeping track of them.”

                                On the 1837 census Isaac was working for the government at Illiwarra, New South Wales. This record states that he arrived on the Lady Nugent in 1835. There are three other indent records for an Isaac Stokes in the following years, but the transcriptions don’t provide enough information to determine which Isaac Stokes it was. In April 1837 there was an abscondment, and an arrest/apprehension in May of that year, and in 1843 there was a record of convict indulgences.

                                From the Australian government website regarding “convict indulgences”:

                                “By the mid-1830s only six per cent of convicts were locked up. The vast majority worked for the government or free settlers and, with good behaviour, could earn a ticket of leave, conditional pardon or and even an absolute pardon. While under such orders convicts could earn their own living.”


                                In 1856 in Camden, NSW, Isaac Stokes married Catherine Daly. With no further information on this record it would be impossible to know for sure if this was the right Isaac Stokes. This couple had six children, all in the Camden area, but none of the records provided enough information. No occupation or place or date of birth recorded for Isaac Stokes.

                                I wrote to the National Library of Australia about the marriage record, and their reply was a surprise! Issac and Catherine were married on 30 September 1856, at the house of the Rev. Charles William Rigg, a Methodist minister, and it was recorded that Isaac was born in Edinburgh in 1821, to parents James Stokes and Sarah Ellis!  The age at the time of the marriage doesn’t match Isaac’s age at death in 1877, and clearly the place of birth and parents didn’t match either. Only his fathers occupation of stone mason was correct.  I wrote back to the helpful people at the library and they replied that the register was in a very poor condition and that only two and a half entries had survived at all, and that Isaac and Catherines marriage was recorded over two pages.

                                I searched for an Isaac Stokes born in 1821 in Edinburgh on the Scotland government website (and on all the other genealogy records sites) and didn’t find it. In fact Stokes was a very uncommon name in Scotland at the time. I also searched Australian immigration and other records for another Isaac Stokes born in Scotland or born in 1821, and found nothing.  I was unable to find a single record to corroborate this mysterious other Isaac Stokes.

                                As the age at death in 1877 was correct, I assume that either Isaac was lying, or that some mistake was made either on the register at the home of the Methodist minster, or a subsequent mistranscription or muddle on the remnants of the surviving register.  Therefore I remain convinced that the Camden stonemason Isaac Stokes was indeed our Isaac from Oxfordshire.


                                I found a history society newsletter article that mentioned Isaac Stokes, stone mason, had built the Glenmore church, near Camden, in 1859.

                                Glenmore Church


                                From the Wollondilly museum April 2020 newsletter:

                                Glenmore Church Stokes


                                From the Camden History website:

                                “The stone set over the porch of Glenmore Church gives the date of 1860. The church was begun in 1859 on land given by Joseph Moore. James Rogers of Picton was given the contract to build and local builder, Mr. Stokes, carried out the work. Elizabeth Moore, wife of Edward, laid the foundation stone. The first service was held on 19th March 1860. The cemetery alongside the church contains the headstones and memorials of the areas early pioneers.”


                                Isaac died on the 3rd September 1877. The inquest report puts his place of death as Bagdelly, near to Camden, and another death register has put Cambelltown, also very close to Camden.  His age was recorded as 71 and the inquest report states his cause of death was “rupture of one of the large pulmonary vessels of the lung”.  His wife Catherine died in childbirth in 1870 at the age of 43.


                                Isaac and Catherine’s children:

                                William Stokes 1857-1928

                                Catherine Stokes 1859-1846

                                Sarah Josephine Stokes 1861-1931

                                Ellen Stokes 1863-1932

                                Rosanna Stokes 1865-1919

                                Louisa Stokes 1868-1844.


                                It’s possible that Catherine Daly was a transported convict from Ireland.


                                Some time later I unexpectedly received a follow up email from The Oaks Heritage Centre in Australia.

                                “The Gaudry papers which we have in our archive record him (Isaac Stokes) as having built: the church, the school and the teachers residence.  Isaac is recorded in the General return of convicts: 1837 and in Grevilles Post Office directory 1872 as a mason in Glenmore.”

                                Isaac Stokes directory


                                  Wong Sang


                                  Wong Sang was born in China in 1884. In October 1916 he married Alice Stokes in Oxford.

                                  Alice was the granddaughter of William Stokes of Churchill, Oxfordshire and William was the brother of Thomas Stokes the wheelwright (who was my 3X great grandfather). In other words Alice was my second cousin, three times removed, on my fathers paternal side.

                                  Wong Sang was an interpreter, according to the baptism registers of his children and the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital admission registers in 1930.  The hospital register also notes that he was employed by the Blue Funnel Line, and that his address was 11, Limehouse Causeway, E 14. (London)

                                  “The Blue Funnel Line offered regular First-Class Passenger and Cargo Services From the UK to South Africa, Malaya, China, Japan, Australia, Java, and America.  Blue Funnel Line was Owned and Operated by Alfred Holt & Co., Liverpool.
                                  The Blue Funnel Line, so-called because its ships have a blue funnel with a black top, is more appropriately known as the Ocean Steamship Company.”


                                  Wong Sang and Alice’s daughter, Frances Eileen Sang, was born on the 14th July, 1916 and baptised in 1920 at St Stephen in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London.  The birth date is noted in the 1920 baptism register and would predate their marriage by a few months, although on the death register in 1921 her age at death is four years old and her year of birth is recorded as 1917.

                                  Charles Ronald Sang was baptised on the same day in May 1920, but his birth is recorded as April of that year.  The family were living on Morant Street, Poplar.

                                  James William Sang’s birth is recorded on the 1939 census and on the death register in 2000 as being the 8th March 1913.  This definitely would predate the 1916 marriage in Oxford.

                                  William Norman Sang was born on the 17th October 1922 in Poplar.

                                  Alice and the three sons were living at 11, Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census, the same address that Wong Sang was living at when he was admitted to Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital on the 15th January 1930. Wong Sang died in the hospital on the 8th March of that year at the age of 46.

                                  Alice married John Patterson in 1933 in Stepney. John was living with Alice and her three sons on Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census and his occupation was chef.

                                  Via Old London Photographs:

                                  “Limehouse Causeway is a street in east London that was the home to the original Chinatown of London. A combination of bomb damage during the Second World War and later redevelopment means that almost nothing is left of the original buildings of the street.”

                                  Limehouse Causeway in 1925:

                                  Limehouse Causeway


                                  From The Story of Limehouse’s Lost Chinatown, poplarlondon website:

                                  “Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown, home to a tightly-knit community who were demonised in popular culture and eventually erased from the cityscape.

                                  As recounted in the BBC’s ‘Our Greatest Generation’ series, Connie was born to a Chinese father and an English mother in early 1920s Limehouse, where she used to play in the street with other British and British-Chinese children before running inside for teatime at one of their houses. 

                                  Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown between the 1880s and the 1960s, before the current Chinatown off Shaftesbury Avenue was established in the 1970s by an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong. 

                                  Connie’s memories of London’s first Chinatown as an “urban village” paint a very different picture to the seedy area portrayed in early twentieth century novels. 

                                  The pyramid in St Anne’s church marked the entrance to the opium den of Dr Fu Manchu, a criminal mastermind who threatened Western society by plotting world domination in a series of novels by Sax Rohmer. 

                                  Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights cemented stereotypes about prostitution, gambling and violence within the Chinese community, and whipped up anxiety about sexual relationships between Chinese men and white women. 

                                  Though neither novelist was familiar with the Chinese community, their depictions made Limehouse one of the most notorious areas of London. 

                                  Travel agent Thomas Cook even organised tours of the area for daring visitors, despite the rector of Limehouse warning that “those who look for the Limehouse of Mr Thomas Burke simply will not find it.”

                                  All that remains is a handful of Chinese street names, such as Ming Street, Pekin Street, and Canton Street — but what was Limehouse’s chinatown really like, and why did it get swept away?

                                  Chinese migration to Limehouse 

                                  Chinese sailors discharged from East India Company ships settled in the docklands from as early as the 1780s.

                                  By the late nineteenth century, men from Shanghai had settled around Pennyfields Lane, while a Cantonese community lived on Limehouse Causeway. 

                                  Chinese sailors were often paid less and discriminated against by dock hirers, and so began to diversify their incomes by setting up hand laundry services and restaurants. 

                                  Old photographs show shopfronts emblazoned with Chinese characters with horse-drawn carts idling outside or Chinese men in suits and hats standing proudly in the doorways. 

                                  In oral histories collected by Yat Ming Loo, Connie’s husband Leslie doesn’t recall seeing any Chinese women as a child, since male Chinese sailors settled in London alone and married working-class English women. 

                                  In the 1920s, newspapers fear-mongered about interracial marriages, crime and gambling, and described chinatown as an East End “colony.” 

                                  Ironically, Chinese opium-smoking was also demonised in the press, despite Britain waging war against China in the mid-nineteenth century for suppressing the opium trade to alleviate addiction amongst its people. 

                                  The number of Chinese people who settled in Limehouse was also greatly exaggerated, and in reality only totalled around 300. 

                                  The real Chinatown 

                                  Although the press sought to characterise Limehouse as a monolithic Chinese community in the East End, Connie remembers seeing people of all nationalities in the shops and community spaces in Limehouse.

                                  She doesn’t remember feeling discriminated against by other locals, though Connie does recall having her face measured and IQ tested by a member of the British Eugenics Society who was conducting research in the area. 

                                  Some of Connie’s happiest childhood memories were from her time at Chung-Hua Club, where she learned about Chinese culture and language.

                                  Why did Chinatown disappear? 

                                  The caricature of Limehouse’s Chinatown as a den of vice hastened its erasure. 

                                  Police raids and deportations fuelled by the alarmist media coverage threatened the Chinese population of Limehouse, and slum clearance schemes to redevelop low-income areas dispersed Chinese residents in the 1930s. 

                                  The Defence of the Realm Act imposed at the beginning of the First World War criminalised opium use, gave the authorities increased powers to deport Chinese people and restricted their ability to work on British ships.

                                  Dwindling maritime trade during World War II further stripped Chinese sailors of opportunities for employment, and any remnants of Chinatown were destroyed during the Blitz or erased by postwar development schemes.”


                                  Wong Sang 1884-1930

                                  The year 1918 was a troublesome one for Wong Sang, an interpreter and shipping agent for Blue Funnel Line.  The Sang family were living at 156, Chrisp Street.

                                  Chrisp Street, Poplar, in 1913 via Old London Photographs:

                                  Chrisp Street


                                  In February Wong Sang was discharged from a false accusation after defending his home from potential robbers.

                                  East End News and London Shipping Chronicle – Friday 15 February 1918:

                                  1918 Wong Sang


                                  In August of that year he was involved in an incident that left him unconscious.

                                  Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 31 August 1918:

                                  1918 Wong Sang 2


                                  Wong Sang is mentioned in an 1922 article about “Oriental London”.

                                  London and China Express – Thursday 09 February 1922:

                                  1922 Wong Sang

                                  A photograph of the Chee Kong Tong Chinese Freemason Society mentioned in the above article, via Old London Photographs:

                                  Chee Kong Tong


                                  Wong Sang was recommended by the London Metropolitan Police in 1928 to assist in a case in Wellingborough, Northampton.

                                  Difficulty of Getting an Interpreter: Northampton Mercury – Friday 16 March 1928:

                                  1928 Wong Sang

                                  1928 Wong Sang 2

                                  The difficulty was that “this man speaks the Cantonese language only…the Northeners and the Southerners in China have differing languages and the interpreter seemed to speak one that was in between these two.”


                                  In 1917, Alice Wong Sang was a witness at her sister Harriet Stokes marriage to James William Watts in Southwark, London.  Their father James Stokes occupation on the marriage register is foreman surveyor, but on the census he was a council roadman or labourer. (I initially rejected this as the correct marriage for Harriet because of the discrepancy with the occupations. Alice Wong Sang as a witness confirmed that it was indeed the correct one.)

                                  1917 Alice Wong Sang



                                  James William Sang 1913-2000 was a clock fitter and watch assembler (on the 1939 census). He married Ivy Laura Fenton in 1963 in Sidcup, Kent. James died in Southwark in 2000.

                                  Charles Ronald Sang 1920-1974  was a draughtsman (1939 census). He married Eileen Burgess in 1947 in Marylebone.  Charles and Eileen had two sons:  Keith born in 1951 and Roger born in 1952.  He died in 1974 in Hertfordshire.

                                  William Norman Sang 1922-2000 was a clerk and telephone operator (1939 census).  William enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1942. He married Lily Mullins in 1949 in Bethnal Green, and they had three daughters: Marion born in 1950, Christine in 1953, and Frances in 1959.  He died in Redbridge in 2000.


                                  I then found another two births registered in Poplar by Alice Sang, both daughters.  Doris Winifred Sang was born in 1925, and Patricia Margaret Sang was born in 1933 ~ three years after Wong Sang’s death.  Neither of the these daughters were on the 1939 census with Alice, John Patterson and the three sons.  Margaret had presumably been evacuated because of the war to a family in Taunton, Somerset. Doris would have been fourteen and I have been unable to find her in 1939 (possibly because she died in 2017 and has not had the redaction removed  yet on the 1939 census as only deceased people are viewable).

                                  Doris Winifred Sang 1925-2017 was a nursing sister. She didn’t marry, and spent a year in USA between 1954 and 1955. She stayed in London, and died at the age of ninety two in 2017.

                                  Patricia Margaret Sang 1933-1998 was also a nurse. She married Patrick L Nicely in Stepney in 1957.  Patricia and Patrick had five children in London: Sharon born 1959, Donald in 1960, Malcolm was born and died in 1966, Alison was born in 1969 and David in 1971.


                                  I was unable to find a birth registered for Alice’s first son, James William Sang (as he appeared on the 1939 census).  I found Alice Stokes on the 1911 census as a 17 year old live in servant at a tobacconist on Pekin Street, Limehouse, living with Mr Sui Fong from Hong Kong and his wife Sarah Sui Fong from Berlin.  I looked for a birth registered for James William Fong instead of Sang, and found it ~ mothers maiden name Stokes, and his date of birth matched the 1939 census: 8th March, 1913.

                                  On the 1921 census, Wong Sang is not listed as living with them but it is mentioned that Mr Wong Sang was the person returning the census.  Also living with Alice and her sons James and Charles in 1921 are two visitors:  (Florence) May Stokes, 17 years old, born in Woodstock, and Charles Stokes, aged 14, also born in Woodstock. May and Charles were Alice’s sister and brother.


                                  I found Sharon Nicely on social media and she kindly shared photos of Wong Sang and Alice Stokes:

                                  Wong Sang


                                  Alice Stokes


                                    The Mormon Browning Who Went To Utah


                                    Isaac Browning’s (1784-1848) sister Hannah  married Francis Buckingham. There were at least three Browning Buckingham marriages in Tetbury.  Their daughter Charlotte married James Paskett, a shoemaker.  Charlotte was born in 1818 and in 1871 she and her family emigrated to Utah, USA.

                                    Charlotte’s relationship to me is first cousin five times removed.

                                    James and Charlotte: (photos found online)

                                    James Paskett


                                    The house of James and Charlotte in Tetbury:

                                    James Paskett 2


                                    The home of James and Charlotte in Utah:

                                    James Paskett3


                                    James Pope Paskett Dead.

                                    Veteran of 87 Laid to rest. Special Correspondence Coalville, Summit Co., Oct 28—James Pope Paskett of Henefer died Oct. 24, 1903 of old age and general debility. Funeral services were held at Henefer today. Elders W.W. Cluff, Alma Elderge, Robert Jones, Oscar Wilkins and Bishop M.F. Harris were the speakers. There was a large attendance many coming from other wards in the stake. James Pope Paskett was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England, on March 12, 1817; married Chalotte Buckingham in the year 1839; eight children were born to them, three sons and five daughters, all of whom are living and residing in Utah, except one in Brisbane, Australia. Father Paskett joined the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1847, and emigrated to Utah in 1871, and has resided in Henefer ever since. He leaves his faithful and aged wife. He was respected and esteemed by all who knew him.


                                    Charlotte died in Henefer, Utah, on 27th December 1910 at the age of 91.

                                    James and Charlotte in later life:

                                    James Paskett 4

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