STIRNET HISTORIES is being replaced by a section that will contain pages that are more relevant to supporting Genealogical Research. This exercise was started in August 2015 and may take some years before it is completed. I apologise should this lead to any confusing loose-ends in the interim.

Peter Barns-Graham

Season’s Greetings!

Season's Greetings! * From today to 25th December 2022: Have a Great Christmas! * From 26th December to (about) 6th January 2023: Happy New Year! * Thenafter: I wish you all the best throughout 2023 - and beyond!

"May you live in interesting times" gives a mixed message. I resonate with both sides of that message. Wikipedia * It is easier & better to live in times of tranquility than in times of trouble. * It would be boring to live in times when little changes.

I would have been happier had 2022 been less interesting. I hope that 2023 will bring you the right mix of stability and progress.



I have today been watching, on TV, the State Funeral of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This is just a temporary note to advise you that, in a few days' time, I shall release a page that will pay tribute to both The Queen and The King whilst providing some comment on Constitutional Monarchy.

Life is much about obtaining Memories. I think that I will hold-on for a long time to the memory of today's Funeral and, indeed, to various other events relating to Her Majesty The Queen. I heard of her death, on Thursday 8th September, whilst on holiday on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords, on board 'Queen Mary 2'. The Captain interrupted our dinner to announce that Her Majesty had died. That was an occasion to be remembered, as was the memorial service given later that day which included my first singing of 'God Save the King'. I am not an ardent Royalist but I am certainly a Royalist inasmuch as I view Constitutional Monarchy as by far the best way of having a Head of State. A significant caveat to that is that it applies only as long as the role is taken very seriously and with true humility by the Royal Family. We in the UK have been blessed by having a succession of monarchs who dedicated their lives to just that, a recent exception being succeeded by exceptional people. In the eyes of millions, Queen Elizabeth was truly exceptional. In the...



I show the flags of both Ukraine and Russia. Why I appear to support Ukraine should be obvious, though I'll come back to that below. Why I also appear to support Russia is, at the moment, worthy of comment so I must make it clear right away that those I am supporting are the Ordinary Russian People, not the present Russian Government. I have met quite a few Russians over the years and have found most of them to be decent people, that "most" being roughly in the same proportion as (if not higher than) with the peoples I have met from other countries. [I view it as a basic truism that, in general terms (after allowing for their stage of social development), people are the same all around the world, with every country having roughly the same proportions of 'good' and 'bad' people.] Russia is by far the largest country in the world. Most of those Russians I have met have been either from the European side or from Central Asia. I recognised almost all of them, even those from Central Asia, as 'European' in nature. I fear that Russia could be entering yet another spell of having to live under a truly vile government and I really am worried for the many millions of decent Russians who may be going to suffer ever more because Putin has damaged their country so much. Most of the inevitable...


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Seasonal Greetings!

I hope you have a Great Christmas and New Year and I wish you all the best throughout 2022.

Today, is the 9th anniversary of our move to our present house for the purchase was completed on the 12th of the 12th in 2012, just after midday. It has proved to be a very good move, not least because we have made some good friends here. I appreciate that very much because friendship is not always easy to find. I often think of one particular occasion in my early 20s when, feeling very lonely in London, my life was uplifted just because someone smiled at me on the underground. Nothing was said, it was just a fleeting human contact, but it meant a lot to me at the time. [The fact that she was pretty and about my age certainly helped but that was not the main thing of it.] Nowadays I normally try to look friendly to everyone around me – enough to show that I accept that they are human like me but not too much as that could be viewed as creepy or intrusive. Now that I am quite elderly it is easier for me to be accepted as friendly, or at least reasonably harmless, than it was when I was a young man. It is sensible to be cautious of strangers, particularly of young adults, but that should not mean that we should appear unfriendly to them. I know that my appearance gives others only the sketchiest...