The times when I can think clearly continue to become shorter and rarer, and my memory continues to get worse. At the same time I feel as happy now as I have ever been. I enjoy spending most of my time doing nothing, and I love living on my own. In his introduction to The Eastern Fells Wainwright wrote of ‘The moment of awakening, and the sudden joyful realisation that this is to be another day of freedom on the hills’. I get that every day, whatever I am doing. Similarly, Wordsworth wrote of ‘the bliss of solitude’ in his best-known poem. I get that most of the time.

More about history

All my life I have been reading interesting items of information – too many either to remember or to write down – but occasionally I read things so interesting I feel I have to record them so that I don’t forget. Here are a few that have not already been mentioned in my website.

In 1950 there were half a million television sets in Britain. In 1960 there were over ten million.

In 1923 Edwin Hubble saw tiny stars in the Andromeda nebula using the telescope on Mount Wilson. This meant that there were vastly more stars than had been previously thought. In the 1990s the first exoplanets were discovered, which meant that the number of planets was vastly greater than had been previously thought.

Democritus believed that matter was made up of atoms in about 400 b.c. Aristotle believed in evolution in the fourth century b.c. Pythagoras believed that the sun was at the centre of the solar system in about 500 b.c. He also believed that fossils were the remains of ancient animals and plants. We only know about ancient Greeks because their writings were translated into Arabic and later into English. There must be stories about people in other parts of the world that are just as interesting and that have been lost forever.

Before the development of telescopes and modern astronomy people must have noticed that the bright part of the Moon always points towards the Sun or where the Sun would be if it were visible. From this they could work out that the Earth is suspended in space.

My ancestors in the male line

Kenneth Wing Jesty, my father
Arthur Jesty, my grandfather
John Jesty of Yeovil, my great-grandfather
George Jesty of Yeovil, father of John
Robert Jesty, father of George
William Jesty of Yetminster, father of Robert
Robert Jesty of Winterhayes Farm near Chetnole, father of William
John Justy of Leigh, father of Robert

Yetminster, Chetnole and Leigh are all villages in the Yeovil area. I still had relatives in Yeovil in the 1980s. Similarly, all my mother’s ancestors that I know about lived in the Bishop’s Stortford area. Now all my relatives on both sides of the family are widely dispersed.