There have been clear signs of nest-related activity from the pair of magpies. At first it seemed possible that they were – as it were – preparing the old nest for some new arrivals, but it is now clear that they are, indeed, dismantling the old nest and making a new one higher up in the tree. They haven’t got very far yet, but I shall continue to monitor the situation and report back.
And I have learnt a little more about Nesta Hughes. In the 1901 census she was described as being 18 and a “Musical Teacher” (we can picture her already playing the piano at morning assembly and at Sunday School). A speculative Google then led to me to this message, on the website Genes Reunited –
“I have an old postcard sent to Nesta Hughes of Poplar Grove Sea Forth Liverpool in 1909. I think she may have been there due to ill health.”
So there we have her in 1909, at the age of 26, presumably having been sent to take in some sea air for the sake of her health – perhaps a respiratory complaint? (I’m not sure, incidentally, that, in these circumstances, the choice of card would have had a cheering effect on the patient. But maybe she would have interpreted it differently.)
In the 1911 census, there is no Nesta Hughes listed who could be ours. But there is an Amy Nesta Hughes, of exactly the same age, living in Haverfordwest, who did not, I think, appear in the 1901 census. Let us hope they are one and the same.
Picture Nesta, by the way, sucking on her pencil as she fills in her census returns – as many of us will be doing over the next few days – and wondering “who is ever going to be interested in all this?”