A Good Home, Bond Head, Country roads, Ebor House, Getting lost, Heritage House, Newcastle, Restoring old Homes

“Get Lost, Cynthia” – Personal Reflections on the Ebor House series

A whole bunch of people have been telling me to get lost since I published the series about Ebor House.

Blog Photo - Ebor House Living room reverse

“You need to get lost more often, Cynthia.”

“Get lost again, Cynthia.”

On and on it goes.

What no-one asked is: “How come you got so lost?”

Blog Photo - Bond head family playing by lake


It all started with an earlier wrong turn.

And a good-looking man.

I’d decided to drive home from my appointment using a country road – a back road – instead of the highway.

By now you know that I could get lost in a room. So before I knew it, I was lost.

Turning around in a driveway, I was either thinking a swearword or saying it out loud, when suddenly I saw a man.

A tall, handsome man.

So being a gracious person, I said a most gracious thing:

“I didn’t know Black people lived around here.”


Time stopped as I realized what I’d just said.

He stared at me, speechless.

I stared back, horrified at myself.  The fact that I’m also Black did not excuse my careless words.

Then – thank God – he laughed.

“Nice homes in this area,” I said, desperately trying to get my foot out of my mouth.

“Some nicer ones on your way south, he said. “Beautiful new homes. Just keep going. You can’t miss them.”


Remember I told you this, folks:

Words can get a person into trouble.

Those crazy words I blurted, for example.

But these ones too: “You can’t miss them.”

Because some of us can.   We’re programmed that way. And it gets worse when we’re flustered from having said entirely the wrong thing to a stranger.

The neighborhood I ended up in was not where he meant. Worse, I ended up going in entirely the wrong direction to get to my home.

And ended up in front of Ebor House.

Blog Photo - Ebor House Gates


So I could blame that lovely gentleman for all of this. But really, I thank him.

For not being offended at my ungracious remark.

And for being a crucial link in a chain of otherwise ridiculous events that landed me first in front of Ebor House, then, inside Ebor House…

Blog Photo - Ebor House entrance inside

… having coffee in Ron’s kitchen.

Blog Photo - Ebor House Kitchen and side door

Next, I could blame all you readers who encouraged me to keep posting the series, which eventually led to bloggers and other people from around the world telling me to “Get lost, Cynthia.”


This is, of course, my strange way of thanking that unknown man, the mysterious chain of events, and everyone who followed the series and encouraged me to keep going. THANK YOU.

I still don’t know what mysterious force led me to Ebor House. Was it all serendipity? Did the house call me there?

Did John and Jane, who lost their sons in one day – did they want their story to be told, after being in the shadows for so many decades?  And if so, are they disappointed that I didn’t tell the whole story?

I don’t know. I won’t even guess.

I’m exhausted now, and astonished at myself for accomplishing this series. But I’m also grateful. So much so, that just now I nearly wrote:

“I’d have been lost without you.”

The problem is that it would probably have been true!


Click here to find out how I ended up at Ebor House againthis time as a published author and amateur historian.

Blog Photo Doors Open Cynthia

56 thoughts on ““Get Lost, Cynthia” – Personal Reflections on the Ebor House series”

      1. Some possible titles:
        The Misadventures of Cynthia, Jamaica girl takes a left turn and ends up in Canada, How to Get Lost in Six Easy Steps! 🙂
        Cynthia Gets Lost a Lot (main character), meets Ron Loves His House a Lot at Majestic Ebor Manor.

    1. I tell you, Levi….

      But if I get lost again, I’m taking you and all of my other blogger-friends with me. Someone has got to have a sense of direction, and it ain’t me!

    1. Hah! I think I’ll stay home for the time being. As for a book? You and everyone else clearly has more confidence in me at this time than I do. But keep those titles coming…..
      OK – could it be a funny book? Or must it be serious?

  1. Great series, Cynthia. Really great series. Thanks so much. I’m glad you bumbled into the Ebor house and I appreciate that you are always looking to build someone else up, to tell their story, to make it about them, not about you. That quality in you comes through again and again. You’re awesome. 🙂

    1. High praise, Jim.
      Thank you.
      Most kindly.

      But you better pray I don’t get lost and end up turning in your driveway.

      Thanks for being in my blog community, Jim. I value that.

  2. I find that the times when I really ought to watch what I say are the times when I say the things I oughtn’t. When we are under stress our ‘filters’ and ‘censors’ go off on holiday. I’m glad the handsome man didn’t take offence – a real gentleman – he probably saw how surprised you were at what you’d said. Perhaps the title for the book should be ‘Losing It With Cynthia’?

    1. Well, Clare, you made me laugh out loud. “Losing it with Cynthia” perfectly describes my everyday life! Hahaha. Great title.
      You’re so right about how stress makes us say the darndest thing. The gentleman and I did seem equally surprised.

      Next time I get lost, I’ll bring a muzzle to put over my mouth……

  3. I can do you one better. Once, having a conversation with a young man in Istanbul, I mistakenly thought he said he was studying terrorism when he actually said he was studying tourism. So I asked him, “So what do you do with a degree in terrorism?”

  4. Mwah hahahargh! Love it. I’m not sure even I can top that one. But getting lost… yeh… I can’t even find my own arse in the dark with both hands!



  5. Thank you, Cynthia, for this post. It gave me a good laugh on an otherwise overwhelming day and I needed that. Haven’t we all blurted out something like that at one time another and wished the earth would just swallow us up? I know I have.
    And now you know that when you get lost again, (I’d say if, but you do seem determined :-)), you’ll have a ton of people in the back seat egging you on. And probably not one with a map to get you home. Have a wonderful evening. Jeanne

    1. Oh, Jeanne. I’m absolutely giggling at your reply.

      I really should get one of those navigator thingies, but I don’t drive that much, and the disembodied voice telling me what to do would probably scare me even more witless than finding myself lost.

      Thanks for the giggle.

      1. I don’t have a GPS either. For some most fortunate reason, I have been gifted with an excellent sense of direction! Quick story – when our family would go on vacation to this pretty lake/mountain area – I was 8-12 during those years – we would always take drives. At some point, inevitably, my Dad would turn to me and say, “Do you know how to get us back to the cabin?” I told them where to make each turn and lo! we were back at a recognizable location. Many years later, as an adult, I asked them if they were kidding around with me. I was absolutely sure they had been indulging their little girl’s delight in getting them safely home. Their answer? “Oh, no! We were really lost! We have no idea how we would have gotten back without you.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. They’d actually believed and trusted my intuition and sense of direction! Shocking, I tell you, shocking. 😉
        Call me for a trip anytime. LOL.

      2. What a lovely story.
        I’m so glad you shared it.
        Maybe you were born with a sense of direction.
        And can cook, knit, bake and arrange flowers.
        I have heard about people like you! (big smile)

  6. I just loved this series of articles on Ebor House.
    I was hooked the minute I read of theNewcastle connection. Having been born in the UK, I know that Newcastle is a great city on the North of England. It has a fine university also. In fact my son in law the Science TV presenter is from Newcastle, UK, However, it was the human interest stories that got to me plus of course the beauty of the house. The loss of the children and the effect on the parents. I was touched by this story and had to keep reading. What an amazing job Ron Coffin has done to restore show stopping house.
    Thank you Cynthia for writing the articles and introducing me to Bond Head.

    1. I’m glad you read the stories, Annette. It was such an amazing experience for me – from start to finish. I didn’t sleep at night because of pain and PTSD nightmares, so staying awake night and after night and researching the Farncombs and Ebor House was a fascinating thing to occupy my mind. More like ‘possessing’ me – that house and family wouldn’t let go of me till I had unearthed their story.

  7. My son in law is the science tv presenter Steve Mould. I realized after posting that I hadn’t included this.

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