For the last couple of days I’ve been kind of fixated in putting my family tree back up on the web. I had it all on Ancestry.com, together with photos, and then in some kind of fit of pique one day I removed it all, meaning only to rely on my home ‘tree’ and not continue to fill the coffers of Ancestry. (Yeah, I know, I was being hasty and silly. I get like this once in a while). Well I’m paying for that decision now. My brother showed an interest in the tree on his recent visit and really by far the simplest way to show it all to him, together with pretty pics, is to load it all back onto Ancestry….not to mention the ability to both expand the tree and potentially connect with long lost relatives.
So that’s me. That’s where I’ve been and am likely to continue to be for a few days.
I just took a break from it all to post a Friday video. You know how some film and TV phrases seem to sink into the national psyche and get used over and over? This is a very short clip from the original ‘Italian Job’ (another all-time favourite of mine). I had been looking for the scene with Noel Coward where his character of Mr Bridges says: ‘someone’s broken into my toilet’ in that wonderful plummy, clipped voice of his. Instead I came across this much-loved and much-used phrase in our house when anything goes totally belly up:
I had the most wonderful day yesterday. The sun had returned, our kittens were let loose on the world (well, the garden anyway), doors and windows to the house were consequently flung wide open, allowing a gentle Summer breeze to drift through our house for the first time in weeks, and my brother was visiting the island for the first time in 6 years. It was as if the planets had re-aligned and all good things were heading my way.
We went out to dinner as a big family group last night and sat by the restaurant window, allowing us to watch the sun sinking into the sea way beyond the lighthouse. On the way home there was a big fireworks display going on above the town and as we drove along the bay I got a free view of it all.
I think I must have done something good in a former life, to now live the life that I do and in such a beautiful place.
I have to tell you, we don’t have any motorways here, just one section of dual carriageway on the outskirts of town on which the speed limit is 40 m.p.h. As we headed towards town, nearing 10 o’clock at night, we spotted a man on a bicycle – no lights – riding the wrong way on the other side of the dual carriageway (with cars heading towards him). I suspect his day may not have worked out as well as mine in the end.
The Lighthouse – not last night when the sea was almost calm, but on a crisp day in May.
It’s ‘Quatorze Juillet’ (’14th July’ or what is often called Bastille Day) in France today. It’s a national holiday – the day that commemorates the storming of the Bastille Prison in 1789, the start of the French Revolution and so the day that is seen as the birth of modern France.
This is also a day that has only had any relevance to me in recent years. It’s probably hard to believe, but my parents spoke so little about their families and their background that I only discovered through family history research after their deaths how French I am – and the answer is that on my father’s side I am 100% French (and now, coincidentally, married to a Frenchman). Knowing this honestly explains something about my personality. More than that I am not willing to say …other than that if you think of those people in 1789 who had the courage to storm that prison in Paris, ending the reign of Louis XVI and bringing down the ruling aristocracy, then you have a good idea of one of my personality traits (…’a tendency towards bolshiness’…) Oops, did I just say that out loud)?
Chateau de Montignac in the Dordogne region of France. This Chateau, with extensive gardens, sits on its own plateau high above the surrounding plains. It’s one of my favourite buildings – if I could move in tomorrow, I would.