I had a response to the family history post last week, which is better than the sound of crickets that usually greets my posts (not that I’d had time to post much but I’m having my own upheavals here and I’m treating this writing as therapeutic, as I need to get back into the swing and get some shit off my chest).
So…alas, those promised news reports of yore on the rollicking mighty Reverend Hay were not forwarded at present (and the Trove search engine isn’t the most refined of beasts), so you’ll have to wait for his exploits.
I can tell you about MacRobert’s Reply. Basically, Lady MacRobert, who was already widowed, lost her three sons in WWII. So she up and donated £25,000 to buy an aircraft, called ‘MacRobert’s Reply’ to give some back to those Nazi bastards. Because, Scottish.
My family: hardcore Nazi punchers.
I think there’s also a back-story involving Aston-Martin, and the start-up thereof, but I can’t remember all the details (or find the relevant links, my researcher needs to go stand in the naughty corner).
Then there’s the judge and the lord, but we don’t talk about them, because it’s all too shameful. No, it really is.
I could try and tell you the story my grandmother told me, when I was a child, of the time the river flooded, and it came up to the door. Then it came spilling under the old wooden door, and they tried to sweep it back out (this was just a redneck hovel, or so I’ve always imagined). But the water kept rising, so they stood on the chairs, and then they had to get up on the table, but still it kept rising. Finally they had to swim out of a window and climb on the roof, and they had nowhere else to go (this was over a hundred years ago in about 1913 so there were no choppers to airlift them out, they were on their own). The water came up and up and up until it was right up to the roof. And then it started going down again (well, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t be here typing this).
I presume, from what I know about floodwaters now, that it took a while to clear, and the old homestead was knee-deep in mud.
Mind you, my Scottish uncle now has his very own flood story, as their house flooded up to the first floor last year. I can’t find the link now (sorry), but there was video posted on the old Press & Journal pages of my Uncle’s car floating off down the street. I’d been rollicking around the Aberdeenshire hills in that very car only a couple of months beforehand, so it was somewhat shocking to see via grainy web page footage. (Still, my archivist’s advice on how to try and rescue water damaged photos has earned us a spot in the good books, for now, which is a very rare and precious thing indeed).
I wish I could tell you about my grandmother’s favourite brother, who came back from the war (WWI, the great war, the war to end all wars) and just sat on a park bench, until he died, very shortly afterwards, and all he would do was play with a little hand held mechanical poker machine, that she still had and showed me (I can’t even find one on Google, so no wonder it got stoled, being very rare), over and over again. Flick, spin, three hearts. Over and over, until he died.
War is totally fucked, and you know what, my grandmother should be counted amongst the wounded, because she lost her favourite brother, slowly, and horribly, too, right in front of her, without being able to do a damn thing about it.
Which is probably why I’m a bit touchy about the addled war vert trope so beloved of TV shows. It’s no fun if they’re family. Even at a distance, that story upset me then, when I first heard it as a child, and upsets me even more now, knowing the shit that poor fucker must have been through.
She also lost a brother to blood poisoning, but I can’t remember the details. I can tell you science is important, because we don’t want to go back to shit like that.
I’d like to end up with a funny story, only I can’t remember exactly why my ancestor whacked somebody over the head with a guitar (and was done for GBH way back when which is how I come to know about it), smashing said guitar to pieces, but all I can say is, clearly, we take our music criticism very seriously in my family (man, there are times when I’d like to El Kabong a few so-called musos, oh yeah).