Monday, 22 December 2008

My extended family.

When my Mum was young (the 1910s) the term extended family really meant something. Families tended to be huge, Her Mum was one of nine children of whom five survived into adulthood. Her Dad was one of seven who survived into adulthood. One of Mum’s aunts had four children who survived to adulthood. Etc., etc... There were great aunts, aunts, cousins, second cousins, first cousins-once-removed, all over the place. Holidays consisted not of Spanish beaches but of visiting all sorts of relatives.

Nowadays many a close family is extended only in the sense that members of it live at other ends of the globe. None of the previous generation survive. I only have one surviving first cousin (to my knowledge) and he lives in Australia. I only have one surviving nephew and he wanders the world so I haven’t a clue where exactly he is at this moment. My brother is in New Zealand. My two daughters are in Yorkshire and Devon respectively. My son is on the Wirral, downstairs in his den! And my wife, sensibly at this hour, is in bed.

But someone else referred to me the other day as part of their extended family – a fellow blogger. She suggested that we are a family of bloggers and that is how it feels. Knowing that not just relatives and friends but also friends from the past and complete strangers from all over the world are sharing ones interests and doings is quite remarkable. The Internet definitely has created a new form of extended family.

There are lots of bloggers whose postings I view all the time. These folk are as far apart as Yuma, Arizona; Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and Napier, New Zealand and have age ranges from 19 to 75 (at least). (I’m not sure I should count the blogger in Finland since I cannot understand a word of what they write – but the photos are beautiful!) One I came across, totally by chance, lives just a ferry ride away across the Mersey in Liverpool. What never ceases to amaze me is how I come across a totally new blogger only to find in the ‘Blogs I visit’ column someone whose blog I read and / or who reads my blog.

I got so fascinated by this the other day that I started to do a Google map of where everyone lived. Apart from anything else it would help me appreciate where exactly places like Seattle were. I mean, it’s OK watching Frazier and “Sleepless in Seattle” but being able to stick a pin in a map and say ‘I am acquainted with someone who lives there’ is something different. My extended family.


  1. I've been musing on this one. How, I wondered, do friends who are so close that you regard them as family actually rate in this description. Or is there another concept: the extended friendily? I'm lucky that my closer family (such as are left) are also my friends. This one needs some more thought.

  2. You may find a photo for yourself here:

    This is a site that lets people use their pictures (I wrote to them ages ago). You'll find some there that feature a man driving.There are many, many cars there - you may choose your retro dream car. :<)

    What if you called yours -Rambles Away From My Chair? :<)

  3. I love this post! This extended blogging family is amazing, and it's so nice to make a new acquaintance and extend one's family even further! You can Google Kirkland, Washington, USA, and see exactly where this new blogging friend is located!
    Best wishes,

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  6. Thanks L'homme Bizarre - I'll let you work out that one. I'm suffering from brain overload at the thought of it!

    And thanks Nan - watch out for this Saturday's post.

    Hello Robin, and welcome!


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