Life can be just a tad frustrating at times, as I said to GB, only yesterday. Actually I might have phrased it a little differently . But at least I didn’t throw a tantrum and stamp my feet on the floor or scream. I think this showed remarkable self control considering I had just managed to erase a whole six paragraph long e-mail. Normally I save long e-mails as I go along. But then, normally nothing happens to them; and I have to go to my draft folder and delete them all later. Needless to say on this occasion I didn’t save a draft. But you don’t want to know about life’s little tribulations like that. You want to know about the exciting stuff so here it is…
I’ve found a second cousin, Edith. It’s not that I’ve only got one cousin and I’ve just found another – she is a ‘second cousin’ – my grandmother’s sister’s grandchild. Or, if I’m going to tell the tale properly, my second cousin once removed – i.e. her daughter, Pam – found me. She read a blog posting I once did about Grandma Coombe’s birthday book.
This is the third cousin that this posting has brought to light. One was from the Lane side of the family, one from the Young side and now one from the Spencer side. And the most exciting thing about this one is that Edith is the closest cousin to emerge so far - both in terms of relationship and where she lives. She and Pam both live on the Wirral so there is a good chance of us meeting up when I get home. We can swap family tales and catch up on relatives who, until now, were just names in our birthday books. And we were names in their book as well – they have a birthday book that was given to Edith’s grandmother when she was six – by the very same Grandma Coombes. What a marvellous post that turned out to be.
Friend-über-special told me she hadn’t heard of a birthday book; perhaps this was primarily a British tradition but all of Mum’s family had one. This was Nana’s.
I was given one when I was quite small – it had a padded blue cover. Effectively it ended up like a ‘little black book’ by the time I was in my mid-twenties so when I got married for the first time it was felt it should really be binned. I have regretted that ever since. It had so many names in that would now bring back memories. And, like Grandma Coombes, I got some people to write their own name in it so it ended up a bit like an autograph book as well.
On Saturday morning GB and I called in at one of the local charity shops in Stornoway and I emerged £5.60p ‘poorer’ but with a marvellous thick jacket (with zip pockets) and a book I haven’t read but which looks exciting.
I do enjoy tripping into charity shops.
(And nowadays I do trip into a lot of shops unless I get a warning about the hidden steps! On his way to the bar at the Cluanie Inn GB came all the way back to my room to warn me of a step immediately by a door – the best place of all for trapping unwary folk with visual impairments.)
And as if to confirm that I am well and truly settled in on the Island we have been having coffee at The Woodlands and I have been digging into my beloved Florentines. We have, of course, been pursuing our habit of doing crosswords over coffee and as yet have not been beaten despite clues like ‘Real tennis gallery; sanded (anagram)’. Neither of us knew it was a dedans but we guessed it correctly.
One of the many good aspects of being at GB’s is being waited upon and pampered.
All my meals are cooked for me which means I have much better eating habits. This has to be doing me good. Although Richard does his best his peculiar sleeping problems mean he is no more regular in his approach to meals than I am. And Jo works such long hours that she is rarely around at normal meal times. As for me, I enjoy cooking but all too often don’t feel up to it since my best period of the day tends to be the morning and I find little enjoyment in cooking for one. I should use the slow cooker more and, indeed, I did hunt out some slow cooker recipes just before I came away. On Friday night I had a fish that was new to me – Basa. GB grilled it which was fine for me, I like it that way, but he was less satisfied with the result.
The basa fish, Pangasius bocourti, is a type of catfish native to the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam and Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. They are an important food fish with an international market. In North America and Australia they are usually labelled "basa fish" or "bocourti" but in the UK, the species is known mainly as "river cobbler", with "basa" also being used on occasion. In Europe, these fish are commonly marketed as "pangasius" or "panga".
And being at GB’s is giving me some time to read despite renewing old friendships and meeting new acquaintances. I’ve finished Tea Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife at last (thanks Monica for moving it up my To Be Read list). I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Right, have a good Sunday, folk. I’m off to bed…