Thursday, April 12, 2012


One of the things about visiting places with your mother,

is that at some point that relative you haven't seen for 20 years,
but your mother has kept up with
will need to be visited.

Now this isn't something I particularly mind
now that I'm a little older
(emphasis mine).
These visits uncover a goldmine of gory information
current gossip and family myths.

On my mother's side, a wicked sense of humour prevails.
least I've been lead to believe this is case,
though have proof otherwise.
On my father's side it's a bit hit and miss.
This case is a hit, thank goodness.

My most recent visit uncovered a mammoth of gory details
from the minor, everyone knew that stuff like
my Grandma made her younger sister Ginge swap birth years so
Grandma could be younger than my Grandfather Dave.
A not so secret secret.

To the major.

This visit uncovered this doozy.
My father's cousin Sue was told when she was 19 and
about to marry her first husband
that the man she had grown up thinking was her father,
in fact wasn't.
In an age of Jeremy Kyle and Dr Phil that's pretty pedestrian.
But this is 54 years ago.
And the plot gets thicker.

20 years ago Sue got a call from an English genealogist
that started out by telling her she had been disinherited
but could she please provide documents proving who she was.
Hmmm interesting.
Now a days you'd be checking the caller ID
to see if this person was calling from Nigeria
but this was the real deal.

Sue's birth father was a Le Vie,
this is a super posh English family with linage back to the year 1066.
That's as far back as an English family can trace and
maintain it's pure Englishness.
I know funny considering Le Vie is French-ish.

Still not the gory stuff.
By this time Sue had found her father's family
and discovered a half-sister.
Aww nice.

The half-sister was from a third marriage.
Now before you think what a canny old man this father was,
he didn't marry until he was 30.
He lived with his mother until then.
His mother was good friends with my great Grandmother Winifred,
very good friends.
When his mother, oddly not called Mrs Le Vie, decided to travel overseas
(think steamships and months of travel - this was 1937)
she also decided that her boy needed to be married.

Now who would be better than her best-friend's daughter?
also 30 and unmarried.
So they did get married..... for four months.
Turned out birth father wasn't proficient in bed with ... ah ... females.

By the time Sue caught up with her birth father's family,
the father was dead.
Which in the scheme of things is not such a bad thing.
He did live well into his 80s.
And during his life had been a Scout Master.
Not to cast dispersion on Scouting but do you see where this is going?
Hmmm in our modern times,
there's a place for people like him and
it's called prison.
But to be fair, what a repressed, repressed, unfortunate and sad man.
Not excusing his fiddling in any way.

Meanwhile turns out when you catch up with relatives you also
find out how the cousins you aren't sure you've ever meet
are doing well in their marriages, parenthood and careers.
In our case this means for one cousin,
a successful and in demand career as a pole dancer.
Not as in Poland,
though she has gone international.
More power to her, I say and if I ever meet her,
I will no doubt be envious of her tummy muscles.

You can choose your friends,
not your family.
Gotta love them though.

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