17 March 2011


I was going to head this up with a cheesy disco title punning the word "dizzy" - you know, Dance yourself dizzy; I'm so dizzy; er - that might be it actually - following my latest visit to the GP. The dizziness I experience when moving my head is caused by Labyrinthitis of all things. So between that and the PVFS, I am signed off for a further two weeks and to go back to be checked over again before being signed off again after that... *sigh* She asked if I was feeling upset/ emotional about being so poorly for so long, and was apparently reassured by my response: no, but I am impatient! This means I am not likely to be suffering from depression. Which I could have told her: I'm extremely fortunate in never having suffered and not really being disposed to. So, more rest/exertion balancing and patience required.

The sun decided to come out today, after a distinctly unpromising start of rain (IS there any truth in the "rain before 7(am), fine before 11" adage??)

I took the chance to clear the now soggy tarpaulin covering the hen coop and protecting it from the worst of the weather, and let it dry in the sun and breeze. I also took the opportunity to air the coop and dry it out (some corners get so wet they never get a chance try dry properly) and spray it with red-mite spray as a precaution. Three eggs today! The girls are really starting to improve production, last year was a bit erratic but *touch wood* this one so far is a bit more consistent. If only the weather could be...

Anyway, Ancestors.

Ancestors is a pretty big a deal in Paganism. I think it's this feeling of being rooted to the land, either ancestral or the concept of "Gaia".

My mother's side of the family have lived in the town I live in for generations. I did some digging about when she started investigating her family tree, and was fortunate enough to stumble upon a distant cousin who was investigating the very same tree, and had published it online. It showed that there have been ancestors of my Mother's Father's living and working in this town back to at least 1557. All those generations displayed baldly there, deceptively simply. Nothing other than a name, some significant dates and an occupation to leave you to sketch in the gaps and try and imagine what their lives were like. Did they ever wonder what life would be like centuries hence? Did they wonder what their progeny would be like? I often wonder if I share many traits with them, if they would recognise themselves in me. Because they weren't notable in terms of occupations or wealth, just miners and labourers, other than passing on their genes, there's little of note about them, but I find them fascinating nonetheless.

Recent research has led me to the discovery that the surname they bear is actually Norman in origin (and that means Scandinavian before that). So the family came here via the Normans, most likely in the 1200's, but the head of the tribe/ family (too early for clan, yet) arrived in and set up home in the north of Scotland, so I'm trying to find out if there was just a general "bleeding" of kinsmen south, or if land was granted and the landowner's men simply took their laird's name. Or if there was in fact a wealthy Le Grande who simply decided to settle in this fertile area, whose name became ever more Anglicised to "Grant" and who somehow lost any wealth and so his descendants became forced to work under the land to earn their keep...?

I'm not sure if it's the fact that we don't have and will never have children that makes me look to my origins, maybe to remind myself that I am part of something, even if I don't continue it. I'm not worried about creating a physical legacy of myself - the one thing the research into just that particular branch of the family tree has shown me is that there are descendants of that first recorded Robert Grant all over the world, from Sweden to South America. I have never-to-be-met cousins (umpteen times removed) in Utah, in Maine, in Finland, in Hobart, in Wellington. I am part of something, a much wider web of connectivity that stretches around the globe and goes as far back as time.

I find that incredible and oddly comforting, somehow.

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