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Leisure

Today is our 51st wedding anniversary. And our 139th day since the commencement of lockdown. So we made careful choices, contemplated and then implemented our first day of leisure. And part of that has been not putting a hand to keyboard to write up the daily diary until 1800 hours.

Herself had a, sort of, early celebration on Friday with a visit to the dentist for a check-up. She reports to being impressed by the care taken to prevent the transfer of infection between patients and staff. And that she still has teeth that were adjudged to be in very good condition. No followup work apart from an appointment being made for a routine hygienist's brush and polish next week.

My dentist, for the time being, is not yet accepting bookings for routine work. And I have not detected a need for anything urgent.

So what did we treat ourselves to? A visit to Sainsbury's was an important part of today's relaxation. And created the opportunity to purchase a celebratory meal - an Indian meal for two. We have one such store 50 miles south in North Aberdeen.

But the original genesis of the day necessitated a visit to Nairn. Their Sainsbury's is only three miles further. You can see with the distances involved why routine shopping involves the 15 miles each way to the ASDA in Huntly rather than regular trips of over a hundred miles.

So why Nairn? One strand of my spouse's family comes from there. And in the constant attempts to match up information that is the regular staple of this genealogist's endeavours, this town of some 4,000 inhabitants soaks up quite a lot of time.

I have identified nearly 600 relatives, including their spouses, of hers that have lived there. And found exact addresses for 116 dwellings in Nairn that they had stayed in. They weren't spread about. Twenty-nine were in Society Street, twenty-three in each of King Street and Park Street. With fifteen in Union Street that meant ninety in a very small connected area.

These are all in the Seatown. That's where the fisherfolk lived, married, procreated and died. So the mission was to go a sniff around and photograph as many of these doors as we could find.

As a piece of recreation, it was fine. As walking exercise less good, a mere 2.7 miles.

The weather was warm but not too hot. And in consequence, many householders were sitting out. So quite a few conversations about what we were up to. At one house, a list of previous owners was produced. Do you know any of them? Three out of the four are clearly relatives of herself.

At another door, the man explains how the "tee name" works in Nairn. It's a place with so few different surnames that they have a qualifying suffix to the surname to explain which part of the family they are from. In this case, it seems initially seems that he is not a relative. But, no, he is.

We had not expected to meet new members of my spouse's family. But we did.

In due course, we find number 9 Park Street. As a late primary school pupil, the boss used to catch the bus to Inverness. Change and then proceed to Nairn where she then walked to her Great Aunt who lived there.

The money box that that relative used to put the proceeds of her herring work into still sits in our house today.

Altogether a relaxing day. A day off. Nearly. A face mask in regular use as we met strangers who were relatives. And some who were not.

And the Sainsbury's "Indian" rounded off our 51st very satisfactorily.

Tomorrow? Back to normal.

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