Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Train time

After one hundred and seventy-four days, I resumed sitting in our Parliament's debating chamber. It was the first time I have seen how members dialling in by video-link look and sound at the "business end". I found that I was a bit rusty. My only oral contribution this week was to ask a question. As I approached the end of it, a sound from a mobile phone totally distracted me. Worried that it was my own phone, I paused and for about a second, lost the thread of what I was saying. I wasn't that pleased with my neighbour when they returned to their seat. Their phone, not mine. It just shows that one can travel backwards in one's abilities. Like an athlete who has had an extended layoff and loses muscle tone, my brain had retreated from its previous peak of perfection. Next week will be our first proper three day week. I think I will ease myself in by participating in the two Member's debates scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. That will be about eleven hu

A public debate about privatisation

Yesterday I tweeted from the Financial Times. I subscribe to the FT, so perhaps that's not too surprising. Martin Wolf is their Chief Economics Commentator and has seen sufficient economic shocks during his life as a journalist to deserve to be listened to when he writes as he did; "We almost certainly [...] need to take the provision of at least some essential public services out of the hands of privatised businesses." He has also commented, a week ago, on some of the effects of the pandemic on countries already struggling, saying; "in emerging and developing countries, the crisis threatens severe underfunding of important health and welfare programmes" I am not here to heap peons of praise upon his already "be-jewelled" shoulders. Others can do that. But he does alert us to the need for radical public policy and practice shifts. I have not seen him commenting on the merger of the UK's Foreign Office with the Government's internati

End of an Era 2016-2021

Written for  Holyrood magazine's "The End of an era 2016-2021"  published 07 April 2021.    Neil Findlay is the man who loves you to hate him. As he rises from his habitual place in a distant corner of the Parliamentary Chamber, a snarl as firmly attached to his face as he is disconnected to any symbol of middle-class values such as a tie, tension flows as he selects his target for the day. Is it dapper John Scott? The record-holder for the shortest time between his being sworn in and making his first speech in Parliament; a mere twenty hours. Does Willie Rennie attract his ire? Confession; we went to the same school. Almost anything liberal is bound to attract this Labour very-back-bencher’s contumely. Greens rarely attract his attention but he should remember that John Finnie, another member of this year’s escape committee, can efficiently direct a canine arrest. Now of course, I have sought to avoid any engagement with the fellow. I never, just never, even acknow