Jan 31

Today is the day of Great Practicality, involving the purchase of an indoor room heater, a cordless electric strimmer and the transfer of funds from one bank account to another.

After that, we can visit the site in a nearby village where my mum came to work as a cook, from the Republic of Ireland in the 1940s. Also in that village, I want to search the church graveyard where it is possible that my great-uncle Norman was buried. He married Ishbel MacDonald, daughter of the UK’s first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay, and they kept a pub briefly not far from the airbase where ‘Bomber’ Harris planned the RAF’s wartime sorties across the continent. We have discovered a great many headstones relating to my family from over the centuries but ‘Tinker’s has so far eluded us.

From there, it’s on to the pub once-owned by the family of my dad’s old mate who married my mum’s sister, also from Eire.

That’s the nice thing about being back – the sense of continuity.

NOVELS available online and from bookstores

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