A New Project, Family History Pitfalls, and a Special Offer

 

If I didn't have writing, I think I would have gone mad by now. I have no idea how people are coping with a year of on and off lockdown, and Brexit too. Not well, I suspect. We are, let's face it, very lucky. We have a nice old house, (demanding but nice) we have a lovely garden (equally demanding, but also nice, especially now that spring seems to be on the way) and we are well used to working from home. I've been editing some old work, and researching a new book, centring on the story of my Polish grandfather. 

Truth to tell, I'm still not sure what kind of book this will be - not fiction, because it really happened and I don't want it to be 'based on'. But not a grim history either, even though this period in history was very grim for those concerned and this man's life was ultimately tragic. It's beginning to look like narrative, reflective non fiction. Whatever that might be. I don't know yet. I need to write it to find out.  


I've done a lot of sorting out of material that I've been sitting on for many years. Now I have a box of files that are, essentially, a book in kit form. Some of these files - one in particular - is labelled 'can of worms'.  The interesting thing is that coming back to this file some 30 years after I first engaged with the material inside it, shows me just how much I've matured over that time, and how impossible it would have been to tackle this project any earlier. It'll be hard, even now - but my understanding has grown, as has my understanding of a page full of notes, among the many pages that my dear dad wrote down for me not long before he died, far too young, in 1995. 

Rereading it, somewhat gingerly, it struck me that I must have filed it away without even reading it properly the first time round. Now, coming back to it all these years later, the wisdom of my dad's response to something I had discovered about my grandfather strikes me very forcibly. So much so that I keep wanting to go for a long walk with my dad, and talk to him about it all. But I can't. And back then, I couldn't either, because he was unwell, and besides, I simply didn't have the wisdom of experience myself. I just didn't know what I didn't know. 

So, maybe that's what the book will be. The conversation I didn't have. 

Once again, family history research proves to be a minefield. Nothing is what you assume it to be. You draw conclusions and then find out something that proves them wrong. 

Anyway - this is me prevaricating before diving into that box of problems again. Wish me luck.

'Where do you want to go, when we can go somewhere?' my husband asked me the other day. He didn't mean real travel. That would involve us seeing our son for the first time in more than a year. He meant when we can go somewhere that isn't five flaming miles from the house. We've been thinking about it a lot. Castle Kennedy in a couple of months time, when the azaleas and rhodies are in bloom will be good. 

Castle Kennedy

Later in the year, Skye, to visit our friends there, but that will involve an overnight stay somewhere on the way. 

Meanwhile, here's a special offer. My spooky little novella Rewilding is on sale for 99p for a week, so if you're reading this within the required time and love Scotland, myth and magic and slightly odd stories, grab yourself a bargain. 


Skye from Raasay


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