Thank heaven for genetics

24 February 2016

If you are opening this page, expecting me to wax lyrical about DNA testing in genealogy, click that red button now. No, today is nothing about DNA testing and everything about the genes I have inherited. Bear with me…. all will become clear. It’s late (well past midnight here, as I write) and quite frankly, I cannot remember what I did this morning …. yesterday morning …. oh heck!

Oh yes, some mighty fine research from the Northern Office yesterday resulted in a conversation first thing with a lady we’ve been trying to locate for months (off-and-on). Forty-one minutes later, the genealogy confirmed and the first coffee was in hand. After a seventy-five minute call from the USA and a visit from Dawn (aka Chief-in-Charge of Post), it was almost time for lunch and suddenly the day went sliding by.

Postage done mid-afternoon, I wended my merry way to Windsor (with a brief dalliance to Reading, and a significant delay getting out again) to give a lecture to the Windsor Branch of Berkshire Family History Society. I do enjoy giving my ‘Searching for Surnames’ talk …. Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous! It’s had a good run out at various different events across the globe over the last eighteen months or so. I was delighted to find a fully kitted up FHS group so my data projector was not required as they supplied their own. Wonderful!

Well, that is until you exit after the lecture to find that you no longer own your own data projector or indeed, have a handbag or back passenger side window to your trusty vehicle. Yes, you have the picture…. some swine decided that they would break into my lovely car and help themselves to my personal possessions.

So, what do you do when you find your car has been broken into? Phone the police to report it. What number do you call? 999 – well, no! Because if you do, you get a royal (Windsor – quite apt!) roasting as “it is not emergency so please call the non-emergency number”! Well, I am so sorry but being a not-very-regular caller to the emergency services, I was unaware that there was a ‘non-emergency number’. Stupid me…. Suitably chastised, I called 101 (said ‘non-emergency’ number) and spoke to the lovely Sarah who was extremely helpful and took all my details. “What does your handbag look like?” I could cope with, but what is in your handbag? Heaven knows! [Sorry, I forgot to report the 10 x £1.33 stamps, two post office receipts, two LighterLife bars (my dinner) and my hair gel – THEY STOLE MY HAIR GEL!!!!]

After the 101 call, I then had to try to work out how to cancel all my bank cards as well as drive home with no back window. Ma FWL had commented earlier in the evening that it was cold tonight. I fully concur. Even with the heat up on maximum and only doing 45mph down the M4, I froze half to death on the drive back. Ma & Pa FWL to the rescue (not on the coldness front – even they can’t help that bit!) – they looked up telephone numbers and called half the companies I needed to contact to cancel the cards in my purse. The purse which the little girl in the post office this afternoon had admired….

But, some good news! You will be pleased to hear – Gertrude is still alive and well. For non-regular blog readers (shame on you!), Gertrude is my Satnav and she has not be purloined! Hurrah!

You are probably – after all this blather – wondering where genetics comes into this. Have I actually sworn this evening? Actually, not really. Have I fallen apart in any way – cried, thrown a tantrum, etc.? Erm, no. All taken in my stride (an angry and annoyed stride) with a smile and a sense of humour (and the occasional shiver). No point in getting upset about it. Stuff (replace with the s-rude-word) happens every day and it doesn’t too often happen to me. Today’s my day.

Maunder and Day (Ma & Pa) genes are pretty tough ones. Thanks for passing those on. They were needed today. And thanks for the support in the time of need…. as always.

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