Friday, December 01, 2006

Last Tango in Dolgelley

It must be autumn, because leaves from my family tree are falling all around me. My 4th cousin Alison has sent me a great number of pictures of kinfolk originating in Dolgelley, North Wales. She is descended from Gwen Ellis aka the "giddy granny"(above left), who with Elizabeth (right), are the older sisters to my ancestor Sydney. I can see why Sydney was so apt to take on the men of Dolgelley: to pass on the family looks, and a certain way of carrying ourselves in black lace.

Almost simultaneously, a hitherto unknown 2nd cousin, Tessa, located me via this blog. She is grand-daughter of my great-grandmother Beatrice's sister Elsie. Tessa and husband John have supplied me with considerable material to reinforce and extend my family tree back to the late 17th century. It transpires that I'm very likely reported to a large chunk of people buried in Williamstown cemetery in Melbourne, as B&E's great-aunt Margaret had 12 children.

Finished Chris Ayres' account of his unwilling participation in the opening weeks of the Iraq war as an embedded reporter for The Times. Don't be deceived by the title: War Reporting for Cowards offers a very clear-eyed look at life in today's trenches, and a has a particularly good chapter on Ayres' reaction to the events of 9/11 experienced first-hand in downtown NYC.

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