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family, immediate

- parents
- us
- Moyra
- Merete
- Jon
- Abigail
(listed in descending order of age)
F/001

Mobility and upping sticks is in the genes: my father left Denmark for the UK just after the second world war, my mother's mother was born in Calcutta of Portuguese parents and moved to the UK in her early twenties. (not her choice, mind: she had wanted to move to take up her Girton scholarship, but the family chorused "Impossible!" just as loudly as they chorused "We'll have to move!" when one of her men cousins wanted to study engineering) One of her forebears is reputed to have brought both the railway and nuns to Calcutta, though which came first is an unresolved question.

My father's maternal grandfather (whom I remember meeting) was a railway engineer, and my mother's paternal grandfather was a stoker who did not go down with the Titanic: exemplifying a tradition of intermittent memory I am proud to continue, he realised halfway to the docks that he had forgotten his uniform cap. Hurrying home to retrieve it and avoid the wrath of his superiors, he didn't quite make it back to the ship in time.

parents
Met while working at the British Bata Shoe Company in East Tilbury, though candidly it's hard to see what – other than happy premonitions – could have made them want to be there. Wiltshire was a better place to bring up children; Gloucestershire, essentially a prolonged temporary stay somewhere neither of them really wanted to be. Retired, they were far happier on the south coast of Cornwall.
us
Chris and I met in Sheffield, and settled just outside Brussels in September 1992 after I'd put in two years in Provence that ended with a thoroughly enjoyable week riding north together: we drew a straight line on the map between St. Jeannet and Ternat and tried to stick to it. A fine and recommended way to make discoveries.
Moyra
Mo and her husband Steve live in Northumberland with their children. She studied in north Jutland for a year as part of her degree course, giving her a better Danish accent than my father.
Merete
Mat and her husband Dave have now moved to Canada, which may make their yearly pilgrimage to the Isle of Man TT a bit more difficult. We envy them their weather, though foraging moose in the garden could take a bit of getting used to. They've adopted a sturdy boy, and are generally contented.
Jon
Jon was the first of our generation to cross the Atlantic, though it is asserted we do have an uncle Alfred (from my father's family) somewhere in Florida. He and his family moved from Illinois to New Mexico, and after a stint working in Belgium he is now back in the UK.
Abigail
Abi has made a good start by heading north to Sheffield, where she studied (extremely ancient history with religious studies), took to photography and started developing a whole range of creative skills … youngest of the family, we feel she has gained immeasurably from having such fine brothers and sisters to look up to. After a stint parent-sitting in Cornwall, she and her husband (a bagpipe-maker, so worth knowing professionally as well as personally) are now back in Sheffield with their prototype child, Robyn.


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