Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
Friday, September 08, 2006
...the fattest ringtailed lemur I ever saw...
...a skunk showing his stuff...
...and some amorous hyacinth macaws.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
This is a photo of my paternal grandparents and their children. My dad is the little fellah sitting on his dad's knee. Grandad was Albert and Grandma was Kuni. They were German, but met in London, marrying in 1897. They both died long before I was born. (I'm the late youngest child of two youngest children).
Christian was interned as an enemy alien in World War 1 - here he is, back row second from the left, at Knockaloe Alien Internment Camp on the Isle of Man, off the north-west coast of England. Lina was already in Germany with their daughter. The two young sons were sent home through war-torn Europe with labels round their necks. Christian was exchanged for injured British soldiers. Albert was not touched, having been in the UK for much longer and built good relations with the community. It wasn't necessarily a safeguard to have sons in the British Army, but Albert and Kuni's eldest two were fighting for King and country.
Christian and Lina produced another son, then emigrated to Canada. Lina's father and two of his other children followed, and because they had such an unusual surname, it was through their descendants that I managed to trace the family. One of Albert's other sons also went to Canada, but contact between the two families was lost. We are all now back in touch for the first time in decades. Of course, we are related on both sides - I've dubbed the relationship "double cousins".
The direct male line from my great-grandparents is extinct in Germany thanks to road accidents (the next generation in Britain will no longer bear the family name, either), but there are descendants from the female line, and Thomas, here with his wife Bettina, is one of them. His father, a retired teacher who can read the old German writing, has compiled the family tree going back to 1560.
Hartmut is Thomas's brother and now lives in the US. If it was exciting for me to meet some of my Canadian relations, imagine how I felt to make the link back to Germany. The brothers have been to visit in Canada before. The British family was the only part left out, because no-one knew where we were. I can't express how wonderful it is for me to have found them again, and the way they treated me during the reunion showed that they felt the same. What a great family.
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