Capital adventures

By marchmont


I am impressed these lockdown days at how much time I can fritter away and do very little, or indeed nothing.  And so it was today.

After surrendering to the overwhelming exhaustion at 20.45 last night I slept more or less unbroken till 5, then lay till almost 10, listening to the 2 hours of chill tracks that R3 sends out early on a Saturday morning followed by 'Today' and finally 'Saturday Live'.  Once up there was some minor housework (as an aside, even with my low housekeeping standards I am longing to get back to wielding the Dyson and a mop, 2 more weeks) and I hung out washing.  That, of course, didn't last as it rained, first a little, then a lot, then a deluge (but that wasn't till well after dark). Topped up the bird feeders, under the beady eye of the robin, who was giving it laldy on the top of the neighbour's, dead, silver birch. 

A KL rendezvous was scheduled for 11.30 but due to 'les enfants mechantes' it's been postponed.  

Then somehow the next few hours disappeared.  There was the Twitter thread on Scots words that are not/rarely used 'doon sooth'.  'Outwith', 'jag', that false friend 'stay' but who knew that 'squint' was on the list? Then I did spend some time watching Youtube sewing instruction videos which led to a review my vast stocks of batik.  There is a plan, but not today.

And finally I got into today's task, continuing to write up the family history, and quickly got sidetracked down a couple of rabbit holes. I'm on my great grandmother's Muir siblings and King children. 

My grandmother's sister married into the Fairbairn family from Cove, Cockburnspath.  I remember my mother talking about spending time there as a child, the fishing village and Pease Bay.  Definitely on the list of places to visit once we're allowed out of Edinburgh.  The Fairbairns were all fisher folk and they lived in Cove and surrounding area.  When you look at the censuses almost all the cottages in Cove are inhabited by Fairbairns.  This is quite common with fishing families.  There is similar situation on the other side of the family with the Merson family of Sandend (Syne en), Cullen and Portsoy.  There are still Mersons in Cullen and Portsoy.  Anyway, I digress, the Fairbairns lost 6 family members on Black Friday, the Eyemouth fishing disaster of October 1881 when a huge storm devastated the fishing fleet, 189 men, 11 from Cove drowned. Of the 6 Fairbairns, 3 were married with children. The Berwickshire News report. 

The next rabbit hole was migration records. Another of my great grandmother's sisters emigrated to Canada before 1918 and I'm still looking for her.  However, I did find my garndmother's brother.  My great grandmother was widowed in 1918, leaving her with 4 children and pregnant with her 5th.  He was a ploughman so lived in tied accommodation at Nether Lennie, now on the fringes of the airport. The story is that the elder two girls, my grandmother and her sister, left school as soon as they could and went into service.  The other children were placed in Donaldson's School by the minister of Cramond Kirk and and the only boy was eventually sent by Quarrier's Homes to Canada on the farm labour scheme.  The Canadian records have a section on Home Children, the unaccompanied juveniles arriving in Canada.  And there he was, leaving Glasgow on the 'Athenia' in September 1927 arriving in Quebec at the start of October.  At 14 he was the youngest in the group of 23. I am struggling to comprehend what that must have been like.  What I do now is that the experience affected him for the rest of his life.  I don't know when he came back to Scotland, though before 1937 as he married that year in Perth. There was no children but I met him when he was living with my grandmother in Melbourne when I spent a year there in '70/'71.  He was an ill man with lung disease, possibly COPD, though he was working as a JCB operative.  He died in Melbourne in 1972. He seemed very old to me.  He was 58 when I last saw him. Another aside, the 'Athenia' was the first liner sunk in WW2 in 1939. 

I could have gone on delving and investigating, once I start I tend to stick with it, but there was venison casserole to cook, dinner to eat and more 'Dix Pour Cent' to watch. Frustratingly the last episode I watched had lost its subtitles completely half way through.  I got the gist but it is difficult to follow.  

And that, dear blip friends, was my Saturday. 

FCF - 0
Phone calls - 0
Virtual - 0

Recovery day 29

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