Saturday, 21 February 2009

it's been a wee while

today I've been in Fife for my grandad's 100th birthday party. This is an event of no small importance, as through his personality, he has been a firm patriarch to an extended clan of considerable size.

On display, we had four toddlers, four juniors, two preteens, no teenagers (that's probably for the best) about a dozen of my peers (all but me, malc and amy with kids) and a whole load of beloved ancients. We were regailed with an abbreviated transcript of Grandad's life, and I was able to look through some fascinating old photos, articles, and even see a genuine 100-year-old birth certificate.

Most fascinating, at least in this yet-more-abbreviated context, is the fact that in the past 24 years never once did I find out his name is not Alestair, but in fact George. Due to his father also being called George, he naturally was always referred to by his middle name; and the strange spelling comes from the registrar for Tighnabruaich in the 1909 era. Originally born George Alison Bennett, his parents returned to the registrar's office a few weeks later to request that he may also have the middle name of Alastair. To this irregularity the registrar agreed, but only on the condition that it was spelled in his preferred way - Alestair, instead of Alastair, so as to not have the Gaelic origin. Thus 100 years of confusion and patient explanation was born!

That's enough for now, more in the near-future.

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