Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I was born into a family with one other child---and that's the way it stayed.
My paternal grandparents died in my first 18 months of life and my father was an only child---so I know little about that side of the family, other than my gradfather had two brothers, one who died in his 20s and the other alienated himself from the family.
Growing up, my maternal gradparents lived on an adjoining property and I was raised with all things Scottish, aunts, uncles and ten cousins----there never needed to be an excuse for the whole family to get together at my granparents house, which often spilled over into our yard.
In my mid teens, both of my gradparents died and so did the regular family socializing.
I married but had no children and many problems ended that liason.
My only brother died far too soon and my parents who were great supporters of everything I attempted have gone.

As far as family is concerned, I have some regular contact with two cousins, but that's my lot.----

Well so I thought.

I have searched a little of my paternal side and found that I am named after my paternal great gradfather who migrated alone from Denmark---he was a Master Mariner---a ships captain and was part owner of trading vessels plying the coast line of South Australia----kind of pioneering and romantic---except when I found one of his ships registration, changing it's name because it had been a slave trading vessel from South Africa.

But last week my family became substantially larger.
No, I haven't been breeding----well, nothing productive---well, not that I know of.
I got a phone call from a lovely lady who was tracing her husbands family. I gave her as much information as I had on my paternal grandparents and great grandparents---but she gave me more.
Yes, my great grandfather did migrate from Denmark---and yes, he did produce three sons with my great grandmother---but before that, he had 7 children with his first wife, who he met soon after arriving in Australia-- and of course they have all had families and families and families.
So this phone call has added another 140 plus relatives.
And I wondered what had happened to the old man's money.

I have a dream to visit Scotland and walk in the footsteps of my maternal Grandparents.
My Granfather was one of 7 children. Four migrated to Australia and I met and loved them all----and I do keep in touch with some 2nd or 3rd cousins who all live in another State---maybe it's because thay are a little older than be and when I first met them, they were beautiful teenage girls and I was a hormone driven 12 or 13 year old.
But there must be family in Scotland and I will try to find them before I go.
Yesterday I was sorting through some old stuff of my mothers----in an envelope there was a whole lot of old style computer printouts with names, birth and death details and some addresses for a whole lot of people I had never heard of.
Most of them live or lived in the USA and Canada but as I sorted through them the Scottish trail started to come to the fore until there in front of me was details of my grandmothers family.
It's funny that in all of these years I have found traces of the Robertson family---my gradfathers family, but somehow never thought that my grandmother had a family of her own----and there it was, my grandmother, a Cochrane and one of six children.
It's funny, that with the Scottish trait of allocating mothers maiden names, or grandmothers maiden names, as christian names of children, I somehow thought that my granny's maiden name was Malcolm---but that was her mother's maiden name and she was a Cochrane with half of her family living in the USA----and there is a great mob of them.

So answer one phone call and open one envelope and half the world could be related to me----I guess I'm not alone.

Immediate family, I have none
Fairly close, I have a few
But extended family, it could be you

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


It really doesn't matter how far medicine and science advances, we keep looking back at some of the good old remedies.

Whenever I got a cold, my mother would always offer to rub some Vicks Vaporub on my chest----so whenever any of my female friends get a cold, I make the offer.

My wonderful old horse trainer used to come up with some wonderful remedies for a lot of things----including boiling up stinging nettles to make a tea to drink to move kidney stones.

A lot of old remedies used with great success have included what we now know as deadly poisons---but in small doses, all poisons are stimulants.

I'm qite happy to try most of these old remedies but there are a few that I will just have to let pass into history