Unintended consequences.

Genealogy was all the rage a decade and a half ago, so I started to research my family tree.

I blame “Who do you think you are”, where some team of unknown researchers trace a celebrity’s family tree, look for interesting bits, then some creative sort shepherds them down a voyage of “discovery”.

Despite the name, I don’t have access to endless TV researchers, so I had to have a go myself.

It can be rewarding, intriguing, frustrating, and upsetting in equal measure at times, though the first two win out, otherwise no-one would continue.

Did you know Mr X and Miss Y never actually married, or married a good deal later than family assumptions suggest? Of course you didn’t, but you do now. How this affects the researcher depends on several criteria: how remote are the people concerned, both as family, and in time?

Did you realise why your grandfather died aged thirty-one?

And the other at thirty-nine? So both parents were orphaned before they were two years old. Might that have shaped their character? Of course it did, but they never said so, because people of that time just didn’t. They had it tough, because that’s what working class folk’s lives were like, plus they started adulthood at the outbreak of another war, and there wasn’t time to reflect on things like that.

I’ve only just restarted my Ancestry subscription, and I’ve already found the grave location of both my grandfathers, and discovered two aunties I never knew existed, (they both died long before I popped into existence.) I’ve also become aware of a half-sister, born in my father’s first marriage, just before the end of the war. I can see no benefit to either of us, in attempting to trace her. What good would it do to tell a 76 year old woman, that she has a 59 year old half sibling? Exactly.

I managed to combine this graveyard search with a visit to my sister (and BiL, niece, and hubby), for he first time since last June. Also, captured another ancient RBR landmark, the church bell, at St Nicholas’, Barfrestone. It is notable, mostly, because it’s suspended from a yew tree, and not a belfry.

Having searched a cemetery, visited a church, taken my pictures, enjoyed the company of my family, and filled the bike’s fuel tank, I set off for home.

A simple run up the A2, across the Thames, and onto the Isle of Dogs. Easy.

Climbing the rise past Ebbsfleet, I saw the first sign “20 min delay M25 J3 – J1”, then another, past the Bluewater turn off. I could see the queue on the flyover at the A2/M25 junction, so decided I’d use the Blackwall tunnel, rather than Dartford. It’s usually slower, but it’s “sort of” lockdown, so surely traffic must be light.

No.

As I reached Falconwood, I saw the first sign “Tunnel closed”. Then I joined the back of the queue, as we descended into the cutting that goes under Eltham station. I was less around seven miles from home, around twenty minutes, on a good day. It was around 18:40.

An hour later, I’d reached the Sun in Sands roundabout. It was here I was told by a chap in a hi-viz jacket that the tunnel had suffered a vehicle fire, and would “probably” open tomorrow. I pulled over, to phone home. Said I’d be at least an hour. Turning left, along the A2, I traversed Blackheath. In an hour. Deptford was solid, with vehicles attempting to turn towards the Rotherhithe tunnel, so I pressed on towards New Cross. The bus lane was empty, so the motor could cool down a bit.

Turned right off the Old Kent Road, and approached Surrey Quays, then turned to the tunnel. Traffic was awful, but mobile.

Finally arrived home at 21:23. the route I had taken was 11.3 miles, according to Garmin. In two hours and forty minutes.

Just over four miles an hour. Brisk walking pace.

It’s come to this.

Lockdown boredom has beaten me into writing something.

I think I’ve watched all of YouTube now, at least those channels I haven’t asked not to be reminded about.

My entire supply of old TV programmes is either watched or deemed “uninteresting, at least for now”.

It’s too cold to do anything in the garage, or the garden, and I can’t paint indoors, because we don’t want the windows open when its below freezing.

There’s no point planning anything for the summer, because there just isn’t.

So, what’s been happening?

I’m still retired, which is handy, because I just *know* I’d be rubbish at working from home. Not that I’d have nmuch to do, as my entire department was outsourced 18 months after I left. To Edinburgh.

Ah, Edinburgh. Never been. Ridden round it several times. A720, I think. Usually on the way home from parts further north. There’s a plan for the summer. By train, I think.

I like a train journey, because they’re rare. For me, anyway. Rare enough to be an “event”. Even getting the C2C service from Chafford Hundred to Limehouse after dropping off the Harley for it’s MOT was different. Biggest shock was walking through Lakeside during lockdown. The carparks were totally empty. Station has a single platform, but the trains were frequent enough, and I almost got a carriage to myself.

Returning the next day, I spied that most mythical beast, the baby pigeon in its nest at Limehouse station. Squab, I believe they are called. Eastbound platform where the tracks go over Flamborough St., towards the front end of the train.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, stuff. The wind’s had the garden wall down, which is a pain. Insurance to the rescue, hopefully.

We were supposed to have an overdose of holidays last year, but took none. Postponed, credit-noted, and rebooked, variously. Not hopeful of a much better summer this year. I’m just young enough to be in tier/group/tranche 7, so I’ve got a bit of a wait yet. Managed to get round Scotland on the bike in mid-summer during the hiatus between lockdowns. Not one drop of rain, which is bizarre.

Allowing my self one day out a week for “exercise” or “picnic”, whichever was the permitted activity of the day, allowed me to complete the Round Britain rally, which was at least something fun to concentrate on. Social distancing rules were upheld, and some days out involved riding for eight hours, and no talking to anyone all day.

Today’s highlight? Reattaching the handle to a saucepan, and filling the bird feeders.

I think I’ll stop there, or there will be nothing for tomorrow.

Been away too long.

Used WP to read other folk’s interesting snippets, but never felt the urge to burden them with my musings. Odd, really, as I have no such qualms on Facebook.

Anyhoo, I appear to have some interesting things lined up this year, so I have resolved to make an effort.

 

Motivated? A bit.

It’s been a long time.
Too long, but I’m not really sure I do anything interesting enough to write about at length.
I only follow a handful of bloggers, and they’re all very good, and creative, and frankly, it’s a bit intimidating.

I only really know about motorcycling, and even then, only a small facet of it.

I suppose I could stick to that.

    Brief catch-up from my much earlier contributions

Leg is better, after a fashion. I can stand on it, walk more or less normally, climb ladders, etc. What I can’t do is kneel, or operate “conventional” motorcycles. It just won’t bend past 90 degrees. Which is why I ended up with a Harley in the first place. What Harley? This one.P1000029.JPG

It’s big heavy and slow, so we’re perfectly suited to each other. It’s nearly four years old now, and I shall dedicate a whole update to it later (it’s approaching a milestone).

I also own a 2013 GoldWing, for reasons that will become apparent later.

Other developments? I retired (early) some fourteen months ago. I’d made my mind up to go early whilst lying in hospital. I just thought “carpe diem” or something else from Latin with Mr Sandford in 2B all those years ago.

Best decision I’ve made in a long time. Been busier than ever, not lost a pound of weight.

I miss my colleagues, but not enough to go back.

That’ll do for now. Mustn’t try to run before I can walk.

Not required!

Having volunteered to return to the fray after Xmas, I’ve been told not to bother until January 5th or 6th.

I am allowed to WFH in the meantime, though.

Next week would have necessitated the use of a cab, as the DLR is off in its Xmas holidays until the New Yesr.

Assessment

Just been “assessed” by doc as to my ability to return to the normal working environment.
Told him the consultant’s verdict, and he seemed to agree that if we can overcome the logistical hurdles, then a phased return to normal seems sensible.
Which is good.
Just found out the DLR is FUBAR from Xmas through to the New Year, so that rules out that option.
I don’t quite feel up to riding in yet, either.
Looks like a taxi or nothing.

Worth it …

The wait, that is.

I’m now officially partial weight-bearing on the right leg, after only 171 days of lying down and/or hopping about.

The mental adjustment required to stand on two feet after six months is more than I can cope with, but it’s early days.

Doctor suggested complete (or as good as it gets) recovery could still be a year away. At least I can get myself a bit more mobile in the interim.

Waiting.

It’s what hospitals are for. Up since seven for an ambulance that arrived at nine-fifteen, arrived at RLH at ten twenty.

On the way we collected one extra patient, and almost collected a Vauxhall Corsa.

X-rayed almost immediately, which was a novelty.