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Friday, January 08, 2010

Lang may yir lum reek wi ither fowk's coal

click image below for biggary & detail
frús'trey-ting-lee.........if enlarged ,you can see the faint inprint of a previous letter written over the top of this Xmas card.............................

"lang may yir lum reek "or 'long may your chimney smoke'.............a shortened version of “Lang may yir lum reek wi ither fowk's coal.” ( “Long may your chimney smoke with other people's coal.” )
This is my contribution to Alan's Sepia Saturday .As i told Alan the other week in Union Cross pub in Halifax I have a big box full of old (mainly sepia) photographs I need to scan/preserve.This is one i pulled out at random.The problem with many of these photos is ,although they are connected to my family, I really do not know the detail behind them.My Mum's side of the family came from Fife & Edinburgh. One of the few things I know about what is a very complicated family tree is that I am related to Robert Louis Stevenson .
The reason it is complicated & why big chunks are unknown to me is that my maternal grandfather was married 3 times .His first 2 wives (including my grandmother) died in childbirth.He had 3 children.One to each wife.My Mum had a half-brother & a half-sister.each of who had different mothers!


Although all the 3 were reasonably close they ended up living throughout the UK.One in the Home Counties of England.One in Edinburgh & my Mum in Yorkshire..My childhood was an endless series of trips to distant half -Aunts and quarter -cousins!


Genealogy has always been an ology-too-far for me .It's just too damn complicated!My maternal grandfather died (in Malta.he was a sailor) in 1951.He kind of abandoned my Mum when she was wee.So she was never very forthcoming on him & his relationships and the finer points of family history.Added to which my Dad's Polish family was even more complicated & distant to me .Astrology has always seemed a better bet!


Anyway this is a series of photos I had passed onto me when my half-Aunt Brenda died in Edinburgh 1985.This was a Christmas Card sent from Saranac Lake in upstate New York.


My guess is it was posted around the late-1800's or very early 1900's.Another guess it was sent to a member of my extended family.Maybe the sender too was a relative? I have several other photos from North America around the same period.I have about twelve from the series.Lots of Snow!It's really frustrating because one is of The Family Dog (with HIS name written on the back).I know the name of their bloody hound but not theirs!
Finally.For This Week.Here is another photo I dug out today.Again I know little.I seem to remember my Mum saying they were Family.and the house is in The Americas.Another mystery............but please look here.You could write a whole historical tv mini-series on the basis of this one photo alone!


Sometimes Life is like getting a 1000 piece jigsaw for Christmas.Then,come January you find out that 743 bits are missing................................

POSTCRIPT: [click ]
Coincidence...............after writing the above I went to Wiki and read up on the life of Robert Louis Stevenson.Turns out he wintered in Saranac in 1887! Of Course my post is probably 99% totally unconnected with this fact..but it does make you think.................

at last, a Protest Song about Afganistan..............


"..............Drawn from Martin Carthy's extensive repertoire, the song is a Napoleonic anti-war ballad about crippled cannon-fodder, brought bang up to date to reflect the toll paid by amputee veterans of Blair's wars..............." INDEPENDENT: