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Boarding @ Home: Day 41/84: Latha airson Bràithrean is Peathraichean

That's Gaelic for Brothers and Sisters Day! For the record …. Avril and I have three - Bryan, Anne and Pamela. The first two are in lockdown in Edmonton and Pamela is in lockdown and awaiting a hip operation in Oakham. We're in regular touch with all of them by phone and Facebook Messenger. And we've been lucky to visit the Canadians and the Rutland sister regularly; Anne has travelled to Britain on an almost annual basis! Both our mothers told us family was fundamental and must never fall out, for long; good old fashioned 19th/ early 20th century beliefs that had seemingly taken a hit in the last 75 years but have perhaps rekindled in the present lockdown. The grandest get together of the Wills' family lately was two Christmases back when despite airline strikes we and Ilkley made it from UK to Edmonton and the entire Canadian extended family was assembled both to see the Edmonton Oilers win, a hwyl occasion, emotional and zesty; but also to celebrate Christmas. Bryan and sister-in-law Joan begat three brothers and a sister. Sister Fiona with Christian begat a daughter Keira but she's never had either a brother or a sister; brother Christopher remains unwed. Brother Gregory with Cornelia begat a sister and brother in Whitehorse; brother Stephen and Wendy begat two sisters in Edmonton. Our son Julian's family couldn't make Christmas but took flight and visited the following summer to meet all the above. Avril's sister Pamela only had one child but she, Amanda, with Nick [they regularly throw magnificent family reunion parties in Rutland] begat a brother and two sisters the older of which Sarah has just begat a son with Jamie but thus far no others. Julian and Laura [at The Manor House who are continuing the four centuries old tradition of parties including Amanda's and Mathew's weddings, Burns Nights and the latest Julian's 50th] begat two brothers; and Mathew and Kathryn [whose Ilkley family parties are notorious with her myriad Sharps to swell the numbers including Maureen close by] begat three sisters. Gordon and Barbara's son, half brother Duncan of York with Vicki begat two sisters. Going back up the family trees Avril's mother had a twin brother and sister but her father Reg comes out our Family Champion with three sisters and two brothers, so claims Avril when he's compared with Gordon's father with just two brothers and his mother just three brothers. That's it! Photo is the UK brother and sisters on holiday in Italy!

...but just a minute Avril … Grace Park was the sister on unbeatable maternal-side - Golfers. She was grandmother of Gordon's mother, his great grandmother. She had five brothers and three sisters and of those brothers William Park Snr. won the Open the first time it was played in 1860 and again in 1863, 1866 & 1875; brother Mungo won in 1874 with William Park Jnr. winning in 1887 & 1889. Seven wins in total. Junior's daughter Doris Park was alas in her turn only runner-up in the 1937 British Ladies Amateur Championship but had represented Scotland in 1922 25 27 29 30 31 32 & 33. Junior's brother, also Mungo, emigrated with his wife Grace to Argentina and there they both won that nation's Open Championships three times. Their achievements there are captured by Sheila Park-Baird, granddaughter of Junior, in the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Panel AR02A below.

Sausages at last for dinner tonight. This required much collogue, colluding, to ensure the arriving gift from Ilkley in recognition of their 12 bottles of Furleigh Bacchus Fumé, Italian aperitif Aperol, could be sampled at midday. And so it was with twizzle stix from the E&O Penang's 1885 Restaurant. The hotel was sister to Raffles in Singapore and it was us at our best mundivagant, travelling for its own sake, that took us to Penang just before the E&O was converted to apartments. The mulligatawny soup was authentically memorable but the pianist not so. I had a tropical suit made overnight and they flew it to Singapore for delivery to The 'Old' Raffles the next day. No complaints. Still have it; should have worn it! [Click to enlarge; second image Gordon's Canadian brother and sister!]

Published Date: May 2nd 2020


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