Archive for the ‘Unusual!!!!’ Category


It is quiet in the office here at the moment and I have been browsing on the internet. I put our postcode into ‘Google Streetview’ and find that the property coming up is a bungalow which has been lying empty for several months and consequently shabby looking. Our home is a couple of hundred yards north of that spot but there are no other houses around and we share the same postcode. I find myself wanting to let you know that the house you see is not mine! Pride I think -but a good lesson in not jumping to quick conclusions about what we see be it advertisements or that tantalising ancestry.com connection we have emailed to us!

Rose bush at our garden gate


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We’re just home from a short stay in Wigtown in ‘The Machars’ in the west of the south of Scotland. I’m pleased that we’d arranged some accommodation and were able to spend  time just looking round and taking in the atmosphere because it’s a strangely remote  point of land which gives you a feeling of being disjointed from the rest of Scotland or even from the rest of the world.  We were at the Book Festival meeting authors and buying books.  Maybe it was through listening to Roddy Martine speaking about the book he has just written entitled – Hunted Scotland – that I experienced the strange isolation of the area.  Then again maybe it is just auto suggestion! The scenery is richly green just now and with the stormy rain and striking mountainous backdrop we had some glowery sky above us at times!  We drove to Whithorn  the birthplace of Scottish Christianity and the site of the earliest Christian Church founded here in in the early 5th century by the now sainted St. Ninian.  The the identity of  Ninian is in some doubt but the settlement he established there is extensive.

St Ninians Chapel

The ruins of St. Ninians Chapel - Whithorn

The festival was great fun and the streets of Wigtown were alive with people then emptied when we all went in to see our chosen authors. Came home with new reading material having listened to lots of thought provoking conversation – and eaten some good food into the bargain.

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The idea of putting ‘genealogy’ into a group tour itinerary seemed difficult but we have cracked it! We have come up with an entirely new concept of using an actor to portray a fictional character to illustrate how his life is recorded through his major life events.

While enjoying a tour of central and southern Scotland you get an occasional chance to ‘meet’ our character who tells you personally of what has been happening to him and how these events are recorded in the Scottish records stored in Edinburgh.

You see the tour on page 19 of their spring brouchure. http://www.brightwaterholidays.com/docs/AUTUMN-SPRING-2010.pdf

For more information contact Brightwater Holidays. http://www.brightwaterholidays.com

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I have just heard from Emma Maxwell about something new they are doing at Maxwell Ancestry.  I think these are terrific and would make a lovely present – and it could be tied in with a Scottish Ancestral Trail of course.


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Volcanic Ash

Well it looks like the scare for thousands of people thinking that they will be stranded, away from home, has come to an end.  Or at least the prospect of getting home is clearer.

I have every sympathy for Lord Adonis, our Transport Minister, whose job it was to tell us that no planes could fly because of the volcanic ash blown down from Iceland.  Any accidents caused by reopening airports to early would have been unforgivable on the information he had available at the time.  Such is life.  Man trying to interpret nature is not an easy call.

Family of ours,  flying back to Sydney, will be able to leave for home on Sunday and are just enjoying their extra few days in Scotland by catching up with friends. – Doesn’t every cloud have a silver lining?

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It happens more often than you might think that our visitors come to Scotland to fulfil the dream of a parent.

The visitor may be in their 60s and their own parent has died, but without be able to satisfy a desire to return once more to the land of their birth and show their children the places where they grew up and played ‘cops and robbers’ ‘or cowboys and indians’.

Our visitors frequently have memories of their parent or grandparent singing Scottish lullabies or telling stories about the games they played and the hills they climbed.  You can imagine the sentiment of a story told of a childhood memory.

Click here Scotland Tours to link to Scottish Ancestral Trail

I have seen visitors do some lovely things in memory of their ancestors when they visit Scotland.  A guest who I hope will be coming this year has a tape recording made by her father before he died about his home and childhood in Dundee.  He was never able to revisit Scotland in his lifetime but the circle will be completed by his daughter.

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From April this year we are offering our short break in Edinburgh for guests to research their family history under the guidance of a professional genealogist.  Guests will stay in a hotel close to the Scotland’s People Centre in central Edinburgh.  There will be a welcome reception for everyone to meet their fellow ancestor hunters and meet the genealogist who will be  instructing and guiding them. An evening meal, accommodation and full Scottish included breakfasts are included in the price. Friendly instruction will take place in the Scotland’s People Centre.  For more info just give me a call or drop an email.

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