Things I have found out that I didn't know before:
- My great-grandad used to work in Deuchars Brewery (strangely, now A Certain Boy's favourite beer). He got a splinter in his finger from the beer barrels, and this caused an infection. He was sent to the Royal Infirmary, where they decided to amputate his finger. In Outpatients. He then walked home. (They were hardy men in them days.) For the rest of his life he would complain of pain in the missing finger.
- My great-granny worked as a cleaner in the Oddfellows Hall on Forrest Road. (I came along later, when the Oddfellows Hall was a pub called Bar Oz, and got thrown out for being too drunk. Bar Oz has recently changed back to being Oddfellows, and I pass it most days on my way to the sandwich shop.)
- My great-granny's family in Brora, Sutherland, used to send rabbits down on the train. They would be taken to the butcher to be skinned, and stewed for dinner.
- My great-grandad was in the Home Guard during the Second World War, one great-aunt trained as a joiner, the other worked in a munitions factory, and my great-uncle was in the RAF. He got shot down over enemy territory, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and a parachute, from which his sisters made many blouses and scarves. My granny, being a bit younger than her siblings, worked in a factory preparing cat-gut for use in surgery on the Field Hospitals.
- My granny was engaged to another man when she started seeing my grandad.
- I knew that my grandad wasn't present when his first child, my mum, was born, but I didn't know this was because he was at home, sleeping! Priorities eh.
I've loved reading about my great grandparents, and my granny's life before my grandad came along. My grandad has also written his life story, which I intend to read as soon as I can get my hands on it. I hate the thought of my grandparents taking all this knowledge and all these stories with them when they go - if we don't record it now it will be gone forever, and that would be a sin.