Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Clan Gathers

Sunday saw a morass of my clan descend upon the calm and orderly luxury of Devon's Kitley House Hotel in the countryside near Brixton.

The Millbrooker Sis had organised a function room, buffet and all-round get together to celebrate being a family. No other reason, but I reckon that one's good enough.

It's a pretty fair bet that quite a few who were present will have no interest in reading my drivel and will want to move swiftly onwards to the photos. For those family members: click here for the shots that Mrs The Millbrooker and I took on the day. Or simply click on the "complete photosets" link on the right, where you'll find a veritable hoard of nonsense that I've uploaded onto the interweb over the last couple of years.

Just about everyone who could be there made the effort and Kitley House resounded to stories of yore from the family archives. Uncle Arthur brought along some ancient shots, including a personal favourite of mine; two pretty little girls who were playing nicely suddenly had a pair of infant brothers plonked in front of them, provoking bewilderment in the future Millbrooker (front right):Also in the shot: Cousin Lynn (back left); Cousin Neil (front left) and The Millbroker-Sis (on the rocking horse); the photo has been carbon dated to the spring of 1964.

Cousin Steve kindly told the story about giving me a bloody nose (aged seven); Steve was always a little ruffian. To be fair, I was always a poncey little twit - so we're probably about evens. In fact all of Uncle Frank and Auntie Sheila's boys terrified me as a child. Today, of course, Millbrook has clasped Cousin Dave to its bosom (everyone in Millbrook calls him Cousin); Lawrence lives and works in Scunthorpe where he practices his trade of gynaecology (yes there is a joke in there somewhere, I believe he moved to Scunthorpe at least in part because of it); Steve is still barking but can no longer reach my nose to smack it one.

Here's Cousin Lawrence flanked by his boy Simon and our mutual cousin Lynn examining some family archive photos. It's nice to note that Lawrence and I share the same barber:

I risk boring regular readers with tales of family, so I'll end by publishing four shots of successive generations.

First up, the family elders; from L-R Uncle Frank, Uncle Arthur, Auntie Sheila and Auntie Paul. Frank and Arthur are my dad's brothers. After only a moment or two of calm, the next generation muscled onto the stairs, pushing the crumblies upwards. The new entrants are, from L-R Neil, Lynn (Arthur and Paul's offspring); Steve, Lawrence, Cousin Dave (Frank and Sheila's mob); Teresa (The Millbrooker-Sis) and yours truly displaying a large conk for Steve's delectation (note that I am at least one stair lower than everyone else, except Lynn, and still tower over Steve):Before long the next lot started mounting the stairs and assorted offspring from us lot gained a place in family photographic history, yes all of these people are very closely genetically linked. In the front row, we are now proud to present, from (approximately) L-R Rebecca and Rachel (Lynn's); Sam & Joe (Neil's, at the very front); Joshua (Lawrence's) is the one pulling the face (well done him - I've always thought the name provoked certain behaviours); Tom and Dan (Dave's) are next in the front; just behind Tom is Simon (Lawrence's); last, but not least, is Tom (Teresa's, therefore my nephew).Finally, unable to contain themselves any longer, the non-genetically linked stormed the staircase demanding their moment in the limelight. There would be a very real risk of me getting some names wrong here, so I'm not going to try; regular readers who've made it this far will recognise Mrs The Millbrooker in the centre and Dozybean with Wriggly Baby front left; Sleepy-Old-Go-To-Bed has found his way to spot just behind my Sis. The other babe in arms (Rachel's) is the first of the next generation again...Well, I hope I've not left anyone out, nor mortally offended anyone - it always pays to keep your family onside. Thanks are due in ludicrously big quantities to The Millbrooker-Sis for organising the event, and to everyone who was there for helping to make it a memorable and terrific fun occasion. Au revoir to all until next time.

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