This Week's Chat on Patrice's Porch

Aye, it's Thursday. That's means it's time for Patrice's Wednesday's Chat on the porch.

Ahem....moving on immediately before anyone notices...

Before we begin, Patrice, I have to check that it's warmer on your porch than it is here with us, because if not, it's in by the fireside with a hot chocolate!

Much warmer, you say? Excellent - the porch it is.

Here are today's questions:

What color was your first car?

It was a kind of wine colour. It was a Ford Fiesta, and the night I got it, as I drove from Stornoway to Ness I made up a poem about it. Sadly, I didn't write it down and all I remember is the first verse:

I'm just a wee Fiesta
please don't expect too much
I'll do whatever you ask of me,
just give the gentle touch.

That's a l-o-n-g time ago.

Do you dance or sing when you're by yourself?

Actually, I sing ALL the time. I definitely sing when I'm alone. Well, when I finish talking to myself, I sing. But, truth be told, I sing all the time I'm not talking - whether I'm on my own or in the vicinity of some unfortunate body.

What were your favorite and least favorite subjects in school? (I'm thinking high school or younger, but if you want to tell us about your PhD, go right ahead.)

Oh, this is difficult. I had some good teachers, and some not-so-good teachers, but there simply wasn't a subject that gripped me. When I was 21, I went back to school, and the Gaelic teacher I had (who would not have inspired me at school age) gave me a love of Gaelic literature, which I then went on to study at University. 

My years in school passed in a blur. I hardly remember them.

What was the last dinner you made?

Stewed sausages - because the kids love it. I didn't have it: I had a chicken pasta bake thingy left over from last night. The recipe for it is here, but mine doesn't always follow the recipe to the letter. In fact, I never use the broken spaghetti now - I use pasta twists normally.

Please finish this: "I feel naked without ---------------------." (Now, you know there's someone out there who will answer "clothes". See. I caught you! :)

Oh boy.... apart from clothes, I wear little! You want specific clothes?! You know what I feel most comfortable in - my cut-offs; you know I wear no jewellery most of the time (not even my wedding and engagement rings - shame on me); you know I don't do fancy stuff. I just don't know how to answer this.

There you are Patrice, you have me stumped!

I think I'll change the subject. I was speaking to a relative of mine yesterday at the local shop. He's my mum's first cousin, brother of the relative we've visited in Ontario, and son of the mother who gave birth to eight boys and one baby girl. That girl died as a toddler. How unspeakably heartbreaking is that.

Anyway, he was telling me that my great-grandfather, and his brother, emigrated from Lewis in the 19th century to go to America. They ended up in Alberta, Canada, but came back home to Lewis after some time. He didn't know why. What he did tell me was that the ship that was crossing the Atlantic, taking the many young men and women from Scotland to the New World, picked them up in Port of Ness. Port of Ness! It's almost inconceivable to me, now, that a ship large enough to cross the Atlantic would berth in Port of Ness. I really  must look into this whole story, and if I find out more about the comings and goings of my great-grandfather, you can be sure I'll let you know.

So many wonderful stories have been lost to our generation. I wish I was able to recapture them. If you head over to the Pioneer Woman's site and read this post, you'll see some amazing history that's been preserved in her family. Well, in MM's family, but ... same thing.

I wish the same level of history had been preserved in all of our families. 


  1. Oh, what the walls could say if they could talk. I wonder often about my family heritage. Specifically my paternal grandmother's side. Unfortunately, nothing more can be found out without really investigating and spending money.

    It's quite interesting, my great grandparents were champion sharpshooters with a side show. They used to have my grandmother (toddler) hold a target over her head. Can you imagine? What faith they had in their abilities? They also were beautiful singers. My great grandfather was a firefighter on the Lusitania before it sunk. We believe he came over to the US from England. We also believe he may have had a wife and child there (for shame). Anyway, he was know as The Singing Fireman. His name was Thomas Woodman Ray or Tommy Ray.

    Anyway, I'm giving some family history to complete strangers.

    I love reading your blog, you are such a funny person.

  2. I love how you kind of change the subject on the last question! Like the poem!

  3. Love your answers! Glad to know I'm not the only one talking to myself. :D

    I regret not asking my Grandparents more questions about our family history. My Grandfather's side came to America from Scotland and my Grandmother's family came here from Ireland. I would love more details, but don't know where to start looking. It's nice you've been told some interesting facts about your ancestors.

    Thought I'd pop in and say "howdy", things have been busy here, but I always love having time to stop by for a visit, glad it was "porch" day.

  4. I think it's cute that you made a poem for your car. Oh- it is hot on our porch. I'd hold off on the hot chocolate and the fireside if I were you.

    Family history is so interesting. Hubby's family came here in the late 1600 from England. The one was a ship's captain bringing passengers. They have so much information on their family. It amazes me that they were able to keep so much information. My family history, on one side,can be traced back at an old Spanish mission in Southern California.My mom did lots of research at one time, but I'm not sure any of us could find most of it now that she's gone. There was a very common family name, so it would be rather challenging to figure out which stories go with our family. I have bits and pieces of my father's history and interesting stories of them fleeing Nazis. Still, that is only a tiny amount of information.

    All of this talk about family history makes me wonder if people who are adopted have a deep yearning to know more about their backgrounds. I would expect that's so.

    Thanks for joining in on the conversation on the porch! I know it was a long trip just for a glass of iced tea and a chat:)

  5. Wonderful post! My grandparents used to tell wonderful stories about their lives years ago and only after they were both gone did it dawn on me that I could have recorded them. Even in the nursing home they were both still very lucid and had great memories and stories. I hope you are able to to find more out. In the meantime, I'd like to make your chicken pasta bay - sounds REALLY yummy!!

  6. I love the history of our families, too! Wish I knew more, especially about my father's side. I hardly know anything specific about either side, but my dad's is the worst in some ways even as there has been genealogy work done so in other ways, it's the best! Strange. I would love to read more on that interesting story you found out, about Port of Ness and the ship and coming to the New World! Loved those stories growing up and find I still do. :) And I liked reading your answers to the questions!


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