One of the difficulties with working from home as I am at present lies in achieving real separation between work and leisure. I feel I should be doing something all the time and as a consequence become very inefficient. I know that I should fix this, but its quite hard. Still, I have picked up my reading.
Kin: A Real People's History of Our Nation. This is a really good book, a yarn, and I encourage you to read it.
One of the challenges in family history is to find a way to avoid becoming lost in family trees. Each generation you go back in the tree expands the number of names and possible further connections. This makes some family histories effectively little more than lists with some commentary.
The long running BBC TV series Who Do Think You Are, the start of a global franchise, solved this problem by selecting only what they saw as the most interesting bits, the Australian program even more so. This plus the sometimes breathless imposition of current views and sensibilities on the past became somewhat annoying with time.
Nick has chosen a different route by taking portions of the family tree and telling the story in discrete blocks, effectively making each a stand-alone story. This means that you don't have to remember the entire family tree, although I sometimes found myself a little lost and had to refer back to the main tree at the front of the book. But that's just me. You can read the book as a series of stories without worrying to much about that.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had finished, at least for the present, my Express series on New England's built landscape and architecture. Inspired Nick Brodie, I decided to do the next series of columns on the Belshaw family.
The first column is here. The photo shows walking day, Platt Bridge, Wigan 1900. I promised Cousin Cyril a long time ago that I would write a full history of the Pacific Belshaws and added it to my list of books. As you might expect given my already existing list of books, this has lagged. Still, its a start in sorting out themes. .