Far from procrastinating, I am actually doing the opposite this weekend, although I don’t think there’s a word for that. I’ve started to draft the novel I didn’t intend to make a start on until April’s Camp NaNoWriMo, as well as writing a few very sketchy notes for something that I didn’t intend to start on at all. Ever.
This unexpected burst of activity is partly aimed at stopping myself feeling guilty about getting cross with the dog when he last stayed with us, because he has been very ill this week and had to have an operation, although he seems to be making a good recovery. For anyone concerned about the cat who was mentioned in the same post as the dog, I can divulge that he is likewise making good progress at the moment, although he doesn’t seem yet to have forgotten that he missed four days’ worth of meals over Christmas, so he tends to jump up whenever I go into the kitchen and stalk around demanding elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea and all sorts of other meals cats aren’t really entitled to.
It has been a funny week altogether. When I looked at the Ancestry website some time in mid-week, I found that their system, which almost always tries to connect people who can’t possibly be connected, had actually found that someone whose DNA was some sort of a match for mine also had an ancestor in common on their family tree, so this has led to a very welcome exchange of information with a family in Utah. I am always lost in admiration for those of my distant relatives who made journeys under horrible conditions, in this particular case in the hold of a ship crossing the Atlantic and then across most of the USA by wagon train. But it does make me realise how bad their living standards probably were in this country if they were prepared to do all this in the hope of a better life. Like most Scots, I have quite a lot of distant relatives in America. I think my favourite example from the family tree so far is the one who left Perthshire in 1775 and settled in New York state just in time to fight against Britain in the War of Independence.
I suppose the slogan in the image above which is intended as a teaser for my next novel could also be used as a caveat about family history research, although, like golf and indeed writing, there is something compulsive about doing it once you get started.