More rabbit holes: aleatory methods and chronotopic cartography?

Chronotopic Map of Virgina Woolfe’s To The Lighthouse

This is the third in series of post where I have been reflecting on what I am doing here and why (see here). And it may become the first in new series about if and how all this could be the basis of a parrallel project, e.g. scholarly, creative and maybe even both. Then again it could be my falling down yet another rabbit hole, but at least my musings interested and resonated with some friends and family, as well at least one distant relation (see comments here). And even hit the mark with my old friend Ivan Pope and especially the Tristram Shandy wandering digression I reference. That’s probably because his PhD is ultimately about how a text is generated from wandering around in a space, which was the prompt for my pondering about what the nature of any parrallel project might actually be if more scholarly.

Turns out he also picked up an original edition of Volume VI of Tristram Shandy at a boot fair last year for £3 and says it’s one of the most beautiful things he own. Great minds think alike, and possibly because we have frequently discussed whether our intellectual and other wanderings could be linked to some form of ADD or ADHD (along with self-diagnosed ups and downs of living with it given the issues raised in what’s known as the Hunter versus farmer hypothesis).

But I digress because I just wanted to share some thoughts on possible areas to explore, or maybe more rabbit holes to fall down, which are really just a gloried way of keeping notes.

Continue reading “More rabbit holes: aleatory methods and chronotopic cartography?”

Beyond the BMD, who am I?

My wandering through family history seems to move forward in fits and starts. There’s probably a pattern to that waxing and waning, and exploring it may add to an earlier post reflecting on the why of it all (see If you don’t know where you are going). And you can see my attempt at a potted historical account of what I have been doing on this blog and how that has evolved over time outlined in the about section of this site. It includes the following explanation of what appears to be the two sides of it, or at least for me:

  1. Pokemon-like genealogy of who begat whom, where and when: the gotta catch them all of ancestor BMD (Birth, Marriages and Deaths), and what now goes on over at the family tree collaboration I co-facilitate with my cousin Hamish Maclaren (see more about this here).
  2. Social sharing of stories, photographs and content with others: that’s what this blog is still mostly about – hence containing anecdotes, discoveries, encounters, observations, notes and reflections like this one.
Continue reading “Beyond the BMD, who am I?”

If you don’t know where you are going

The family history collaboration I have been helping run with my cousin Hamish has over 167,000 records in our family tree database now. The other part of the site is a WordPress blog and that only has 15 posts. And so we are going to close down the blog on that site and repost anything that was published there on here. We will, however, continue with the family tree collaboration there. Here is one of the first posts I put together over at, back in February 2020 (just before the pandemic).

As mentioned in the first post on, I have been penning this one about how this collaboration with my cousin Hamish Maclaren and not so distant one Kathy Neville came into being. It’s a long story with lots of twists and turns. But starts with how I have been looking into my family history now for around 12 years and have been publishing the findings as a journal-like blog.

It’s called Descent from Adam: a tale in down- ward social mobility, having once told my wife that I had just found out via Google that I could trace my ancestry back to Adam and Eve. Her response was that at least my slide down the social mobility snake helps someone else step onto a ladder.

Continue reading “If you don’t know where you are going”