Fixing broken links in the DNA post

I was checking the blog posts that had been viewed recently and part of that is looking at what links had been clicked.  I discovered that there were a couple of broken links on a post that I did a few years ago so I have fixed the links and here is the repaired post. This post was first published in May 2013

The ScotsI loved the cover of this book as the genetic code is set to resemble the Forth Railway Bridge, very clever.  My reason for including this book is the fact that I have been reading about a particular project taking place to trace the genetic code of Scottish folk.

One of the columns on my Tweetdeck is for Caithness, so I catch up on the latest from there.  Yesterday there was a tweet asking for people to participate in Project DNA for Caithness and Sutherland.  I clicked on the link as my dad came from Caithness.
Project DNATo participate in the project you need to visit Family Tree DNA : History unearthed daily.  Of course I should have realised that nothing comes without a cost.  To be tested for this project it has to be a male member with the family surname and the cost can vary from $49 to $339!  I don’t think I would be that keen to find out links from the past but no doubt there are those who are.

The Sutherland DNA Surname Research Project provides further information on the surname and some interesting links to other sites and at no cost!  There, that’s my Scottish traits coming to the fore again!

To put it all into perspective you need to read this article.guardian articleAn excerpt from the article:

Perhaps it is harmless fun to speculate beyond the facts, armed with exciting new DNA technologies? Not really. It costs unwitting customers of the genetic ancestry industry a substantial amount of hard-earned cash, and it disillusions them about science and scientists when they learn the truth, which is almost always disappointing relative to the story they were told.

Exaggerated claims from the consumer ancestry industry can also undermine the results of serious research about human genetic history, which is cautiously and slowly building up a clearer picture of the human past for all of us.

All the links are now working again.

The last of my March books

These are the remaining few books I finished in March.

This was a non-fiction book, my first non-fiction for a while.  I found it extremely interesting and the blurb from the book gives you a good idea of why I found it so interesting.

“I was born into a world that expected very little of women like me. We were meant to tread lightly on the earth, influencing events through our husbands and children, if at all. We were meant to fade into invisibility as we aged. I defied all of these expectations and so have millions of women like me.”

This is the compelling story of Anne Summers’ extraordinary life. Her story has her travelling around the world as she moves from job to job, in newspapers and magazines, advising prime ministers, leading feminist debates, writing memorable and influential books.

Anne shares revealing stories about the famous and powerful people she has worked with or reported on and is refreshingly frank about her own anxieties and mistakes.  Unfettered and Alive is a provocative and inspiring memoir from someone who broke through so many boundaries to show what women can do.

‘It’s the story of a lot of things – Australian politics, feminism, journalism, international intrigue – but most of all it’s the story of an utterly singular woman, who always says “Yes” to life even when it scares her. Her memory for the events, and her frankness about the fear, make this an extraordinary memoir.’ – Annabel Crabb

Anne is perhaps more well known in Australia than the UK or USA but the reading is still relevant no matter where you are.

The Great White Palace was lent to me by a former neighbour who thought I might be interested in the story as I had just returned from a visit to the UK.  She knew I had previously visited Devon and thought this book would suit me.

“This is the story of Tony and Beatrice Porter’s renovation of the near-derelict and long forgotten Art Deco hotel on Burgh Island, after giving up their successful careers as fashion consultants in London’s West End. Up to their necks in debt and with a massive program of repairs and maintenance ahead of them, they gradually labored to restore it to its former glory and into the beautiful, luxurious place it is today.”

This was a super quick read and thoroughly enjoyable. I was interested to see that the hotel was used in the Agatha Christie Poirot series on television.

I would even contemplate making a visit to the island on our next trip to the UK.

I absolutely loved Marcus Zusak’s book.  I could not give a review that would do it justice so I am going to provide a link to a review that I think says it all. It is an expansive, touching saga of an Australian family’s losses and loves.  Interestingly the first few reviews on Goodreads were scathing.  To each his own.

Bridge of Clay Review

Denzel Meyrick is a new Scottish author for me.  I sure am glad that I have found him. I have started with the third instalment in the DCI Daley series but I will have no worries about going back and finding one and two.

“When a senior Edinburgh civil servant spectacularly takes his own life in Kinloch harbour, DCI Jim Daley comes face to face with the murky world of politics. To add to his woes, two local drug dealers lie dead, ritually assassinated. It’s clear that dark forces are at work in the town. With his boss under investigation, his marriage hanging on by a thread, and his sidekick DS Scott wrestling with his own demons, Daley’s world is in meltdown.  When strange lights appear in the sky over Kinloch, it becomes clear that the townsfolk are not the only people at risk. The fate of nations is at stake. Jim Daley must face his worst fears as tragedy strikes. This is not just about a successful investigation, it’s about survival.”

Fast paced crime writing set in Scotland.

“A bus crashes in a savage snowstorm and lands Jack Reacher in the middle of a deadly confrontation. In nearby Bolton, South Dakota, one brave woman is standing up for justice in a small town threatened by sinister forces. If she’s going to live long enough to testify, she’ll need help. Because a killer is coming to Bolton, a coldly proficient assassin who never misses.

Reacher’s original plan was to keep on moving. But the next 61 hours will change everything. The secrets are deadlier and his enemies are stronger than he could have guessed—but so is the woman he’ll risk his life to save.

In his 14th book in the Reacher series Lee Child still gets you hooked.

Memories stirred when cleaning out the computer documents.

A couple of days ago I spent nearly a whole morning working on tidying up documents on my computer.  I had been looking for a particular document on the computer and realised that I had a lot of “stuff” on the computer that I no longer needed.  I guess it was a bit like cleaning out a filing cabinet.

I did get rid of a great number of documents but while doing that I discovered documents that I had forgotten about.  One folderr of many documents is my mother’s book of memories.  When my mum died I scanned the whole book,105 pages, so that each member of the family would have a copy of what my mum had written.  The scanned pages were put on a CD.  I knew I had the scanned document on the computer but it was a while since I last looked at it.

What lovely memories it brought back.

Just the first page starts you on the journey of her memories.

Although I don’t have the physical copy of the book I can still read it when ever I want to and it is here for my children and grandchildren when they want to look at it.

 

Not Quite the Man for the Job. . . a couple of poems. I posted this way back in 2012.

As a follow up to my post about the book Not Quite the Man for the Job by Adam Ford, I have been contacted by the author and he has very kindly given permission for me to share a couple of the poems from his book.  I think you will see why my students enjoyed the poetry book so much.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with William Carlos Williams’ “This is just to say” . . . here it is.

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Another February read

This is a Miles Franklin WInner to add to my 2019 Reading Challenge.  It certainly lives up to the status of winner and depicts Australia in beautiful language.

From the book cover:

“His father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his unknown uncle – an embittered old man encamped in the ruins of a once great station homestead, Kuran House.  It’s a baffling and sinister new world for the boy, a place of decay and secret histories.

William’s uncle is obsessed by a long life of decline and by a dark quest for revival, his mother is desperate for a wealth and security she has never known, and all their hopes it seems come to rest upon his young shoulders.  But as the past and present of Kuran Station unravel and merge together, the price of that inheritance may prove to be the downfall of them all.”

I loved how so many aspects of Australian history were woven into the story.  I will be searching out other books by Andrew McGahan who had written many books before his untimely death from pancreatic cancer.

I don’t enjoy reading in large print.

The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser was a very different read for me.  The many and varied characters kept me on my toes throughout the read.“Set in Australia, France, and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, as societies, and as nations. Driven by a vivid cast of characters, it explores necessary emigration, the art of fiction, and ethnic and class conflict.”

I had put a reserve in at the library for this book and didn’t realise it was in large print, not my favourite way to read a book I must say.  I kept wishing it was in smaller print.  Apart from that I did enjoy the actual story.

The book is full of so many characters each portrayed in detail and each appearing to intersect in the lives of others in the novel.  I sometimes had difficulty in working out which characters linked with whom.

The descriptive writing is beautiful and the characters are unusual.  If you expect the characters to be lovable and for everything to come out just so at the end then you will be disappointed.  The characters have many flaws but life is depicted realistically.

A great read.