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 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.

Memories jolted by desktop photo

The desktop on my home computer has a flow of photos which have been loaded onto the computer over the years.  Yesterday one of the photos that came on the screen was this one.

It is an aerial photo of the village where I grew up.  The village is Ladybank, Fife and the photo was probably taken sometime in the 1960s.  Seeing the photo on the desktop rekindled so many memories.

I am heading back to Scotland for a visit in August and we will be visiting the Hebrides and Shetland plus a trip down from Caithness to Glasgow.

Although I have lived in Australia since I was sixteen I have so many wonderful memories of my early years in Scotland.

I have also just discovered a website Robin A Crawford – writer.  It is a blog that has lots of interesting posts about the culture and natural heritage of Scotland.  Many of his posts are about peat and peat culture and that also rekindled memories of going peat cutting on my uncle’s croft in Boultach, Caithness.

So many happy memories

A while back I posted about a book I had borrowed from the library.  The book was Hebrides by Peter May you can find the post here.This is a photograph from the book.  The reason I show the photograph is that it rekindled so many happy childhood memories.

My dad was born at Boultach on a croft in the highlands of Scotland in the county of Caithness.  When we visited, the croft was farmed by my dad’s brother, my Uncle Donnie.  In the school holidays my brother and sisters and I used to go to Caithness to spend time with our cousins.  My dad’s other brother, my Uncle Johnie, had a croft at Burrigle, Forse.  We had such a wonderful time with our cousins who just happened to be about the same ages as we were.

My family lived in Fife in a village and the experiences we had when we were on holiday were exactly that – so different to our life at home.  We had a whale of a time and this photo brought back those memories.

When we first went to Boultach there was no electricity or piped water.  We enjoyed the novelty of getting water from the well and reading by the tilley lamps. The freedom we had to play where we wanted and the wonderful baking that our aunts produced was something else again.

To get to the photo . . . . This is a van that is used in Shetland to take foodstuffs to the outlying cottages which is exactly what used to happen at Boultach and Burrigle.  Our uncles used to give us spending money and as kids we would eagerly mount the steps of the van to spend the money on sweeties.

I have posted before about cousins and memories and you can find it on the link.  I have also posted previously about the van deliveries.

Amazing how one photo generates so many memories.

Great Tapestry of Scotland 93-123

The incredible Great Tapestry of Scotland. Kate Davies has blogged about all of the panels. I have reblogged 93-123 because it has Newhaven fisherfolk and a Caithness School. My mum’s family were fisherfolk and my dad went to a Caithness School.

Tuesday travels . . . . John o’Groats

mum at John o'GroatsThis photo of my mum is obviously from quite some time ago, I guess it was early in the married life of my parents, about 1935.

John o’Groats is the northern tip of Scotland although apparently Dunnet Head is actually the most northerly point.

Dunnett Head

Dunnet Head was certainly windier than John o’Groats, when we visited.

Dunnet Head

John o’Groats is the point that attracts the most tourists, there is absolutely nothing at Dunnet Head apart from the lighthouse and adjoining buildings.

There is a signpost at John o’Groats where you used to be able to take a photo (free of charge).  This photo is from when we visited in 2003.

signpostNowadays the signpost is taken away at the close of business as apparently the right to use the sign is that of a business company who came up with the idea to have the signpost there.  I had no idea that was the case.  I thought the signpost was just part of the local area’s signage.

We were not prepared to pay money to have our photos taken with the sign but were not disappointed as a similar sign has been painted on the wall of the shop and it doesn’t cost anything to have your photo taken there.

John o'Groats

The hotel, or as it was once known, John o’Groats House, is in the process of renovation after having been vacant for several years.  Britain’s famous northern outpost was shamed into a makeover in 2010, after being voted the most dismal place in Scotland. This is how it looked in 2003

JoG house

This is how it looked in 2012.

John o'Groats houseThis is how it looks now.


Eco tourism is the thing at the moment and while we were there we saw the first of the few eco lodges that are being built in the area.

You can read all about the lodges and the inn at the website. 

The day we visited John o’Groats it was really clear and you could see the islands off the coast.

IslandsA beautiful place to visit.

Tuesday travels. . . . . Arbroath

ArbroathOn our trip to Scotland last year I was determined to get to Arbroath so I could have an Arbroath Smoky.

shop signThe Arbroath Smoky has a reputation for being extremely tasty and I love kippers  so I wanted to give these a try.

restaurantWe found a little restaurant down near the harbour and noted on the menu board outside that Arbroath Smokies were on the menu.  I was able to try the smokies and I thought they were pretty good until I tasted even better kippers when we were in Caithness!

My husband had this dark brew with his meal.