Thursday, 17 March 2011
Thank you so much Lynn at Present Letters for giving me this lovely award
Now the rules are to list 4 truths and 1 lie. I will reveal which is the lie on Saturday.
So, some weird and wonderful things about my family ...
1) One of my ancestors, Katherine de Mattos was Robert Louis Stephenson's cousin (and rumoured lover). She was also an author writing under the pseudonym of Theodor Hertz-Garten. Robert Louis Stephenson dedicated Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde to her and included in the dedication a part of a longer poem he had written to her,
It's ill to loose the bands that God decreed to bind;
Still we will be the children of the heather and the wind.
Far away from home, O it's still for you and me
That the broom is blowing bonnie in the north countrie
2) My great great uncle was born in 1831 - the same year that Isambard Kingdom Brunel started building the Clifton Bridge (aged 24 unbelievably). Work stopped on the bridge in 1843 because of financial and political problems. Brunel went onto other projects and my GG Uncle started to work for him in 1852 When Brunel died in 1859, my GG uncle was appointed as project manager to complete the construction of the Clifton Suspension bridge as a memorial to Brunel. The bridge was opened in 1864. I guess the Civil Engineering genes came from somewhere!
3) I have already told you about my great great great great grand father who was a Portuguese count who left Portugal during the Peninsula War in the king's retinue to travel to South America (and given the number of de Mattos in Brazil, I'm guessing they went there!)
4) My first cousin was editor of the Financial Times, London for a time and was listed in the top 50 most influential people in the world
5) Another of my relatives Edward AFT de Mattos once owned the Great Eastern Steamship Company (not sure when exactly, but he died in 1835 according to the grave I found in a local cemetery). He bought the Eddison Steamroller company for his son Joseph Hilbert to run, although according to a book charting the history of the company, he was a little more interested in the horses!
So I am going to offer this lovely award to Jenn at You know .. that Blog because Jenn runs the awesome Sensational Haiku Wednesday which is just so much fun.