Monday, January 14, 2013



My sister Lucy—dark haired on the left—is the youngest member of the family, and arguably the sanest.

Frankly, that is not saying a great deal—but, for all that, I live in hopes that she is as sensible as she seems. A nephew recently referred to her as “the matriarch of the family.” Strange that the youngest should be awarded such a title—but there it is. It is a title, and an honor, she has earned. She anchors those of us who still survive. I am the eldest of twelve—69 in May—and four of us are prematurely dead.

On the right is my sister, Leslie—the blond—and as appealing as ever. Leslie lives in Northern France. If she lived in Southern France—preferably South-West France—she would be a perfect sister. My plan is to live, write and die in that part of the world. I don’t quite know why--the area just resonates with me. The family—well, part of it—originally comes from Normandy, which is in Northern France. We come from the city of Calvados—a name much associated with its fine apple brandy.

What can I say! Evidently the counts of Lentaigne de Logivieres (the family name before the French Revolution and the guillotine interrupted their progress) liked to live well. Then came accelerated social change in the form of the guillotine. Benjamin Lentaigne escaped that rather undesirable experience—supposedly by making love to the jailer’s daughter—and thus started a new branch of the family in Ireland. He had been a soldier. He became a doctor. Two generations later, his grandson, Sir John Lentaigne, became doctor to the viceroy of Ireland and was knighted into the bargain. Evidently, the Lentaignes were an able and socially mobile lot.

The good-looking young man in the center is my nephew, Errol. . I have never met him and regret that such is the situation. Shortly, I hope to fly 6,000 miles to remedy that deficiency.

Happy twenty-first birthday Emanuel—not pictured, unfortunately! You have quite a tradition to uphold—and I have no doubt that you will do just that.

This is what Lucy said on Facebook about Emanuel.

"Tomorrow my son Emmanuel will be 21, it only feels like yesterday when at the age of 4, on hearing classical music in McDonalds, whilst in the queue, he grabbed me and demanded I do a waltz with him. It was soooo cute. Now he is a young man and has already accomplished a great deal in his life. I hope his birthday is as special as he is."


Orso Clip Art


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