This one just because I like it! Three of my grandnephews/nieces: Nathan, David and Lauren Parkes:
I spoke to their uncle, my nephew Warren, who lives in North Queensland on Christmas Day. This is Warren:
You might like to read A Guringai Family Story.
Since I came back to Wollongong it has become something of a custom to spend Christmas lunch, or in the case of this year Boxing Day lunch, with my cousin Helen Langridge and her husband Jim. See So, Christmas Day! (2016). This is Helen and Jim ten years ago on Jim’s retirement.
Quite a distinguished fellow is Jim. As usual there was much great conversation, including among other things the fact that next month will be their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Here is a picture of my mum and dad at that wedding in January 1968:
Jim brought out the wedding album which includes a photo of me looking SO THIN! And of course young.
Helen has a copy of her brother Ray Christison’s recently published book Shapeshifter. The strange life of John Hampton Christison, Professor of Dancing. That is about our rather spectacular great-grandfather. Ray’s book is beautifully done!
See among my posts Neil’s personal decades: 14 – 1885 — Christisons.
You can read more about this rather amazing but tricky character in my post My great-grandfather: “morally dubious to say the least.” My cousin Ray Christison is mentioned quite a bit on that post; he has written a book about John H: Shapeshifter – the strange life of John Hampton Christison, Professor of Dancing. Here is an interesting snippet by Ray from the comment thread on my post:
Neil, I have been trawling through my old notes and have begun writing a full biography of John Hampton Christison (currently about 5,000 words and growing). I will publish it as a small book. You asked about John dancing before Queen Victoria. John listed his major dancing awards in the 1882 Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. He stated this: “at Edzell Castle, 1873 I took first prize, a Highland dirk, at Balmoral Castle in 1875, second against thirty, most of them professional men”. Queen Victoria may or may not have been present when John danced at Balmoral Castle. Given John’s penchant for self-promotion I find it bizarre that he would not have specifically mentioned this in a work as important as his Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. I have a very vague memory of Kathleen Christison telling me that he danced there before one of the other royals, however I can’t find any notes to corroborate this.