Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rambling through the British Isles

For the past three weeks the Rhone Rambler has been traversing England, Ireland, and Scotland in search of ancestors and a good place to do a second master's degree in terrorism studies come September. As to the first goal of the trip, the trip was very successful, particularly in discovering that I can now trace my direct ancestors all the way back to ca. 1470! That's my 15th great grandfather John Wavell. But don't worry, he's quite possibly your ancestor too. After all, we each have 131,072 15th great grandparents, and he (and the whole Wavell line) was quite prolific. Meanwhile, my mom tracked down the death certificate of a 3th great uncle in New York, which said that his mother (my 4th great grandmother) came from Bohemia, which is now the Czech Republic. So that brings the list of confirmed countries that my ancestors have lived in (i.e. with present borders) to nine: USA, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, Croatia, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Or eight if you count England and Scotland as the UK.
But try telling the Scots around me (am currently in Edinburgh) that their country counts as one with England! Tho I may be but 1/32 Scottish and about 1/4 English, my heart's in the highlands as the great Scots bard Robbie Burns would say. Actually, having been to the highlands for the first time this past weekend with Nolwenn, who had braved the freakish weather the UK had last week (the biggest snowstorms in 45 hit the UK the past two weeks), I think a bit of my heart will always be there. Even though the highlands are no higher than the Green Mountains of Vermont, they are steep, craggy, filled with glacial lakes, desolate moors, and hauntingly beautiful.
Regarding master's programs, however, I will probably end up in London, as it offers better networking opportunities in the counterterrorism and security sectors, as well as closer proximity to Nolwenn in France. In fact, if Nolwenn ends up doing an internship for the second part of the year in Paris, Rhone Ramblings will probably morph into Seine Sendings for three months before becoming Thames Tellings in September. Hey, as long as I live in a city with a river that begins with a letter that alliterates with a synonym for communication I'll be in good shape. Back to the continent tomorrow...

No comments:

Post a Comment