What can YOU say in six sentences?
Lorna was still in her wheelchair so I sat down on the chair that Agnes Leeson indicated. I stretched out my hand to the old lady, “I’m Jake Henderson and this is my wife Lorna. I wonder, please could you tell us, roughly, how old is Mark Grosvenor? ”
“I can tell you exactly how old, now let me see...”, she dipped into her voluminous handbag and brought out a diary, “I made him a cake and I know it was his seventy-third birthday on...ah, here it is, the twenty-fifth of October. I’m eighty-one and I don’t do a lot of baking these days but I do like to make the odd cake or a few scones for Mark as, I have to admit, I have quite a soft spot for him. He’s such a charming gentleman and it was so sad about his wife...”
I was only half listening as I was doing a bit of mental arithmetic. The fact that the seventy-three year old Mr Grosvenor was more than likely our three year-old from 1938 was buzzing around in my head like a giant bumblebee.
It’s a good job that Lorna was listening and was close enough to be able to nudge me back into consciousness as the old lady continued, “Mark has been doing a lot of research into his genealogy since he moved here. I was an archivist and have a special interest in family history, so I’ve been giving him a helping hand. He’s gone to Ireland, to try and trace the father of his sister’s baby.
At this, Lorna gave a strangled little cry and then said, “I think that might be my grandfather, and I think Mark Grosvenor is my Great Uncle.”