Thursday, 14 April 2011

my new hobby and other news

When sudoku first became popular, I was there, in among it all. I mean, a puzzle and numbers thrown in together? Two of my favourite things, how could I resist.

Even in my first weeks, I found the easy puzzles boring and only wanted hard sudoku, and then when that wasn't enough, I went for Killer Sodoku and eventually moved on to a different kind of number puzzle, the name of which I don't currently recall (kakuro?). I spent months, years perhaps (though not too many) addicted to sudoku. I even wrote a poem that begins 'I'm stuck within a sudoku'. Though eventually, I didn't feel challenged any more, and it's no secret that I'm unable to resist challenge. I needed something new. Sort of.

Not that I really sought out a something new. I mean, with all I do already, there are plenty of different activities vying for my time and attention. Even without producing a magazine. If I'm not writing or doing something with the kids, I'm probably reading or sewing (or wasting time on the internet).

And, come July, I'll be studying too. Master of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University, by distance. So I didn't really need anything new. Least of all an irresistible puzzle. One that will never be solved.


I don't recall what started me off, but I got stuck into the family history in February. At first, it was fairly easy and quick to find information, though it helped that I had my grandfather's birth certificate in my possession, as well as the information from the marriage certificate of grandparents on a different line. So far, all my research has been on my mother's side, as my father's is going to prove difficult due to most, if not all, of Malta's useful documents having been destroyed during WWII (but I will still give it a good go).

Before beginning, I believed I had a Maltese and British history, and while this is true, it's not the end. I've discovered I have Irish, Hungarian and German ancestors as well, though I'm quite interested in many of the stories of the individuals (not to mention the challenge of unearthing them). An ancestor born in the 1860s was admitted to a South Australian mental asylum, my grandfather's brother played for my beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos, my grandfather lied about his age to serve in the RAAF during WWII, and was later charged for illegally having in his possession approx 2lb butter, one dozen eggs and eighteen oranges, an aunt's name does not appear on the ship's immigration register, my g-g-g-grandmother was an Irish famine orphan and the drummer of a massively, hugely famous American band is my third cousin, once removed.

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed that I have no convict ancestors, though my husband, who was born in Scotland, is disappointed on my behalf.