‘arfn ‘arf

Half and Half 

Some years ago my daughter Sarah, aka Dopey Daughter, thought it would be a good idea to start on a family tree, she did start the tree and immediately passed the buck and it landed in my lap. Her reasoning was logical, I’m older, wiser and had more time to spend (read waste) delving into the murky past.

She also thought it would be a good idea for me to write my memories for as she put it, I was the only person she knew who was alive in the old days, that is before the second world war and when I was dead there wouldn’t be anybody left in a position to remember what the world was like back then. Well something along those lines I forget her logic exactly but you get the idea.

Naturally enough I did as I was told/ asked up to a point, I took over the”Family Tree” thingy, there’s alink somewhere down in the right hand column of this page, not that you can see much unless you have the code; and I’m not about to hand that out willy nilly.

As for writing my memories (should that be memoirs or is that only for the rich and famous?) well that kind of got put on hold for the simple reason I have no idea how to write; okay I battle along here doing the occasional blog/post but that’s a bit different from sitting down and writing about myself and my life prior to the War Office.

I must admit I’ve made several attempts sometimes bashing/dashing out several thousand words and when I’ve read my efforts I’ve hit the button to send the rubbish off to the “RecycleBin” and immediately emptied the bin, which is a bit ridiculous when you think about it.

Which brings me to the title of this little lot ‘arfn ‘arf, which you’ve probably gathered means half and half in the Cockney tongue, and for those amongst you who didn’t work the title out I headed up the start  of this little lot!

Well the second ‘arf is the last 4 decades, 1974 when I first met the War Office only she didn’t rise to that illustrious elevated position until many years later. Don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with the ups and downs of our relationship needless to say the fact that we’re still together after forty years says a great deal about my tenacity and courage, then again I might well be a masochist; but that’s not the point I want to emphasize.

The point is if I am to write about the second half (the last 40 years) I can’t ignore or pretend that the first forty years didn’t happen and that I didn’t  have another life with different people because I did and they cannot be ignored or forgotten.


 An English Australian Family

That’s the title of the “Family Tree” which you’ll find in the right column. Anybody can access this site to a point, without the code they can only gain full access to those that are dead, pictures etc. the living are protected from prying eyes for some reason which if I knew would probably strike me as a good enough reason.

Now as we know I had been married previously and there were two children from that union. The War Office and the three children have met both my son and daughter from that marriage although we have no contact with them now. The last I heard from my son was from England and now all trace seems lost.

My first wife , his mother died some 2 years ago and the “Trustee'”of her estate has been trying to find him without success, he seems to have disppeared off the face of the earth. My daughter from this marriage has 3 grown children from her failed marriage and they all live in Western Australia and I have never met them,  Claire my eldest child and I have been estranged for many years, although in the past 12 months or so some contact and rapport has been established. Claire and Sarah keep in contact, but my youngest pair have no inclination to form any sort of relationship with their half-sister.

This is the problem I’m now having when it comes to writing any form of memoir even just for the familys sake, nobody from the War Office through to our youngest, our son, are happy with that period in my life when I was marrid to someone else and with children from that marriage.

My sister and daughter Claire have both furnishished me with photographs of amongst others my first wife, photo’s to add to the “FamilyTree”, of course I had to edit some of the pictures as they were quite old and some faded. Being a cheap skate I use Picasa3 for all my photo editing work and naturally enough when it gets saved it gets saved to the Google Photo’s / Screensaver too.

Herein lies the problem; when I’m away from my computer for a while the Screensave comes on and there are well over 20 thousand photographs, many duplicated, stored in the Google thingy, now somewhere hidden amongst those 20,000 pictures there happens to be 6 or 7 of my first wife and you guessed it, out of all those pictures who does he War Office get to see when she came across my computer happily showing the pictures from my Screensaver.

Need I say more? Why she should have made mention at all is beyond my comprehension, me being a mere male, we have been together some 40 years, my first wife and I were together for less than 8, and the WO exclaimed. “Who’s that girl?’ when she saw one of the 6 or 7pics appear on screen.

 As if she didn’t know!

How then can I possibly write about the first ‘arf of my life and exclude a very important 20% of it? Theres my dilemma any suggestions as to how to overcome what I can see will develop into a very uncomfortable situation will be appreciated by yours truly.  🙂




8 thoughts on “‘arfn ‘arf

  1. Hello! I understand the difficulties, but ultimately, you must write YOUR experience, YOUR truth. Your past is what it is, and you need not edit it or apologize for it. It cannot be changed. Your loved ones are part of your life now. If they do not want to know about your first, early marriage, then they do not have to read about it. However, you must be true to yourself. That is not being selfish. That is being whole and honest. Best of luck!


    1. “Know thyself” the translation I believe that was carved above the entrance to the”Delphic Oracle”.

      I agree entirely with what you say Pamela but I tend to shrink from anything that may be construed as immodest, and somehow my truth I think would sound boastful, and really,I have nothing to boast about, except of course my children.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post I appreciate it very much indeed, and thank you, too, for the good wishes and encouragement,..Cheers Brian. 🙂


  2. John Pennington 27/08/2014 — 08:28


    I can’t contribute anything to lessen your dilemma, but, as the self-appointed family historian of my twig of the Pennington family, I can say that your recollections of your life and times that I’ve seen are exactly what should go into a family history.

    It’s a golden age for genealogy. The internet has removed much of the difficulty and made it much faster.

    Your humble servant


    1. Tongue in cheek with the m’lord bit I trust John; I couldn’t agree more with your view as to what should go in so I’ll bite the bullet and risk being ostracized by the War Office, Dopey Daughter and the rest of the brood who for some reason or other object to being named or mentioned on the Internet.

      Now where the hell is that damned butler? Jeeves come here man 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My advice, sir, is to grin and bear it. While no one younger than I in my extended family as ask me to be “the family historian”, there is worth in the effort. Indeed, it can only be preserved if someone jots it down. 🙂


    1. That seems to be the general opinion and is what I shall do, whether I’ll be grinning or not will be another matter but I shall try. Thank you for your comment and interest, greatly appreciated.

      Cheers Brian


  4. Brian, most of the time i believe the war office keeps her hands full dealing with you. As such she has surely earned her place in heaven, LOL. However in this instance I can’t agree with her. I feel that in order for your family history to be correct, It must include all years, Good or Bad. My mother was married before, Our family never counted that marriage, however it did occur,
    and my oldest brother was the results of it. My father raised my brother as his own, However as all of us became older we became very interested in that part of my mothers life. She didn’t like to discuss it, but she would tell us some, family told us more. We all feel that her first husband was a total Bastard and mom was lucky to be rid of him. My point here is.. that part of her life made her stronger and more human to us instead of just being Mom. So my opinion,(just like an asshole, everyone has one) is write everything, and make sure i get to read it all. Love ya Lisa


    1. Thank you Lisa I can always rely upon you for speaking out and stating your opinion, at times with great force. And always, always the truth.

      Love ‘ya’ right back Lisa 🙂



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