Although I am Scottish born and bred, I have never been bound to Scotland or by it.
In our family line, as in our next-door neighbours, there were those who worked abroad all their lives and often died there. There were uncles and aunts in India, Africa and Malaya, returning on furlough by boat at three-year intervals. Tanned, at ease they sailed home, replete with tales.
A great uncle skippered a sailing ship to trade with Archangel. Twice, the harbour froze over and he had to winter over there. It made me oddly proud to be told that I resembled him, as if I too, had shared in unimaginable White Sea adventures.
My mother’s grandfather sailed for Argentina with two sons in 1887 to build a railroad there. Never was he heard from again. Two resolute aunts emigrated to Boston after the first World War taking their husbands…
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