Now, I’m No Scientist …

It figures that somebody with a minimal appreciation for citrus colours would move somewhere the sunrises and sunsets are predominantly orange. 🙂 I do enjoy them but it doesn’t mean I plan to decorate my house with these hues.

It was also fate, I expect, that led me to live where one area in which I am truly deficient would be a significant handicap. First some context.

I’ve mentioned often that this isn’t a really large Island and it doesn’t have a big population. When I first moved here they estimated the number of residents at about 840. That has gone down and without the people staying here in the summer months it’s probably just over 700. I don’t think I’ve met everybody but I’m acquainted with most.

You are probably familiar with the genetic studies which have concluded that every living European is descended from Charlemagne. He was not the only prodigious contributor to modern DNA – Genghis Khan, Giocangga, and the medieval Uí Néill dynasty in Ireland (among others) have left their mark on a very large percentage of the population.

The top men in the pyramids were fond of impregnating a large number of women, who had many sons, who in turn had lots of partners of their own. From there the little bits of Y chromosome spread until (without any suggestion of inbreeding) common ancestors are, well, common.

I bring this up because, while my verbal memory is excellent, my visual requires a lot of assistance. Oh I know what my friends and family look like and if I meet somebody a few times I’m usually able to attach a name to their face. However, I find that I rely on clues for new acquaintances – such as face structure, colouring, height, age, etc. Once I’m more familiar with the individual it’s not an issue.

It is a problem if there is a seemingly endless population with the same visual markers. Endless in this instance could just mean a dozen or so, all encountered regularly in the same context (such as fishing), and all with the same superficial appearance.

To people who have known them all their lives I’m certain they look very different. However, to me, they could all be the same person.

At some point, early in this Island’s history when it was first being settled in the 1700s, a man from Ireland must have arrived on these shores. He was pale with a slightly rounded oval face and light red hair. He was reasonably tall but not over 6 feet. He went on to donate his DNA to various lineages on this rock.

The men look just like him. The women are similar but their hair is more coppery coloured. I find myself asking a friend who it was I was just talking to – frequently. Until I know them better it could be James or Aaron or Darren or any one of a number of others I’ve met before. It’s embarrassing. Don’t tell anybody – OK?

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