Monday, 29 September 2008

Monday Miscellany :: Missing

Last night I watched a programme called The World Strictest Parents. The title was a complete misnomer, tabloid tosh, designed to pull in plebs like me.

The programme featured two ostensibly awful teenagers – Charlotte and Sam – who were sent to Jamaica to live for a week with the Roses, a good Christian family who believe in Jesus, discipline and mucking in together. In reality, denied the opportunity to beat the English children as they obviously wanted to, the Roses weren’t really that strict at all. But that’s not really what the programme was about. It was more about what happens to teenagers when they’re taken out of their comfort zone (I hate that term) and given a taste of a very different lifestyle.

Both of them quickly learned to appreciate what they have. Most importantly, both of them quickly learned to appreciate their families.

At the end of the programme, they returned home to their families and the boy, Sam, a ginger who had previously been outwardly hideous to his mother, hugged her with all of his might and repeatedly told her that he loved her.

I surprised myself by weeping openly like a giant scab.

It was marvellous.

But then, I am a big girl’s blouse at the moment, and rather prone to bouts of debilitating self-indulgence.

What I should do of course is stuff my fist in my weeping maw and – much like those spoilt whining adolescents – realise how lucky I am.

Speaking of which, I recently discovered an astonishing blog, of which I have only, shamefully, read a small part. I started reading it from the beginning a couple of weeks and it made me laugh and cry in record time.

This, I thought, is exactly what writing is all about. Actually, this is what life is all about.

I’m talking about Alright Tit, which is a blog about what to do when life throws something hideous in your face. And this is not just something as trivial as an ugly mug and a pair of loveless parents. This is serious.

Basically, when Lisa Lynch was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to fight it, and she decided to write it. Thankfully she’s a glorious writer, and a fantastic fighter. And when real tragedy one day comes into my life, I hope I can handle it with such astonishing grace, aplomb and humour.

Read her blog at once. It starts here, with an apology.

I shall be reading the rest of it next week.

Also worth a visit is this guide to inter-gender communication. It doesn’t always hit the mark but there are some golden moments.


Finally, I have a question:

If you had to track someone down – someone no one in your family had heard of for almost 30 years and who, let's face it, could very well be dead – how would you go about it?

Thoughts in the comments, please.


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Anonymous said...

Google their name. Or try I'm sort of in a similar situation. I'm trying to find out what ever happened to Steve Calway from Bristol, UK. No one's heard from him in about 20 years. I'm not even that sure if I'd want to contact him if I did know where he was, or if he's alive, but I'd just like to know. So far I've had no luck though.

Maria in Oregon.

Anonymous said...

If it is a family member the salvation army are supposed to be good at helping you find them. I got a bit scared incase the family member didn't want anything to do with me.
I very much enjoy reading your site. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how it works in the UK, but in the US it's easy to search legal documents online. Court cases, real estate transactions, divorce, marriage, etc.

Short of that? i'd hire a pro. Not one of those on-line thingies, but a Real Dick. That's slang for Private Investigator over here. I just like saying it...

Mrs. Hall said...

I would start with a google search with their name + obituary.

Or their name + born in x city

Or their name + graduated x high school year + two children, etc.

If you have a general birth place add that two. If you have a state where you think they died, try that.

That should give you some kind of start. I found people this way.

o-in case you don't check your comments from the last post about Morag.

Here was mine:


I realize my thoughts are clouded by being such a fan of your blog and being a fan of you by proxy . . . .


This woman is no good.

I don't give a fuck what kind of bag of elbows you look like. She treats you like ugliness.

You are better than that BETE!

Better than fucking ugly Morag.

Seriously, grow up and realize what you have.


You and your piles are better than this!

And I am wearing pastle blue boy shorts with cherries on them.


Mrs. Hall

Anonymous said...

You're quite right about - anyone that loves your blog will love her blog too. You both make me laugh outloud and think about all the things that are good in life. Thanks.

Alright Tit said...

Lordy, well here's that £50 I owe you.

Seriously though, thank you thank you thank you for saying such bloody lovely things about 'The Tit'. That's high praise indeed.

Discovering your blog (via a reader of mine) made me feel all envious and out-done and apprentice-like – a bit like Hendrix when he first heard Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He felt compelled enough to cover the opening track two days after its release; I changed my Facebook status to 'Lisa has been out-blogged'.

caroline said...

Many thanks for the link to Alright Tit.It's superb and I'm well and truly hooked.

Someone tracked me down via the Salvation Army many years ago, I presume they still do finding lost family stuff.Good luck.

janetyjanet said...

* Google (don't be afraid to be creative with your search criteria)
* Friends Reunited
* talk to the family members involved
* Samaritans
* pay a professional - they probably also use similar channels but you're paying for them to do the legwork rather than you

but before doing any of that, ask yourself why - is it for your benefit, their benefit, someone else's benefit? When you've got your head round those answers and set your expectations accordingly, then proceed if you still want to...

Boz said...

That blog is seriously cool! I will be reading fully at the first available opportunity.

Selena said...

County Records should be available online- at least they are here in the US. Thanks for the link to Alright Tit her blog is marvelous and I will tell her so.

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