I'm ashamed of parts of my family. Not the East End working class, council house/labourer's cottage, dirt-poor side of course; these are the ancestors (mixed with, whisper, some Roma blood) I grew up with; who inform and inspire my fanatical left-wingery.
No, the side of my family I'm ashamed of is the rich, colonial, plantation/factory-owning side, stuffed with ruthless capitalists, hanging judges and the sort of people who appear in Who's Who.
I had some good news the other day though. One of my grandmother's cousins has been doing research; she has discovered mingling with plantation workers in Jamaica: not a few of my antecedents were, well, swarthy. Apparently they explained this away by saying that their ancestors were survivors of the Armada shipwrecks...
As my brother said on hearing the news: "Well, I love rum n weed, so it kinda makes sense, know what I mean?"
© Simon M Hunter 2010