MY DNA Results

Ancestry, Family

If you’ve read my posts, some time ago I sent a saliva sample to 23 and me and received back a report on my ancestry as well as a report on my health traits. I was happy to find out that I am no more susceptible to alzheimers and cancer than anyone else. Anyway, the ancestry report looks at your DNA and highlights you ancestral origins. This turned up a few interesting points:

Breakdown

99.8% European (99.5% Northern European)

British/Irish 67.2%

French/German 8.4%

Scandinavian 1.4%

Finnish 0.2%

The numbers will never totally add up because there are a large number of genes that will only show as “Broadly North Western European)

Southern European 0.1%

Middle Eastern/North African 0.1%

Oceanian 0.1%

Oceania, including indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea and Melanesia, was inhabited tens of thousands of years ago by early seafaring people”

To put this into context the very low percentage items relate to three people in my family tree around six to eight generations ago that came from Finland, North Africa and Oceania, of course Oceania was not settled by the west at this time so we are talking about Aborigine, Maori, Tongan/Melanesian. This has given me a new challenge because while I can pinpoint the German and Scandinavian influx to my tree the Finnish, Oceanian and North African additions I am going to struggle with. Lets just say that these came in 9 generations ago, that equates to 512 8 x great grandparents and around 350 years ago, before parish records were fully established.

MY Maternal Haplogroup is V, this as the name suggests is inherited from my mother.

What this means:

Origin and Migrations of Haplogroup V

Recent evidence suggests that the members of haplogroup V descend from a woman who lived in Europe approximately 10,000 years ago. When her ancestors arrived in Europe is more of a mystery. They may have migrated to the west from the Middle East before the last great peak of the Ice Age, which occurred around 20,000 years ago. This wave of cold covered the continental interior in icy tundra and pushed Europe’s human population south into a few temperate enclaves in the south along the Mediterranean. Haplogroup V likely arose in one of these refuges in the Iberian Peninsula, or perhaps in southeastern Europe.

The geographic range of haplogroup V began expanding once consistently warmer conditions arrived about 11,500 years ago. One migration carried it northward along the Atlantic to a low-lying coastal plain rich in game and marine food sources such as seals and sea birds. Known as Doggerland, that region lies under the North Sea today – because so much water was locked up in the polar ice sheets during and immediately after the Ice Age, sea level was lower in the past than it is today.

Doggerland slipped beneath the waves about 9,000 years ago, but haplogroup V remains at levels of about 5% in countries that border the Atlantic and especially the North Sea. It is most abundant today in Scotland and northern Germany. A separate post-Ice Age migration carried haplogroup V through central Europe to western Russia and the Scandinavian Arctic.

Both Bono and Benjamin Franklin were Haplogroup V

My Paternal Haplogroup is R-L21 which is relatively common

haplogroup, R-L21, traces back to a man who lived less than 10,000 years ago.

That’s nearly 400 generations ago! What happened between then and now?
I have 295 Neanderthal variant genes in my make up, which is higher than 76% of 23andme customers. So there’s still a bit of caveman lurking around inside of me.
What the report does not show you is which parent your genes come from, but when compared with some cousins on my maternal line, an educated guess suggests that the North African and Oceanian lines are from the Honey line, although this is not a 100% certainty because of the vagueries of DNA. Your DNA is roughly split 50/50 with your parents, then 25/25/25/25 with your grandparents and so on, so 9 generations is divided up by roughly 5% per Great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparent, push that on another generation and you down to 2.5% per grandparent. There will even be variations between siblings, however this will be slight. When we get into second cousins it gets even more disjointed, I have info from three second cousins on my maternal side and I only share between 5% – 2% DNA.
Still awake?
I doubt it.
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They’re skin and craters like the moon

Alf, Allotment, Family

Bloody Christmas

I am fed up with Christmas already, don’t get me wrong, I am not a Christian nor do I follow any organised religion. So I’m not going to bang on about the commercialisation of it all, or how it is getting away from the true meaning of Christmas, because I’m not sure that there was ever a true meaning. I’m not knocking anybody’s belief system, but my own personal belief is that religion answered the questions science never had the answers for, it was also a very good tool for controlling the masses. For me Christmas is a time when on the whole people tend to stop being arseholes, if only for a couple of days, and it is a good chance to catch up with family and close friends, a couple of days off work helps this no end. Anyway, whatever sky fairy you follow, best wishes to you for the Christmas break.

Old Friends

I was contacted this week by the wife of one of my old managers. Peter James was the Transport Manager of a coach company my father and I worked at in Leyton then Mile End and in the end Stratford. Galleon Coaches started off as Essex County Coaches in the Romford Road many moons ago, they were incorporated by the Workers Travel Association which had ties to the unions. Anyway I worked for Galleon as a driver for about three years, in fact the tip money I saved help us buy our first house. I enjoyed my stint doing tours of the UK and Europe, but having grown up around coach drivers (incl my Father) I never wanted to do it for a living long term. Of all the people I have worked with over the years coach drivers seem to have the highest divorce among any of my friends or colleagues in other trades. Anyway, back to my old guvnor, Peter had been a driver courier for Galleon and got himself promoted into the office. Peter took a chance on me and gave me a coach and sent me off all over Europe with tourists and trusted me to read up on the history of cities and monuments and relay this back to the passengers. It makes me go cold sometimes when I think of what I got up to, I mean, who would trust a 23 year old with a coach and send them off to Germany with 53 people to look after. I earned some fantastic sums of money and if I had my time over again I wouldn’t change a thing. Peter died last year a couple of weeks before his 81st birthday, I will always remember him as a firm but fair boss who had a wealth of knowledge on touring, I am pleased to have known him.

Allotment

I can’t really get on with much at the moment, the ground is completely water logged especially after the recent snow. I am going to have to make some time to do a plan for next year. There are some vegetables I am going to give a miss next year.

Peas are the first ones, I have tried for two years and never had any luck.

Radishes, I have no problems growing these, it’s just that no one at home really likes them.

Things that did really well

Gherkins, I love these and I have so many pickle jars they’ll keep me going over the winter

Cucamelons, easy to grow and taste lovely

Courgettes, but that’s a given

Must try harder

Potatoes, really never got going this year, both crops

Brussels, disappointing very small.

Butternut Squashes, I did so well in 2016, rubbish last year, 2 squashes

Watch this space.

Other Stuff

I did say I was going to put up my DNA results, but I have completely forgotten about it, my next blogpost will cover the findings.

Toni and her boyfriend have just bought a flat in Harlow, not too far from the allotment, she is now working for House of Fraser in the marketing team. So pretty soon 3-4 weeks it will just be me and Mrs H at home.

I finally managed to get Odin, my dear old Landrover, through its MOT. It has been off the road for over 12 months due to restrictions on my time. But I bit the bullet and replaced all the brake hoses and pads and put it in for test. It passed first time but I got a couple of advisories on rust, so that will be my summer project.

A couple of pics

Left, Odin in the snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left: Alfie less than impressed with the weather

 

 

 

 

That’ll do for now, till the next time and you can find out why me and my siblings get very brown when the sun comes out, how I’m related to Bono and Benjamin Franklin and confirmation of my Scandinavian heritage, and more.

Behind the chalet, my holiday’s complete.

Allotment, Family

It’s been almost three months since I posted last and I doubt anyone would notice. I have been very busy with the allotment of late, and a few other projects have kept me busy.

DNA

I have been pondering having a DNA analysis done for some time now and in April I bit the bullet and bought a kit from 23andme. The kit costs about £150 and arrived in a very well packaged box. You produce a sample by dribbling into a tube, its a lot of dribble, once you hit the line you pour a liquid into the tube seal it up and send it back off in the packaging it was sent with, postage paid.

I tracked it’s journey back to the US via Holland and France and then you play the waiting game. There is a questionnaire you fill out when you register the sample which took some time, you then get a log-in to the website and you can look at samples of the reports. The company say to allow six to eight weeks for your results but in all honesty I received mine within four weeks.

The results were fascinating, the reports are web based and printable and easy to read, however some knowledge and research is needed to interpret some of the reports. You have an option of finding out hereditary health risks, I opted for this. While some of the results provided no surprises, I have a hand condition normally found in Scandinavia or in people with this ancestry, Vikings etc, so when Scandinavia showed up I wasn’t surprised. Some of the other locations were completely out of the blue. I’ll share the ancestry details on another page.

I also found out that on my maternal line my genes belong to the Haplogroup V. This group of genes originated in the last ice age in Iberia and then spread up the coast into Britain,  Sweden and Finland around 15,000 years ago. A piece of totally useless information is that I am (extremely) distantly related to Bono and Benjamin Franklin, still awake?

One of the options when to sign up is to allow your results to be matched with other people who have used the service, nothing is divulged, just matches found. You can swap info with members but this is purely your decision. When I ran this search it came up with over 400 connections, these are grouped by 1st to 3rd cousins, and so on. I have 4, 2nd and 3rd cousins on the list, one who I know, one who I know the family and two who I have no knowledge of the link. The spread is very wide and I have relatives all over the world. I have started getting in touch with them and have had a few share their information. The links are so far back that I don’t recognise many surnames, bearing in mind I have traced both sides of my family back nearly 300 years I know most of the names attached to the tree. Interestingly the name with the most common links to me have the surname parker, which I find really strange as I cannot find a Parker anywhere in my tree, I have a few theories on this but I only got the info a couple of days ago and it’s still a lot to take in.

Orient

For the first time in 136 years my football team has been relegated into the national league. The last three seasons have been very hard and highlights shortfalls with the EFL. Our chairman bought the club three years ago when we lost out to going up to the Championship league on penalties, and in that time he has been poorly advised, spent £10,000,000 on players, who were hopeless, decided he would pick the team and went through 11 managers in this time. We had an awful last season and set a record for the worst goal difference in the English league. As an act of defiance me and my son and around 1000 O’s fan stormed the pitch in the 85 minute of their final home game, the rest is reported in the media so I won’t go over it. We are currently praying that Becchetti finds a buyer soon and we can start the climb out of the lobster pot that is the conference league. If the club sells, I will renew my season ticket, but I am really reluctant to do this if he is still there, although I probably will.

Allotment

I’m not where I want to be, but I am progressing. I have plenty of stuff growing and yesterday I planted out my Celeriac. The greenhouse has been godsend, nearly everything I have on the plot started in here. I still need to work on my planning, this is harder than I thought. I’ll put some picture on when things green up a bit more. We had a bloke start up the allotment about two months ago, he took all day to clear a 6ft by 6ft square, planted some spuds and hasn’t  been back since. The old hands at the plot say they see it all the time, people come with all good intentions then once they work out how hard it is, disappear.

 

That’ll do for now.

 

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Down and Down there is no up

Allotment, Family, Orient

It’s been a mixed couple of weeks, I made contact with a couple of old friends recently, one of which was my best man and I have known him since junior school. Also a colleague who I worked with at TfL, he was the first (knowingly) gay man I worked with. He was such a funny guy and used to make my sides hurt if went out for a beer after work. In work they used to call us the odd couple, mainly because of my Alpha male appearance, and his very, very camp behaviour. He told me stuff I’d never heard of and there was always a story attached, many of which I dine out on now. He had HIV and he moved into the last stage and had to finish work, he picked up an illness which hospitalised him caught through contact on his travel to work, it was an infection only women suffer from. The doctors said it could have been picked up from a handpole on a bus or train, but his immune system was non existant now so it was in his interests to stop working. Thanks to the miracles of modern phones he got in touch with me through whatsapp! He has married and is now living on a Spanish island, it’s really great that he is still about, he sort of dropped off the Earth and no one could get in touch with him. Good to be back in touch Michael!

Plot 8

This week has been a complete washout, we have had so much rain of late I haven’t been able to do anything, I have tidied the greenhouse, planted some seeds in the greenhouse and that’s about it. I find it really frustrating because I want to get on with it.

Orient

We managed to get our first point this year away at Yeovil, things are very bleak in deed, we lie second from the bottom of League 2, and I fully expect Orient to either go out of the league or go intro administration or both. I can see no way out.

Family

I went up to see the in-laws this weekend, they both seem to be deteriorating, they are both heading towards their 80’s and health wise aren’t doing too well. We are going to try and get up there once a month, luckily Ian lives nearby and pops in as much as he can, Patrick stops up there every month or two and loves spending time with them, I do wish we lived closer though.

That’ll do for now.

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Dah Dah Dah

Allotment, Family, Florence, Orient, Radio

Flippin hell! a month has passed since my last blogpost. I sit here writing this after I have just booked ferries and hotels to make a road trip to Florence to visit my daughter before Christmas. The last time I went the return leg was through France, this time around I am going to go back up through Germany, but stopping in Karlsruhe on the way back. I had some fun times in this neck of the woods in the eighties. I won’t be visiting Westendorf this time as the family I normally visit will be away for December.The main difference between this trip and the last one is that I will be going out alone but coming back with Toni. She has been headhunted by a company in London so she is winging her way back home with me. I’m sad that she never stopped in Italy, but the offer she has had is very good and she will be able to get her own place when she settles down.

Allotment

Things have quietened down on the plot now. Last week the people with the stables next door delivered 6 cubic metres of manure. So I have been spreading this all over my now, mostly barren, plot. The Autumn raspberries fruited and I had some, but the frost took care of most of them. My Kale and Brocolli are still doing well and I have some cabbages on the go as well, but apart from that it is all quiet up there at the moment. We also had some good news this weekend, we took the plot over in June and we soon noticed that we had never seen anyone on the other half of the plot. I expressed an interest in the other half should it become vacant. Other plot holders told us that the tenant had not been near or by for over a year, but they had seen him around the town so knew he was still about. Anyway to cut a long story short we have now been told we can have the other half, although we can’t start on it until the paperwork is done. The plot had two apple trees and a pear tree on it, these have since disappeared once word got out that the previous tenant had given up. I am not really bothered about this as while the fruit was very good, the trees were planted a bit higgledy piggledy. This now makes it easier to plan out the whole plot.

Family

We had some good news, Lesley has worked either Boxing Day, Christmas Day or both for the past 13 years. This year she has them both off! This is great news for us and to add to that Toni will be home, I think we have the makings of a great Christmas.

Leyton Orient

The O’s are now getting lots of media attention for all the wrong reasons. Our form so far this year has been abysmal, we have only won one game at home this season so far, we are also on our third manager and it isn’t even Christmas yet. The sad thing is that from 1968 to 2014 we have had 12 managers, Francesco Becchetti took over in 2014 and we have had 8 managers. Morale at the club is at an all time low and the atmosphere in the stands is becoming toxic. We are playing Blackpool today and there are some planned protests, so it’s going to be fun. The O’s are in real danger of dropping out of the football league for the first time in its history. We currently have another Italian manager, who hasn’t worked since getting Sampdoria relegated 5 years ago. The man doesn’t speak a word of English and we regard it as another puppet manager just like the other Italian managers we have gone through. One of the concerns that has come out of recent rumours and radio interviews is that the Chairman is picking the teams for the matches, not good at all. We have also seen our favourite and most loyal player let go (just outside of the transfer deadline which stopped him working till Christmas) much to annoyance and bafflement of the fan base. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen next but you can’t help thinking that with that big lump of prime real estate that is the ground, there may be a plan to force Orient into the Vanarama so that they would have to sell the ground to survive. I will go on supporting the O’s wherever they end up, but it shouldn’t have to be like this.

Radio

The bands have been very flat as we trudge through the low part of the sun spot cycle. I did manage a CW contact with a station on the Island of Minorca (Javi EA6ALW) but I couldn’t hear the Serbian or Ukranian stations he worked before me. The conditions are very odd to say the least.

I haven’t been to the radio club since before June, so I will show my face next week at the AGM. I’m not sure why I have a lack of interest for the club, considering three years ago I was there every night and at every event and maintenance day. It may be that there are only a couple of member who I have anything more than radio in common with, it could be that I grew tired of listening to the people who do bugger all for the club moaning about the way the club was run. It could be the fact that once you’ve heard the same jokes and banter a couple of times it wears a bit thin. I will go next week, I will also re-join again, but I don’t have any plans to be a regular visitor.

Right that’ll do for now.

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I’ll be standin on the corner full of gin, when they bring your dead body in.

Alf, Allotment, Boat, Family, Work

Its been a couple of weeks since my last post, but that’s not to say nothing has been happening.

Allotment

I have finally got my last courgettes from the plot, I have now dug up both plants, they were starting to suffer from leaf mould and I don’t think they would have bore much more. I have turned over the soil and put some manure in.

The onions are now coming up and Christ they are strong.

I dug my spuds up, they make it look very easy on youtube but I don’t think I had a spud that hadn’t been spiked with my fork. I got about 5lbs from the plants and considering they grew from a couple of jacket spuds we didn’t eat I think it did well.

My butternut and St Johns Squashes are growing well and the St Johns ones are already being taken home. I have planted some winter potatoes, these should be ready for the Christmas table.

I have planted some Parsnip, Cabbage and Chard seeds into the little greenhouse and these are shooting up now. And my tomato plants have been planted out and are flowering.

We still haven’t heard anything about the other half of our plot yet, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

This weekend I went to one of my cousins to pick up an unwanted 6ft x 6ft glass greenhouse. I can’t wait to get it erected, this will give me a lot more options with stuff to grow.

I had a pretty stressful week at work last week and on Friday evening I went up to the plot for a few hours. I was amazed how de-stressed I was when I went back home at sunset.

Orient

I went to the last O’s match vs Yeovil, the game was atrocious and Orient wouldn’t have looked out of place on the Hackney marshes on Sunday, in fact I think there are some better players over there. At the end the fans were shouting Becchetti out at the gallery. Becchetti is the clubs owner, what happened next beggared belief, the chairman just waved the supporters quite dismissively which made matters worse,  and then to put the tin lid on it all the fans clapped and cheered the Yeovil players off the pitch after booing the Orient players off. We are playing at home again on Tuesday evening and the fixture has almost become a side line to the inevitable protestations.

Watch this space.

Other news

I had an interview last week and the feedback from the agency was that I am now a firm favourite, time to start thinking about what I want to do. I will have a second interview in a couple of weeks so I have time to consider this, but its strange. I am now responsible for 30 staff and three business units and I am having crisis of confidence, I know this is because of my age and the time I have spent with my current employer, but its still difficult all the same.

Toni has just returned to Italy after being in New York for fashion week and a few days spent in Santa Barbara on the west coast. I envy her, to be that young and be paid to visit these places, she’s a lucky girl.

Boat

We spent last weekend at the boat and the weather was perfect, Martha behaved herself and we had a good trip visiting some of our favourite places. Alfie hurt his leg while we were up there, but it is better now. I think he may have a weak joint or muscle as this keeps happening.

I bid you a good evening and what’s left of your weekend

 

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Your baby has gone down the plughole

Allotment, Family, Orient, Uncategorized

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since I last wrote, I’ve been to Belfast, Doncaster, Coventry and now have a new boss. We are now eating produce directly from the allotment and there is plenty more to come, so this week I’ll start off with an allotment update.

Plot 8b

My courgette plants are now putting fruits out every week, and they are a good size too, my cucumbers are growing well and I will be able to start picking them this week, despite having accidentally cutting through one of the plants while weeding. I picked 1.5kgs of plums from my tree this week, the plums were quite small and this was down to my reluctance to reduce the number of fruits when we first got the plot. It wasn’t a problem though, I made plum jam with the harvest, so I managed to learn something new.

We have started pulling the beetroots and I have pickled them, this went well and I managed to walk away without inflicting myself with red hands, the beetroots will be ready in about two weeks, by then I will have another jar to pickle.

We have a steady supply of lettuces and the carrots will be ready in about a week. I will also be able to start picking the kale from next week.

I now have three raspberry bushes, a tayberry and a loganberry bush, I have planted these in a row and have them wired to stop them going wild. I have also dug up the strawberry patch, I have taken some cuttings and these are doing well. I intend to replant these in a planter which I will put next to the path that divides the plot.

So everything is doing well on plot 8b at the moment.

Family

Unfortunately my in-laws who have been in the rudest of health ever since I have known them are going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, my mother in law who recently had part of her lung removed now has some complications. Add to that my father in-law has some issues now. Lesley has gone up to stay with them for a week. It’s a shame that having been active all their lives that they are finding the simple things difficult to do, I am hoping this is just a blip and things will settle down. The rest of the family are fine, Toni has no plans in her diary to travel anywhere in August, but has got a couple of US trips in September and October, she is going to try and fit a visit back to Harlow at some stage. Patrick is all over the place in his free time, he has a car now and he rarely stays in one place during his time off.

Canning Town

My last friend who lived in the area I grew up in has finally moved out, which means I no longer know anyone in the area. It feels a bit strange, I’ve never really left Newham although I moved away more than 20 years ago. I have no reason to go there now, although I will still pop back for nostalgic purposes it won’t be the same now Guiseppe has moved to Leigh on Sea.

Interaction

Someone actually contacted me recently and asked me about the titles of my posts, and one in particular “Are you digging my grave”

The titles generally come from lines from songs, I listen to a lot of music, as I drive a lot or spend a lot of time on my own with my headphones in. The post titles come from lines that have stuck in my head, nothing more nothing less. The title “Are you digging my grave” comes from a Thomas Hardy poem of that title. The poem comes from the book Satires of Circumstance. I like Hardy’s poems, they are dark and melancholic which often suits my mood. I have two first edition copies of Satires of Circumstance and Wessex and Past & Present Poems, which were written and published between 1890’s and 1912. My favourite Hardy poem is Wessex Heights, I must be going soft I don’t think I read a poem between 1975 and 2012 and now quite enjoy reading them. I supposed that’s the difference between being forced (School) and wanting to read.

Many thanks for the message, I cannot fathom why you would read this but thanks all the same.

Orient

The football season started the week before last and the O’s seem to have carried on where they left off, with two losses and a draw. I am still quite upbeat about this as the team is, in the main, new and they need time to gel. I think there is a lot of potential providing the behind the scenes stuff doesn’t get out of hand the way it did last year. I am back in seat M115, however I am on my jacks now as my neighbours John & Dan have moved up into the gallery, they asked me to move up there with them, but to be honest at double the cost of a normal season ticket, I really don’t think the O’s are worth it.

Until next time

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