There are memes flying around there which involve revealing interesting things about one that people might not know. This isn't a meme, but I've been reminded of four interesting things about my mother's family that aren't widely known, unless you happen to know me well.
The first is that we have a saint in the family; an ancient Irish one. Her name is Findclu (though she is usually known now by her patronymic, which is much better known), and she lived at some indeterminate time between St Patrick and the high middle ages. But apart from the fact that she founded a convent of nuns in the West of Ireland we know nothing else about her, except that she was venerated round about for hundreds of years.
The second interesting thing is that the family have a lake (lough) named after us in the same area.
The third thing is that one of my ancestors was supposed to have fallen in love with and married a swan from the same lough. He displeased her by bringing some undesireable guests home after a day at the races, and she cooked them a meal, then took her feathers out of a chest and went back to the lough, having kissed her children farewell. The lough is still occupied by large numbers of swans.
One last interesting thing is that, my mother's family having a history of weakness of the liver, another saint gave to the eldest male in another family the power of curing the liver problems in my mother's family, but of nobody else's. A sort of private health insurance, one might say. This healing family took it very seriously; there was a kind of ritual involving lots of prayers and, er, a sledge hammer. No, I'm not having you on. I gather the sledge was waved over the body in some arcane way (the chap had to be strong!) and, hey presto, one's liver was cured for life. The last member of my family to have it done was my Aunt Agnes, who died some ten years ago (her liver was fine); all the members of the curing family have now also died, so I guess I'll have to stick with the Alka Seltzer after the excesses (there were not very many) of Christmas.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because today, 29th December, is St Findclu's feast day. And so in our family at least, today she tends to overshadow that other great saint, Thomas of Canterbury.