delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Phone call
delirium happy
Also, while I was writing up that last entry, my phone rang. Naturally, I picked it up.

"Hello?" said I.

"Um..." The voice on the other end of the phone was extremely tentative and uncertain. "Is that Mr. Walmsley?"

Given that my dad is co-owner of this property (with me and my mum) and given that his name appears on some of my bills, this is not surprising. I pause marginally, because I'm never sure what the best way is to quickly convey the fact that no, this isn't Mr. Walmsley, but it is his daughter, and I can happily deal with any business you might have with him.

"It's Walmsley, yes." I decide this is a reasonable answer to give.

At this point, there's a pause. The person on the other end of the phone is clearly confused. After a second or two, she hangs up. I shake my head slightly, hang up myself, and go back to writing my last entry.

I've had things like this happen before, typically when the person on the other end of the phone line is convinced that I'm Mr. Walmsley's 6 year old child or something. Seriously. This is one of the reasons I don't like my voice.

On the other hand, it was probably just some sales droid, and anything that gets me out of speaking to them has to be considered a good thing. If it was anything that's actually important, they can ring me back.

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I'd go for something firm, that puts them in their place ie.

"No, it's Miss/Ms/Rachel Walmsley and I own this property. How can I help you?"

Not the same situation of course but I always find it awkward if I answer the phone back at my parents and somebody asks for 'Dr White' given there are three of us to whom that applies. I usually say 'which Dr White are you after?' but it still sounds silly to me.

I am amused that you used the proper form of peers. As I recall, you have some ancestry in the peerage, yes?

I can assure you that any use of correct social forms on my behalf is entirely coincidental. Can I ask precisely what I managed to accidentally stumble upon?

Also, I'm not aware of any ancestry I have from the peerage. Well, except in the "all of Europe is descended from Charlemagne" sort of way.

A peer signs all correspondence and refers to himself in the third person whenever necessary merely by the name of his title — Lord Walmsley would answer the phone, "Walmsley here," although a lady who inherits the title in her own right would normally refer to herself as Rachel Walmsley, for reasons that I'm sure I cannot understand as a colonial.

So Charlemagne got around a lot?

In that case, I shall amuse myself by imagining that the insipid moron on the other end of the phone was actually well versed in etiquette, and upon determining that I was a peer she was overwhelmed at the thought of talking to someone so great and noble, and had to hang up in shock.

As for Charlemagne, it seems as if he did get around a lot, but that's not so much the point. He was around in about 800AD, which is to say 1200 years ago. If we assume an average generation to be 25 years, that means he was around 48 generations ago.

Now, given that we have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, and so on, it follows that 48 generations ago, we had 2^48 ancestors. Which is about 280 trillion. Obviously, the actual number is a whole lot less than that because of inbreeding, but you get a sort of 6 degrees of separation effect. You don't have to go as far back in time as you'd expect before you get to the point where everyone is either an ancestor of everyone who's alive today, or their line has died out entirely. I forget the details, but it's meant to be something like 6000 years ago that the most recent common ancestor of everyone on earth, including remote islanders, was alive (if you actually care, I can go dig up a figure and a citation).

But yes, whenever overzealous amateur genealogists proudly claim descent from Charlemagne, the correct response is to roll your eyes at them, snigger, and say "yeah, me too".

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