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English uses the same word for genetic inheritance, and the passing on of property. Distinct concepts? Well, somewhat.

Today seems to LJ Blocked Drain day; the upstairs loo was blocked, but 30 seconds work with the plunger fixed that, and nothing overflowed, so the clean-up was fairly simple. The plunger is old, but the rubber is unperished; it came from Great-Uncle John Wilde (1902-1987), the husband of the eldest sister of my maternal grandmother. There were four sisters in all, born 1898-1905 or so, daughters of a successful provision merchant called Tom Chesters in Nantwich, Cheshire. He had no sons, and sent all his daughters to university, but that's another story.

I barely remember John Wilde, and have no genetic relationship to him. He had no children, and his nieces and nephews are all in their seventies now. But I have a lot of his tools, which came to me through the coils of the family when I was setting up my first home. They paint a picture of a man who preferred solid to fancy, who didn't waste things that could be useful, who was careful, but not obsessive about it. He bought good tools and stored them reasonably; the saws all rusted, but hammers, pliers and boxes of nails and screws are all still fine.

Once I'd dealt with the drain, I took one of his hammers and one of his nails, and put up the presentation barometer his staff at Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley, Leeds, gave him when he retired as headmaster. Two years before I was born.

Family.

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