It was suggested to me the other day by my uncle Hugh that certain comments I have written on this site about my failure to inherit a fortune from a certain relative might sound like sour grapes.
I have much respect for my uncle Hugh (notwithstanding the odd vagary in our relationship over the years). He has a point.
I have also described my relatives in rather scathing terms in another post here. Not really in the spirit of de mortuis nil nisi bonum. However, it’s not my intention on this site to honour the dead. The dead can take care of themselves. What’s that you say? Well, no, I suppose they can’t. But I should be very surprised if they cared what I wrote about them anyway.
On the other hand, living descendants of W. K. D’Arcy, the geezer who built a fortune but neglected to put any of it my way, might be discomfited by me niggling about this point. I have reasons for niggling which are all to do with an old family legend. It is said that on his death bed D’Arcy was writing his will, and decided to take care of his female relatives first. He did so, then promptly died before he got round to leaving handsome bequests to his male relatives (including my grandfather, his nephew). No wonder I feel hard done by – it’s all a mistake, I should be rich!!
Of course, the above is all bollocks. D’Arcy’s will shows no signs that I know of of being unfinished, and even if it had been I’m under no illusions that my grandparents and parents wouldn’t have been perfectly capable of dissipating any inheritance they might have had long before I got a whiff of it.
The truth is I actually have no real sense that W. K. owed me (or, to be fair to him – since he died about 50 years before I was born – owed my branch of the family) anything. Any sour grapes on that score would be more or less as rational as my feeling cheated that I didn’t have a glorious military career even though some other relatives of mine almost certainly fought at the Battle of Maldon.
Since the internet seems to be uniquely open to gross misinterpretation (hence the need for things like this every time you make a joke) I feel that I ought to make it clear that I have no ill will whatsoever towards my (great great) uncle Willie. If I give a different impression anywhere on this site, please – for god’s sake – take it with a large grain of salt.