The X Factor

Big Family Little Income Miss 12-8

Given a story Tracey tells where in high school she had a crush on a guy she found out just in time was distantly related, I suspect one of the things Tracey really liked about me was the fact I was from out of town.

This is what happens when the family grape vine says one of the first white baby boys recorded born in Gympie was Tracey’s great, great grandfather or something. And also why, when a local girl was discovered on The X Factor, there was a fair to middling chance she was going to be related to us as well.

The kids loved watching Caitlyn Shadbolt sing and voting for her. And telling everyone who’d listen how she was family. Albeit distant.

I had a similar thing when I was at school with Ed Devereaux, of Skippy fame.The only difference being it turned out, despite the identically spelled unusual surname, Ed and I weren’t related. At all. Lucky for him, I guess.

So what’s my point?  Well, this week a new girl arrived at Miss12’s school, and my daughter was thrilled to be one of the students chosen to show her around. Cut to today, when a group of girls were chatting, as groups of girls are prone to do, about likes and dislikes and boys and lippy and hair and Jaden Smith and stuff. Actually the content of their conversations may differ – I have no idea what girls talk about.

But they did, at some point, discuss music.

“I like Caitlyn Shadbolt,” the new girl said. “Actually, I’m related to her.”

“Hey,” said one of the other girls, turning to Miss12. “Aren’t you related to Caitlyn Shadbolt?”

“Fifth cousins,” grinned Miss12.

They all looked at each other.

“But that means you guys….”

“Are related!”

They worked out they were fifth cousins as well. Miss12 didn’t say as much when she related the story to us at dinner tonight but I’m picturing squeals and hugs and OMG’s and much flapping of hands and comparing of lip gloss. No idea why, but that’s how it’s playing out in my head.

But the odd revelation didn’t end there.

“You’ll probably want to meet the rest of your family who go to school here,” she told the girl, and called her cousin over.

So this lovely young lady has gone from being all alone to being related to a percentage of the student body. And because the number of Devereaux’s we’ll be pumping through the school in the next few years, that’s a percentage that’s only going to increase.

But then I suspect, given the time Caitlyn’s family has been in the area, there are many bushy family trees around here with Caitlyn perched on high and unnecessarily pretty branches.

After hearing the story tonight, Master24’s girlfriend Charlotte said, “Oh, there’s a girl at work who’s related to Caitlyn as well.”

“Which means…” I started, waiting for the penny to drop. It didn’t.


“…that she’s probably related to us as well.”

“Oh, yeah,” said Charlotte. I could see her mind working through this information, and I had a fair idea what she was thinking, but I wasn’t quick enough to stop it. “Wow, Gympie really is-”

“-a close-knit community,” Tracey finished for her.

“That’s what I was going to say,” grinned Charlotte.

Which is why it’s probably preferable, when Miss12 starts dating, she does like her Mum and seeks out newcomers to the area….

…and even then, asks pretty early in the piece if they happen, for whatever reason, to be big fans of one Caitlyn Shadbolt.

Big Family Little Income Miss 12-14
Miss12 demonstrating why it’s important to do background checks on potential boyfriends 

Big Family Little Income Miss 12-13

Tracey and I once sat next to a girl on an international flight for 9 hours, only to discover she was engaged to my cousin. Do you have any similarly ‘small world’ stories?

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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