39,913 words to date
We were without power for a few hours today so I'm pleased with what I've managed in back tracking, deleting a few hundred words and writing from a fresh perspective. Reflection is good at any time or with any project, helping to reconsider and refocus, so losing power was beneficial to the writing process.
Excerpt from today
Between first settlement and the end of transportation, all new arrivals to VDL were either government officials, soldiers, new settlers, or convicts, of which the latter dominated in numbers as they were the initial primary industry of the island. At the expiration of their sentences convicts were free to begin a new life and many aspired to respectability, that basic human need to be accepted and valued by their peers and community, something most had never experienced before in a positive form. Some achieved this in their own lifetime, while for others it became a generational endeavour where, as families expanded, anomalies in behaviour kept some chained to the lifestyle of their forebears, where alcoholism, covert and overt criminal behaviour and outbursts of violence occasionally filtered through the genetic memory. Thus, in the Holmyard family the beginning union of two convicts in Hugh and Bridget, transported while little more than children themselves and lacking consistent and meaningful moral role modelling, there’s a magnification of the behaviours to overcome. Both showed a leaning towards using drink to anaesthetise their existence or as a diversion to the harshness of convict life in the early part of their sentences, suffering the consequences when caught. Despite this, both are deserving of admiration for the fortitude and resilience they showed in their exile from family and country of birth.
From the beginning Hugh showed his willingness to work hard as a ticket of leaver and as a free man, and while little is heard of Bridget after 1855, Hugh went on to make his mark on Elizabeth Town as a respected member of the community before his death 1906, leaving all he’d built in his lifetime to his only surviving child, Hugh Arnold.