But my roots are much more widely spread than just in the paternal line. This family lives in the European diaspora from Scotland to Provence. My mother, Paulette Abecassis, is from a Jewish north African family. My father, Henry Hay Grassick, was born to parents who were first cousins via the maternal grandparents – the Bowies of Linlithgow. And my wife Beatrix is German.
The Second World War brought us all into existence. Poignantly, my father landed in Algiers in November 1942 as a member of Operation Torch, the action that probably saved my mother from the Nazi machine for which my wife’s father was fighting.
This site explores and celebrates the diversity of my family, and considers some of the strange questions of identity that a history of rootlessness can produce.