Image: TJ Paris
When Uncle Joan built the windmill in the back yard most of us thought he had well and truly lost his marbles. He was a strange relative. He was adamant we had ancestral ties to the little known Dutch pirate Klaus Vander Bergernfries, whose only claim to fame was sailing his ship out of the harbour and blowing himself up in an attempt to find treasure he believed was in the bottom of the harbour.
Uncle Joan who in my childhood was Uncle John had a lot of issues, so my mother said, identity being one of them.
Once the windmill was built he spent an inordinate amount of time locked inside writing his own version of the Bergernfries saga. So much of it he made up, if not the whole lot for I could never find any record of a pirate by that name. But it never deterred him, he dressed as a pirate and had an “Ahhhhhh” anyone would be envious of.