Bitch on the Blog

March 24, 2017

Hop Scotch

What of the theory that certain character traits and talents do tend to skip a generation? Do you think it bollocks or can you cement the above with examples of your own life’s experience?




  1. I used to have red hair, and my grandpa had red hair, but not my dad. I’m an artist, and my grandma’s an artist, but not my dad. So, yeah. It happens.

    Comment by Shoshanah — March 24, 2017 @ 11:48 | Reply

    • You “had” red hair? Someone once told me that red heads don’t go grey/white. Unless you are my sister whose original hair colour, it wasn’t red, no one remembers.

      I did pay attention when our biology lessons covered genes. Particularly overriding genes. So, for instance, my son, the Angel, should – by rights – not have blue eyes. But he does. By genes theory he should be as short sighted as a bat (don’t ask) yet has the vision of an eagle. How come? Crazy stuff.

      Anyway, must check out your artist – not that I haven’t indulged in the occasional glimpse on your blog. You know what I wonder about: Where do artists take the patience from? It’s a serious question. I appreciate art, name me the genre I will pay attention, yet to think of doing any of it myself? Or, maybe, like a cave woman I do expend energy on some sort of “art” without even noticing/acknowledging it. Let me know what you think.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 27, 2017 @ 13:39 | Reply

      • My red hair has turned blond with age- blond instead of gray. So, you’re right, sometimes redheads don’t go gray!

        Art doesn’t feel like it takes much patience. Annoying things take patience. Art is fun.

        Comment by Shoshanah — March 27, 2017 @ 13:42 | Reply

  2. My mother was fond of telling us how good she was a t maths and saying, “I cannot understand how a child of mine does not want to study Maths.” Her sister, my maiden aunt, informed me that she was even better at maths. Both had a very limited view of the subject.

    Eldest child of ours went to Cambridge University to study Maths having ac hieved (they tell me) A level scores in the top ten in the country… he then changed to ComSci (Computer Science).

    Not just skipping a generation but a hop and a jump too….. as for me, I really enjoyed teaching the subject I disliked at school to Primary School Children and combatting their (too often inherited )fear of the subject.

    It seems also that dyslexia can also skip a generation.

    Comment by magpie11 — March 24, 2017 @ 11:49 | Reply

    • Congratulations on your son. The power to understand mathematics not to be underestimated.

      Funnily enough (coincidental) only this afternoon I dug up some of the Angel’s earliest and meticulous notes (early 1998 – he was six and a half). Out of volition, not solicited, he’d written down what can only be interpreted as an intimate interest in numbers. I remember being baffled at the time. Had I put a future accountant into this world? A new Einstein? Someone who likes order? Someone who, most disciplined, will see a job through to its end even if takes forever? Leaving Einstein and accountancy aside, the answer is: Yes. He is a whiz with numbers, not least the intricacies of economics. And if you ever wish to learn why statistics are so misleading (mainly because people don’t understand the concept) do talk to him. My heart sang. The echo still reverberating.

      Your mother (as does her sister) sounds a little testing.

      I don’t know much about dyslexia – though one journalist I revere for his writing (A A Gill – now dead) apparently was dyslexic. The irony.

      One, four, nine, sixteen, twenty five, thirty six, fourty nine, sixty four, ninety one greetings (I particularly like twelve times twelve),


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 26, 2017 @ 01:52 | Reply

  3. My uncles and aunts have often told me that I have inherited my grandmother’s nature! I don’t have grandchildren to offer a personal observation,

    Comment by rummuser — March 24, 2017 @ 13:06 | Reply

    • Kylie, in her comment, mentions “confirmation bias”, a concept I’d totally forgotten about. I therefore take it that the nature you inherited from your grandmother is a most benign.

      And, yes, I do realize you don’t have grandchildren. But what of your son? Do you see anything particular of your or Urmeela’s parents in him. Or is he just who he is?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 26, 2017 @ 01:58 | Reply

      • He is very much like one of his maternal uncles in character traits and behaviour, The uncle who was my friend who introduced me to his sister who I eventually married!

        Comment by rummuser — March 26, 2017 @ 15:21 | Reply

  4. apparently my elderly brother (now dec’d) and I were like “2 peas out of the same pod” but neither of us understood that until later in his life (his wife also then dec’d) became friends – we had lived quite separate lives as you can imagine around 21 years between us. We actually did a lot of the same things during our life, and probably I’m still doing the kind of things he did when he was in his 60s. Our other siblings didn’t even live like us, nor have the same type of thinking… I don’t where our sameness came from because of the situation I have found myself in – my parents died some 40 years ago, and I never knew my grandparents and now there is only the doddery 90old left and she was jealous of bro & I – everything is a secret!

    Comment by cedar51 — March 24, 2017 @ 19:50 | Reply

    • Twenty one years age difference? That is quite something.

      “Two peas in the same pod”. That is such a lovely concept, Catherine – in many ways like a homecoming. My mother likens me and my brother – we were born four days (nine years apart) in the same month. She is right to some extent.. Say, we are both reliable and, no doubt, share many other traits, not least of our star sign, and yet and yet and yet – our interests couldn’t be more different. But then, I suppose, interests have nothing to do with how we approach life on a day to day basis.

      From your narrative I gather that you lost your parents at a young age. And for that I am sorry. Not the easiest card to be dealt by life.

      As to “secrets” – my dear Catherine, if there is one poison even I am (barely) able to ignore it’s “secrets”. And, speaking from experience, if you do have one [a secret] keep it a secret. The secret of secrets is to never ever even let on there is a secret for others to stick their nose into. Masterclass.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 26, 2017 @ 02:14 | Reply

      • Bill wasn’t the eldest sibling – there is 25 years between and the eldest (who is still alive, doddery though)…

        yep they (parents) were gone before I had turned 25 – that near on 40 yrs ago….

        Comment by cedar51 — March 26, 2017 @ 21:35 | Reply

  5. I can see that some traits will not be apparent in the offspring but may be apparent in the grandchild but I don’t really believe in the “skip a generation” thing.
    A lot of traits seem to show up randomly across an extended family and sometimes that will be in the grandparent and grandchild. when that happens confirmation bias will assume it has skipped a generation but you know, if you started saying traits were passed from aunt to nephew the similarities in that relationship would be the ones we would notice

    Comment by Kylie — March 25, 2017 @ 04:30 | Reply

    • Thank you, Kylie, for reminding me of “confirmation bias”. Had completely forgotten about it. Such a useful concept we should be aware of by default.

      You have such a refreshing way of being sceptical, maybe even suspicious, it makes me smile.

      “Randomly” yours,

      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 26, 2017 @ 02:19 | Reply

  6. I cannot say – there are no family members I am in contact with to suggest I am the same as or dissimilar to anyone. My birth father’s family will not speak to me at all so in that case, who knows

    Comment by Chuck McConvey — March 25, 2017 @ 15:02 | Reply

    • When you say “birth father’s family” am I correct in assuming that he didn’t play much of a role in your life if any? It happens. Possibly the harshest way of getting one’s first taste of rejection. A friend of mine was adopted, and once he’d had set his mind on it to find his mother there was no stopping him. And then he found her. He was in his early thirties at the time. It was awful. His mother “rejected” him AGAIN (he was sworn to silence as her husband had no idea of her son’s existence). After which that man’s life unravelled on all fronts. It was tragic. Eventually, no one, not even my friend’s wife, knew what had become of him. Disappeared off the face of the earth.

      Whilst I did bring up the original subject of traits skipping a generation I myself am sceptical if there is any substance to it. It’s a bit like Kylie said: If you want to find a correlation you sure as hell will.

      And, not an afterthought but an important thought: Let’s remember that those traits people remark on as “just like your grandmother” are not necessarily flattering. Oh dear.

      Different with “talents”. Because, unlike a character trait, a talent for something is actually tangible. As is a “passion” for something – it’s recognizable. So, for instance, the Angel (to my chagrin) has hope that one day, probably when he is an old man (?), he will buy a motorbike and travel across Outer Mongolia. Brilliant. Makes any mother’s heart sing. Particularly as it’s highly unlikely I’ll still be around to pick up the pieces. And who springs to mind? One of my uncles. Now, most my mother’s many brothers were hellraisers in their own way, yet one stands out. Let’s hope that the Angel’s good fortune will balance the books in his favour and make me not turn in my grave.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 27, 2017 @ 13:08 | Reply

  7. Like Chuck, I can’t really say. I didn’t know my grandparents that well so I couldn’t say if some characteristic skipped my parents and alighted on me. Certainly I didn’t inherit my grandfather’s commercial acumen. I’ve never been more than a humble wage slave.

    Comment by nick — March 27, 2017 @ 09:30 | Reply

    • Thing is, Nick, it’s not actually us, ourselves, who see a characteristic in ourselves traceable back to a previous generation. It’s others who may (or, best case scenario, do not) point similarities out to us. Suddenly you look at a drunk uncle or a mad aunt in a new light.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 27, 2017 @ 13:29 | Reply

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