Who were your ancient ancestors? Where did they come from? Are you truly 100 per cent Catalan or Dutch, or French or....?
Here I sit, cocooned in a mountain valley in the timeless Priorat, British-born, Catalonia-committed, alarmed by the jingoism and racism in my old country that's been stirred like mud from the bottom of a deep pond. The divisive and depressing Brexit vote on Europe seems to be more and more about identity, like a host of destabilising face-offs around the fractious globe.
I rub my chin, fret about the disharmony and, subsequently, relevantly, wonder who I really am. No, I mean, who I REALLY am. Where on Earth did I come from?
I'm increasing lost in the grim fog of realisation that the older I get the less I know, chiefly about myself. English? There's not a lot to go on. Oh, there are the hand-me-down ancestral explanations from old relatives (now unable to expand on their theories of the bloodline) which have always been itchy as well as uncomfortably, ludicrously vague.
Like a lot of people I've patted myself on the back, metaphorically, for having managed to edge my way backwards for five generations along the lowest branches of the family tree, but the height was hardly dizzy. I'm barely off the ground, while above me balloons the monumental Martin Kirby oak of existence, the canopy of which, of course, is out of sight, towering to the beginning of all life, an oak no more or else staggering than yours, than that of each and everyone one of us.
Oh come on. It's got to have played on your mind at some time. Who were your ancient ancestors? Where did they come from? Are you truly 100 per cent Catalan or Dutch, or French or....?
Most probably not, of course, but what are the answers? I'm labelled as English, but what about the Welsh and Scots lineage, or even the confident but never substantiated romantic tale of Iberian blood? And my name is Viking, apparently, not that I've ever felt duly embolden or inclined to don a helmet with horns.
Toni Alba got me thinking during his brilliant “Ser or no ser Catalans?” book tour when he mused on our origins and the great journeys and tribal blending that were the making of us.
And another reason I am preoccupied is because it is September, the month of my birth, and I'm about to blow €100 on myself, the inner me: My DNA to be precise.
By the time you are reading this I should have the answers, just like the jaw-dropping volunteers in the DNA analysis short film now seen by more than seven million people. Frankly, everyone should see it. Search on YouTube for Momondo – The DNA Journey.
I despise racism which I'm sure puts me in the vast majority. Imagine if we all knew exactly how diverse and glorious all our histories are, how connected we truly are. No more talking then of majorities and minorities. We would be the one human race.
PS I promise to share my results.....