The Honourable Branair Clan
FATHER Tighearnán (TEER-nawn) is a very busy man indeed. The second son of his predecessor, he never for a moment expected to inherit the title. After leaving school he got a degree in Geoscience, and he settled down into a blissful life of work and marriage to the love of his life, Aignéis, whom he had met at university. Not long after the wedding Aignéis became pregnant, and soon gave birth to a healthy baby boy: Ruaidhrí. Many years passed, and Aignéis gave birth to another child, this time a beautiful baby girl, Aoife. When Aoife was four tragedy struck; Tighearnán's brother and his wife were killed in a car crash, leaving behind their two young children. As a result Tighearnán was forced to take over as the head of the estate and as a father to his nephew and neice; Oisín and Meadhbh.
It took a while, but Tighearnán eventually found a healthy balance between the management of the Buckley Estate and his roles of fatherhood. On the rare occasion he has time to spare, he can often be found in the garden, tending to his beloved plants - some of which are very rare due to the Estate being an official botanical garden.
MOTHER Aignéis is perhaps the most caring and intelligent woman in the whole of Rut! A straight "A" student in school, she graduated with a Maths degree and then pursued teaching her favourite subject, founding the Fallow Community School with her university chum Arthur. Undertaking both the roles of maths teacher and headmistress, she has an awful lot on her plate, but she somehow manages to look her family, and has even got a book published on her favourite branch of mathematics!
Aignéis is very caring, and strives to make sure that all the children in Glen Fallow receive an adequate education and that they enjoy it! She is also a very strong woman, and she is constantly finding new charities and initiatives to fundraise for. It seems like every week she is having another bake sale for this or that!
BROTHER Ruaidhrí (RU-ah-ree) is an aspiring artist, who is constantly painting - and if he doesn't have a paintbrush or paper he simply paints in his head; the rolling hills of the Glen, the shining Loch, the craggy munroes... He inherited his mother's intelligence, but his imagination often leads to lack of focus, and he has to be reminded - often - to pay attention in class!
Ruaidhrí is very patient, but he is quite sure that anyone would sometimes be brought to the end of their tether if they, too, had to share a bedroom with a cousin like Oisín.
Currently, Ruaidhrí is in the midst of a grand cross-curricular project with his father, documenting all the plants and flowers of Glen Fallow in watercolours. The local publicist even hinted an interest in publishing it when it's complete!
SISTER Aoife (EE-fa) is a quiet and diligent girl who loves to read, wander and swim. In fact, swimming is her all time favourite thing, and she often ponders that she was probably supposed to be an otter, but somewhere down the line someone must made a mistake. She's thankful for the error though, as she loves her family to pieces, and is equally adored by them. In the same way she is idolised by her younger sister Faye, Aoife looks up a great deal to her older cousin Meadhbh, and shyly tries to emulate her without arousing suspicion of being a copycat.
Since starting secondary school, Aoife has been under an awful lot of pressure. As well as having to keep up with her stacks of homework, she has joined the regional swimming squad for her age group and has to train 6 times a week at the swimming pool in the larger town of Rutshaw - quite a distance to travel to 5 times a week! Somehow she is struggling through, but she frets occasionally about how she will manage when she progresses to the older age groups, and has more training. She's faced with the prospect of having to board in Rutshaw during the season, returning home only for holidays, which she can't pretend doesn't bother her a lot.
COUSIN Meadhbh (MAY-iv) loves to be active, and hates being cooped up indoors. This proves a problem when it comes to school- she lacks motivation for anything other than P.E., and her teachers often express irritation that a girl with such potential simply doesn't put any effort in. She spends most of her time out on a bike ride, and would happily camp overnight in the woods on her own, if only her aunt and uncle would let her! She's been roped in to Ruaidhrí's project, as he realised he could make use of her constant travels and exploring to discover new plants and flowers. She has been instructed to pay attention to the wildlife around her now, instead of whizzing down the trails and hopping her bike over knobbly tree roots. Meadhbh is surprised to actually be enjoying her new search for Ruaidhrí, but of course, she'll never tell him that!
BROTHER Oisín is a speedy little rascal, as Tighearnán is often wont to say. He started athletics this year and has been streaking round the track at an impressive pace, booking PB's almost every week. His coach Ken has hinted that if he keeps training and is careful not to get injured, he might qualify for a place in the regionals in a couple of years!
When he is not running or whizzing about the village on his little red bike, Oisín's pastimes include playing with his toy cars and generally getting on the nerves of Ruaidhrí . He's learnt his boundaries though; once he ruined one of his cousin's paintings and Ruaidhrí went into an unprecedented rage. Oisín certainly won't be doing that again!
BABY Faye is a sweet little girl who is friends with everyone. At nursery, if she ever sees someone upset or crying, she will stop what she is doing immediately and go over to comfort them. She adores her sister Aoife, and often trails behind her and tries to join in. Fortunately Aoife is very patient, and the two sisters get on swimmingly.
Faye is looking forward to big school, when she can have a little more freedom. She's especially excited to learn how to read, because then she can read her stories all on her own!
This family live in Branair Manor, a large, green-roofed property on the crest of the hill, where their expansive estate looks down upon the rest of the village.
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- Barker golden labrador
- Blackthorn bear
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- Chocolate rabbit
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