What do we want?

Has the beast shattered our dreams?



Steve without a doubt, I’m sure I’d be in love with you if we met! Your culinary skills aside, your wit and humour genuinely makes me smile broadly, if not actually laugh out loud.

The attitude of a smelly fart. Now that is an unforgettable phrase and one I’m relishing the prospect of using sometime soon. Your reminiscing takes me back to my own childhood days, in a very different Ireland than the affluent country of today.

Born to older parents in 1960 and the youngest of five by 10 years, my growing up years were a varied mix of hearing 50’s and 60’s music and from hearing about the Skiffle groups the Show Band era. Listening to the classical music that my mother loved, on the old “wireless”. Surrounded by older people coming and going, I had a maturity and vocabulary that belied my years.

We too had a piano in the living room, next to the table where we ate. (Our “kitchen” was in fact a scullery, until dad had the extension built). My eldest sister had music lessons and decided to rebel and gave up, at the highest level. My mother and siblings could all play by ear and on rare occasions that piano would get a hammering. Anything from Ragtime and Boogie Woogie, traditional Irish music to the theme tunes from the great musicals might be heard. Try as I might I simply could not master the piano. I had lessons from a very patient elderly Nun in the school, but despite being able to play the scale and a few basic finger exercises on it, I was not able to get it together. Even she thought it a lost cause. Guitar,Harmonica, Tin Whistle…even Banjo when I met my husband… I always wanted to play an instrument but it never happened. Such a shame, as I have a fine voice and would love to entertain myself at times.

I left home aged seventeen. My siblings had flown the nest to Universities and Training Colleges and I found myself an only child at nine years of age. My teenage years began in 1973 and my ideas of growing up and blossoming, were very different to my ageing parents. Despite doing very well in my final exams, I had no desire to further my education academically. Stifled by my strict Catholic upbringing, I packed my bags and left for the UK. I wanted freedom and adventure. That didn’t happen. I foolishly married months before my 19th birthday. Insanity is all I can liken it to. Divorce followed later and I was a lone parent, aged 26 with two young children. What happened to the Adventures I had sought?

Remarried and happy, twenty eight years later it was time to return to Ireland. My heart had never left. Finally, in 2009 I went abroad on my own for the first time!. It was to be the beginning of a whirlwind of small adventures for me, at last! My husband had no interest in foreign travel but was happy and secure enough to let me go solo, for weeks at a time. In the following six years I travelled to Cyprus, twice, most of the Canary islands too many times to remember, Crete and Santorini, Turkey, Canada… These were not “sun holidays” where I lay on a beach, though I managed some of that too. These were times where I travelled by public transport, explored the surroundings, engaged with the people, locals and ex pats from all walks of life, some of which I am still in contact with today. The freedom and adventures were exhilarating. I wanted more! I was making plans to walk the Camino de Santiago, doing the necessary research. I also had a notion of travelling to Bali or India to take a deeper look at the Yoga that I was practising. However this blasted condition took care of those plans. I had only just returned from four weeks away. A week later saw me hospitalised with right side paralysis. The adventures were over before they really had begun.

Moral of the story…? Do what you can, while you can, and when you can, because none of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Do what you want!..well, within reason.

Has the Beast shattered our dreams you ask? Well yes, it has mine. My dreams of the future, but it can’t shatter my dreams of the past and nothing can take them away.

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Thank you Poppy.

Playing the piano was my passport out of the tedious life. My parents would have been happy to see me working in an office but I persisted in the teaching. So worth it.

Steve x

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Thanks for the story of life.

I’m still doing as much as I can. I’ve got to have radio and chemo before an operation to remove a nasty little bit from my rear end. But in September, I’m going to New York. Then my mate is moving to Oz, so I’ll be going there.

Steve x

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Story of life. Hmm. I got a little carried away didn’t I? More surgery Steve? I thought you’d done. The radiotherapy is exhausting. That on top of the fatigue was a wipe out for me. You’ll get through it because you have to. New York! Wow. And Oz. Now that’s ambition at it’s finest. All the best,on this lazy Sunday afternoon. x

thank you Steve.

i always enjoy reading your blogs.

poppy’s too.

i desperately need an adventure, preferably in a warm climate.

these cold winds are causing a lot of pain in my legs.

the spasticity has gone mental.

anyway i tend to dream of the good times whilst refusing to believe they are no longer possible.

being a stubborn mare has it’s benefits!!