Auntie Nancy finally goes down aged 104

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The man behind the song: Where We’ll Never Grow Old

I had to smile this morning as I heard my wife, A, shouting up the stairs to K, as our daughter thumped around her bedroom shoving the last bits and bobs into her already bulging schoolbag.

“Do you want rocket or iceberg lettuce with the ham in your sandwich?”

‘What would Auntie Nancy have thought?’ I wondered.

We buried my Auntie Nancy yesterday.

At the age of 104 — yes, 104 — Nancy Reidy, nee Sheppard, had finally stooped to fate and rejoined the two great Jims in her life, husband and eldest son, in the family grave in Templemore, Co Tipperary.

Leaving behind her a dynasty and a legacy of fortitude and spirit.

Her remaining son and daughter, Sean and Mary (her other daughter Alicia died a few years ago), and sprawl of nephews, nieces, son and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren, including the latest, a red-cheeked toddler girl in a buggy, strained to see as the priest said the last words at graveside.

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Our little boy walks to school and beyond

 

fleetwood_mac_thunder_only_happens_2So there I was performing what must have looked like some weird CPR procedure as I force-palmed a bunch of newspapers into the already brimming green bin at the side of our house. I looked up and my own heart could have done with some extra ventilation as I spotted my son O loping down the long straight stretch of path that leads to  phase one of our housing estate.

The pang in my chest felt as real as any ailment as I watched our 12-year-old, his back to me, long strawberry blond hair glistening and swaying in the low winter sun, all the way to the corner where he turned down the avenue. He was on his way to school, and beyond.

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“Get Dad, he knows”

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One boy and his dog: Bella and O chill after O’s return from school

“Where’s Bella?” asked a sleepy O, pushing his blonde mop back from still-closed eyes,  when Mom came in to call him again for school.

Mom didn’t know.

 “Get Dad, he knows …”

So, where was I just then … which of my many morning jobs was I engaged in  … maybe I was putting on Mom’s egg, and the kettle was nearly boiled for her coffee.

Hah, you see, they don’t know all the stuff work-from-home Dad is doing, especially when they are just getting themselves sorted for school and my wife for her work, until things go wrong, or something ruffles the surface of the morning school day routine in our house. Continue reading

Thread softly – you thread on my words

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I have been blundering along for the last few weeks, trying to promote my Jo Blogs thread on Mondays on the Irish Bloggers Facebook page. Being positive, it’s proving to be a slow build. And that’s okay.

The loose idea was/is a non-commercial, affiliate-free space for people like myself who want to share their thoughts and ramblings on life the universe and nearly everything.

I suppose I am a bit in love with the idea of having nothing to declare but my writing and as I type away, post and wait to respond to and share whatever comes in, either comments on my own latest piece, or the fruits of my engagement with the work of other posters who capture my fancy. Continue reading

Sick boy tries to play us

sick-boy-cartoon-vector-1485528One of the biggest buzzes I get from blogging is when I surprise myself with what I write. I’m mulling over that next post for ages and it’s nearly written before I start. Then my fingers hit the keyboard and all these guerilla words burst in stage left and take over the  whole show.

This morning I thought I was going to write about the closing of a beloved cinema in Dublin city but my insurgent digits had other ideas. Continue reading

This slasher movie dad makes me scream

happy death dayAny of you annoyed by the father figures in those movies and Netflix thingies your testy teen daughters are gorging on these days? Well, here’s one daddy who is.

Yes, I’m the father of a young teenage daughter and I’m more than miffed by the naffness of the deadbeat or despot dads in the stuff my once smiling little cherub princess has been watching.

I get the fact that daddy cannot be Mr Big forever; a girl must break away and become her own person. She must deal with the fact that Daddy has feet of clay. But a brain made from the same material, and the dash and panache of Ned Flanders!!!??? Continue reading

Rocking, rolling, writing, all bound for …. Gormanston!!??!!

cof“There’s no use in being a gobshite if you don’t show it”.

My old dad was a great man for the sayings, and this one had always particularly tickled me. I do try not to use it too often.

It flashed across my brain one day last week, however, like those red ticker tape words darting over and back across those electronic information signs in railway stations, when I took the train from Rush to nearby Balbriggan.

Only I didn’t. Continue reading