I had almost written our little country off for dead. Everyday, the newspaper greets me with images of another body, another arson, the world of ‘Love/Hate’ is becoming closer to home all the time, worsened no doubt by the financial strain which the clueless government are putting on its people.
As a child, I had always revered the elderly, brought up to always yield to them on a pavement and to respect them as having more wisdom and sense than I, a sugar fuelled imp. These days (and it may be just me), it seems as though the elderly look more frail and well… elderly. The threat of violence is always looming, evident in how their sagging skin on their knuckles grows taut around their belongings as they make their way down the street. Anti social behaviour has caused many of us to not know our neighbours or not want to know them and the reduction in home owners and rise in temporary renters means that we as a community are always on the move.
Suddenly, i had hope. A flicker… but hope nonetheless. Students of mine have run home with flyers on the new upcoming book which I am writing. http://ditzydelusions.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/new-tramore-book-prompts-school-memorabilia-appeal/ They are suddenly filled with an urge to research the past and uncover photographs of those whom we seek. Past students, teachers, photographs of deceased, parents with debs dates, grandparents on school trips. The respect for those who have gone through the doors of Tramore’s landmark schools has now become foremost in their mind. Respect and curiosity for the elderly has resurfaced, politeness toward grown ups has strengthened (albeit in a bid to gain information on parent’s school days). We want to know our neighbours, to know were they, like us, in 50% cotton, 50% acrylic uniforms, hastily rooting for our school ties, long fled, as the uniform inspector rounded the corner.
An invisible gap has been bridged, however temporarily and for this moment, we are all capable of passing over and back on that bridge. There is no generation gap. All students of Stella Maris and CBS Tramore. All redfaced over homework inadequacies. All butterfly tummied saying goodbye to the new beau or belle at the school gate. All captivated with the fresh spirit which only sunny lunch times on a school day can induce.
Today, we are a community.
(Archive) News & Star Column Week 1 (13/11/12).
A stalk through Darren’s old posts and my favourite is post number one. A good belly chuckle for the morning for anyone who grew up in the 80s and remembers the 5-4-3-2-1 chocolate bar theme song :) It’s cold, it’s raining, i’m not suitably dressed at all for this weather and I forgot my makeup this morning so join me in finding humour this Wednesday! Drop a link to anything smile inducing today.
Our town’s landmark schools, having educated grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sons, nephews… are set to finally shut their doors and amalgamate in a new premises. A promising future is doubtless but it is not without a tinge of remorse and pining for the past.
Championships have been won, friendships made and broken, tears dried, that naughty bathroom cigarette lit and hurriedly extinguished to the sound of pending footsteps. These buildings mean something different to us all but there will never be any denying the impact which they have had on all of our lives.
I am writing a local History book compiling both histories, from the days of the Sisters of Charity and Christian Brothers, right up to the present day with photographic accompaniment, report cards, homework, results, ticket stubs. I cannot do this without the help of the public. We all have either attended or we know of someone who has so please I appeal to all to present yourself for interview, give your memorabilia on loan to me, be a part of this limited edition, special publication.
This week, I have found myself drifting onto websites, plaguing search engines with this insane need to view Forgotten Homes, buildings, businesses, even towns. Those places where for whatever reason, a person or persons decided to leave after a lifetime spent in the walls, either through asylum confinement or merely living in the family home. Photographs have been left, clothing, special moments absorbed by the walls, now only a hushed whisper to the keen ear. Walls it is said, have the ability to absorb the past which it has witnessed over a period of time. Never to retell their tale of heartbreak, lunacy, warmth, death, loss. On this All Hallows Eve, what will these walls tell us?
With thanks to Photographs from www.28dayslater.co.uk (ditzydelusions in no way condones entry to a premises by illegal means) and Tarquin Blake of Abandoned Ireland.
What happened that someone left things as though they had stepped out for a moment, to never return? What has been absorbed by all of these walls, is it a warm feeling reminiscent of the happy times within or is it ice dancing on your skin, the horrors mocking you silently?
Perhaps this Hallowe’en, we can all think this over… what whisper will reach our ears tonight and are we willing to listen?
Regular readers of my blog will remember my very first post, prompted by my rather exquisite notebook and Margaret O’ Brien’s writing workshop. Today, I had the enormous pleasure and humble honour of spending the day writing in the home of esteemed former writer Molly Keane, now home to her daughter Virginia and her Oscar winning husband, Kevin.
As always, Margaret’s calm manner gave the stories hiding within me, an avenue to waltz boldly out and announce themselves. The serene setting of this house is truly beyond words alone. The inside of the home is like a time capsule, nestled amidst bookcases and lavish carpeting, window seats and open fireplaces. The smell of turf is heavy in the air and the time stands still. Writing prompts in hand, we stepped outside to find an individual nook in which to explore our psyche.
No sound reached my ears save the distant crash of the waves onto the shore. A light breeze ruffled my pages but it was a pleasant addition to the day. High above the sea, in an enviable cranny in the cliffside, many years previous, Molly Keane created her magic. Today, i felt this same magic stirring through my veins. Her house was a fairytale, frozen in time, her garden a hive of activity for nature. Pathways darted into the woods in the garden, the occasional garden bench to be found along the way and the sound of nature alive in all its glory in my ears. Here, the past is alive and from the moment i stepped foot into the magical garden, i stepped into the past.
My pen tore furiously through the pages. Today, life was breathed onto the pages in the home of Molly Keane and the sound was breathtaking. To have such an opportunity some 45 minutes from my front door is a true joy to behold and I am honoured and humbled to have been given this opportunity. From the moment I opened the small metal gate at the top of the garden, to the moment I left through this same gate, I was different. Not in any obvious, notable way but inside, I was different. Alive, ignited, I was a writer.