Updated: Nov 30, 2020
I was chatting to my sister on the phone the other morning and she was telling me her dilemma with her two kids, where one child wants to read all the time and the other child wants to play with the child reading. So my sister the mammy has to try find a compromise to suit them both. Well I was the kid that wanted to play and my sister was the reader. She drove me batty, as she would sit and read a book all day long. I suppose I was lucky enough that we lived in an estate so I always could go outside and play with someone else. But she kinda apologised, as she can see her sons frustration and now understands how I felt. Life plays out in funny old ways. We had great craic in the estate. There was a TV show which I cant remember the name of I think it was "V" , I actually wasn't allowed to watch it, but the older kids did. So we were all given a role to play and we acted out this tv show every evening for weeks and weeks. I was acting out a character that I knew nothing about but clearly I got guidance from the older crew. Another game was to see how long you could hold onto the electric fence for. I dont think actually any of us were keen on that game yet we did it when we were bored. When the new "Now" album would come out and my eldest sister would get it for her birthday, we would play it on the record player really loud in the sitting room so it could be heard outside front. Then we would be thought a dance routine by my other older sister and her friend. We were pretty shit hot at dancing to Madonna. We would then charge the boys a penny to come watch the show. Great times! The estate was across a road from a woods and a river, the best fun was had down at the river and climbing the trees or playing hide and seek. Every summer brought the cousins. Our cousins would come and stay for weeks. Our neighbours cousins would come to stay, they were experts in gymnastics so we would spend long evenings learning all sorts of gymnastics tricks and having hand stand races. We had the nuttiest doctor in the town back then, she didn't seem to work really. I remember one awful day a kid fell off her bike and her leg got really badly broken. So whoever had a phone in the house was alerted to ring the doctor. Well this lady arrived, she looked about 100 years old with grey hair, a wrinkled face and was tiny. She was wearing a fluffy pink dressing gown and pink velvet slippers. She got out of her little car which was probably pink too. She came over and looked at the kid on the ground and then started to scream at us for calling her, she was in the middle of doing something and how dare they disturb her for a kid with a broken leg who should be brought to hospital. She hopped in her car and left. Some adults managed to help the kid and I think maybe an ambulance came or someone brought her to hospital. I probably have the story all wrong and maybe she wasn't wearing pink velvet slippers but for some reason that's how I remember the old wagon. I think we were pretty good kids really and it was made clear to us that visiting the elderly neighbours was important. So we used to do this on a frequent basis. I quiet enjoyed visiting them. But there was one old man who always smelled really bad and always gave me a bag of rotten smelling apples. I like the taste of the apples but his apples always smelt bad. Then there was the old lady with warts all over her face, we all thought she was a witch so we stayed clear from her. My favourites to visit was Noinin and my Grand Aunt Nell. They always had stories to tell, a glass of lemonade and a biscuit. I miss old people. We had fun times in the estate. We moved out to the countryside when I was 10 years old. It was different but I think I was always quiet good at entertaining myself. Probably learned that quiet young when my younger sister started sticking her nose in a book!