Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Photos for the Festival of Light

Dad aged about 9 on a fine horse.Don't know who it belonged to, we only ever had donkeys, ducks and chickens.Think it may be belonging to 'The Big House' where my Great Aunt Mary was employed.She was a real character who read tea leaves and told fortunes with a deck of cards involving getting or not getting your hearts wish. As a child, I earnestly believed that a turn of a card could decree whether Dolores K would love me or not! Dad loved horses and lived and worked with them as a lumberjack felling and delivering trees. Once on holiday in Killarney he stopped and calmed a bolting panicking pony laden with trap and tourists. Me, being a little shite, was totally unimpressed. Dad aged about 19, posing with his dad's pipe. Dad was born in Tipperary though the old family home in Offaly is pictured here behind him. I really wish I could have got to know him as an adult. I was in my own teenage bubble and sometimes it seems like a different person lost him, not me. I hope he would like me now, and I him.

Uncle Jackie (My Dad's brother) my favourite and much missed uncle, seen here as a young man with family dog and young neighbour Seamus taking the reins. I remember this same cart many years later used for 'drawing in '(transporting from the bog) the turf in the summer.As a family we never had a car.Bicycles only for transport

This is a photo of the Dublin side of my family, my favourite Auntie, Maura ,and her husband (My Mum's brother Timmie) They seemed very glamorous and sophisticated to us, living in many parts of the world including Germany and Africa.Here they are on board a ship. Maura was the kindest, most interesting, genuinely funny woman you could ever wish to meet.Everyone who ever met her loved her, I spent a large part of my life around her and I miss her .



Another picture of the old family home in Offaly, now sadly demolished last year after mucho trouble and fall out after Uncle Jackie's death in 2003. Far left is my Dad's other brother Jimmy(still alive in Tipp) holding a cat, neighbour Chrissy , my Dad's young sister, Eilish , now living in England, Jackie looking small and frail as usual, in fact when their mother was dying she asked Dad (the eldest) to mind Jackie, yet he outlived Dad ( who was strong as an ox) by almost 30 years. That's Dad on the far right.
Some of my happiest days were spent in this house, never have I felt more secure or more alive.The fire(the only source of heating and cooking) was always lit winter and summer, the front door was never locked, open wide all summer and only closed over in winter.People( the kindest most genuine you could wish to meet) would call in day and night, to drink tea, give news, play cards and tell stories, particularly ghost stories and they were experts at them.The most scared I have ever been is listening to these old men by the fire. You would burst your bladder rather than brave the sheer blackness outside(no indoor toilet, truth be told , no outdoor one either, just nature's wondrous charms) Actually the most scared I have ever been in my whole life was outside the Tipp family home whn I heard the Banshee, but that's another story.Incidentally before I was born my Dad used go rambling across the fields at dead of night night to visit neighbours and often had the Banshee for company she was incredibly beautiful and never bothered him.

When I light my candle I'll be thinking of many , many people including... Dad, Uncle Jackie, Granddad Frank, Grandma Philomena,Granddad Peter, Grandma Molly, Aunt Mary, Uncle Timmie , Auntie Maura, Uncle Liam , Auntie Mona, Michael K, Roy N,Sheila O'.


See previous post for candle lighting details. Pip pip!



19 comments:

steven said...

tfe - i totally lost myself in this posting. brilliant - absolutely brilliant my boy!! thankyou. steven

Lorenzo Lapis Lazuli said...

Beautiful post, TFE. You conjure up memories of your own family and, set in motion so many remembrances in, I am sure, all of your readers, at least in me.

Poetikat said...

Peadar, this was absolutely fantastic! It's the kind of growing up I dreamt of having - the open door, the donkeys, the ghost stories. I only had my dad's tales of "The Old Country", but I so wanted to live them myself! (Still wishing I had red, red hair.)

I think this is such a great idea!

I want you to write a poem (if you've not done already) about the banshee. Or I WILL!

Kat

John Hayes said...

Wonderul post, TFE--very much absorbed by your family history & photos.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Really enjoyed reading about your family and seeing the photos, TFE. Your childhood must have been really interesting. I'm sorry that you lost your father. Thanks for sharing this.

Niamh B said...

A brilliant post alright, and wow what a glam Auntie!

Elisabeth said...

Al those wonderful ancestors and ghosts.

Have you heard of the Manchester martyrs? My husband's great great great uncle, (not sure how many greats here) was one Michael O'Brien who was hanged in Manchester for allegedly shooting a police officer. It seems his story is part of Irish folklore.

I shall light my candle for him along with all my own Dutch ancestors.

Karen said...

This is a beautiful tribute. I love reading old photos! This is a fitting post for your festival of light.

Rachel Fox said...

They passed on the art of storytelling to you. Beautifully told.
x

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Steven, good to see you(virtually)Happy New Year!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Lorenzo, glad you enjoyed it and that it sparked your own memories.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Kat, read and liked your Banshee poem.Pip pip!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks John, wish we had as many photos as your dad's brilliant collection!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Raph, kind words.Pip pip!

Totalfeckineejit said...

She was brilliat , Niamh, I didn't realise how lucky I was with my Aunts and Uncles they were (nearly) all fantastic.I'd love to meet them all again for a mighty party, and who knows maybe I will!

Totalfeckineejit said...

I have Elisabeth, that's very intersting and I've a vague recollection that fellow blogger Dominic Rivron said something similar a way back, must check!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Ys , Karen, I too love old photos, they are fascinating.I don't have many but I treasure them.I'm also really curious to know who had a camera to take them, most people didn't even have shoes!

Heather said...

Lovely post TFE and lovely treasured photos of your family and lovely memories. It's fascinating to look back over the generations and see the rise and fall of various members' fortunes - sometimes just the fall and fall. But so often the ones who had no money to spare were the happiest ones. I can remember going to the outside toilet at my Gran's house during the war and praying that the air-raid siren wouldn't go before I was back indoors again! My candle is all ready. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Totalfeckineejit said...

That's funny/scary about the air raid siren, thanks Heather and a very Happy New Year to you and yours too!