Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I was born in Hammersmith, London, at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital on 3rd December 1951. Not planned, as my Father often assured me! We lived in Acton on Gunnesbury Lane and my Mum and Dad worked at the White Hart Pub; they had a room upstairs where a suitcase was my first cot. My Mother had come over to London after the war like many Irish girls, to find work. My Father had no home after the war but was allowed to stay in England as he had fought with the allies, well most of the time. So that they could both continue working, they sent me to the Republic of Ireland, Ballycoolan near Stradbally, to be brought up by my Grandparents when I was still a baby. Those were important years to me because the first 4 to 5 years of our life are our formative years, when we learn our values and how to communicate with others. Those years were to prepare me for what was to be a tough childhood leading into being a very confused young adult. My Grandparents were country people, staunch Catholic republicans who knew how to survive. I have no memory of those years except those relayed to me by other relatives in later years. My pets were the chickens and my grandmother would often kill one for dinner. Even when the yard was fool of white feathers and I was munching on a chicken wing, I would ask my Grandmother where Snowy was today. She would just tell me he had gone away to live at another farm with his cousins from Wexford. He had left in the night when I was asleep and didn’t want to wake me up; but he had said to say goodbye! That was good enough for me, even as my grandmother stuffed handfuls of white feathers into a cotton bag to make a new pillow, I was sucking the last bit of meat from one of Snowy’s wings, oblivious to his fate.

Less about chickens, it’s a big day in Turkey today. Today marks the day in 1974 when Turkish troops landed on the island to stop the oppression by the Greek Cypriots on the Turkish population. It’s another typical US\British led cock up, evident in so many other parts of the world. Well it’s a National Holiday here, yippee! Military parades with soldiers and tanks, Brilliant air display by 8 Turkish jets, a few warships off shore and the Turkish Cypriot flag everywhere. Don’t you just love nationalism?

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