When you travel a bit it’s kinda weird what you miss. Pork products obviously, but then other stuff that you never appreciated. Church bells on Sunday, daffodils, cherry blossom, a wee dander down the town, people who understand your accent, people who know your religion by your name, cut grass, lazy Sundays, the fear of running into your Ma’s mate down the pub, and thon bitch from school who was good looking but is now a cow. (She was always a cow, but her good looks then..gave her grace)
Yea, big cities do that, they kinda cut away everything that decided who you were, big cities allow you to become a blank page. I ran away to a big city at 20, London, I loved it. But jumping a few borders and striking out into the unknown is different. They speak English in London, they have churches and daffodils and cut grass. My Ma’s mate was not on the horizon but I’m damn sure her sisters-brothers-cousin was…. and word would get back. It still wasn’t free.
I wasn’t a young thing when I made the big move, you know, like out of Europe, but I think that’s for the best, well for me anyway. I don’t think I could’ve coped before, I really had no idea of how cosseted small town rural life can make you. It gives you comfort, you’re among your own, but it stifles, it stifles so bad.
Northern Ireland was always an us’uns and them’uns, I came from a pretty liberal family so I was never an “us” or a “them” . I’m thankful for that now, but it did make it really fecking complicated as a teenager.
I grew up in a little fairy land created by my dad, “Mairead, just work hard, be honest and stand up for those that need a hand” I was the eldest of 5, so there was a lot of standing up to do….there was always someone who needed a hand, and I naively thought that someone would do likewise if I needed one….my dad was a good man.
I’ve been fortunate, Ive never really needed a hand, I’ve got a hubby who has my back, three super smart children with values that I could only aspire to, they humble me. If they’re my legacy then so be it, I’ve done my bit, they’re awesome. But, but, there are people who do need a hand, I don’t care what religion you are, they are, if people need a hand then help. Feck this whole religion shite, if they’re hurting then help, its as simple as that.
Oh they’re too far away, oh that not not my responsibility oh they’re brown, oh they’re Muslim, oh they’re native Americans, oh they’re LGBT, oh they’re Protestant, not catholic, oh they’re Buddhist, oh they’re Hindu….feck-it they’re people and they need a hand.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that with age comes a little understanding. If you challenge yourself you can get a different view, travel really helps. If you step outside your comfort zone rather than sitting on your own back door step you will realise that all families have the same hopes and dreams for their kids. Now when I say travel I’m not talking…..
A fortnight in Benidorm, or a stag weekend in Prague….how about Beirut…? It’s party central there, an amazing place. Fuck your woman Le Pen, and her headscarf, thon was a publicity stunt, Beirut is fun, welcoming and for the Irish it feels incredibly like home. You’ve got a broken country that has produced a population that are politically savvy, they know you have to vote early, and vote often….they also won’t be swayed by a political representative that’s a reality TV star, unlike some I could mention.
I’m feeling invigorated at moment, sure, America is ripping its self apart, maybe that needed to happen, Trump is an ill wind but the people are “woke” as they say. You don’t appreciate what you have until its taken. All those rights that were fought for, all those people who who put right before wrong, they’ll be churning in their grave. Stand up, don’t be the good girl/boy cos your mums friend is watching, be you, be strong and make your voice heard, you’re in the big city now, make it count.
Or don’t, because hate brings these bastards to your door
Bye, Slainte, masalama, namaste