Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Nostalgia At It's Finest

The summer is out, there is the fine stretch in the evenings, the sun is finally starting to clear out my skin and for once the ice cubes in my freezer are getting used. What does all that lead to? Nostalgia. We are on a slippery (but enjoyable) slope to a young, fearless and brazing Catherine. Back to a time when exams weren't on the agenda, it was socially acceptable to have dodgy looking teeth and singing and dancing in front of your family was an absolute necessity at any gathering.

Those were the days.

There are some parts of my memory of my childhood that stick out more than others, the things I enjoyed and wanted to playback and relive. I remember quite a great deal, as a friend recently pointed out to me, "like every other woman", but the detail of some memories I can still recall really rather frightens me. So it's probably not advised to insult me at 9.38 pm on a Sunday on a drive home from having a cheeky Nando's because I WILL remember. A lot of these things are small, even minute, but collectively - they are things I would hope my younger cousins, nieces and nephews and any other child to experience, kind of.

I distinctively remember picking daisies with my cousin, Kate in our front garden, lulling over some new boy on the scene that was knocking around the corners on his holidays. Things were obviously getting a bit shaky if I was reverting to a plant to account for my troubles. I was eight years old probably, and no actual words were exchanged, but it was definitely getting serious, of course it was?

Evidence of an enjoyable day at the beach was always prevalent if there was a trail of sand behind you coming in the door. Although an inconvenience, the more sand, the more fun you had. 

My confidence, as a four year old - was at an all-time peak when I decided to make it my duty to introduce myself to a young couple en route back from collecting a drink at the till. I am sure they could have been spared my glamorous, 2 ft self - but I thought otherwise. They were surprisingly very lovely and were interested in seeing the progress I was making with a colouring book. I trotted back every few minutes to show them because that was just the thing you did.

If you asked me to say hellohowareyougettingon nowadays to a John from God knows where in my local pub - not a chance. I am still trying to figure out where I acquired that amount of sheer self-belief.

I was kindly gifted many colours and crayons and general arts and crafts (although people never picked up that I can't draw a straight line to save my life), and of course these had to be used up. I drew mainly square houses, with 4 square windows, a grey path, a triangular sun beside clouds that could have passed for sheep. Well, I felt I was the next the next Picasso and tried to sell my pictures at 50c a piece.

My own sister wouldn't even invest in my business, as a nine year old I had no assets to my name, banks wouldn't lend and I had to think long and hard. C Gallagher Art ended up in liquidation in 2005, and following further discussions with legal and financial advisers, finally ended up winding down in 2006. It was a sad day for the parish.

Our bins have nearly always been collected and emptied on a Friday afternoon. Once upon a time I could nearly time to the second the lorry was coming over the hill. As soon as I would hear the chugging hum of the engine, I would race outside to the front of the house to simply wave at them. I can't tell you if they thought I was completely deranged or extremely considerate for my age, I would like to think they chose the latter theory. If I was ever cycling around the house I would pedal as fast as my feet could take me to the front door to give my salute. Majority of the time they seemed to appreciate it and would give a toot or a wave back.

I'd be lying if I said I still don't do it from time to time if I happen to be out and about, sure it's nice to be nice?

I have learnt, from a  young age, no matter how long you have a conversation with your grandmother at any given time of the day, you are guaranteed to be enlightened on something new. Whether it's a good run-down on the family tree; "He's a relation of your grandfather, he worked in England all his life and only came home recently. He was second cousins with your great grandfather. It's still distant, but still like - you need to know who your people are!" Or a prediction on the weather, a health bulletin on the neighbouring fellow villagers or a good thrash-out debate on how old someone is. They are just as entertaining as they are informative, my granny has always supplied comprehensive synopsis' on more than one occasion 

I do not endorse prank-calling, it can get you into a lot of bother. But if you're very young and with your partners in crime, you're smart enough to figure out how to hide your Caller ID and you have credit in your phone, it's very hard to resist. Everyone has done it, it's just one of those things you have to do. Myself and my cousins would prepare a story and run with it, and join in on the conversation if the other was starting to get a fit of the giggles.

Some of the things we came out with you just couldn't string together in any context.

"Hallo? This is Chantelle from McDonalds in Limerick. Ya ya, how ARE you? Ya, listen I'm ringing to let you know that you left your runners (sneakers) behind, they're in the lost and found. Ya, ya you did. They're the ones with lights and wings on the side? They're not yours? I think they are matey, it has your name and number stitched on the side. Yes yes I'm serious. Do you mind calling down for them?"

For anyone that was graced with our humour, you are most certainly welcome.



  1. I love this post, I'm smiling to myself here remembering all I got up to when I was younger :)

    1. Thank you Danielle! I got up to a lot of divilment myself haha. Hope you're well x