I don’t expect this post to mean much to many people ~ unless, of course, they are Waterford (Deise) people with a passion for hurling.
Hurling is a Gaelic game that’s arguably the fastest, most skilful game in the whole wide world. It’s played with a hurl made from ash and a small leather ball called a sliotar. There’s fifteen on each team and the games last for 70 minutes and are not for the faint-hearted either on or off the pitch.
The highlight of the hurling year is the All-Ireland Championship which is in full swing at the moment. Today, we had two quarter-finals: Waterford v Wexford and Galway v Clare.
Waterford were victorious and will take on the might of Co. Kilkenny in two weeks time. Kilkenny are recognised as the kings of hurling in Ireland but we live in hope that we will find a way to weave ourselves passed them and head into the All-Ireland Final and beyond.
After the match this afternoon, there was a lightness about the Co. Waterford that greeted me. Waterford colours are blue and white and these were the colours that were emblazoned everywhere I looked.
Yes, I AM a proud Waterford woman and am beaming here as I write this!
Every single stile is crooked to me, even this one on the Coastal Walk in Dunmore East, because of the nursery rhyme we all grew up with here:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
It never dawned on me until today that nursery rhymes have origins other than those big coloured books that are part of baby and toddlerhood.
When I went looking for the exact words of the rhyme, I discovered that there are layers and layers of ‘adult’ history and stories behind it.
I mean who would have thought that the ‘crooked stile’ in the nursery rhyme may relate back to political affairs between England and Scotland in the 17th Century and be a metaphor for the border between these two parts of the United Kingdom?
So now I’m wondering if nursery rhymes vary greatly across the globe and, of course, I’m also intrigued to know which nursery rhymes play over and over in your mind and down your generations.
I’m not a person who obsesses about the weather. My philosophy is that if you live in Ireland you’ve got to accept that the weather is changeable, that we’ve no control over it, and that there’s beauty to be found in all weathers.
There’s something lovely about going out in the Summer rain and listening to the raindrops plopping down on big leafy trees. Oh, and what about the smell of rain ~ what’s that fancy word ~ ‘petrichor.’
Well, I took myself off to Mount Congreve on Saturday morning in the pours of rain to savour the magic and here’s what was waiting for me:
Today is a HUGE day on the sporting calendar and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for ages now.
Tennis is passion of mine and has been since I was a toddler. So, so many memories of watching the Men’s Singles Final and relishing all the history associated with it at both public and personal level. Today, just seeing a clip of Fred Perry had me thinking of how my late mother used to be glued to the radio listening to the crackly commentary of his matches when she was young.
I hope, hope, hope that Andy Murray can win today. He’s one of my big sporting heroes.
The final of EURO 2016 Soccer between France and Portugal awaits tonight. That should be a great match and I feel the whole tournament has been brilliant in terms of how it has shown that national passions can be played out in sporting stadiums rather than killing fields of war.
My Waterford blood is pumping hard today too as our hurlers take on Tipperary (hubby’s county) in the Munster Final in Semple Stadium.