Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
(Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904-September 23, 1973)
I’m in one of those ‘all over the place’ moods and I make no apology for it!
It’s been a good week so far BUT it was all a bit strange because my camera was banjaxed for most of it and I came to realise how much I think Oh, I just have to take a pic of that! Mercifully, I had it sorted in time to catch this one of the Astilibes in Mount Congreve yesterday:
I’m the youngest ‘child’ of the three in our family and Tuesday brought the opportunity to spend the day with ‘big bro’ who has been pretty much everything to me ~ hero; giver of my fringe when I was still in my cot; practice and mixed doubles partner in tennis since I was three and he six; chaperone; advisor on men ~ beware the intentions of all men from age 14 to 114; grammatical/spelling corrector ~ he’s an English teacher and writer and not so long ago noted that it would be a help if I knew how to spell grammar correctly ~ I was absolutely certain there was an e towards the end; the person who has always known how to make to laugh ’til I get a pain in my cheeks; reminder of Mother and Dad ….. as we parted at the South End of the Quay in Waterford I watched him walk away with Mother’s knowing look and Father’s words: It’s a mile from one end of the Quay in Waterford to the other …..
Yesterday, I met a friend and she talked of all the rowing that had occurred between her and her sibs when they were young. I only ever had one row with ‘big bro’ and that was when he (
accidently) broke one of my precious records ~ I can’t remember now which one it was ~ but it was the era of Quick Joey Small which was HIS and which was No. I in the Irish Charts in January 1969.
The reason I remember this row so well was because my screaming and roaring were so loud that Father, who was with a customer downstairs, came thundering up the stairs of the bank house where we were living to find out if the place was on fire or something. By that time, I had got my revenge by cutting tiny snips in ‘big bro’s’ favourite ties.
I don’t know about you, but I think that one’s place in the family order matters hugely. I don’t think I’ll ever see myself as anything other than the youngest. Nor do I think I’ll ever be completely at home being a grown-up when my sibs are around.