Secret Places


Mother (Photo: Frank Tubridy)

I have been spending a lot of time over the last few years, while I was away from here, sorting through my late father’s photographs.

They bring me all over Ireland and to some other European countries. They bring me more pleasure than I could ever describe and I hope that there are still many more years worth of photos and slides to ponder on.

This one of Mother was taken on the farm where she grew up and where we used to visit my grandmother up until the house and farm were sold when I was about ten.

This particular shot makes me smile as Mother hated having her photograph taken in any kind of formal way so one of her taken from behind is just perfect.

It also reminds me of a day when I wandered off on the farm and found what was like a little fairy house. I knew I was gone beyond my boundary but just had to tell Mama all about my adventure. She got me to tell her every detail and listened intently. Then, she said that she had spent endless hours reading in that little house in the woods when she was about my age and that she was delighted that I loved it just like her.

Right up to the end of her life, she used to remind me of that day and how radiant I was when I was telling her all about my discovery.

I guess we all have secret places but I’m not sure how many of us are lucky enough to share the same ones with our mothers.








Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

21 thoughts on “Secret Places”

  1. This picture reminds me of the book” The Secret Garden ” and I love that decorative gate..It beckons you to go on in…My secret place as a child was in an old field with overgrowth of bushes ..there was one that flowed onto the grounds and like the one in your picture had an arch way that was obscured by over growth..I use to like to crawl into it and look at the world from within…I remember it also had wild Rhubarb that grew….Now our grand daughter like to walk down through the cemetery not far from our house…She called it “The Quiet Place” and always wanted to go there when she visited us…So we all have our “Secret Places”…

  2. Great to see you writing again and sorting through your dads images .Hope one day to see the collection as I have often said it is he who inspired me as a child.

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