George Floyd

The memorial for George Floyd was one of the most heart-wrenching ‘ceremonies’ I have ever seen.

America is at more than 5,000 miles from Ireland but George Floyd is a man who has come to touch all our lives. Those who spoke at his memorial were incredibly dignified, in spite of their grief, and I sincerely hope that their longing for major changes in race relations will come to pass.

I know there are all sorts of historical issues at play but surely it is time for us to fully recognize the crucial importance of equality.

What matters to me is a person’s heart not the colour of their skin.

All the tears shed for George Floyd from across the world are the same, sad, salty tears.

May he rest in peace and may his death mark a turning point in the way we relate as the fragile, imperfect, striving human beings that we all are.

Twitterless

Twitter and I have a complex relationship. I went off it for three years after being part of it for about 8 years in 2014. Then when Covid struck I rejoined to keep abreast of developments as they were unfolding so quickly.

Some aspects were enjoyable but I soon realized how angry the overall content was making me and ,worse still, I found myself wasting an inordinate amount of time on it.

So Deactivate happened yet again yesterday and I feel like I have managed to get rid of an ingrowing toenail.

I wonder if the Covid situation has made it even angrier than ever or was it that I had forgotten how it used to rile me.

How does anyone else find it?

No Escape

I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to household duties and am a great one for shoving things into already crammed spaces just to make it seem like I am at least half civilised.

My ways have been rightly found out in the last while as hubby has been off work due to the Covid restrictions. He is much more ‘house proud’ than I am and has taken to cleaning out presses, cupboards, rooms, behind beds, under cushions … you name it, he’s finding it.

I have just made a mad attempt to scour out the fridge before he got cracking on it and it’s now pristine and half empty with in-date stuff. No more landslides for the moment, every time the door is opened.

I blame my grandmother, Jean, for all this cos she was every bit as bad as I am but you should have seen her garden with its array of vegetables and healthy flowers. She also minded the lambs and hens and baked the most delicious food, some with her homemade butter.

I loved her house and all the clutter that came with it. I can just see her in my long distance memory calling me to help her to collect some newly laid eggs.

No doubt, I am not alone in being discovered during this lockdown. I guess it could be a helluva lot worse!

Now to try and find my jacket, which is probably hanging up somewhere  in astonishment …

On the Subjects of Age and Disabilities

I have to admit to feeling very upset today over the whole matter of how it is emerging so strongly that people in care homes are finding themselves caught in the horror of COVID19.

Most of my working life related to the experiences of people with disabilities and especially those who were living in residential care and later on I was very much involved with older people.

I think of all the fantastic individuals I have been so privileged to get to know through lengthy interviews and time spent staying in residential care settings.

It was always their  individuality that struck me and not the shared fact of being in a category of ‘older person’  or ‘a person with a disability.’

Now it feels like the categorizations are back and the ‘people’ behind the walls of care homes are being half or more than half forgotten about as the rest of the world thinks about freedoms after lockdown.

Neither older age nor disability make a person any less of a precious human being than anybody else. Neither age nor disability strips a person of feelings, hopes, fears or love of life any more than anybody else.

Of all the people I think about today, my great-aunt Anna stands out. She was the bright romantic star who married for the first time, aged 72, and lived out her last years in a nursing home. Her short term memory wasn’t great but she was as loving, caring, full of fun as anyone I have ever known. At 89, she was game for anything and knew how to listen and advise in a most empathetic way. Age didn’t matter a damn to her, as she would put it.

A Youthful Aunt Anna

I can’t bear to think of anyone being viewed as somehow less important than another but know in my heart that if this virus was posing a major threat to millions of children, it would be taking on a whole different aspect.

Obviously, I wouldn’t wish it on any child but I think we have to see our more vulnerable people, especially those in care homes, as being every bit as important and precious as a child and yes I know how precious they are too, even 6ft 3in ones!

 

 

Irreverence

Easter Sunday has never been the same for me since our son was 7 and being taught in school about The Resurrection.

He got it into his head that it didn’t matter what he did in terms of danger because he would rise again after three days.

The whole thing led to some of the scariest moments of my life as he tempted fate and all warnings about crossing roads and being super careful around the fire, cliffs, mad dogs, you name it … went out the window.

I’ve often wondered if I suffered alone?

 

Easter Saturday

Lamb

I associate Easter very much with lambs out in the fields with their mamas or in my grandmother’s kitchen being hand-fed with absolute love.

The fields where I pretty much know the lambs are likely to be are just outside our Covid19 two kilometre limit but it’s soothing just to think of them.

Giving thanks to be feeling fine tonight as Ireland’s Covid figures rose pretty sharply today.

Hope you are all doing okay, my friends.

Star Turns

I’m not a great cook, especially when it comes to catering beyond family.

However, I made it my business years ago to try and develop what I call Star Turns, in other words dishes that I feel confident I could prepare for a load of ‘very important people’ who consider themselves to be a cut about the rest in terms of cuisine. Mind you, I can hardly bear to think of having to entertain such a gathering.

Anyway one of my Star Turns is my late grandmother’s Sherry Trifle and I will humbly say it has never let me down nor failed to impress. Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:

Ingredients

Trifle Sponges
Sherry- good tablespoon at least!
Custard
Bananas
Good Raspberry Jam
Cream

Method

Break up the trifle sponges and soak with the sherry. Make a pint or so of custard and pour it over the trifle sponges. Cover the dish with an ordinary plate and leave to cool, ideally overnight.

Spread raspberry jam over the custard. Add sliced bananas and top off with freshly whipped cream.

If possible, refrain from eating the trifle too quickly as it is better on day two when all the ingredients have merged.

I really hope you enjoy this. The covering with the plate while cooling is the key as it keeps it nice and moist.

Now, have you any easy Star Turns to share? I am starving just thinking about the trifle!

Business Names

I have decided that hair dressing establishments win the prize in Ireland for creativity around the naming of their establishments. Names like Head Masters and Clippidy-Clip always make me smile.

Pubs seem to be the winners in the  UK with those great names like The Horse and Bridle.

Are there business names that tickle your fancy?

Two Kilometres

The current COVID19 guidelines for exercise in Ireland have brought the radius of two kilometres from home into very sharp focus as we are not allowed to wander outside that boundary.

I feel utterly blessed that the sea is within my 2km range as it feeds my soul and offers horizons of hope.

Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

Thinking about the 2 km in broader terms has made me think of all the history associated with everyone’s place in this country. I have found myself looking a lot more closely at the buildings, twists, turns, shadows, gardens and pondering on what history is associated with an area I know so well and how all the people currently in my little 2km radius are actually dealing with these strange times.

We all try to put a brave face on things but I guess there’s no one who is completely at ease. Everyone has their own ways of coping and more than anything this feels like a time when there’s no running away or getting away. When I was a child I used to think that if the worst came to the worst The Isle of Man would be my saving place. I don’t remember my rationale.

Now, it’s about coping, hoping, helping and being sensible. My new approach to coping with attacks of paralyzing stress is to draw on a menu of 5-minute treats, like trying to sketch a flower, listening to a song, reading a poem, petting the dogs, writing a haiku, making a smoothie and suddenly one becomes absorbed and the tension recedes.

Now a treat with puppy Stan and a walk within our 2 kilometres.

Take care, wherever you may be, dear friends.