During those two weeks, plus a few days over a Christmas now and again, I would be transported to another world. As I had no brothers or sisters to distract me I was free to give full reign to my imagination, I was queen of my castle with my parents, aunt and uncle, my servants. I remember one time when all the hens were gathered together asleep I pretended I was a teacher and they were my pupils!
One day when I was about five years old I almost ran off with a travelling family. They used to pass by every so often in their beautifully coloured horse-drawn caravans. On this particular occasion they stopped by the gate where I'd been standing and invited me to look inside their "home" which of course I was only too eager to investigate. As soon as I was inside they immediately took off. I wasn't in the least bit upset probably because previously I was used to moving from family to family. The same can't be said of my poor mother who by then was chasing frantically after the speeding caravan! Happily, I was returned safely to the fold.
My most precious memories from those times are being woken up each morning by the cockerel, walking with the whole family along the quiet country road to 8.00am Mass on Sunday mornings, being almost hypnotised by the sound of the buzzing bees on a lazy sunny afternoon, walking with my Dad in the evenings and hearing the crickets in the ditch, also in the evening listening to the wood pigeon, watching the sun set, lying in bed at night listening to my parents and aunt and uncle talking while the gap in their conversation was filled by the slow ticking of the grand mother clock above the fireplace. Life in the country was fine.
The above image which I took in 1969 shows the cottage with the porch extension added on a few years previously.
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