Postcards Home, an Irish Story.

January 4, 2010

Jan. 6th

Jack – It’s  beautiful in Dublin. The business is doing well. I know you’ve always loved the city – won’t you come and visit us?  Gavin was here last week. He took us out for dinner, Holly and her fella too. I am so proud of our boy! He looks more like you with every passing year. Love always. Your friend, S.

Jan. 6th

Darling Gav – So good to see your face, be sure not to forget your old Ma. You’re always welcome in our house – Ella and I have not stopped laughing since you left. Certainly you taught us a thing or two about scandal, we were beginning to think we had a monopoly on it! Found a picture of the pub and knew you’d like to be reminded. Thank you for everything, and I mean that. Ma. Xxx

Mar. 14th

Alright there Sinead me old mucker. We’re settled in Dublin now and I’m put in mind of Dylan Thomas: It’s a “pretty, shitty, city” right enough. And such a contradiction! You’ve got your man in the post office throwing us filthy looks for buying stamps, yet nobody bats an eyelid when we walk down the street holding hands. Not free yet, but fighting. Will right you properly soon. Much love, S.

April 21st

Aoife  darling, no word from you in a while. Miss you very much. There’s a new Bacon exhibit opening at the national gallery next month, mightn’t you come and look at it with me? I can recommend places to stay, now, if you’re still not happy at ours. Ella sends her best. With love,  your Ma. Xxx

May 19th

Aoife love, come and visit us soon – before Holly’s wedding at least? I know you love the Liffey, wondered whether another glimpse of it wouldn’t tempt you… Love always, your Ma. Xxx

June 15th

Jack – there’s no space on a postcard to express how excited I am at the thought of having the whole family together, and at our darling daughter’s nuptials! I tell you I think I’d go mad if it wasn’t for Holly living up here in Dublin with us. Sure and we’ve had our troubles, but she’s helped us settle in – showed us all the trendy joints like! Still silence from Aoife but I suppose it’s fair enough. Be sure to give her my love won’t you? Now will you be staying with us, when you come? Call soon, and let me know. Love from Ella and me, as always. S. Xxx

Jun. 30th

Gav darling – another little snapshot of Dublin in the hope that it’ll bring you back to us EARLY for Holly’s wedding.  Still can’t believe you’re living in Blighty these days anyway, you little traitor to my blood you, (d’you think they’ll put MI5 on my scent for this card? Wouldn’t it be funny…) but be sure and remember you’ve to get EURO for this visit, you’re coming home to a country that can see its way clear into the future! (And still those blighters you call family can’t use email, I know, I know). With love, and much excitement! Your Ma. Xxx

Aug. 18th

Dear Sinead –

It’s not took me as long to get round to writing you as it might seem – been scrawling you little notes here and there for the last six-month, so sorry if this turns into a bit of a mammoth… I miss you and I miss home, of course. Where we grew up from girls is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, not to mention in Ireland. As to you, well, if I start in on everything you’ve meant to me over time, we’ll never reach an end! Besides which nostalgia puts everything so definitely in the past, and our friendship’s one that’s to forge itself a sturdy old future, d’you hear me?

Anyway, I suppose you’ve heard some of our little dramas from one source or another by now, but I’m afraid I shall insist on telling it all again from my angle – and hearing your take on it, too. Do I start with Aoife’s ice-queen turn at the wedding? She’s got my mother’s blood in her and no mistake! She arrived in perfect demure blue-and-white, suffering face like the Sacred Heart herself you’d be led to believe, and though we were all to be sat together, bride’s family like, the closest I get to a hello from my own daughter is the scent of her perfume from the end of a pew. Well she can do as she pleases, we’ve enough on our plates Ella and I fighting those who go out of the way to make their prejudices active, at lease the worst she does is ignore us. Ah I try to make light of it, Sinead, or to be angry, but as you well know she’s breaking my heart. My own little daughter can’t love me as I am, what am I going to be worth when I’m gone, if all I’ve taught one of my children is bitterness? I love her and if she said the same there’d not be any questions of “forgiveness”. The anger I do feel is the same anger we’ve always shared, against Big Brother and the Holy Catholic Church. I worry that it was my vitriol against the institution that turned her so devout.

Ella is recovering – and thank-you for your beautiful card, by the way. It really cheered us on to know we had your thoughts. She gave me the most awful scare there for a while. I thought I’d lose her Sinead, really I did. My girl and my own dear love, I thought she was…  you know how your mind plays tricks and you can see no result but the worst in these situations. I think it’s testimony to how she’s doing, though,  that just before Gavin left  – he came to stay to help me out for a while right after it all happened – she INSISTED on taking him to the Hairy Lemon (I shit you not my girl, it’s a very fine pub about two blocks from here) drinking near on a bottle of red wine, “for the iron levels”! And then, as if she weren’t already slaughtered, seeing off his whisky,  for the reason that “his teeth are rather new”. Of course then she played the invalid, and had him carry her on home to me. The doctor says it’s an escapade not to be repeated at least until she’s good and well again, but I swear she did it just because she’d been told she shouldn’t. I think her recovery, which is steady so far, is nine-tenths down to stubbornness. That woman. My grey hairs have grey hairs on her account but I tell you, being allowed to look after her and treat her openly like she’s a precious thing is as much of a treat for me as it is a torture for her!

Holly got back from honeymoon about a month ago, I suppose, and all seems to be going well for her and Edward. She’s Holly Finan now – can you believe that any child of mine would change her name for a man? I’m joking, of course, it’s quite her own decision, and they’re at least talking in terms of kittens rather than kiddies yet a while. She may be married but she’s a sensible girl – woman – and won’t move at anybody’s pace but her own.

What’s the gossip with you anyway? Have you married a rich man and made all our fortunes yet? I’m counting on you – you promised me you’d do it when we were fourteen-year-olds who thought smoking was the height of chic, and I’ll hold you to it!

Come and visit me soon, my sister under the skin.


Aug. 31st

Jack – Thanks on Ella’s part for the flowers, they’re just beautiful, and so thoughtful. Gavin is strength to strength it seems and still calling us every other day, the old mother hen. I was good to catch up with you after the wedding, but I hear from Sinead that you’re keeping the gossip from me? Who is this Jenna creature then? Look forward to hearing from you. Your friend, S.

Sep. 27th

Precious angel Gavin, Mammy’s little pumpkin pie… I only wrote that in the hope that Helen will be the one to pick up the card, and give you a right good laughing at. Nothing much to say but I thought you’d like the photograph, from that Bacon retrospective in January. And you needn’t call so often! I appreciate the attention, really, but I’m not care-home decrepit yet, besides you only do it because you feel guilty for living so far off… visit us soon, West Briton! Ma. Xxx

Nov. 14th

Holly and Ed – happy new home! Not that I forgive you for moving away from Dublin but I understand that you’ve to go where the work is. Let us know as soon as you’re settled, and we’ll come a-bothering. Don’t you be working too hard, either! We might have news for you ourselves soon, watch this space. Love, Ma (and Ella, of course). Xxx

Dec. 5th

 Gavin – I’ve got news so exciting I didn’t trust myself to say it on the phone and still make sense. Don’t tell the authorities round these parts but we’ll be visiting you across the pond before Christmas time. Ella says she had too close a call and she doesn’t want to die knowing she did anything by half measures, so she’s taking me to England and we’re to be married! So, keep the 18th free, I suppose! Love, Ma.



2 Responses to “Postcards Home, an Irish Story.”

  1. Atomic Andy Says:

    Yum, “digg”s and “FIRST!!”s aside, I’m really happy I got a chance to read this myself! Love it hun x

  2. You’re going to be a wonderful writer my love. x

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