Aisling Burke

Excellent Kathy, an interesting read. Technology has been a life saver and a killer in my opinion. Your right regarding the fountain Pen. It has a nice personable touch and a song of effort when one receives a handwritten letter. To send an email you don’t use much physical energy! You turn the computer o, you get comfortable on your sofa or bed and you sit there writing an update to a family member whilst browsing clothes websites, booking flights and giving your attention to several things at once and soon the email becomes the one you save in drafts and say to yourself “oh Ill finish that tomorrow or one of the days”. One only saves it as a draft when prompted by the computer when browsing the pages. The computer gives you a gentle alarm saying “Do you want to leave this page? Do you want to save the draft” and yet again we click Yes for one reason because its easy. Had the question asked us “why are you not completing this email”? What is so important on the internet? what would we do then. My contrast is in the effort involved in posting a letter. I don’t want all my comments to revert back to my late grandmother however she seems to come in to every story these days. Well one of my memories of her was in relation to the posting of a letter and a newspaper to the UK. My grandmother was full of effort and energy towards pleasing others and making others comfortable and happy. A trait I really hope to have been given from her is her energetic ways to getting things done and attending everything. Again I am drifting in her memories. It actually brings me to this evenings sermon at Saturday evening mass the priest spoke a lot about accepting invitations and answering invitations and how in todays busy world its so easy for us to turn invitations down or ignore them all together, It might interfere with a soap we want to watch or with a gym session. Someone goes to that effort to include you in their event and you don’t respond, the priest was right its hurtful and he explained this in his contrast of the invitation to god. Its an invitation we would be mad to turn down. My grandmother was at every dog fight. She didn’t miss a thing. She loved throwing her handbag up on to a counter given her height was kind of mini, she loved telling the man behind the counter “Im off to England with my grandchild to a nephews wedding can you book me some tickets” or indeed im off to a jubilee celebration of a priest who is a friend of the family or indeed im off to Lourdes with my sister or even ringing a local taxi to go in to the town to post a newspaper because if she waited until the next day the news in the paper would be known to her brother in the UK and she promised it to him on a certain day”. Yes what a lady for accepting invitations and for giving her energy to people she loved to make there day better or more comfortable. So back to the post office contrast to emailing. My grandmother got in to a habit of posting the Western People to her siblings across the shore to keep them in the local loop. I can still see her fingers and her weak hands trying to tie knots with string in the paper and get it neatly packed in to a roll for posting. This particular day we took a taxi in to town because her usual lift with my granddad was delayed as he was pulling a calf. But with her determination she wasn’t going to let this newspaper go in a bin or be posted late. So the weather was terrible a real west of Ireland November day and we got as far as the post office at the top of the town and she realised it was the bank she needed to go to first to get money out and to get change for posting the newspaper. So in the thundering rain she marched down the wet pavement towards the AIB bank and smiling at everyone that passed even though her recently permed hair was soaking from the cold rain and shoes squeaking. Ill never forget the small effort but the hassle she would go to for anyone or anything. The newspaper ink was running on her hand and the paper was in ruins from the rain. As we marched back up the town to the post office she kept saying “we will dry off in the post office love”. don’t worry. Thinking back I was a young teenager I was fine she was an old lady with arthritis.
When we reached the post office she looked at the paper and looked at me and said ” A fresh one is needed” so she binned the carefully rolled western and purchased a crisp new one. She then wrapped it all up again and got it ready for the off. We must of been in that post office an hour. But she got it posted. What a wonderful generation of people and ways. Her siblings across the shore so full of goodness and kindness would receive her weekly package and they were so grateful.. They could see that it meant a lot to her too that she was the one holding the fort in the emerald Isle and she wanted them to be kept in the local loop. They didn’t want to ruin her buzz by telling her they could get the newspaper from the irish centres and a shop not far away. But that was the goodness in them they identified that this little weekly effort got my grandmother in to the town, got her out and about, and made her feel like she was still looking after everyone. It brings me to the opening of a can of Ambrosia Creamed Rice actually. My grandmother always had weak hands as far back as I can remember and her wrists were weak for years. I hated her thinking that she was getting old. She would b struggling to get the tins open and she would say to me “Oh bugger” I cant seem to get this thing off. So id say oh give me a try nan, and I would pretend it was so hard to open and so difficult so that she didn’t feel old and frail.. Again technology is amazing but it holds us back too. That’s all


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