Eager so eager to arrive at our grandfathers cottage we children were filled to the brim with anticipation , not to see our dear grandfather I might add but to see the children next door and revisit their wonderful life.

Life that had us jumping out of bed  as early as possible as we did not want to arrive next door at a time  when we may have been told to go . We had to play it cute so we arrived just as the soda bread was being cut into large slices and coated with butter and being the lovely family they were they offered the visitors some also .

Our mother often talked about these holidays as being the happiest in her life , with us , well they were but she did not see much of us and spent a lot of the time making excuses to grand father for our disappearances;  he was a proud man and did not like the idea of us children being a nuisance to his neighbours. Everything about that farmhouse next to grand fathers was illuminated to us children.

We started the day probably hindering the farm work but slowly as afternoon came they came to accept us as their own and jobs of all descriptions were given to us; like churning butter, picking blackberries , hay making , digging potatoes and last thing in those glorious evenings  was going to collect the cows in the distant fields  and walk them home to be milked after which we would all sit around the turf fire and talk , and we the visitors would sing for our neighbours  till our hearts content.

Rita the lady of the house always swept her floor with a broom  , yes like those we see at Halloween with witches on them   , one day as we descended once again on this lovely family I noticed Rita had a brush like we had at home in the city   and my heart sank I can still feel that sinking feeling . Why did I feel like this ? well the answer is because I did not want anything to change in that idyllic world that we belonged to every summer and that brush was not part of  the scene that brush represented an invasion by  modernity to me.

As the years went by and I grew more  in tune with the real world I realised that Rita’s world  welcomed the modern era ;it was harsh to go each day to the spring well to gather water and she must have  been delighted with  having  running water eventually, but to us city kids  the old way was a heaven that we glimpsed every summer and still warms us as we revisit it in our memories  where we can again just let it be.



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