Matchstalk Cats and Dogs #100DaysOfOldDays

Day 89 #100DaysOfOldDays

I loved it then and I love it now! Imelda Traynor taught us this song soon after she started teaching in St Anne’s National School around 1977-78 She sang it with her classes for years – maybe she still does! The song was number one in the UK charts for three weeks in April 1978.

Take a trip down memory lane!

Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs by Brian & Michael

For today’s post, Lucy drew matchstalk people outside Finegan’s shop in Bailieborough as it was in the 1800’s.

Mrs Murray’s Choir #100DaysOfOldDays

Day 88 #100DaysOfOldDays

When I was in third class in school, my teacher was Mrs Murray. When you were in her class you were in the choir whether you wanted to be or not – and whether you could sing or not.

I remember a girl (let’s call her Nancy) announcing one day that she was leaving the choir. Well……….the hullabaloo she caused. Mrs Murray nearly had a fit. She sent for Nancy’s older sister from fifth class. The sister arrived pale-faced. Mrs Murray wasn’t one to mess with!

She demanded to know why Nancy wanted to leave the choir.

‘Because…she doesn’t like it. She can’t sing,’ the sister mumbled.

‘Of course she can sing. Everyone can sing.’

At least she was encouraging!

‘I hate the choir and I’m leaving,’ Nancy burst out.

Mrs Murray was in shock. She grabbed at her own throat and stuttered incoherently. There wasn’t a closed mouth in the room. Nancy began to cry. Mrs Murray got even more flustered and sent the two sisters home to report to their parents.

I remember wanting my mammy at that moment! My weak bladder began to throb. I said to myself, ‘I can never leave the choir. I’ve to stay forever.’

As it happened, Nancy did leave the choir.

I stayed. But truthfully, I didn’t want to leave. I enjoyed being in the choir. And I enjoyed practicing the hymns in school. Much better than long division!

Mrs Murray retired soon after that actually.

Here’s the hymns I remember, a lot of which I haven’t heard in years.

The Bells of the Angelus; The bells of the Angelus, call us to pray, with sweet tones announcing the sacred Ave. Ave, Ave, Ave Maria.

O Sacrament Most Holy; O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament divine, All praise and all thanksgiving, Be every moment thine.

Hail Redeemer; Angels, saints and nations sing, praise be Jesus Christ our King.

Praise my Soul The King of Heaven; Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him. Praise the everlasting King.

Give me Joy in my Heart; Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising…..Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
Sing hosanna to the King of kings!

Takes me right back!


‘Don’t Tell Your Mother’. #100DaysOfOldDays

Day 87 #100DaysOfOldDays

For today’s post I decided to do a bit of research in order to determine what style of parenting I was raised with.

Bear with me…this is not a boring lesson on parenting psychology. Sure who am I to lecture on parenting styles?

In the 1960’s, phychologist Diana Baumrind worked on developing ‘parenting styles theory’. She categorised them into four styles; authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and neglectful. The model was later redefined by Maccoby and Martin in 1983.

After inspecting each model, I’ve put my parents into a category!

Here’s what each one means (Just in case you’re not in the know).

Authoritarian; strict rules, harsh punishment if rules are not followed, little or no reasoning for the rules and punishments, high expectations, unsympathetic, unaccepting, cold, demand respect.

Authoritative; warm and nurturing, reason instead of demanding, encourage independence, consistent with enforcing boundaries, earn their child’s respect rather than demand it, encourage independence, teach about values and moral behaviour.

Permissive; set very few rules and are reluctant to enforce these rules, few boundaries.

Neglectful; they don’t set firm boundaries or high standards for their children, uninvolved in their childrens’ lives.

Going by this model I can safely say that my mother was an authoritative parent.

My father falls into a completely different parenting style category. One that’s called, ‘Don’t Tell Your Mother.’

I’ll explain…

While Mam was the rule maker, Dad was the rule breaker. We only broke the rules when Daddy Dearest encouraged us to.

When Mam would be getting ready for bingo he’d say to her, ‘Now Mam, get these to bed before you go because they won’t go for me.’

She’d have the supper in us, the jammies on and we’d be all tucked up in bed as she was leaving. She’d walk across the terrace to get the bingo bus to either Kells, Tullyvin, Shercock, or Kingscourt. Different towns on different nights.

As soon as she was out of sight, Dad would come up the stairs, ‘She’s gone,’ he’d cheer. We’d get up and the fun would begin. On the bright summer evenings he’d let us get dressed and go outside to play. ‘Don’t tell your mother,’ he’d warn.

On dark or wet evenings he’d let us watch telly, or play games. He’d sprinkle sugar on the floor (we had linoleum) so we could slide up and down in our socks. He’d give us weetabix spread with Golden Syrup or butter and sugar. He’d be a donkey and let us ride on his back. He’d play hide and seek with us…letting us hide in Mam’s wardrobe where we were totally banned from.

He’d always have us back in bed before Mam would get home from bingo. ‘Now, make sure you don’t tell your mother,’ he’d remind us.

One night she missed the bus and came home to find us all outside playing. He was in the doghouse for a week after that.

Sometimes he’d take us to work with him instead of school, especially if the weather was good. ‘Don’t tell your mother.’ Of course we didn’t tell!

He’d give us money for Mrs Fulton’s shop. ‘Don’t tell your mother, or she mightn’t buy sweets for yas tomorrow.’

When we’d get into trouble with Mam, he’d comfort us. If she said no, he’d say ‘Go on, but don’t tell your mother.’

We’ve always laughed and joked about his style of parenting down through the years. Mam knew rightly what he got up to behind her back. Their opposed views on child raring didn’t cause any issues. They had a high regard for each other and worked it all out between them. Their zest for a fun-filled family life made everything okay!

Having said all that, Dad had limits too. He didn’t let us away with bad manners. We had tremendous respect for him and we knew the boundaries. He didn’t demand anything from us or lecture us…we just knew not to cross the line. I think my parents had the balance right!

More Vintage Things #100DaysOfOldDays

Day 86 #100DaysOfOldDays

My mam bought these in an antique shop a few years ago. We thought they were binoculars, but antique dealer, RJ Keighery informed me that they are opera glasses. They’re possibly from the 1930’s.

They are quite common and like all vintage and antique items, their worth depends on their condition.

R J Keighery is on Instagram with lots of unique vintage and antique pieces.

Lucy’s drawing today.

You may have read about my grandmother’s tablecloth. Click HERE if you missed it!

I also have this antique centrepiece tablecloth which belonged to my late aunt-in-law, Ellen McEntee. It’s linen, trimmed with lace, and decorated with embroidered butterflies. Ellen gave it to my mam many years ago. Mam has recently passed it on to me. She knows that I appreciate the sentimental value of it and that I’ll take good care of it. I will use it, but I will protect it!

Ellen got this as a First Communion present when she was about 6-7 years old. I find it a strange present for a child of that age. Perhaps it was used for a dressing table.

Ellen passed away in 2000 at the grand age of 93. So, this little tablecloth is about 109 years old.

Here’s Ellen in our garden with Mam, me and my brothers.

Comedy Concerts #100DaysOfOldDays

Day 85 #100DaysOfOldDays

We snaked off on a wee holiday so we’re a bit behind on our #100DayProject posts. I checked with the project police and they assured us that it’s not a punishable offence, so we’ll carry on where we left off!

The photos alone could tell today’s story, but I will explain. In the 80’s our concerts and comedy sketches were like no other. They were unusual, colourful, true to life, and best of all, hilarious!

If I remember rightly, the director of these shows was local man, Peter McConnell. We always called him Petesy. He was the chief organiser and wholly responsible for interviewing the extremely talented actors for all his shows. He went to great lengths to source the perfect cast for each sketch! His actors were so skilled at their job that forgetting their lines was never an issue…they just made up new lines as they went along!

The ladies in my first photo were the cast of the ‘Exercise Class’ comedy sketch. Back row; Ann Burmiston (Martin), Mary McCabe, Moira Tully, Ann McIntyre, Shirley Millar, Bertie Murtagh – the class instructor. Front row; Mary Burmiston, Veronica McEntee and Pauline Fox.

Next is a photo of ‘Snow White and the seven dwarfs’. It was difficult to find seven men with the specific qualities needed for the role of the dwarfs. But, Petesy found his men!

Back row; Martin Hannigan as Dopey, Phil Fox as Bashful, Hugh Tully as Happy, Josie Deignan as Sleepy, Micheál Bird as Sneezy. Missing from the photo; Bill Fisher as Grumpy and Jimmy Gilsenan as Doc. Front row; Me as Snow White, James McConnell as Prince Charming and Linda McCluskey (McDonald) as the fairy godmother.

I can’t remember the name of this sketch, but I do know that Phil Fox is on the toilet and Jimmy Gilsenan has his back to us. Veronica is in the bed.

The photo below is the same sketch – I think – but possibly played on a different night because there’s a different woman in the bed. (Although, maybe that was part of the story.)

Next on my list is a sketch I did a couple of times with Josey Deignan. This musical piece de resistance was called ‘A hole in the Bucket.’

We had as much fun – if not more – during rehearsals as we had on the nights of the concerts.

Behind the Stage Antics.

The concerts weren’t entirely made up of comical acts. There were musicians and singers performing, including the fantastic singer Teresa Cullivan. Teresa had a strong passionate singing voice and sang ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘Sweet Sixteen’ exceptionally well.

Lucy’s drawing of two friends enjoying an evening of comedy.