Once in a while, I like to give my room a good clear out. It settles me, and it passes away a few hours when I simply have nothing better to do with my time. Today, I went through the boxes in my bedroom to see what treasures lay hidden.
Among the old pairs of shoes that have worn down and the various items of clothes that are now too big/small for me, I found some old copy books. And not just any old copy books. These contained what I imagined to be my best selling novels, all written between the ages of eight and 14.
I’ve always had a love affair with magazines. I’m even studying a degree in the things at the moment. My life long affair with the written word has had many focuses over the last two decades.
Can you believe it’s all over? After all the fuss, food and festivities we’ve passed yet another Christmas Day, and now we’re on the downward slope to New Year’s Day and 2016.
If one thing is constant, it’s that my family always does Christmas in the exact same way.
Growing up, I was a performer. I put on plays for my family at Christmas (the home video of my cousin and I as Mary and Joseph, with Barney as our baby Jesus, still haunts me. No you’re not seeing it.). I performed songs for my parents at any opportune moment. I even fractured my arm at the tender age of six while giving my Mam her Mother’s Day present – an aprés dinner rendition of every Barney song I knew, with movement, all done from my stage (read: a chair at the kitchen table).
My parents’ decision to send me to Speech and Drama classes and Irish dancing was inevitable. And I loved them both.
I took exams in Speech and Drama, and got up to grade four, but dancing was my real baby. I went to countless feiseanna and fleadhs, and have boxes upon boxes at home filled with medals and trophies. I came first at a feis when I was seven and I CRIED MY EYES OUT. (I also got brought for takeaway after it, so, you know, it wasn’t ALL bad).
Then, for some insane reason, I gave both up when I was 13. Spanner.
I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a nerd. And not the “wears hipster glasses” nerd, I mean a proper, sat in the library on my lunch break nerd. History was one of my favourite subjects in secondary school, and most particularly the Irish history sections. As the great philosophers Take That once said, never forget where you’ve come here from.