at least i have a brain

my life…warts and all…as it happens…

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if Holy Thursday was music….

If Holy Thursday was a musical choice…

I don’t love Handel.

But i think this piece represents how i feel Holy Thursday is.

Taken from The Messiah, is as close to an Oratorio as Handel ever wrote.

Yet this movement, He shall feed his flock, summarises so much of today’s liturgy:

  • string driven- stready support – strong faith.
  • title remeniscent of the Last Supper symbolism.
  • pastoral, in its 12/8 metre – caretaker…
  • ternary – representing return to this week
  • F major…passing with anguished B section through G minor…where he carries the weight of our burdens , before returning soon to F Major.
  • No coloratura gestures- undestated, humble….
  • a fitting Holy Thursday summary.

so with or without Faith…

enjoy your moment!


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for mammy…Happy birthday…

This blog was repost of a blog i wrote on mammy’s last birthday…

all so true…

i miss you so much mammy!


Happy Birthday Mammy

August 22, 2013 5 Comment

Happy Birthday Mammy

i know the age as one of us has to get the date of birth right.

i know already you’ll sing with us and look around

wondering whose birthday it is

and the eyes

the eyes show how it feels

the confusion

the fear

and the emptiness

less and less life in them now.

 but i remember mam

so many wee memories.


you were so kind, warm and motherly

modest, strong, wise, talented.

assumed by many!

a lot of things mammy

a planner

we came home from school to warm snack.

a mammy waiting for us?

the fire slacked at night so we’d have heat in the morning

a warm breakfast

 I didn’t appreciate it enough.

there were the annual trips at end of summer

the hiding from veggie

always bringing dad his dinner on his knee

an irish woman

you being sick for years

and on planned hospital days filling the freezer so we were all sorted.

granny’s club book.

the west end Bundoran days

all firmly painted in my mind.

 the concerts


playing duets with you

i still remember the rhapsody

and the Baxter family coming in for a wee concert

we didn’t enjoy them enough

the huffs

that were always parts of playing draughts

and playing table tennis

you always wanted to win

but got a migraine

it took me years to understand those headaches


few words

sat back when dad and friends talked school

did love your shopping with aunty Janet

but twice i remember those few words.

few but very important.

when you passed responsibility for my depression to me and refused to join with the community nurse and make any choices

that was when i knew you had a very important

very wise voice.

and on my wedding day

after the terrible past i had a few years before

you had seemed to stand back

i’m a mam now

and i know that is so so hard to do

but you seemed in my child’s eyes to stand off

you were letting ME decide

then on the morning you simply said

are you sure you’re happy?

then i knew you had been there behind me throughout the bad times.

i didn’t realise that enough

you had so little childhood

teenaged wages used so young to raise your siblings

you rose to that mam

could i?

i don’t think so.


not in a bad way

at times i wanted you to go out

to dress up and treat yourself

go to a dinner-dance

i remember one year you did

you looked beautiful

but you weren’t odd

you chose to stay in

not a lot different to what i do now!

i just wanted better for you mam

but you decided what you wanted yourself!

i stupidly didn’t realise that!

you buried three children

how did you manage



get up

get on with it

and never refer to it.

only when i had children did we talk about it

about the snowdrops

the fact you never were given the choices on funerals

that’s not how it was done.

how did you go on?

i really don’t understand the strength you must have had.

you were so strong

you had your crosses mam

we know what they were


public traumas

you dealt with tears and then silence

but you buried the pain

so i would never add to them mam.

until you became ill.


you chose a good man

daddy did all he promised you and more

he has loved you

cared for you

and allowed you to keep that quiet dignity

as you got lost

lost in the fragments of memories

until they disappeared.

but i have them mam

i will keep them

i will rely on them

and treasure them

for all the years i have

Happy Birthday mammy

i love you

i hope in there

wherever you are

you know that





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10 things i got from my mum.


i wrote this before mammy died…
thankyou mammy

Originally posted on at least i have a brain:

10 things i got from my mum….

0001Scan_1968_Guess_Year_0001wee me! in Grannies. mum WHAT were you at with those tights? and my wee short dress! LOL i look much more like my granny on dad’s side. so i have always been able to see the parts of my personality that came from his side. But for Mother’s Day, i decided to see what i took from you mum. Personality after all is a mix of nurture and nature…so you are definitely in the mix! Some of them I developed as they were in you. Others i developed because i could not do it like you! That’s not meant in a disrespectful way…but i watched as you gave and did and stood back and isn’t it funny now, that has become dad…so you took it in turns.

  1. MUSIC: You were naturally musical. I never really decided to do music – it just seemed…

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