Showing posts from April, 2014

Thinking about Ireland in Maytime.

I remember the May altars of my Dublin childhood, smothered in flowers and decked in starched linen. They were great fun to create and produced annual entertainment in the low rivalry between a girl in the Middle Back who had access to apple blossom and someone else in the Top Front whose granny hoarded tray cloths made of white crochet lace. (Our school was in a Georgian terrace and the classrooms were named accordingly; two on each  floor, with the loo and stationary cupboard on the first landing and a 1950s drill hall at the bottom of the garden.) I don't think I was ever a Child of Mary. Perhaps that's a memory I've suppressed. Which is pretty likely when you consider the horror of a white veil, blue cape and silver medal worn over a shiny-arsed gymfrock, and  Clarke's sandals. But I do remember being one of four girls elected in May each year to carry the statue of the Virgin. She was swathed in lace and anchored in some discreet way to a small table, an