Catherine Foley Ever since we moved to the Ring Gaeltacht when I was eleven, I've been trying to reconcile two worlds: my early childhood years, with the impressions of holidays, grandparents, and the self-deprecating tones and tensions of a repressed Irish city, and my teenage years in a different, starkly beautiful landscape with a different culture and a different language, where life was deeply felt and tinged with the poetry of the past. When we lived in Waterford, I was a quiet little girl in a frock with sandals and white socks. Back then, I stood quietly to listen when spoken to. I kept my feet together and if we had visitors I sat with my hands together in my lap. My fringe fell like a dark silky curtain down over my forehead. I was the first child. I was nervous, and often played alone with my dolls behind my mother's chair in the kitchen, or played in the garden with my two young sisters, RoseAnne and Miriam. In Waterford City, there were almost no empty spaces: we were restricted by laurel hedges and tiled hallways, stone steps and wrought-iron railings. There were streets of houses going off
New Hibernia Review – Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Published: Sep 19, 2010
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