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Archive for September, 2012

Alzheimer’s Steals The Mind…Not if I can help it!!!! & Milky Porridge Diary Of The Pebble Day something like 8.

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It started with a joke, a flippant remark about how I have lost myself in the stress & stretch of mind to finish the novel, The Pebble. It was no more than that, a loose tongue moment.

‘I must have Alzheimer’s, how can I lose track of the days….Where am I now in the diary?’ That is all it was.

But it took me racing back in my crowded mind to a day when I loved to write, just for the explosion of life it brought to a page. A time back in my childhood when Sunday afternoons were spent leaning on a lace covered arm rest, scribbling down on a note pad with a Bic pen which I had borrowed off my gran who was busy assaulting another dinner. 

Dinner was always accompanied by tunnels of smoke that whirled around in a escaping flume toward the chink of light that peeked through red velvet curtains- I am sure they were red-my sister would know-she notices things like that, closed to stop the glare on the TV.

I used to opt for porridge.

Now it would seem a safe and healthy substitute, Scottish oats in water, don’t you agree? But my gran, her name was Bridie-she was from Cabra and she never wrote a book, had a delectable skill at turning anything into a heart attack, she had a talent of making everything seem more lively. She even looked like Mrs Santa Claus..

Melted butter would skim across sugar topped milk with granules floating like lost diamonds, deep underneath was a gluey substance that once was porridge, but no more. It was now exciting!

I would ask questions in between hot mouthfuls of the artery closer, otherwise known as porridge.

‘So Tony is stuck between enemy lines, what will he do next?’ and waited with pen in mid air.

She would, without stopping her flour cascade around a plastic bowl – I think it resulted in apple tarts- drag me into her mind of characters, fairy monsters and always a bit of mischief. I never could keep up, I swear the little bump on my right middle finger was formed in those early childhood Sundays.

I love Dublin, her Sunday stories enchanted me, lost me in romance with her Dublin, and it was uniquely hers. You could feel her claim it as she spoke, crafting her words to shape and carve the statue of her youth in The Fair City. Her  perfect telling and painting of verbal images of a black and white city that she splashed with an artist’s colour. Her easel was her mind, her brush her tongue.

She never wrote a book.

I became encapsulated in her world for those hours on Sundays, days of her youth, of cinema trips-dodging the admission by heaving past ushers, jumping the tram and of Bang Bang and Forty Coats.

It started intermittently , a coffee made with gravy or a sugar bowl in the oven and then a lost walk or some money misplaced. They called the doctors but she had no time for the mundane life of the new century,00’s.

Bridie, my grandmother, was slowly easing into living back there,back to the 1940’s and her Dublin and who could blame her, the place was alive. I know it was because she took me there every Sunday as I sat with a pen and a notepad, eating unhealthy porridge.

It was too early in her life for us when she was attacked by Alzheimer’s and also sadly too that Auld Dublin became the home that she drifted in and out of in her mind. Most pitied her. I didn’t, I envied her.

I knew where she was playing, what she was joking about and the giggly glint in her eye had returned, I swore at times as she lay there vacant or as some thought rambling I seen it..and then a quick smile. I swear it.

She died on some date in Sept or Oct but that day matters little to me, I don’t visit her grave much..I don’t attend masses that call her out her name for a fee or buy poems to put in a paper, they are as dead as she is but I visit her daily in my mind and pen. The words I write are a death knell to those who say my grandmother lost her mind, that Alzheimer’s stole it from her.

The Fools!.

It could not steal what I sat and took into my very heart on those Sunday afternoons of my childhood. She has cheated death, she has beaten Alzheimer’s and each stoke of pen in The Pebble is a slash at it’s futile attempt to rob us of loved ones.

I will not be silent ..I will speak and in turn so shall Bridie…

She never wrote a book..The world should weep she did not….

Oh my father wrote a story once. It was about Russian submarines, the teacher loved it. He left school at 13 and got a job, my grandmother cried. She told me as I left one Sunday afternoon……. then wiped her floured hands and went back in to play her organ.

This rambling will be edited and cleared up, made sterile somehow and will the foundation of dedication for The Pebble…I will cry less then…..

Wisdom comes in grey haired packages…why not go today and inherit yours, visit your loved ones….

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Deadline Countdown to The Pebble: Day 3 & 4 Beard & Church.

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So I thought as it was the weekend and invariably busy, I would get the blogs done early on Saturday and Sunday morning and free up the days. My writing on Monday at 7am shows how successful I was.

Saturday started with football training with a gang of 8 year old kids, I train them I would point out, not training with them so I could look good… Then I hit the keyboard for the next 12 or so hours, at time literally. I needed to smooth a link between two episodes and it was a tough drain but I managed to get it done, at times I am sure I was nothing short of asking my wife Diane to wipe my brow and do breathing exercises with me.

Sunday is church day, I am that way inclined yes. I am a christian and part of GF Dundalk, great lively place altogether. It was a guest speaker from Abundant Life Bradford, Mark Stevens- speaking all about breakthrough…maybe he had heard my labour pains from Saturday eh?

Oh and finally I decided to remain unshaven, although bearded already, and Grizzly Adams like until I am completed and satisfied with the book. I think completed maybe easier than totally happy..the start of the prequel The Origin is morphing from the entrails of this venture as the various twists and turns evolve.

There you have it….beards and church and onto day 5 now, see ya later.

Nearly forgot, a sneak peek from The Novel

It had been raining heavy, as it can only in Ireland without notification or courtesy, and it had made the standing structures slippery and precarious. The guide had warned of the danger in fairness, it was however through a closed window and an expanded, exploding and crumb dispersing scone full mouth. 

 

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