25 December 2010


Another Christmas. Another winter solstice just gone. The turkey's in the oven waiting for morning. Presents are under the tree. We have so much to be grateful for. But see the picture in my Christmas card. It was taken from "The Island" rural cemetery in the middle of County Clare, Ireland on June 30th. It's where the body of my oldest brother, Paul, lies beneath the sod, snug against that rough limestone wall. I spoke with him every Christmas Day but not this year. And yet, and yet... I still hear his fiddle sawing out jigs and reels and the pints of Guinness on the bar in Vaughan's and his impatience, his strings of jokes, the frenetic way in which he finished phone calls with a staccato "Bye-bye-bye-bye-bye" like a machine gun and I remember his big heart, his love of people and his disregard for status high or low. Everyone was his equal and he loved life with a passion. Dear, dear Paul, I miss you. Happy Christmas bro! Happy Christmas everybody!


  1. A bittersweet time for you, YP. He will always be part of you and live on in your memories. Enjoy the day with your family.

  2. Hope you have a happy day YD. Nice that you have such memories of your brother.

  3. A very merry Christmas to you and Shirley.

  4. Such a lovely post. Happy Christmas.

  5. Wishing a Happy Christmas to all of you at Pudding Towers. Hope you enjoyed your day.

  6. Happy Christmas, YP! I'm making mince pies early Boxing Day morning if you'd care to stop by this side of the pond...
    Take care and revel in your memories of your brother.

  7. Lovely post, YP. I have left a little Boxing Day present for you over at my blog.

  8. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours. And, may the new year bring you much joy.....and may we all have peace.

  9. my brother has a terminal condition pud

    I recognise what you say

  10. Hope you, Shirley and the family had a nice X'mas YP. Your brother Paul will always have his place at your table. Like my late Mum & brother are at mine every X'mas.
    There's New Year's eve to get through next. Singing Auld Lang Syne always moves me.
    Take care.

  11. JENNY Thank you. All the more meaningful when I remind myself of how death has also touched you.
    HELEN Thanks. Paul was never one for wallowing. I can hear him now saying - forget about me and carry on. Good memories indeed.
    SPARROTS Mutual - though I don't know your wife's name. I'm guessing Cynthia or simply "She Who Must Be Obeyed"!!!
    LIBBY Thank you for reading it and belated Xmas greetings to you too.
    LOIS Wedid have a good day thank you. Hope you had a nice Christmas in the Crookes Workhouse. More please!
    MS GEORGE Thank you for the enticing mince pie offer but the cost of a transatlantic ticket was prohibitive.
    RHYMES WITH... Hope you have enjoyed the Georgia snowfall that I arranged with the Almighty specially for you sir.
    MOUNTAIN LADY Thank you for your kind greeting... Peace - yes. I used to think John Lennon was barking mad but he was right - "Give Peace A Chance" and this should include Afghanistan.
    JOHN GRAY I'm glad my post struck a chord with you and hope your brother's exit from life is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
    JEAN Allo allo encore! You're right, the backwash that death leaves behind travels on through the years. Let's drink to the departed and remember them sweetly.

  12. Great post. I don't like the way society today minimises the effect of death and to say loudly "I miss him" is an honest human emotion. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and thought of him as well.


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