Gordon - based on your comments, I went looking on Google for a copy as our library here in Ontario doesn't have one of course. I found a used one for $Cdn79 all the way down to ordering a NEW copy from Lulu.com at $US12.95. I'm anxious to read it when it arrives in abt 2 weeks.
Thanks for the tip Jim McKane Kitchener, Ontario On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 12:12 AM Gordon Wilkinson via CoTyroneList < email@example.com> wrote: > We've mentioned "Bob, the Protestant Horse" by Michael McDonald. > > Once I started to read it, I couldn't but it down. It is a humourous, > whimsical and very true description of Irish rural life in the 1950s. > Loved his dry Irish humour. I can vouch that what the author says is > true, every word! I suspect that it is a real account of his early life > experences 'down on the farm'. > > The memories it brought back to me. My paternal ancestors came from > Blackwater country near Dungannon, and on the maternal side, from > Portadown, although my parents were born and bred in Belfast. Like our > wee Michael in the book, I too was not born in Ireland, but in England, > and when we returned to Belfast during the war, I was always referred to > as the foreigner. My story is so much a mirror of wee Michael's I could > have almost written it. I recall the "brown" of Belfast - clothing, > decor, everything seemed to be brown!!! Even the black & white, > hand-coloured photos of our family taken at the time are with brown > clothes! The memories kept swarming back: the wet cobble stones and > square-sets of the roads, the draught-horses slipping on the ice, the > smell and noise of the city, the Saturday night tin bath in front of the > fire - coal in Belfast. > > Living with my grandparents until we emigrated to Australia, I recall > G'dad's taciturn nature. He adored my younger sister, but had little > time for an over-active 6 yo. > > Then spending summer holidays on Robbo's farm (the Robinsons had a farm > at Hillsborough, Co. Down) helping with the harvest, early morning > chores like milk, eggs, water from the pump in the yard - no running > water, earthen floor. I can't recall wearing anythig but wellies, except > in summer when we went barefoot. Rationing on all things except chewing > gum and ice-cream, making butter in the churn, coal fire in Belfast, > peat in Hillsborough, the new Ferguson tractor (father's business was > making agricultural machinery and selling tractors), oh the awful > butter-milk which, like wee Michael, I just couldn't stomach. Then the > religious divide - so real and so unnesessary. I think that that was one > reason my parents chose to emigrate. But perhaps the most striking > feature of the story, written in conversational style, is the > phraseology. It is so like our family conversations. The words, the > expressions, the dropped letters, the way the sentences are structured - > I can hear, now, my aunt, mother and gran in the kitchen, all talking > simultaneously to each other and yet each following the other's > conversation perfectly. A lovely story, thanks for mentioning it. > > Gordon > > BTW, when we arrived in Australia in '48 my sister and I spent several > summers with an aunt and uncle in rural Victoria. Although the most > densely populated state, that town wasn't connected to the grid until > 1968, so we were already accustomed to the oil lamps and wood-fired stove. > > > _______________________________________________ > CoTyroneList Mailing List > Mailing List Email Address: CoTyroneList@cotyroneireland.com > Change Your Preferences: > http://cotyroneireland.com/mailman/listinfo/cotyronelist_cotyroneireland.com > Mailing List Archive: https://goo.gl/mQCKrY > _______________________________________________ CoTyroneList Mailing List Mailing List Email Address: CoTyroneList@cotyroneireland.com Change Your Preferences: http://cotyroneireland.com/mailman/listinfo/cotyronelist_cotyroneireland.com Mailing List Archive: https://goo.gl/mQCKrY