Simple pleasures: Just me, my Mam and a cup of tea

Family Fortunes: Bliss it is to hold a real-time conversation sans devices

‘Would you drop me down to the Friary to half ten mass?’ says my Mam, Eileen Nugent

‘Would you drop me down to the Friary to half ten mass?’ says my Mam, Eileen Nugent

 

It’s 9.30am on a Friday morning. I open the front door of my mother’s house. She peers round the kitchen door.

“Oh God it’s you,” says she.

“It is,” says I.

“What are you doing here,” says she.

“Day off, Mam,” says I.

“Will you have a cup of tea?” says she.

“Of course,” says I, “and a slice of toast please.”

As she makes the tea and puts on the toast, I “clean out the fire”. Being an Irish mother, she keeps one eye on me and how I am progressing with my task.

“Put the bucket to your left,” says she.

“I can’t,” says I.

“Why not?” says she.

“I can only kneel on me good knee, Mam, so the bucket will have to be on the right,” says I.

“Sure look at my bad knee,” says she.

With that she rolls up her tracksuit leg and shows me her “dressed knee”. Henry Shefflin never had his knee bandaged as much as this – and him with dodgy cruciates.

We sit down to tea and toast. The bread is from a bakery 10 miles outside Kilkenny – Callan – where she was born and raised! “ Nicest bread ever.” To be fair, it is.

We chat and talk about this and that. She asks about her grandkids.

“Thomas is so tall now,” says she.

“He sure is, Mam,” says I.

“Who is he like?” says she.

“People say he is the spit of me,” says I.

“God, that would amuse you,” says she.

It is a simple pleasure to sit here with her, having our breakfast and chatting. In a world of maddening communication “devices” I often feel a simple face-to-face chat is something of real value. No broadband. No rectangular devices in our hands. Pure bliss.

“What time is it?” says she.

“Twenty past ten,” says I.

“Would you drop me down to the Friary to half ten mass?” says she.

“Of course,” says I.

“Let me brush my hair and put on a bit of lipstick,” says she.

“Grand,” says I.

Within a few minutes we are driving down Patrick Street.

“Will you be able to drive up Friary Street?” says she.

“I will, Mam,” says I.

I pull up outside the church entrance. She seems so happy. So am I.

“I’ll say one for you,” says she.

“Say two for me, Mam,” says I.

Brendan Nugent

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