You know you grew up in the country when…
Let’s face it. If you grew up in the country you either lived on a farm or near one. All year round, farming is a 365 days a year job and it doesn’t stop for no one. A farm has many things; animals, machinery and smells. Yes, smells.
In Spring you could be looking out your window at a glorious day, the sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze and no rain (Hallelujah). You open the back door and it hits you. Square in the face; it’s slurry season. Ah slurry, that natural pang of the country when your mother is guaranteed to be pissed off for the evening that she couldn’t hang out the clothes because there would be a pang of slurry off them.
Then you have summer which brings silage season. Morning, noon and night; a short window of opportunity for the farmers, often a week or two, to cut that green grass and bale it. 5 in the morning is the ideal time to begin. The cutting, the turning, the baling; it goes on until all hours of the morning. Continuous tractors, cutters and balers are on the roads. People have been known to skip the Leaving Cert in order to cut silage. It’s that important.
Whatever about tea, no matter where your mother or father was in the house, at any stage if you put on the kettle all you can hear is ‘Is there water in that kettle is there!?!’. Growing up there was always the fear that the kettle could (and would) explode if you put it on without water.
Ireland has an important relationship with tea. It can make any bad situation immediately lighter. If you don’t drink tea then I’m afraid you could be shunned by society (no joke). Some people also are unable to make tea and these people should be avoided at all costs because let’s face it; if you can’t make a cup of tea then what use are you?
Our obsession with heat
‘Don’t let the fire go out.’ Heat is a valuable resource in Irish homes. If you are the one to let the fire go out you will have some serious redeeming to do. Along with letting the fire out, if you walk into a room and leave the door open behind you, letting that precious heat out, it’s almost as bad as sinning. ‘WERE YOU BORN IN A FIELD WERE YOU?’
Ah the good old immersion. If you’ve left the immersion on after a shower or for whatever reason you wanted hot water and left your house for a couple of hours don’t be surprised to see your bags packed when you arrive home. Leaving on the immersion is a cardinal sin and you will suffer for it. Just don’t even go there. ‘Do you think I’m made of money do you!?’
The GAA has strong community ties and out the country it is more than just sport; it’s more of a religious/social event. Training through rain, hail, sleet and snow it doesn’t stop. Essentially it’s what you hear at GAA matches that makes it. Sayings from old men such as ‘That young lad in there, milk would turn faster than him’ and ‘PUT HIM OUT OVER THE LINE’ are examples.
We’ve all been there at least once. Boredom at some stage has gotten the better of us and we have a look around the cupboards in the house. You find a tin of roses – you’ve struck gold! Only to open it and find enough needles and thread to open a sewing shop, there might even be a sewing machine in the box. The joy was short-lived, the disappointment lasted the day.
Dessert usually only arrived after dinner on a Sunday when you were ‘good’ for the week. You looked forward to dessert and you knew well what you were going to get. The block of HB ice cream; ‘would you like that in a bowl or with wafers?’
The wooden spoon
Sure to put the fear of god in you and send you running. The threat of the wooden spoon when you did something bold when you were younger. As well as a cooking utensil it could also be used a terror instrument.
Have you got anything you think you should add to this list? If you do, leave a comment!