Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Somewhat Shaky Beginning

I arrived in this world at a time when being born out of wedlock was something to be frowned upon to say the least. It was not only the mother who was ostracized the child dared not admit his illegitimacy for fear of being singled out as different. That's how it was for me.

After living with a few foster families I was eventually adopted at two and a half years of age unable to walk or talk but although I was running around within a fairly short time I never really became a very vocal youngster, preferring perhaps to live inside my head (I'm still trying to get out of it!).

I grew up in the wonderful one-time fishing village of Ringsend in Dublin, Ireland. For any child this was a magical place to live. Firstly, we had (and still have) the public park where at one time people had their vegetable plots at the top end nearest to our avenue, a short walk from there up the Pigeon House Road we had (and still have I think) a small sandy beach called the Shelly Banks. One of my happiest memories of Ringsend was during the hot summer months when mothers would wheel their go-prams (that's what buggies were called then, except they weren't the buggies we now know, the baby actually faced you) along the Pigeon House Road to the "Shelliers" as it was affectionately known. You could safely walk along that road as the traffic mainly consisted of cyclists and the odd car or small truck.

The above image which I took in 1969 is that of the avenue where I lived until I was seventeen years old (my house was near the top on the left hand side).


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