Monday, October 18, 2010

And the Award goes to....Me!

I'd like to thank Mimi in Dublin for giving me this versatile blogger award - it's very nice to get an accolade like this and I do appreciate it - though I have to look at what I'm supposed to do with it.

Right - just checked and I have to tell you 8 things about me.
Then I have to pass it onto some fellow-bloggers - the number seems unspecified so I'll just select some random victims but tell you why I chose them.

Here goes!

1. I have lived in three continents in my lifetime - Europe, Asia and Africa. In Europe I lived in Ireland, England and Wales, and spent long periods of time in The Netherlands with hubby's family. In Asia I spent 2 years in Bangladesh and over 2 years in Laos or Lao PDR to give it its correct title. In Africa I lived in Tanzania for 11 years over a 13 year period.

2. I met my hubby Jan in Bangladesh and he comes from The Netherlands; we got married in Ireland and have spent more of our married life abroad than in Ireland. He has lived in more countries than me as he was in the Philippines as a Dutch volunteer before we met. We have never lived in his country, only visited there many times over the past 30 years. I speak reasonable Dutch and can converse and read it easily, a proud achievement for someone who still can't speak Irish after years of schooling and working in the Gaeltacht.

3. I have four children. Two of our children were born in Tanzania, and two in Ireland. The Tanzanian birth experience was far less high-tech and more memorable for many reasons - outside the scope of this list! They are all grown up now - including teen daughter who's taller than me now! The three boys are in their twenties - 28, 25 and 23. I can't believe how the years flew by.

4. I wanted to become a nurse since I was 12 and had my appendix out in Ardkeen Hospital in Waterford. It appealed to my romantic nature and had more to do with Cherry Ames books than the reality I encountered five years later! No regrets though, it's been a career that took me to wonderful countries and opened up opportunities I might otherwise never have had. Certainly life-changing - as if I hadn't gone to Bangladesh to save the world I wouldn't have met hubby!

5. My father died two months before my third birthday. People I went to school with thought I was an only child but in reality I had a sister who died in infancy who was born two months after my father's death. So it was tough on my mother - losing her husband and a baby in the space of four months. Regular blog-readers will know how close I was to my mother all my life and how I miss her since her death in March this year. I am grateful to have had her for so long, and it's a small consolation.

6. My maternal grandfather was a master tailor and I credit those genes with my love of dressmaking and knitting and sewing. We now live in the same house he lived in and practiced his craft - and called it (in his honour) Tailor's Cottage. Any skills I have in this line I owe him. He died when I was six weeks old so I never knew him, but we have his ledgers from the late 1920s for a decade, creating a rich tapestry of social history - all his clients and their suit measurements and the cost of the work is detailed meticulously, and we have fun recognising ancestors of local people from this area.

7. I didn't go to university until I was in my forties - I trained as a nurse under the old apprenticeship system - 3 years hard labour and block study with exams at intervals and finals - and my midwifery was the old one-year practical course - thrown in at the deep end with 90 deliveries clocked up in the course of the year. So I never had to go to college - until I went to do Public Health and became a full-time UCC student for a year and had a ball!

8. I became a granny this year and am enjoying it immensely - all the clichés are true - all of the fun and none of the responsibility of parenthood. I'll become a granny again next March as Sofia will get a brother or sister so happy days ahead. It brings back all the happy memories of my own children's babyhood as I watch Sofia grow up!

So now to select the lucky recipients of this Versatile Blogger Award - and don't worry if you don't fulfil the terms & conditions - it's not a bank loan, you know! So just enjoy reading it and if you feel  moved then by all means do write 8 things about yourself you are happy to share with your readers.

1.Diane @ Adventure before Dementia - she has had a peripatetic life and writes with humour about her life and travels.

2. Rudee @ A Knitting Nurse  - she inspires me with her wonderful knitting skills and her wry take on our shared profession - just what you need in community nursing.

3. Marguerite @ Cajun Delights - she's a foodie blogger and a writer and shares her wonderfully different corner of her world with us - the music, the food, and the atmosphere of Louisiana and Cajun Country comes shining through her blog.

4. Peggy @ Organic Growing Pains - she's a terrific gardener and makes me feel guilty for not being as industrious in the garden as she is - but I live it through her endeavours. 

5.  Lilly @ Stuff I make, bake and love - her gusto for food and innovation are always entertaining and enjoyable - and she writes a funny, quirky blog well worth a visit.

6. Padraic @ Window across Dublin Bay - not merely the token man amongst women but a recent blog for me that I enjoy - plenty of food for thought, and we found some serendipitous links in our past.

That's enough bloggers to target with the award - I just hope you are all happy to receive it and carry out the task of writing 7 or 8 things - random - about yourself. I enjoyed this and hope you do too. It's not meant to be confessional, just stuff you are happy to share with the world.


Marguerite said...

Congrats on your much deserved award, Catherine! And thanks so much for the kind mention and for passing the award along to me. I am honored and will post it as soon as I can. I enjoyed reading your 8 things and the chance to get to know you a little better. Cheers!

Stephanie V said...

I think it's fascinating how we are influenced by ancestors whom we have never met (or met briefly) but who are close enough to us that we can see the connections.

It's been a pleasure to learn a little more about you.

Pooch Purple Reign said...

nice to know you more! as i have just hung up from talking to my momma, i am even more grateful now for having her. i am sorry to hear about your mom.
cool that you have had and do have such a rich life

Joanna St. James said...

Congratulations, you do not look anywhere close to 40

Rudee said...

Thank you, Catherine. I'm honored you'd share this award with me.

It was nice to glean a little more insight into why you are who you are.

Irene said...

It's nice to know more about you. Awards are good for something after all if they come with those kind of guidelines. It sounds like you made the most of your life. It's been good, hasn't it? And you've got a long way to go yet.

Padraic Murray said...

Hi Catherine. I enjoyed the post and learning about your interesting life,career,family and interests. Thank you for kindly nominating me.
As I mention in my blog much of me if not most of me is already in the blogosphere that it is hard to know what to add. If I think of something I will be sure to post it..anyway, many thanks again for your kind words and for your fascinating insights. If everyone has a book to write,then you must have two.... Regards. Padraic.

Lilly Higgins said...

Congrats on the award and thanks for passing it on and saying such nice things! It's a lovely post and shows how jam packed your life is! Loads going on yet you still found the time to make apple jelly! x

Barbara Scully said...

Here I am... have visited in fact many times before.

Loved reading more about you Catherine.. what a fascinating life - so far!

I am sorry you lost your dear mother earlier this year.

We have something in common... my maternal grandfather was also a tailor... in North Cork town of Fermoy where his father was a tailor before him. Unfortunately I did not inherite any of their gifts. Same grandfather was also a bit of a hero in North Cork during the War of Independence and so I credit him with my own fondness for a bit of anarchy and chaos!!!

Catherine said...

Thanks for all the kind comments - lovely to get feedback!

Marguerite - glad you enjoyed it and look forward to reading your list! By the way there's a fab Cajun/Creole restaurant in Dublin which I haven't been to in a while but here's the link - see how authentique Tante Zoe's is!

Stephanie V - yes, the ancestors do have a lingering effect and I think it's only as we get older that we appreciate it - a sign of mortality perhaps! Look forward to your list!

Laura - keep on giving your mom lots of hugs! Glad you enjoyed the post, and it's nice to share things with friends - even in cyberspace!

Joanna - thanks for the nice compliment - wish I was a bit closer to 40!!! I went over to your blog and am now following - hope you follow mine.

Rudee - thanks and I owe you for all the inspiration for the knitting and also for our community nursing - you voice a lot of the issues that I meet too, and we face the same challenges even across continents.

Nora/Irene - glad you like the post, the guidelines aren't too difficult to follow or share - I don't do awards that are too complicated or chain mail-y. Hope you're keeping happy. Will visit your blog soon.

Padraic - thanks for the comments - I read over on your blog too. No pressure to fill in the 8 things - I guess it's all there in the blogosphere but this kind of pulls it all together - that's why I did it! Dunno about the book - I've a short memoir piece in a self-published book a writing group I was in did a few years ago, though it's out of print now.

Lilly - hope you enjoy doing the list - you've packed a lot into your relatively young life! By the way I didn't realise about the supper club's significance on your blog till I read the Sunday Times Home supplement article! Well done indeed! And to your sis Maeve too - good luck on Nov. 6th - will there be another Fancy Vittles series? love it's quirky humour and lovely grub! Yes it's apple season with a vengeance and the apples keep on falling - more tarts to be made tonight for tea break tomorrow at work!

Bye for now to all

Catherine said...

Hi Barbara - thanks for the comment and your sympathies - much appreciated (I wrote a tribute post to her memory back in march here )

I'd just replied to all the other commenters when yours came in - what serendipity about your grandfather also being a tailor - and in Fermoy to boot! I spent 5 years working with some GPs there before I went to do my public health nursing studies in UCC in 2002. Our granddads might have even known each other - my granddad's brother lost a leg during the same wars of Independence and it was always whispered he was in some "incident" or other with the flying columns! So there was a bit of a sense of the black sheep there as it was always a bit of a closet skeleton! I think he merits a post of his own, as there's lots more about him that came to our knowledge in the past decade!

All the best, and you're right Twitter is a bit addictive! Catherine

Vibrant Ireland said...

Catherine, congrats on the award! :) I always enjoy your blog; & I have tried to comment recently, but it wouldn't work. I think it could have? been due to my flitting about between Blogger & WordPress.. I've settled on Blogger now as it is so much easier. So here goes; will my comment post??

Catherine said...

Thanks Susan= I have never tried WordPress for blogging - it seems a bit more complicated and following some blogs is a pain as it seems I only get email updates, not on my dashboard like with Blogger. Glad you like the blog. I enjoy reading the other blogs too, though not enough time to comment on all!
All the best, Catherine.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...


Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment. Much appreciated.

I am enjoying your blog as well.