Not everyone can lay claim to the world’s best parents, but I can. Mammy and Daddy Browne are a force to be reckoned with. They are the ultimate team and when I grow up , I hope I can be somewhat as brilliant as they are. But although they’re the best, I didn’t think they’d actually reply to all 28 letters I sent them as part of my letter writing challenge in February. But they did!
As I sat with my cup of Barry’s, I couldn’t help but laugh. These letters, in 2 sides of an A4 page, managed to give me a full run down of the local news, gossip and goings on as well as a “back in my day” revision. They were so brilliant, I reckon my parents should start their own blog. Just the perfect balance of Irishness with a hint of parent. There were definite themes that kept arising in the letters so I’m going to outline the views from Ireland below.
My mother on all things Korean; Anything my parents know about Korea either I told them and they don’t believe or they hear it on the news and take it as completely accurate. When enquiring about the movie scene here it was; “Do you have cinemas over there and if so are you behind or in front of us in terms of movies”?
Following on with the idea that I play music in Korea. Replying to my letter where I explained about playing at St. Patrick’s Day with my trio she said, “Are they Korean nationality or do they speak English”? Can’t be both, you must choose one!
Later, she asked if there were any supermarkets or was it all just small shops. She’s going to get such a shock when she arrives (possibly later this summer) to find that you almost need a map to get out of Home Plus alive.
Thankfully, they were all quite impressed by my mad Korean skills ( I wrote half a letter in Korean). According to Mammy Browne however, Korea is “like Morse Code” and “I don’t know how you do it”. What can I say, mad skills……
My mother on Roscrea and its supermarkets; Our local town in Ireland is Roscrea. It’s not that big, actually it’s about 10 times smaller than Paju, that gives you an idea. It’s a regular Irish town, nothing special apart from the country’s best rashers, sausages and musicians. This is the town that we go to all the time for groceries, bank, everything. According to Mum, in the 4 years since I left, “the town of Roscrea has gotten so quiet, no problem getting a parking space in the centre”. That’s how we measure economic growth in Roscrea, availability of parking spaces in the centre. There are also 4 supermarkets. but in these bleak economic times “I really wonder how the four supermarkets stay open, there is a fierce piece competition between them all”. Then there was the usual rant about Easter related products ripping people off. And people buying it all up anyway. Mum, if you’re reading this, is there any chance you’ll send me a maltesers Easter egg? Or just the maltesers?
Love; A good number of these letters were dropping hints on the notion that I should soon start thinking of getting married. Dad went as far as to pick out an eligible candidate and send a letter with his credentials, road frontage availability etc. Excellent. Mum was much more subtle in her hints. While talking about the “anything goes” fashion of today, she mentions how she only buys clothes “for the special occasion”. Nod nod wink wink. She also dedicated a letter to the discussion she had with Dad about how couples meet each other these days. And there started the “and back in my day, and I’m going back to 1975” speech. This lovely trip down memory lane outlined how couples would meet at the dances and spend ages picking out dresses and hair styles and shoes and how everyone knew the dances (heaven forbid they wouldn’t know the dances). And they would all spend great times looking forward to meeting each other.At that time marriage was forever not like the “young wans these days”.
So I think the message is, hurry up and get married but don’t be in too much of a hurry because you don’t want to be stuck with the wrong person (possibly someone who doesn’t know Ceili dancing or hates Irish music). I’ll work on it.
To finish things up I’ll give you a review of the things I’ve learned from the letters that nobody thinks important to tell me on Skype;
1. My mother has been playing the concertina for ages and I didn’t even know. She has also been studying theory of music and the piano and is always doing exams. She’s now only 2 grades from finishing all 8. Fair play Mum. Fighting!
2. My mother has no sense of rhythm. Although this is what she says but I always knew I got my rhythm from my father.
3. For my grandfathers age, he has great eye sight and is in great health “not a fear of him” I hear.
4. My cousins are so big now, that most of them are in school, or leaving school. I don’t know why I’m so shocked, it has been 4 years.
5. Even though it’s been ages since I’ve been home, everything is the same. Nothing has changed and it’s business as usual.