by 'Abbie' © 2014
The school was old and draughty. A peat fire burned in the grate. The pupils brought a few logs every morning to aid the faltering flame.
I liked lunch-time best. We streamed out into the wind-blown yard. Games of 'tig' and 'catch' got us nice and warm. Lunch consisted of rounds of brown soda bread wrapped in newspaper. No treats at that time; perhaps some apples in Autumn; maybe a biscuit at Christmas times.
The talk was of threshing, mowing, saving the hay; a barn dance maybe. Older brothers and sisters went to work in England and America, sending back magical parcels containing clothes. The lucky people who got American parcels were the envy of all.
But all the time in the background there was the music of fiddles, of flutes, of accordions, the old songs sung in the fields and at night at the fireside, when the neighbors gathered. Then the old people threw their heads back and with eyes closed, launched into the ancient songs of lost love from time immemorial.