Skip to main content


I used to belong to this militant group of  schoolgirls in my early youth.  We were taken away from our families and brainwashed.  We used to march around in military type uniforms and sing patriotic songs.  We used to declare that we would die for the Catholic faith if necessary (Our fathers chained in prisons dark were still in heart and conscience free, how sweet would be their children's fate, if we, like them could die for thee!").    It's hard to believe now, really.  Sounds dreadful, doesn't it?  It was called the Girl Guides.  The Catholic  Guides of Ireland, to be precise.

I learned a couple of useful skills there.  I can tie a mean reef knot.  I know my rosary backwards and forwards. I always feel guilty about being late and failing to be neat enough to pass inspection.  But a free spirit like me couldn't be chained up for long and I escaped when I was around fifteen.  Mind you, it was politics.  Some young one called Treasa (that's the Irish for Teresa, pronounced 'trassa') got promoted to being the Assistant Patrol Leader of the Blackbird Patrol group right over my head.  That upstart had joined a full year after me!  When  I made discreet inquiries, I was given to understand that I was always several points behind  Treasa dearest in inspection and I was nearly always five minutes late.  I couldn't take this blow to my self respect and I walked out.

It's hard to erase several years of brainwashing however, and the guide motto of  'always be prepared' has been instilled into my soul.   I like to be prepared for any eventuality.

I fail miserably there too.  In theory, I always want to have things prepared hours in advance.  But if, for example, I get stuck into a good book or if me and the husband get involved in an intense conversation, I will not leave that situation to go and soak the rice grains.  I'll just mug up and manage when the time comes.  You have to seize the moments of life when they occur instead of acting like an overgrown girl guide.  If I'd been more prepared, I'd probably have a cleaner house.  I probably wouldn't have quite so many kids (!) either, come to think of it.  But then again, I wouldn't have much of a life.  I really enjoy my life, even the difficult parts of it.

I always remember a particular saying of that immortal bodice ripper novelist Shirley Conran. It goes something like this:  "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom."

I believe that with all my heart.

This is my weekly post for the Loose Blogger Consortium. We are a group of bloggers from different parts of the world with diverse views and styles of writing, and we post simultaneously (well, we try to) on a weekly basis on a given topic.  Our members  are, in no particular order,    AkankshaDelirious, Padmini, AshokConrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, and Rummuser. This topic 'Prepare' was chosen by Grannymar.

If you would like to leave a comment please click on the heading and wait for the Intense Debate Comment System to load.  Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

The Climate in my Hometown LBC Post

I am originally from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. We have a maritime climate, neither too hot nor too cold. Cool, wet winters and warm summers.  We get the odd freak weather condition, like several feet of snow, once in a while to make life interesting.  Pretty ideal really.  

Now I reside in Lucknow in north India. In the Indo-Gangetic plain.  Cold dry winters, roasting hot summers and a humid rainy season.  It seems like it's always too hot or too cold. Or too humid. Humidity is something I dread.  It brings itching, rashes and all of that.  Okay, too hot will work for me. So will too cold (although I hate dry cold, that's energy-sapping). But humidity is .......not at all good. And that's a euphemism if ever there was one,. 

I wish to dedicate this post to my beloved and erudite rakhi brother Rummuser, who suggested this topic.

And thanks to for the above illustration, 'Paper Weather Icon Illustration' by SweetCrisis.

The Loose Blogging C…