My uncle John, who's my mam's brother, is known far and wide as Seán. He attended UCC as a mature student to do his degree at the same time that I did. He's seriously clever and I sometimes think he and his wife, Treasa, know everything. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, I really mean they are very intelligent people and are fascinating to chat to and they have read every book you could think of.
I'm sure my siblings and cousins would agree that one of our very fond memories of childhood is visiting 'Santa' in our aunt's house. My mam is one of seven so there was usually a crowd of cousins gathered. Seán would come into the living room in a Santa suit complete with fluffy white beard and a black plastic bag over his shoulder. We'd sit on his knee (and not notice that he was lifting the beard up to take a sip of whiskey) and tell him excitedly what presents we wanted. He'd listen away and then reach into his big black bag and give us each a bag of Tayto. I remember being on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would come out of the bag and yet every year we'd be delighted with our bag of crisps.
Seán is well-known as a singer in Cork as is Treasa (who is also a songwriter in her own right). I have mentioned their daughters, Eilís and Miriam here before but I don't think I've mentioned their other sister, my cousin Sara.
No less than her parents I consider Sara to be very clever and witty. I am quite often in stitches at some of her comments on Facebook.
Eilís recently posted that she was re-reading Pride And Prejudice on its 200th anniversary. I thought this was such a great reason and set myself the task too. You might think that's no big deal but I am the world's worst reader. I usen't be but when I went to college I was a bit disappointed by the revelation that we wouldn't be studying English as a language and found the reading load overwhelming. I skimmed and scanned and actually read as little as possible. Were it not for my mam and my friend, Conor, who was studying finance (yes, he had read all of the books on the course already and dictated parts of essays to me over the phone), I'm not sure I would have graduated.
So anyway, I loved the idea of re-reading Pride And Prejudice, the only obstacle was that my copy (which looks brand new) was in the attic.
I went to mention this obstacle on Eilís's Facebook thread and saw that Sara had posted a comment about her mam having come home with "another" copy of Pride And Prejudice and that she had had to remove a different copy of it in order to make room for it on the shelf! If Treasa saw how pristine my copy is she'd be disgusted I'd say.
I left my comment about the attic and Sara said, "Oh I'm sure my mam has a copy she could lend you." I hope that Sadie and Holly inherit my love of learning but the reading ability of their wider family.