- Site Index
- About Me
- Book List & Themes
- Strictly for Adults Novels >
Tales from Portlaw
- No Need to Look for Love
- 'The Love Quartet' >
The Priest's Calling Card
- Chapter One - The Irish Custom
- Chapter Two - Patrick Duffy's Family Background
- Chapter Three - Patrick Duffy Junior's Vocation to Priesthood
- Chapter Four - The first years of the priesthood
- Chapter Five - Father Patrick Duffy in Seattle
- Chapter Six - Father Patrick Duffy, Portlaw Priest
- Chapter Seven - Patrick Duffy Priest Power
- Chapter Eight - Patrick Duffy Groundless Gossip
- Chapter Nine - Monsignor Duffy of Portlaw
- Chapter Ten - The Portlaw Inheritance of Patrick Duffy
- Bigger and Better >
- The Oldest Woman in the World >
Sean and Sarah
- Chapter 1 - 'Return of the Prodigal Son'
- Chapter 2 - 'The early years of sweet innocence in Portlaw'
- Chapter 3 - 'The Separation'
- Chapter 4 - 'Separation and Betrayal'
- Chapter 5 - 'Portlaw to Manchester'
- Chapter 6 - 'Salford Choices'
- Chapter 7 - 'Life inside Prison'
- Chapter 8 - 'The Aylesbury Pilgrimage'
- Chapter 9 - Sean's interest in stone masonary'
- Chapter 10 - 'Sean's and Tony's Partnership'
- Chapter 11 - 'Return of the Prodigal Son'
- The Alternative Christmas Party >
The Life of Liam Lafferty
- Chapter One: ' Liam Lafferty is born'
- Chapter Two : 'The Baptism of Liam Lafferty'
- Chapter Three: 'The early years of Liam Lafferty'
- Chapter Four : Early Manhood
- Chapter Five : Ned's Secret Past
- Chapter Six : Courtship and Marriage
- Chapter Seven : Liam and Trish marry
- Chapter Eight : Farley meets Ned
- Chapter Nine : 'Ned comes clean to Farley'
- Chapter Ten : Tragedy hits the family
- Chapter Eleven : The future is brighter
The life and times of Joe Walsh
- Chapter One : 'The marriage of Margaret Mawd and Thomas Walsh’
- Chapter Two 'The birth of Joe Walsh'
- Chapter Three 'Marriage breakup and betrayal'
- Chapter Four: ' The Walsh family breakup'
- Chapter Five : ' Liverpool Lodgings'
- Chapter Six: ' Settled times are established and tested'
- Chapter Seven : 'Haworth is heaven is a place on earth'
- Chapter Eight: 'Coming out'
- Chapter Nine: Portlaw revenge
- Chapter Ten: ' The murder trial of Paddy Groggy'
- Chapter Eleven: 'New beginnings'
The Woman Who Hated Christmas
- Chapter One: 'The Christmas Enigma'
- Chapter Two: ' The Breakup of Beth's Family''
- Chapter Three: From Teenager to Adulthood.'
- Chapter Four: 'The Mills of West Yorkshire.'
- Chapter Five: 'Harrison Garner Showdown.'
- Chapter Six : 'The Christmas Dance'
- Chapter Seven : 'The ballot for Shop Steward.'
- Chapter Eight: ' Leaving the Mill'
- Chapter Ten: ' Beth buries her Ghosts'
- Chapter Eleven: Beth and Dermot start off married life in Galway.
- Chapter Twelve: The Twin Tragedy of Christmas, 1992.'
- Chapter Thirteen: 'The Christmas star returns'
- Chapter Fourteen: ' Beth's future in Portlaw'
The Last Dance
- Chapter One - ‘Nancy Swales becomes the Widow Swales’
- Chapter Two ‘The secret night life of Widow Swales’
- Chapter Three ‘Meeting Richard again’
- Chapter Four ‘Clancy’s Ballroom: March 1961’
- Chapter Five ‘The All Ireland Dancing Rounds’
- Chapter Six ‘James Mountford’
- Chapter Seven ‘The All Ireland Ballroom Latin American Dance Final.’
- Chapter Eight ‘The Final Arrives’
- Chapter Nine: 'Beth in Manchester.'
- 'Two Sisters' >
- Fourteen Days >
Thoughts and Musings
- Bereavement >
- Nature >
Bill's Personal Development
- What I'd like to be remembered for
- Second Chances
- Holidays of Old
- Memorable Moments of Mine
- Cleckheaton Consecration
- Canadian Loves
- Mum's Wisdom
- 'Early life at my Grandparents'
- Family Holidays
- 'Mother /Child Bond'
- Childhood Pain
- The Death of Lady
- 'Soldiering On'
- 'Romantic Holidays'
- 'On the roof'
- 'Family Tree'
- 'Growing up with grandparents'
- The importance of poise
- Love & Romance >
- Christian Thoughts, Acts and Words >
- Miscellaneous >
- My Wedding
- Audio Downloads
- Bill's Blog
- Contact Me
Chapter One: 'The Irish Custom'
I have long been fascinated by the Victorian custom of Gentlemen leaving their ‘calling card’ whenever they made a social visit to the house of one of their friends or acquaintances. Etiquette at that time decreed that house visits were only supposed to take place within a specific window-time-slot of day, which was considered respectable and paid regard to the normal daily customs and routines of the visiting household. Between 2 pm and 4 pm in winter and 2 pm and 5 pm in summer, when the lady of the house was unlikely to be there alone, was considered to be an appropriate time of the day for a gentleman to call upon a lady. If a respectable lady expected a gentleman caller one afternoon, she would always ensure that she also invited two or three female chaperones to be present. In the event that when the male visitor called, the lady in question had no chaperone to protect her good name and honour, it was incumbent on her to deny admittance to the gentleman caller and to send him away until another time.
While this custom and practice had been firmly established within the homes of all aspiring classes in England between Queen Victoria’s reign and the 1950s, for the vast majority of folk in the town of Portlaw, County Waterford, Ireland, the influential and ruling classes established their own etiquette and way of doing things. No foreign ways were allowed to interfere with the Irish traditions of the countryside.
The Portlaw etiquette simply acknowledged that if the door to the house was left unlocked, anyone could simply walk in and, after greeting the householder, ‘Good Day,’ they could expect to receive a cup of tea and a slice of soda bread and butter to keep them going until they next tasted anything solid. This rule of thumb became a general practice in the town and frequently caused courting couples and newly-weds considerable embarrassment from time to time when people called in unannounced and caught one of the house occupants in a state of undress.
There was one exception to this practice that eventually emerged; a practice that was to prove as sacred to observe for all Portlaw Catholics as attending Sunday Mass weekly and going to Confession and Communion at least once a year, along with eating no meat on a Friday and having made The Stations of the Cross at least once in your lifetime was.
And what was this one exception you may ask? When the Portlaw priest visited any house in the town, nobody interrupted his presence by daring to call upon the householder until the priest had left the premises. An initial interruption of the priestly duties would result in the interloper’s name being read out from the pulpit during the following Sunday morning service. Fall foul of the custom twice within any five-year period and don’t be surprised if the parish priest refused to baptise any newcomers to your family or bury your dead in hallowed ground. If he was angry enough by your interruption of his house visits, he might even apply to the Pope for your immediate excommunication!
Any person born within the southern counties of the Emerald Isle knows that from the time they can speak their very first word, the most influential and powerful person in their community and their daily lives is the parish priest. Ever since St. Patrick converted this Emerald Isle of heathens into a nation of God-fearing Christians in the middle of the fifth century A.D., this missionary who was born under Roman rule, effectively ensured that Ireland remained under ‘Roman rule’ ever since!
The oldest boy born to every Irish family knows why he was created by his parents. He knows that he was created in order that he may do all of those things in his life that his father had always wanted to do, but for some reason, never did. It was his objective in life to become the type of man his father wanted to be, but never became! It was his crowning glory in the eyes of his parents that they'd one day see him being ordained a priest and lie prostrate on the red carpet of Rome.