- 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 >
‘The Postman Always Knocks Twice’
- Author's Foreword
- Chapter One
- Chapter Two
- Chapter Three
- Chapter Four
- Chapter Five
- Chapter Six
- Chapter Seven
- Chapter Eight
- Chapter Nine
- Chapter Ten
- Chapter Eleven
- Chapter Twelve
- Chapter Thirteen
- Chapter Fourteen
- Chapter Fifteen
- Chapter Sixteen
- Chapter Seventeen
- Chapter Eighteen
- Chapter Nineteen
- Chapter Twenty
- Chapter Twenty-One
- Chapter Twenty-Two
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'
- Always wear clean shoes
- 'Family Tree'
- The importance of poise
- 'Growing up with grandparents'
- Love & Romance >
- Christian Thoughts, Acts and Words >
- My Wedding
- My Funeral
- Audio Downloads
- My Singing Videos
- Bill's Blog
- Contact Me
Thought for today:
"A father carries his offspring until they are old enough to make their own way in the world, but a mother will never place any time span around the breadth of her affection or extent of her patience and will be prepared to carry her offspring until the day she dies.
No matter how far we travel in life, our mother is always with us. Just as we started off our life in her, our adult years ensures that she always lives on within us. That is what makes her the gatekeeper of our inner secrets and protector of our souls. Even death itself cannot sever the umbilical cord that enjoined us at birth, through which mum continues to yield her genetic influence from beyond the grave. Even when mum is no longer here, she still remains in our shadow and lingers behind our every thought and breath as we see her stare straight back at us through the faces of our offspring. She makes her daily presence felt in their looks and peculiar ways, in their mannerisms and movements. She is always the first woman in our lives that we loved and also the last!
For many a man, mum has helped pick our wives; having 'arranged' our marriage without our knowledge, simply by being the mum we love. For instance, I have always dated shoulder-length black-haired women and would probably have turned down Marilyn Monroe without a second glance. Coincidentally, my beautiful mum had long black hair in her youth, way up until her late thirties.
Without knowing it at the time, many a man measures his future wife to his mother's looks more than his present fancy. It is not therefore surprising when his wife happens to have many of the physical features that his own mother once possessed when she first met his dad.
It also becomes less surprising when he says to his sweetheart, 'Are you sure we've not met before in some other life. We like the same things....and share the same values. It's uncanny....like destiny intended us to meet. You are so like me; so like the soul mate I've always hoped for.'
What he really means about his bride-to-be is, 'You are so like the mother I've always loved, worshipped and adored!'
Then as our own children arrive on the scene, money and time alone with our wives becomes scarcer and tempers start to fray more easily. The once passionate nights we used to share over a pizza and a bottle of wine become gradually replaced by discussion of money shortage and the rationing of his or her activities while the financial belt is tightened. Bodies seem more tired after a hard day's work and parental patience starts to wane when 11pm comes round and the kids still aren't asleep. Add all of this to a decrease in intimate contact allied to our marriage partner's increased nightly headaches, and you find the closeness you once shared nightly during your pre-child years of marriage has faded into distant memory, only to re-emerge at Christmas, holiday and birthday occasions, plus the occasional wedding attendance and night out on the town. All of the aforementioned sadly signals the arrival of the 'routine marriage stage'. Paradoxically, this is a much calmer time in married life when the couple now row less often; largely because their split duties, overall work commitments and personal interests tend to keep them apart more than together.
It is at this stage of marriage that the couple begin to reassess their relationship. The man starts to wonder what life would have been like had he married Jenny with the long black hair instead of Julie and her long black hair that touched her waist. The man looks at his wife, who looked like his mother when they first met. As he looks anew at the woman he married, he sees that she no longer looks like his loving mum, but is now fast growing into the spitting image of his mother-in-law who never thought him good enough in the first place for 'her little girl'.
Mummy....Mummy, where are you Mummy when I most need you? Your big boy wants a cuddle and a bit of sympathy. Nobody understands me like you do!'
And the simple truth is that no one ever will!"
William Forde: June 29th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"It is a fortunate thing to be rich and a good thing to be strong, but it is a far, far better thing to be loved by so many friends. He who seeks to secure the good of others has already secured his own. Your many true friends did not come about or suddenly appear because of any accidental growth; their seed was planted by nothing less than one of your good acts of unselfish desire at the right time and in the right place. So keep on planting as before and good friends will always be part of your crop. Now, give us a hug, you big pussy cat!" William Forde: June 28th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Today is my youngest brother Michael's birthday. Being at the other end of the sibling scale with my sister Susan, until more recent years, Michael always seemed so distant to me and the older family siblings. In many ways, he is a listener more than a talker and generally carries on his life in the background these days without making too much fuss. I often feel that being the youngest of four brothers, he has frequently felt himself in the shadows of success as Billy's, Patrick's or Peter's 'youngest brother.'
The simple truth is that over the years Michael has found his own peace of mind outside the boisterousness of his loud family circle. I often think that from all four brothers, though he may have seemed to have cracked fewer pots than the other three males in climbing up the greasy pole of success, he is in many ways the wisest of us all. He seems to have found the secret of solitude during moments when he most needs it and requires not the accolades of those around to know his own successes.
He is in short 'his own man' with 'his own ways' and he is loved and held in no less regard than any of my other siblings. While as the eldest child of seven, I can boast that I probably did the most for mum when the family was growing up, as the second youngest, it has been my brother Michael who has tended our mum's grave ever since she died thirty years ago. No greater love can a son show for his mother than to keep tidy the place where she and dad finally rest.
Michael has been lucky to find a forgiveness of self in his moments alone and has learned that solitude is the glory of being alone. We live in a very stressful society today where tensions and pressures pull us apart. If we are ever to learn how to pull ourselves together, I think that at least part of the answer lies in rediscovering 'solitude'. This means getting back in touch with one's inner feelings; falling back in love with all aspects of Nature and reminding oneself that we should never waste one minute of a misty morn when rabbits run free across fields of fresh air and birds sing their song of life so sweetly in woodland tree tops.
Happy sixty first birthday, Michael. I love you lots. Brother. Billy xxx" William Forde: June 27th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"All self talk is nothing less than a conversation with one's universe." William Forde: June 26th, 2015.
Thought for today:
" In a week and a half I shall be holidaying in County Kerry, Ireland with my wife Sheila and my daughter Rebecca. During my break there I shall make sure that I have a day travelling back to the village of my birth in Portlaw, County Waterford where I intend to meet up with friends old and new. Being one of the few authors to have come out of Portlaw, I am always welcomed home graciously by the folk there and made a fuss of. While there, I also intend to look up a new face book contact, Margaret Archer.
Facebook has the capacity to widen one's range of contacts in a way that ten years ago I would never have thought possible. It has made the entire world accessible for all of us who use this social media. Margaret Archer, who lives in County Waterford, Ireland messaged me the other week and the upshot was that her mother's best friend (Doonie Quinn) who has since sadly passed away, lived in the house next door to where I was born. The coincidence did not stop there, but during my teenage years when I often returned to holiday in Ireland at my grandparents' house in William Street, Doonie was a constant visitor. She used to come around on the pretence of cadging a cigarette from my uncle Willie, but I think it was to check me out. Indeed, my very first Irish girlfriend was Doonie Quinn. Doonie was older then me and much bolder, but she always made my holidays back home more memorable.
My memories of those holidays long ago will always remain with me and it was Doonie who first introduced me to skinny dipping in the river up Curraghmore one summer when I was aged seventeen. I suppose when I think about it, I could say that she was the one who taught me how to jump in puddles in my birthday suit for the sheer hell of it. God bless you Doonie. Please note that as a 'fatty' these days, I shall not be going skinny dipping again with any Irish colleen." William Forde: June 25th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Today I go into hospital again for my three-weekly blood transfusion. I am however sad this morning as a dear friend of mine, Clive Poole from Australia, who died last week, is having his funeral service today across the other side of the world. Taken from this earth far too soon in life, I will always remember him as being 'a gentleman and scholar; the man from down under who always came up trumps!'
When my son William and his then girlfriend Eve (now William's wife), emigrated to Perth a good number of years ago and had virtually nothing to start off their life with out there, it was Clive and his wife Julie who stepped into the breach and supplied them with all manner of assistance and things they needed. They supported them materially and psychologically until they got on their feet. They fed them often, took them on outings occasionally and instantly made them a part of their family. Julie was a mother substitute to my son and her husband Clive was a friend indeed. For such acts of generosity in looking after my son and his wife, I will remain forever indebted.
Being unable to attend today's funeral and as my own modest tribute to Clive, I have composed a poem whose sentiments and overall message I think he would have liked. It is called, 'Run Strong the Race of Life.' God bless you Clive and love to Julie and all of the Poole family. My epitaph to you Clive is, 'You never failed to meet the mark of all.'
'Run Strong the Race of Life' : (Dedicated to the life and times of Clive Poole: Born 16/07/54-Died 16/06/15) : Copyright William Forde: June 24th, 2015.
'Run strong the race of life, run deep the search for soul.
Find passage through corn field high, make winner's tape your final goal.
While success will bring you earth's acclaim, no status can revive bad name.
Hold hard and fast to spoken vow, find heaven's promise here right now.
Don't risk the stain of family name, don't let your child inherit shame.
Make old enemies your latest friends; allow new friendship to all ends.
Do this and surely you'll not fall, nor fail to meet the mark of all.'"
William Forde: June 24th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"It was once said that western civilisation is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet in which most of what we do is geared to destroy and not sustain. Why cannot mankind realise that by living a life built upon increased consumerism, we are eating away our planet bit by bit? We should only take from the earth's resources that which we are prepared to put back if future life is to be sustained.
The planet's biggest problems have to do with sustainability, environmental decline, global poverty, disease, conflict and so forth. The simple truth is that they're all interconnected. It's all one big problem and the way we're doing things can't go on. The first rule of 'sustainability' is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them.
Forests and meat animals compete for the same land. The prodigious appetite of the affluent nations for meat means that agribusiness can pay more than those who want to preserve or restore the forest. The unpalatible truth is that rainforests are being burnt down to make room for the expansion of more McDonalds! When we destroy the rainforests, we deplete our range of natural cures and empty the medicine cabinets. We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet, and all for the sake of hamburgers.
Alas, our technology has marched ahead of our spiritual and social evolution, making us, frankly, a dangerous people from which our children and their children's children will one day inherit the seeds we now sow. Sustainability and survival is about the future generations for whom we make decisions today. We need to defend the interests of those whom we've never met and never will." William Forde: June 23rd, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Now then, Fred! That's enough talking and thinking. Have we got a deal or haven't we? You'll not see another like that for many a long year, I'll wager!" William Forde: June 22nd, 2015.
Thought for today:
"If I live to be a hundred, I will never quite understand how seeing a woman fasten her stockings to her suspenders can excite male senses in a way that no other eyeful can. When it came to the art of tease, the women of pre-war and immediate post-war Britain were most certainly masters of their craft. They knew how to maintain male interest without surrendering their virtue during a lengthy courtship period while still keeping the pot boiling for another day.
My mother's influence in my life led me in adult years to place my trust more in a woman's instinct than a man's reason. She would whisper in my ear whenever I went courting, 'Billy, if love isn't worth the wait, it isn't worth the having!' and having given birth to seven children, I reckoned she knew something about both waiting and having!
Unlike the growing need of today's young for immediate gratification, the years between 1940 and the 1950s was the era when men learned to live on little more than a 'promise' during a lengthy engagement period until their wedding night........or was this all a myth designed to keep our undies on and our hands off? Please let me know if you lived through these times and know different. It will stay a secret. Promise!" William Forde: June 21st, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Today is my sister Eileen's 70th birthday (In the photo with me during a break in Jersey a number of years ago). Turning 70 is a major milestone in anyone's life. It is joyous for some and emotionally challenging for others. Turning seventy today in my view is a reason to definitely celebrate, as it means you survived 'the' 60s and you survived 'your' sixties.
Eileen has three daughters who have provided her and husband John with numerous grandchildren and a constantly empty biscuit barrel. Her loving grandchildren come with an abundance of happiness along with a surfeit of noise and pester power, especially as her daughter Susan lives next door to her. Eileen loves nothing better than childminding her grandchildren and seems to have been born for the role of 'grandmother'.
As your older brother, Eileen, here is a bit of advice for a Septuagenarian sister. It may sound strange, but being 70 years old now, you have to keep moving to keep moving! It is a waste of energy and is of no earthly use feeling sad about your age. The one consolation is that it won't change again until next year and remember, nobody is too old as to think they cannot live another year!
Having been born in the Chinese Year of the Rooster, it is not surprising that you have much to crow about. First, there is your looks, which never seem to change from year to year and which adds credence to the saying,'Those whom the gods love, grow ever young.'
There are many things that I admire about you, Eileen; some large and some small, yet all significant. I have always admired the way that you have been able to distinguish the important from the unimportant and separate each out among your actions. I admire how you never forget the birthdays of others or refuse to recall those things that are best left forgotten. You have always been tactful in your mild reproach of others; displaying the ability of making a point without making an enemy.
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones like birthdays which end in zeros. The real milestones of life are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced and like stray dogs, they amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave.
I was a thirty-month-old child with a one-year-old sister sharing my cot when you first came into my life unannounced, Eileen. I'd had a little nap with my sister Mary by my side and when I awoke, I found another bundle of trouble beside me fighting for space. In fact, because mum was to have seven children and only two bedrooms separated us and our parents during our childhood years, I was obliged to share my bed with you and Mary until I was nine! Today, this would certainly be grounds for being taken into Care of the Local Authorities.
Have a lovely birthday, Eileen. I love you lots. In my life you have been a good sister to me and a constant source of good advice and comfort whenever needed. Indeed, there have been times when you have been kinder to me than to your husband John, with whom you have shared fifty years of married life. You have been a sister to the heart, a friend to the spirit and a golden thread to the meaning of family life. Your older brother Billy xxx" William Forde: June 19th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Today the house is much quieter. Over the last three weeks, my son William from Australia has been visiting along with my daughter Rebecca from Somerset. My son Adam from Hertfordshire also showed his face briefly a week ago for an overnight stay and to touch base with his siblings. William returned to Australia yesterday and Rebecca went back south today. I am not the kind of person to prolong departures as I don't do 'good byes' and seeing my son off at the airport yesterday involved dropping him off outside the departure entrance and tearfully heading home. This departure seemed much sadder than previous ones as there is no certainty that we will see each other again though God willing we hopefully shall.
William and Rebecca are the two youngest children to my second marriage and are also the most boisterous of my offspring. I recall their childhood years with fond memory. Following an accrimonious divorce from my first wife, I was left with restricted access of four hours only on a Sunday afternoon to my children, James and Adam, along with very little money to start up home afresh.
Being short of money for the first decade of William's and Rebecca's lives, all the rennovations on the run-down Victorian house I'd managed to mortgage without a roof was essentially performed by me, who generally learned as I went along with the children as little helpers. When the children and I weren't working on the house at weekend, we played games together at the family table and went on walks down the fields and along the canal bank. Despite having no money for treats, William and Rebecca grew up happy, loved and content and Adam and James enjoyed their access to dad.
I must admit that it took James and Adam a while in the beginning bonding to the two children to my second marriage, William and Rebecca, along with relating to Matthew, the son of my second wife's first marriage. However, with a bit of patience and increased contact familiarity, the mixed families eventually gelled. The only difficulty I could recall was in the early days of Sunday access to me when my sons James and Adam (who had been no doubt coached by my ex-wife), once referred to William and Rebecca as their 'half brother' and 'half sister' and Matthew as their 'step brother.' I remember telling James and Adam, 'William, Rebecca and Matthew are your brothers and sister. I will not have this family divided by the inappropriate use of fractions.'
It is always difficult when marriages break up and new unions are formed by the parents and new children born. Divorcees are foolish in the extreme if they believe that separation between man and wife can occur without it causing problems for all concerned, straining relationships, causing child hurt and often exacting long-term cost and consequences!
In the final analysis, we can but do our best in rearing our children with whatever talents and the means available at the time, but when we succeed, the ultimate rewards are great. Despite their adult years and the vast difference in miles we live apart, not one day passes between me and my children when we do not tell each other, 'I love you.' Upon meeting again, the very first thing we do is hug and kiss. I know that many sons would be extremely embarrassed kissing their father in public view, but not mine! They have been brought up to consider this custom loving and natural.
I love my children and I know without one shred of doubt that they love me in return. So sad though I be that my young have flown the nest again at the end of their recent stay to their own places of abode, they will all always have a place in my heart, thoughts and prayers." William Forde: June 18th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Today is my sister Mary's birthday. Mary is the second eldest in our family and being the eldest girl in a large Irish household, she was invariably called upon to give up much of her time and energies in helping my mother keep house during a large part of her development. Consequently, since my mother died twenty nine years ago, she has taken on the role of 'mother' for her six brothers and sisters and very little is done these days in the extended Forde family without her nod of approval.
Mary has always been a hard worker who is very house proud and particular in her ways. Her long-term partner, Richard, (enclosed in picture with her) is a perfect match for her.
The best thing I found about having a sister was that you always have a friend who knows you like others don't. It is hard to kid a sister and when I tell family stories she smiles in the background because she knows where the decoration has been added and the tale varnished.
The first born in every family needs a big sister to look out for them and during her life time and particularly when I was divorced, Mary certainly looked out for me by providing me with a room in her house and a place at her table until I got settled and found my feet again.
I wish you the happiest of birthdays, Mary, and as my next-in-line sibling and oldest sister, please know that you shall always remain a little bit of my childhood that will never be lost as well as a large part of my life today. I love you, Mary and mum would be proud of you carrying forward her ways. There is no better friend than a sister and there is no better sister than you." William Forde: June 17th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"It takes a full journey through life to truly appreciate that it is the travelling and not the arrival at one's destination that enriches the soul and gladdens the experience. Working towards goals will always be infinitely more rewarding than attaining them just as making new friends can be more fulfilling and exciting as opposed to keeping in good stead the ones you already have. The simple truth of life's travel is that with each new experience, both good and bad, comes personal growth." William Forde: June 16th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"The great thing about carrying love in your heart is that it's always with you whoever you're with, wherever you go or whatever you do." William Forde: June 15th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Preparing the ground for the future happiness of their child is frequently a puzzle to many parents in which it is hard to know the best key to success. Do I let them find their own way? Do I show them the right way and insist they follow it? Do I let them make their own mistakes while watching from the sidelines? Do I interfere in their decisions when I know they will feel pain as a consequence?
Raising children is an incredibly hard and risky business in which no cumulative wisdom is gained. In many ways, each generation seems destined to repeat the mistakes the previous one made. My mother was the oldest of seven children and so am I, and being a product of both nuture and nature, it is only natural that we share much more than genetic inheritance alone might decree.
My mother spent the time that she was supposed to be a kid actully raising children, her younger brothers and sisters. She could be as tough as nails when times were hard and as soft as butter whenever life was kinder to her. She always spoke her mind, was honest in her dealings with neighbours and when asked for advice, she provided it directly and without much varnish. I am her son and my son is mine! When I look at my children, it always gives me a peculiar feeling to catch a glimps of my parent' lives before I was born.
It is a fact that parents either profit or pay for what their children become; hence the importance of raising them properly. Try as hard as we may; despite 'making them do' when we stand over them and lay down the law, we cannot make them nice, we cannot make them good, we cannot make them sincere, trustworthy and honest in their dealings with others and we cannot make them believe! Only by patience, kindness, love and consistency in example are we able to affect them enough that they may eventually choose to do those things.
Though there may seem to be ample time for preparation when they are playful infants, the time will steal past you before you know it. Childhood is the shortest of seasons and it comes round, but once. All the more important therefore for getting it as right as possible first time as it is far easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.
Only a child knows how good or bad a father and mother was, as the mark of any parent is how we treat our children when no one is looking. A large part of me believes that it is harder to bring up children properly today than it was in my time. Today, material consumerism militates constantly against maternal instinct and the mother finds it easier to pamper and overindulge than to take time out to correct, advise and discipline. With the amount of money at a parent's disposal today, it is far more difficult raising children now than the way I was raised. When you strip any parent of the material assets at their disposal, all they are left with to devote to their offspring is time and self. This is what my mother gave me in abundance.
The done thing by many modern-day parents to stop their child whinging is to give them more money, gadgets and permission to no longer eat at the family table instead of hard love, parential patience, guidance and time. This is effectivley little better than parents filling the nurseries of their newly born infants to the brim as soon as they first get them out of the maternity ward with everything money can buy, and then placing a sign on their door that reads: 'Checkout time is 18 years. Please leave your room as tidy as you found it upon arrival!'
In many ways, a new child in the home is like a new puppy; it's not just for Christmas!" William Forde: June 14th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"There is nothing like the sun shining to bring out the best in all of us, is there?" William Forde: June 13th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Morning without you is a dwindled dawn with prospects of a dismal day. I have no companion, but you my love and there is no beginning, no end and no dawn worthy of its rising without you beside me." William Forde: June 12th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"Once we were young and beautiful, Edna, and now I guess you could say that we're just beautiful. Can you remember the night when Tony Walker wanted to take us both behind the school bicycle shed one at a time and we decided that we'd teach him a lesson for his gross impertinence? He took you first and after you'd asked him to remove his trousers, quick as a flash you passed them to me and we both ran off laughing at his foolishness ever to try to come between two best friends. When will these stupid males ever learn that it's only old bikes that can be found behind the bicycle shed and not beautiful young girls?" William Forde: June 11th, 2015.
Thought for today:
"You can say what you want, but when it comes to seeing a lovely pair of legs attached to a beautiful body, it leaves all other human physical attributes simply standing on the sidelines in admiration. Being a healthy heterosexual, all I can say is thank God that men were never endowed with such legs." William Forde: August, 2015.
Thought for today:
"I have never been nor will I ever become an advocate for child labour. However, neither will I do anything that increases the likelihood of child indulgence and promotes adult idleness or State dependency.
I was reading recently about the current levels of pocket money that children receive weekly in return for little more than promising to behave like civilised human beings. All they need do to get their weekly spend is refrain from kicking their parents for serving them greens to eat or hitting their sister with a brick between the eyes for having used the bathroom first.
It would seem like austerity has had very little part to play in their ongoing payouts since the 1980s as the pocket money of an 8-year-old has risen twice as fast as their parents' wages and now stands at £6.35 pw. How much different it was in my day!
For a start, anyone who got pocket money had to earn every penny of it and were paid at a rate that encouraged industriousness instead of diminishing it! Although the Welfare State had just come into existence, pride led one not to use it unless emergency situations demanded and starvation beckoned.
I recall that at the age of seven (1949/50), I daily walked half a mile from my house on Windybank Estate to Harry Hodgsons the family grocer. I would add that not only did I perform this task in return for no tip from mum except a 'thank you,' but I also needed the skills of a magician to persuade Harry to give us this week's groceries out of father's next week's wages. Try to get today's kids to enter a shop with no money and leave with a week's groceries in hand that weren't stolen if you can! It would be easier to persuade a politician to tell the truth!
Being the oldest of seven children with only dad bringing in a weekly wage, by the age of 11 years I delivered papers before going to school during a weekday, had a firewood round every thursday evening and worked in a grocer's shop all Saturday morning. Naturally, any money earned from these additional jobs went into the housekeeping pot. I even remember potato picking in the summer holidays along with haymaking alongside my father in a farm off Green Lane. The season of annual tasks would be rounded off going carol singing nightly during the two weeks before Christmas Eve so that my mother had additional money to buy a few extras for the family at Christmas time.
I mention these facts not because they applied uniquely to me, as they surely didn't. They applied to all children brought up in the 1950s and 60s. The specific tasks that children performed may have varied from house to house, but the underlying principle remained the same; we all mucked in to help the family and not to add to our piggy bank! This was a way of life we grew accustomed to and it was a much better way than the mollycoddling many youngsters receive today. I don't say bringing back the birch would help to make children more upright today, but bringing back National Service might!
I do believe that reintroducing children to the concepts of family responsibility and community respect would be a good start in building stronger foundations for a more civilised society. The young today may be quick to mock the importance of behaving politely and having 'good table manners' for instance in the building of one's character, but to do so would be foolish in their early dismissal of such social etiquette.
If you don't believe me, find me a child in modern times that never takes the first piece of cake from the dinner plate or isn't prepared to eat the last sandwich and I'll give sway to the counter argument of modernism, but until then, pass the plate round and provide guests with the first pick!" William Forde: June 9th, 2015.