So this is one of the first blogs I have developed as part of my ‘Conor’s Life’ section – basically this part of the blog will allow me to share some of my life stories, things I’ve learnt, things I messed up, basically just an insight into me…
So the title alludes to the fact that I grew in up in a very matriarchal environment. To be honest this was fine, I didn’t know any different… I think it only hit me when I was about 14 or 15, when I was becoming a man and I didn’t really know what to do, simple things like how do you shave (YouTube would have been really useful 16/17 years ago) I had to ask my Mum how to shave a moustache…
Anyway, back to the title – The three ladies who have been a constant in my life, (I’m not counting Lauren btw) are;
- Aunty Shelly
I lived with these ladies, they spoilt me, they scolded me, they taught me how to cook.., well, Mum and Nana did, Shelly was kind of just the cool aunt you go to when your mum is doing your head in, and she tells you what to do, this might be a big sister for some of you, but I’m an only child, so Shelly’s role was basically to keep me out of trouble, give me money when my pocket money ran out and give me sweets before dinner
My Nana was my best friend, we would watch Columbo together while eating cream buns – by the end of the episode we would have fallen out and not spoke until dinner time but we never went to bed having not said we loved each other, she was my go to when I needed something, a lift to footie, a tenner to go out, a hug…anything.
I lived with my Nana quite a lot of the time, Mum was back at Uni training to be a nurse and to fund this she worked nights as a pizza chef (hence my love for pizza) and to be honest I preferred living with Nana, bigger room, bigger TV, bigger garden and my friends lived close by. And we were so close, we would just chat all day, or attempt a crossword or just even sit in silence, she was the best. One regret I have, and I think a lot of people will relate to this, I don’t have many pictures of my Grandparents, I have actual photographs in albums, but not many digital pics, ones that I can access anywhere…one of the greatest parts of Social Media is the fact you can basically store all your photos, for free.
My mum – growing up in a single parent family wasn’t always easy but it definitely brought us closer together. My mum was great, extremely overprotective, my first time camping was in the living room and I had to play in our driveway until I was about 13… but she sacrificed so much so that I could have so much, I honestly never felt like I needed for anything…but it was only when I look back that I realise, we were not rich, we weren’t even close to rich.
Here’s how I know this;
- Stew Soup – this was a staple in our house, basically Stew without the meat, sounds disgusting I actually loved it, thank God for brown sauce.
- Hand Me Downs – thankfully not mum’s, but my cousin Mark basically dressed me head to toe in the early years, which wasn’t great as Aunty Audrey picked all his clothes, and they all matched and looked better tucked in
- Makey Doos – beautifully simplistic, if approaching the end of the month and both food and money was at a low, Mum would create Makey Doos for dinner, these consisted of; Petit Filous yogurts, grapes, cheesestrings, TUC crackers, crisps and bread & butter – I honestly loved these and I will def pass this tradition onto my kids once they arrive – me and Liam still talk about them
So what was it like growing up with 3 ladies? I am going to let you into some home truths; (these are all true, seriously)
- I thought everyone peed sitting down
- I didn’t know what a urinal was and once asked my cousin Mark “why don’t those toilets have doors”
- I was once set to primary school on a Winter’s day wearing tights underneath my trousers as mum thought I’d be cold
- I asked for Action Man but Mum bought me a Ken doll, and then painted his Hawaiian shirt camouflage
- I thought Boxer shorts were just regular shorts and wore them out to play football, only once though (they were Mickey Mouse, how did I not know?)
So although I’ve had a few rocky moments, the tights in particular, I know that these ladies did and will continue to do everything they can for me and although I’m a major mummy’s boy I wouldn’t have it any other way…well, maybe I’d prefer a real Action Man to take on Dr X – Ken’s hair got in the way of his aim.
Final Note: Nana passed away before my wedding day but all my other ladies were there!