A Beautiful Sunday morning in Ratoath village Co. Meath!

As I drove over to Broadmeadows Stables early this morning to feed Yasmin’s pony in preparation for her first SJI registered event today, it is a beautiful mild September day. The sun is up and there’s not a breath of a wind and there’s no rain! There is a buzz of excitement in the air. I couldn’t help being happy at my surroundings.
We moved to Ratoath village 13 short years ago, along with many other Dubs who could afford a bigger house during ‘The Celtic Tiger’ boom in Ireland. Us snobby lot settled here with the rest of the fast moving career people of our time. Life was very busy. We spent a lot of time shopping for designer brands to keep up with the proverbial Jones’s as one might say. We wined and dined in all the new and  fancy places. We could afford to pay ghastly prices for food in Shanahan’s on the Green! Oh those were the days! Those of us who narrowly escaped being raving alcoholics have lived to tell the tale of how the Irish people changed during that short wealthy period in our lives.
You see, us ordinary Irish people weren’t used to having money. We are called working class and we lived week to week just paying our bills and providing for our families. Who could blame us for getting excited when extra cash graced our doors after a hard week’s work?
What happened was and what most people chose to forget is that our country was graced with ‘foreigners’.
They may have started with asylum seekers in the 1990’s arriving on our shores but because the rest of the world saw how us lovely Irish people helped their neighbor, ordinary people from all over the world began to settle here. They wanted to raise their children in a country that wasn’t biased nor racist.
These people needed accommodation and so began the need for more apartments and houses. Irish trade workers now had more money in their pockets so they were now buying new homes to live in. Climbing the ladder of a property owner away from renting or living in a parent’s corporation dwelling.
Then we changed. As what mostly happens with us ordinary folk, we forgot who started us on the road to wealth, ‘the foreigners’ and we began to resent them and blame them for taking our jobs. Us resentful Irish during this wealthy time forgot our good manners and good raising and judged people and resented people. We stopped helping our neighbors.
When the crash hit in 2007, we all had a lot of egg on our faces. But I will say one thing about the Irish, when we are wrong, we admit it and we see the damage of our wrongs and we realize that life’s value is not all about the money, it’s about living life with the other human beings on our planet.
We began to have sympathy again at people’s losses. Especially when we realized people were taking their own life in shame. That is so sad. If only they knew there is no shame in having no money.
So what did we all do with no money? We stopped eating out in fancy restuarants’ and we all embraced ourselves in Sports. All sorts of sports. Us Irish have always loved our Gaelic football and hurling, a fab game and indeed soccer. But all of a sudden we had these once wealthy Rugby guys teaching our kids Rugby. We had extra Mams and Dads coaching the soccer kids and the GAA kids. And cycling began to become a very popular past time.
Ah yes, as I saw the local Centra packed with early morning sports Mam’s and Dad’s filling their coffee cups and water bottles, relishing their breakfasts rolls and heading off in comrade-ship this morning, I thought this is what it’s all about. The yellow jacket guys were lining the Ratoath road to Ashbourne in plenty of time for the arrival of 3000 cyclists coming our way this morning.
Of course it’s Sunday morning and I’m sorry Father Gerry, I know us Catholics should be in mass this morning, but don’t you worry your head off, God is happily sitting in our kitchens witnessing the normal goings on of our families! Supporting us as we take our children off to their sports of passion. I can see him nodding happily as I find all the missing items of my roaring kids (and husband) this morning.
Gone is the traditional Sunday roast that my children only get in Granny’s on a rare Sunday visit now, replaced by packed picnics. Because the mammies aren’t staying home to cook any more. They want to see their kids in action too!
Sure isn’t this what’s all about?
Jean xxx

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