Our Home

Grandad’s chair stood by the fireside: it was a high-backed armchair with sugan seat and cushion. When Grandad was in bed – often enough later, when he was unwell – Mother sat in it sewing or reading.  

I had my own little sugan chair specially made for me soon after Mother and Mick brought me to Shanahea. The other chairs stood around the table and under the window. The table had an oilcloth cover and the freshly-baked bread gave forth its wholesome aroma when placed upon it.

Tucked in behind the door stood the dresser. Its smoke-darkened wood vividly contrasted with the gleam of colourful delphs, saucers and plates. Against the opposite wall stood the settle bed which served as a seat by day and a bed by night. It served its country well too during the Black and Tan days when it gave a few short hours rest to some of the ‘Boys’ in the Flying Columns.

A clothes press was set into the wall near the fireplace, over which the small, red-globed lamp illuminated the picture of the Sacred Heart – vying in importance with the glow from the Heart.

The dark brown thatched roof was low, the rafters and cross-beams contrasting sharply against the upper shadows. Two or three sides of home-cured bacon usually hung from the cross-beams where the salt and smoke added greatly to the flavour of many a bacon and cabbage dinner. The floor was flagged and grey, contrasting with the light brown of the chairs and table and the ochre of the walls.

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