Mothers of Modern Ireland

Phyllis Greene, Tipperary

3rd July 2008

Our second days shoot, turns into the wee hours of our third - by the time we get around to capturing our footage, scanning photos and following up calls. Phyllis is a completely different kettle of fish to Lily, but no less interesting. Again, such an honour to be allowed into these women's homes and sat down to listen to stories of times past. I say times past, but so much of the information is still relevant to today and how we live. Phyllis lives in Clonmel, Tipperary and studied as a book-keeper. She told her stories of moving to America when she was young; renting their first television for two pounds a month and making sure her children always had dry feet as she was scared they'd catch pneumonia. She plied us with tea and biscuits as we gathered around her in her kitchen like three small children listening to a ghost story. Something that is interesting about a people's history as opposed to a standard one is how the things you expect to have been important to everyday life - weren't, and the things you'd never think would matter, created huge problems or happiness. Its amazing how even now, having only spoken to 4 ladies at length, we see patterns emerging as to things that affected people across the country. Everyone seems to have memories of the whooping cough and the very delicate mantles that went around the gas burners. Tomorrow we have our Cork "Mother", which I'm sure will be another trove of intrigue and knowledge. I put mother in quotes because "Grandmother" seems to be leading to some confusion when it comes to finding ladies. It seems that we have been tarnished with this "Granny Quest" label, when really we are just looking for women who are old enough to tell us about life in Ireland over a period of 50-60 years.

- Tom