Mothers of Modern Ireland

Joan Hodgins, Louth

30th July 2008

Today was the first day we'd lined-up two women to film. The pressure was on and we knew we were in it for the long haul. The two ladies must have picked up on the energy requirements as both of them rolled out the largest array of energy goods we've had to date. The first of our double-baggers was the lovely Joan Hodgins, who lived on the beautiful Louth coast with her husband Paddy and huge pack of felines. The reason I love the coast so much is as we were traveling through Louth on our way to Joan, we were engulfed in huge dark clouds that were literally on the ground. We didn't actually know we were by the sea until the weather suddenly shifted and we had views for miles out to sea. It was fitting then that Joan's husband was the local Harbour Master for so many years, playing an integral part in directing ships and co-ordinating rescue operations for lost vessels and crew. The whole house was ordorned with maritime memoribilia. It was interesting to note then in Joan's story how this outward facing life by the sea coloured her thoughts and feelings towards different ideas and people. In the height of the Troubles, they would regularly have Northern fisherman over for tea where they would all talk for hours about various fishing and boating exploits. Joan was also nervous to begin with, like so many ladies, but within ten minutes she realised that what we were doing comes so naturally to her generations, I think it took her by surprise that we were basically just having a chat. Joan found herself running a farm when she was 15. Her uncle would help her out from time to time, but she basically had the farm to look after for so many years that when she finally had all her children with Paddy, she found the whole thing a doddle, she'd already looked after herds of cows and managed the finances of a whole family, in place of her mother who had died, and a father who had gone to America and never come back. Just another incredible story on this magical journey.

- Tom