Daily Archives: September 4, 2009


Magpie 11 was the owner of the sticky fingers to suggest the topic of


for this weeks chapter of the Loose Blogging Consortium.  So pop along and invigilate his contribution and while you are at it correct check on Conrad, Ashok, Ramana and Marianna for their exercise homework too.

Reconciliation or ‘Hands Across the Divide’

Maurice Harron is the Artist behind the wonderful sculpture of two men reaching out to shake hands in Carlisle Square, in Derry, Northern Ireland.  The sculpture has become an icon of the peace process here in Northern Ireland.

The first idea that Maurice had was a sculpture of two men staring at each other, signifying the animosity that existed between the two communities. But as he worked, trying to capture this troubled relationship, he changed his mind. Instead he made his two figures reach out and shake hands, and called it ‘Reconciliation’. As the deadline for casting the figures approached, he made a crucial alteration.

“I separated the men a bit, so the hands don’t meet.” This reconciliation was “an ‘in progress’ thing”.

Installed in Carlisle Square in Derry in 1991, Harron’s piece caught the public imagination, and quickly became known as ‘Hands Across the Divide’.


Jumping back to days before Ashok was born, indeed to my school days I remember hands that moved me…


There were many hands that moved me on my passage through life.

My mothers hands that taught me many chores about the house.  Even today when I look down at my hands peeling potatoes or vegetables, ironing a shirt or cleaning a window; the movement of my hands is exactly the same as that of my mother.   I would apply a dressing or bandage just as she did and it would stay in place.  I learned to cream butter and sugar for a cake by hand, in the days before we had electric beaters or food processors.  I did say by hand and I meant that.  Despite my intolerence of dairy products I spent many an hour beating the mixture with my hand in the bowl, I think the idea was that the heat in my hand speeded the process.

My Auntie Mary, a school teacher and Daddy’s eldest sister was the lady who patiently taught me the love of the needle.  She helped me to read a pattern properly and spent a full day gently showing me how to piece the pattern pieces together, insert a zip mark a straight hem and add finishing touches. Thanks to her when I got my first sewing machine on the day I finished the Leaving Certificate examination (It cost all of £24) I made a lined shift dress with patch fringed pockets.  I put it on and walked up the floor to show my father when he came home from work!  I never looked back after that.  She also tried to teach me to crochet on another occasion.  I had difficulty holding the thread correctly, but she didn’t complain she let me work out my own way to do it and again I proved myself.  That is a story for another day…

Jack was a man with great patience and He would quietly call me with the words… “You won’t always have me and you will need to know how to: change a wheel, a fuse or check the oil in the car”!  I did under supervision, change the oil, oil filter and spark plugs on one of our cars.  Nowadays I leave all that to the professionals as my arms are no longer strong enough to do it.  He showed me how to change a fuse in a plug, to let air out of a radiator and also a simple method of book keeping, the latter with a twinkle in his eye as he said “A woman who can’t manage the books is not worth marrying”!

I had great trouble with this subject.  Perhaps it was because I was trying to think in words and the topic was set by a teacher (sorry Magpie 11), it was at the eleventh hour that I began to think with my hands and then and only then did the words flow.  Perhaps if my early education at school was in that way….

Who knows!

Clotworthy House

The grounds at Clotworthy House in Antrim, the County Town of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, where the Sixmile Water enters Lough Neagh.

Peeping a little closer…

Now I am off to add the finishing touches to my LBC contribution for this week.  See you at 5pm – Irish time!