Childhood Memories by Phil

Childhood Memories by PhilI have wonderful memories of my childhood holidays in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. My Dad would book a house for a month so that all the family could get down for a few days.  I was the youngest of a family of eight.  Some of my brothers and sisters were married and had families of their own.

Each day there was something to do.  Early in the morning some of the children would go out with Dad and my brothers to pick mushrooms for the breakfast.  It was really beautiful to see the dew on the ground.  Dad had relatives in Kilcoole so we were able to visit them and help out on their farm.   The cows had to be milked and the eggs had to be collected from the hen run.  We were also allowed feed the chickens and help in the fields when the hay was being harvested.  I loved to sit on top of the trailer full of hay when it was being brought to the barn.

When the weather was fine we would go to Greystones Harbour to swim.  Sometimes we went to Cherry Orchard at Killincarrick Cross, where there was a beautiful house with magnificent gardens.  Every type of fruit and vegetables were grown there.  The cherry, apple and pear trees always seemed to be laden with fruit.  My mouth would water at the sight of the raspberry, gooseberry and loganberry bushes.  I always longed to pick some of the big red juicy strawberries.

Mam always had a picnic basket with her and we often sat amongst the fruit trees and enjoyed the food and the view. Later Dad would get us strawberries and ice cream as a special treat.  Afterwards we would walk home through Windmill Lane, where an old windmill stood.  It seemed to have an air of mystery about it.  We made up many stories on how it actually worked.

Our biggest treat was the day out by horse and trap around the Glen of the Downs.  At least five or six traps followed each other.  There were people from all over the world on these trips.  The Jarvey would tell us about the area.  We loved to sing and shout and hear our voices through the Glen.  My sister Bridget was a beautiful singer, Dad had taught her all the old songs and people would ask her to sing.  Halfway around the Glen we would stop for the horses to rest.  There was a local pub nearby where we could go but women and children were only allowed into the back for tea and hot scones.

These are very happy memories for me.  I feel so sad to hear that the Glen of the Downs is to go, to make way for a motorway, but I suppose this is the price for progress.

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 1

Q1 In what county did Phil spend her holidays as a child?


Q2 How many children were in Phil’s family?


Q3 Name 2 fruit trees growing in Cherry Orchard? _________________________________________________________________________________ 

Q4 Why did the Phil’s Dad get strawberries and ice cream for the family?


Q5 What did the women and children have in the back of the pub? _________________________________________________________________________________ 

Exercise 2

Opposite meaning Draw a line from the word to the opposite word.

Youngest                    Distant

Morning                    Sat

Top                    Empty

Full                    Oldest

Stood                    Evening

Local                    Bottom

Exercise 3

Look up the meaning of the following words on your phone or in a dictionary.

Harvest _____________________________________________________________________ 

Harbour _____________________________________________________________________ 

Jarvey _____________________________________________________________________  

Exercise 4

Whole Word Word broken down into syllables Number of syllables
memories mem-or-ies 3