• Caroline Donough

The Most Excellent Place of All

The proverbial curtain is about to come down on 2020 and by all accounts, this is the time when bloggers would typically write a year-in-review to recount the highlights of their year. But I'm not going to do that. Not this year. How about I tell you a story instead?


A few years ago, during one of the many conversations Mum and I would have, I asked her inquisitively, "Mummy, do you recall what my day of birth was?" I could tell by the blank look on her face that she couldn't remember. But never one to give up easily, she leaned back in her chair, stared ahead and started to think. Mum has a brilliant memory, and everyone who knows her will agree. I mean, she could startle you with an astounding amount of detail from events that occurred decades ago. Seriously. Cute fact about Mum: she has this funny habit of subconsciously pursing her lips and furrowing her brows whenever she's deep in thought (something I'm told I mimic quite well!). So anyway, I waited to hear what she would say. But alas, even elephants forget sometimes. Shaking her head, she turned to me after a moment and conceded, "I don't remember." But that question had aroused her curiosity and she, too, wanted to know the answer. So I did what anyone else would've done in the same situation - I pulled out my (then) BlackBerry Z3 and began Googling.


The answer: I was born on a Thursday.

And since we were at it, why not, right? Mum was born on a Friday.


And that, of course, brought our conversation on to the next obvious thing: Monday's Child. Remember the nursery rhyme? Yep, that one.


Monday's child is fair of face,

Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is blah blah blah,

And I apparently have far to go.

Friday's child is loving and giving, and indeed Mum is exactly those things - and more - and I'll have words with anyone who says otherwise.


Anyway...


If by "far to go" it means to travel a lot, I guess I am a Thursday's child to some extent. Mum certainly thinks I am. She loves to read magazines, and sometimes, while combing through the travel pages, she'd point out the places I've been to. "You bought that white blouse with floral trimmings from here, right?" she would ask, showing me an image of a scenic location that resembled a place she recognised from my travel photos. Or, "Was it crowded there at the time?" "Not really," I would tell her. "Not a lot of tourists in the beginning of winter." She'd even dog-ear certain pages just so she could easily come back to them whenever.


Once, while looking at a photo of me in Èze, South of France, she asked me, "Do you ever feel like you'd want to move and live abroad?"


Honestly speaking, it's a thought I have entertained, but if I were to ever actually go through with the idea, it would be a temporary thing, or I would split my time as equally as I possibly could between here and the other place... because again, honestly speaking, I could never just take off and leave Mum or the rest of my family. No matter what, and I know this couldn't sound more cliché, they're my home. Maybe some day. When I'm alone. Maybe...


I'm going to quote Neil Diamond here because I think he said it best in his song, Heartlight - home's the most excellent place of all.


"No..." this Thursday's child answered Mum. "I'm right where I want to be."



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