Growing up in Ireland long ago, money was scarce and only spent on necessities, like food and clothes. There was little room for extravagance. People’s leisure time was a much simpler affair too.
Young and old got together in each other’s houses, played cards or music; had a chat, or told stories…all of which cost nothing.To get to know each other courting couples went for a cycle, a walk or maybe to the odd dance. Marriages were sometimes arranged by a matchmaker, and done for practical reasons, like joining neighbouring farms, or finding a housekeeper for a bachelor who couldn’t boil an egg! And happily the majority of these unions worked out very well.
Love and romance will always endure even though customs expectations and economic prosperity may change. Some of these stories may jog your memory to a simpler more realistic, pre-divorce era and serve as a reminder that there is a lot to be said, in spite of poverty and hardship, for old fashioned love.
Old fashioned Love is Ann Gardiner’s fourth book of short stories remembering the time in which she grew up. Communities were closely interwoven in those days, helping each other with the farm work but also gathering in each other’s houses for card-playing, merrymaking and exchanging gossip. Keeping one’s business private was impossible then and Ann’s stories reflect the kind of topics that were of special interest at the time.