Graces Bog

Oh how the memories come lfooding back of my childhood, the wonderful itmes we had in Graces bog, 6
acres of magic at the back of my own home. Every season had something different to offer in this oasis of
Oh how I remember the morning mist as it rose over this wonderful place of beauty. To hear the quacking
of ducks as the evening sun went down or the calling of the fox on a cold winters night. The call of the
snipe as they lfew low over the rushy wetland, or the sight of the grey heron on the big poplar tree. This
tree stood in this bog for so long, sadly with the storm Beast from the East in now lies in the river Camogue
that runs through the middle of this bog. Ah yes the summer days of my youth are iflled with wonderful
thoughts and memories.
The Cuckoo was always there singing as I and my sister and brother looked to ifnd him and of course the
frogs spawn was everywhere we otfen put it in jam jars and watched to see the tadpoles hatching out in to
frogs. Someitmes my sister would give frogs spawn to here doll as a dessert when she played with her dolls
My neighbour who lived in a thatched house would cut the reeds for thatch there was no wellingtons then.
He would only have short corduroy breeches on; he was a tall gander of a man with a long face.
In winter large gatherings of men in tweed jackets and some women would come shooitng snipe and
ducks. We would run to open the gate of the bog to let them in someitmes they would throw us a shilling
in return, they were from Emly House in the village.
The bog would lfood over in winter and someitmes freeze, 6 acres of a beauitful lake. Occasionally a pair of
swans would come for a visit; it was a great chance to see them at close range. We would try to stay so
quiet in the hope that they would stay forever. We had many a great itme wondering through the edge of
the bog.
On more than one occasion we took the galvanised bath pan that was for washing us on Saturday night
down to the bog. We would pretend it was a boat and would ite a rope to one end of the bath tub and take
turns to be pulled along. Do I need to say what did happen wet backsides in a very short itme. We otfen
picked bullrushes and pretended they were burnt sausages when we played cobby house.
The bog was divided by the river Camogue, a gap over the river was made with railway sleepers. It was
always a challenge to cross the gap you could see the river underneath. When we got a very ifne year Pat
Grace who owned the bog would cut some sedge for bedding for the cattle for the winter. The Grace
family have all passed on now god rest them but the memories I have kept of Graces bog will remain with
me forever.
I am now 73 years of age in lockdown over the coronavirus. I sit in the garden and I am able to enjoy the
quiet itme as I think back on all the great memories of my childhood. I am grateful to god for everyday I am
alive. Only god knows what lies ahead.
April 2020