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thelocation location of NotNot the of my my first firstkiss kiss


Not the location of my first kiss is about memories, sometimes misremembering, and mixing things up. Everything starts with a memory, from that a photograph is made and a piece of text written.


I am trying to remember what colour the roses in our front garden were, sometimes I think they were yellow, but then I’m not certain, they could have been red, or pink, maybe white, not orange.


I was in Green’s dining room and I don’t know what happened, if I laughed, or coughed, or sneezed, but a big snot came flying out of my nose and I had no hankie, I was mortified, I can’t remember what I did with it in the end!


I was six or seven when I found out about Santy, someone in the school yard must have told me, I asked my parents if it was true, my Mum was on the ladder going up into the attic and my Dad was on the landing. I got a Nookie Bear for Christmas that year.


Orla always bought cola bottles, Tanya and Susan took great delight in squishing marshmallow snowballs into each other’s hair, this usually happened after school outside Doyle’s sweet shop. Dad ate clove drops whenever he was trying to give up smoking. Mum wouldn’t let us eat Chewits in the car because of how they smelled. Granny Furlong brought us home Silvermints from her Thursday trips to Dublin on the bus. Chocolate toffee mice were my favourites.


My Gran & Grandad had an apple tree in their back garden and on special occasions, when we had dressed up, my Grandad took pictures of us under the tree.


One time my Dad brought me to the Phoenix Park races and as we walked around the restaurants and cafes I filled my pockets with sugar cubes from the bowls on the tables to give to the horses that we didn’t get to see so I ate all the sugar cubes and got worms.


When I was young I wanted to be an astrona


aut, or maybe a vet, or a Charlie’s Angel.


A bitch is a dog, a dog is nature, nature is beautiful so thanks for the compliment. The first time someone called me a bitch was in Portrane in the house of the caravan park owner. I was friends with his daughter, she had lots of Sindy dolls and a Sindy house and jeep.


My Granny and I were in the ladies’ toilets in Busáras, I was wearing my furry white hat, a lady came over and told my Granny that I looked like Hayley Mills, I didn’t know who Hayley Mills was.


One day I went into Brady’s supermarket with Orla and her Mum, I think, and for some reason I stole and ate a grape, a big purple grape. I don’t know why because I have never really liked grapes very much, it’s the seeds I think.


I used to collect insects, ladybirds were my favourite. One day on a family drive I caught a butterfly and put it in a jam jar, I remember sitting in the back of the car with the butterfly in the jar, but the butterfly was gone when we arrived home.


We had two holly trees growing in our back garden, but they never had any red berries.


My Granny smelt of Palmolive soap, 4711 cologne, Ponds cold cream, and face powder.


I think my earliest memory is one where I am standing in front of an easel, I’m wearing a bottle green uniform so it must have been in school in Dublin, my friend Emer Mooney is standing to my right, it’s so vivid I wonder if it was a dream and not a memory at all.


I had a pet budgie, his name was Dick, he was blue. He lived in a cage that hung high up on the dining room wall. He must have died but I don’t remember that. I had a hamster, I don’t remember its name, it was cream and fluffy. I put the hamster in the bird cage and it escaped, it must have squeezed through the narrow gaps between the bars. My sister’s cat, Ebony, found the hamster in my mattress, it had eaten a hole in it and made itself a little den.


There was a pub called The Travellers Rest across the road and around the corner from our house. One evening I went there with my Dad and his brother, my Uncle Brendan. Someone put Elvis’s Old Shep on the jukebox and I ran home crying, I was probably only four years old. My Mum nearly killed my Dad because I’d crossed a busy road on my own. The Mona Lisa was in the news that day too.


Maureen Ginnerty wore red nail varnish and did a trick with her thumbs so that you’d think she had chopped one of them in half.


I have a very distinct memory of standing at the end of our kitchen counter playing with my toy animals and really not wanting to leave them to go to school.


The Bermuda Triangle was always in the news, I was very worried about it.


I fell a lot as a child, usually when I was running, my knees were either studded with gravel or stained red from Mercurochrome. After one particular fall in the school yard I was in the bathroom by the row of sinks against the mirrored wall attempting to clean my skint knees when Alice Henry, a girl in my class, came in and gave me some of the glassine toilet paper to use.


My Uncle Basil pushed me so high on the swing I could see over the wall and I was scared.


This is an old dessert spoon. It featured in a recurring dream I had as a child. Holding the spoon in my right hand I would float down the stairs feeling the sloped ceiling above the stairs against my back. That’s all I remember of the dream.


We had a birdbath in the front garden, in winter it would freeze over and you’d have to break the ice, the water was green and slimy.


My first A bephi Wexford cat had

cat was a brown tabby called Bephi. according to my Granny Furlong from was a three-legged stool. Bephi the all four of his legs.


This is the back of my Dad’s old betting office, we watched Jaws here on the big screen.


My Granny kept her photos in a tin box under her bed and every so often would take them out and tell me stories about the people in the pictures.


Sister Philomena taught me in high babies. Something happened one day in class, either she walloped me across the back of the head or pulled me up out of my chair by the ear, whatever happened I decided not to go to school the following day. I don’t know what I said to my parents, but they let me stay home. That evening I was sitting on the floor watching television when Sister Philomena called up to the house with a brown paper bag full of oranges for me. I heard her talking to my Mum in the hall, I was afraid she would know I was in the sitting room watching television and not sick at all.


Instead of reading me a good night story my Dad taught me times tables, if I got them wrong he would pinch me and if I got them right I could pinch him.


I was four when we moved to Trim, it was a new estate and not yet finished. There was a pile of bricks or rubble on our driveway that I used to play on. My Dad wanted to discourage me from doing this so he told me that my Mum had been doing the very same when she hurt her ankle, that explained her absence and hospital stay. She was, in fact, in the Rotunda having my baby sister Áine. My Mum remembers the nurses in the hospital bandaging up her ankle when she was leaving so as to go along with my Dad’s story.


My Granny used to let me scrape the pot and lick the spoon whenever she made custard.


In 1979 we went to see the Pope in the Phoenix Park, I wanted a cardboard periscope, I didn’t get one.


Someone, I can’t remember who it was, told me a horror story about a woman giving birth to kittens in the Yellow Steeple, it terrified me, I wouldn’t go near the place for years after.


This was my absolute favourite book as a child, I spent hours looking at it, but I don’t remember ever doing any of the crafts.


My Mum made a furry pink dressing gown for my little sister, this might be one of its buttons.


I made red jam sandwiches and Ribena for my lunches when I was in primary school, one lunchtime Linda Rochford, a girl in my class, brought me home with her and Mrs. Rochford gave me rhubarb tart.


I had no front teeth for my First Holy Communion so I didn’t smile in any of the photos taken that day, my Grandad suggested I use tin foil in place of my two front teeth, I didn’t.


Tom Branigan spilt my forehead open with an axe, he was digging a hole in his back garden with the butt end of the axe and my new signet ring from Gran & Grandad Crean fell into the hole. I remember someone linking me and carrying me up the garden into Granny Furlong as I tasted the big metallic globules of blood in my mouth.


Growing up we had some spider plants in our house and lots of cacti in the porch and a vine going up the stairs and a Mother in Law’s Tongue on the round table in the sitting room.


My Granny used to hold my hand until I feel asleep, som have to sleep at the bottom of my bed.


metimes I wouldn’t let go of her hand and she would


When I was about three I was hospitalized with threatened appendicitis. I tried to leave the hospital so they put me in a straitjacket and tied me to the bed. A boy in my ward had a big bottle of Lucozade.


I had a recurring nightmare about crossing this bridge, it didn’t always look like this, sometimes it had no sides, sometimes it was very skinny, sometimes it was made of old stones. I was always on the way to school and I always woke up before I made it across to the other side.


Mum made the Christmas cake and puddings, everyone in the house had a stir of the mixture, I only liked the white icing. Dad put up the decorations, they consisted of the usual baubles, lights, and tinsel and the more unusual, two large inflatable pandas.


On the morning of my seventh birthday I opened the door to the sitting room and found a slide inside, it reached as high as the ceiling.


Doris lived two doors down from us, her house has been sold twice since she died but we still call the cherry blossom outside number five Doris’s tree.


I remember my Granny making these fancy firelighters, but it was always my Mum that made them not my Granny at all.


For years I thought Andrew Skelton was the first boy to kiss me, one summer evening in the gap between the fields of Hand’s caravan park in Donabate. Recently it occurred to me that I’d had my first kiss at least three years earlier, aged nine, also in a caravan park, but this time in Portrane with a red-haired boy called George or Gerrard. We kissed behind a colourful stripped cloth windbreaker between our caravan and the converted double decker bus which belonged to the family of the girl that George or Gerrard went off with the following weekend.


Mary 2021 Mary Furlong Furlong 2021

Profile for MissMaryFurlong

Not the location of my first kiss  

Not the location of my first kiss  

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