If only they knew.

We all have many people who share our lives every day, parents, grandparents, partners, family and friends.
Their support and love gets us through the good and the bad.

This post is not about these people.

This post is about the people I have met, who have had a profound effect on my life, and do not know it.
Some of them I would love to contact to say “Thank You, so very much”.
Some of them I would love to contact to say “Feck You!”.

Top of my “Feck You” list…
As a very young child I was a very nervous swimmer. At the age of four I enrolled in lessons. My teacher was a man I will not name, who at the end of the lesson would walk us babies, down to the deep end.

There he would throw us in!

I use the word “throw” here in the correct context. I would stand there shaking, crying “Please Mr X, don’t throw me in!” He never listened. I became terrified of water.

Top of my “Thank You list”
At the age of 7, a great friend of mine convinced me to join a swimming club. I was very nervous. There I met a wonderful teacher called Louise Kennedy. She encouraged me gently, and slowly I grew in confidence.
Over time she taught me not only to swim, but to love swimming.
From there I went on to swim internationally and continue to work in swimming to this day.small_2967148522

Number two on my “Feck You” list is my English teacher in school. He criticised me regularly, suggesting I was not up to the course, despite my love of poetry and essay writing. He had no discipline over the class and wrongly believed I was one of the ringleaders.
He wrote on my report public enemy No.1.

Despite him I have continued to love writing and Poetry, and my exam results proved him wrong!

Back to my “Thank You” list and I’d like to feature another one of my teachers, Mr O Floinn who taught me Irish.
I often think of him and wonder at how he will never know what a huge influence he had on my life. I didn’t really excel in the language, but with his enthusiasm and passion, he taught to be proud of it and appreciate it’s beauty. As a direct result of his influence, I chose Irish names for my children and sent them to an Irish speaking school. Each of them love the language and can speak it fluently. Mr O Floinn greatly feared the death of the language but thanks to him it lives on in the next generation in this house.

I know the Thank you list is all very well but I bet you are wishing for more of my “Feck You” list, well this is a good one.
One day a number of years ago I was shopping with all the children. This meant I had 4 children in the trolley, two aged 18 months and two aged 4 years. Walking beside me was another four year old and two more seven year olds. I’ll do the maths for you, that was 7 children under 8 years.

I only needed to buy three items. I went to the kiosk to pay and met ‘Miss Trunchable’ (may not have been her real name). I put my three items on the counter. She looked at me,

“Baskets only” she barked.

“But I only have three items!”.

“You have a trolley”, she hissed.

No amount of pleading or questioning on my part would change her mind, I would have to walk to the other end of the store to be checked out with all the trolleys. The queue got larger but I was not for moving. The manager, Mr Plonker (may not have been his real name either) decided to investigate and agreed to ‘allow’ me check out my three items before telling me it was company policy but he’d okay it this once.

I have never shopped there since.

My final “Thank You” is for Marion Wallace. She was a wonderful nurse tutor I met when I began nursing.small__4062102754
From a very young age I had wanted to be a nurse and was delighted to be accepted into training at a Dublin hospital.
Just one minor drawback, as I walked around the ward,

I couldn’t stop fainting!

In the early days we were on the wards once a week, every week.
I spent the majority of that day on the floor, or sitting with my head down! It was a very large hospital but my reputation spread and much to my embarrassment many joked about it, including people I didn’t even know. One day I was in the very busy canteen when I heard,

“you better hurry up and serve her or that one will faint!”

I was exasperated and demoralised.

A time came when I thought I’d have to leave. After once again publicly hitting the floor I was very upset and told my tutor, Marion Wallace, my thoughts. She wouldn’t hear of it and insisted I’d make a good nurse and could get over it. With patience she was right, and after another few weeks I was ‘cured’. I qualified and loved my nursing life and owe it all to her.

So there you have it, some of the people who have no idea the impact they have had on my life.

To some I say, “Thank You”.
To the others, I say “Feck You!”



I’m struggling to find time to write at the moment as I’m trying to finish a couple of short stories. As I’ve a lot more readers than I had in 2013 I thought I’d tweak and share this post from back then. I’d love to hear about the thank you and feck you’s in your life, or maybe I’ve prompted a post?

photo credit: Mykl Roventine via photopin cc
photo credit: jul13d0wn3s via photopin cc

9 thoughts on “If only they knew.

  1. I can’t believe how truly awful your first swimming teacher was. Looking on the bright side, you didn’t actually drown, although this might owe more to luck than anything else. I had very good English and history teachers at school. Top of the other list would be the kid at elementary school who had a hard time distinguishing me (and other kids, to be fair) from a punchbag, and also the teacher from the same school who belted me for something I didn’t do.

  2. I don’t ever remember being able to learn something when I’m terrified.

    I can’t think of any ‘feck you’s’ at the moment. But if I do I will definitely get back here!

  3. I had an awesome French teacher in high school and she was quite influential in my life. I’ve always dreamed of furthering my studies in French and spending time in France one day but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m due for a vacation and the top of my list of places to go is France. Now I just have to dream up the cash to get me there 🙂

  4. i love these. you are so right, many times people have no idea how they impact us. my feck experience: i was very shy and in kindergarten. we were asked to bring a picture of something that began with the letter ‘b’ to school. i found a picture of ‘beef vegetable soup’ and brought it in. my teacher called me to her desk and put a big red check mark on my paper and said it was wrong, that it began with an ‘s’ for ‘soup.’ i was too shy to correct her and she never asked and i was humiliated and have never forgotten it. it was a thank you moment too, for it taught me to always ask a child what they mean by something and never presume or assume.

  5. The thank you’s and the feck you’s definitely go a long way to making us who we are. I’d like to say that they’re all for the better of character building but one feck you I recollect having the opportunity to act on was when, a few years after leaving secondary school, I saw a young man on a bus who’d humiliated at primary by mimicing my chubby cheeks in front of a crowd of classmates. I had been smiling away and chatting up until then and just stopped dead. Why would he do such a thing? I never forgot it. Basturt that he was. When I saw him on the bus his golden curly locks had thinned to premature baldness and he’d obviously eaten his own weight in pies. I admit, I smiled. Inside. Gleefully. I was looking hot that day! I hadn’t even learned how to swear properly by that point (took me years!) but I’m pretty sure my thoughts would have been classified in the feck you variety. In capitals. Sweet. Ah, days like that make life worth living. 😉

    1. Hahaha. What a perfect way to silently deliver your ‘feck you’ to the chubby cheeked fat ass. What a horrible thing for him to do and you to experience.
      No I don’t think most of our feck you’s are character building but we got through. I’m still chuckling here at your revenge, of the silent capital ‘feck’ variety.

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