An Irish Lady, an Egyptian Man and me

Me, in Mexico, last week


I am sure I am not alone in loving the discount corner of my local supermarket – actually Teddy loves it even more than me. We call it Compost Corner after the first discount area that we found in a furniture store. About 30 years ago, I said “we are going out to buy a dining table for £10”. Teddy was incredulous but we came back with a beautiful ‘teak’ table that £10. We loved it and my mum claimed it when we moved on to another table.

I digress… Today, I was lurking around my supermarket’s discount area and starting chatting to a lady with a northern accent who looked completely Jewish. We discussed our various finds, from $1 Italian wine and myriad other exotica. She and her husband called it the WooHoo section. We were joined by a man who looked Middle-Eastern. He joined in the conversation and we agreed with him that it provokes you to try something new when it is discounted. He was handsome and the ‘Jewish’ lady heard his accent (swooned a little) while asking him where he was from.

Then it turned into a competition. I knew he was Arabic so I guessed Lebanese and greeted him in North African Arabic. No to Lebanon but my next guess was right – Egyptian. I should have known; he was in the discount area although he was probably a doctor and both charming and chatty. Then the Jewish lady revealed that she was Irish American. She absolutely did not look Irish. So, then they had to guess where I was born (San Francisco, Hispanic/Irish hybrid). Nobody got that right.

So, we had a Hispanic (me) who looks Irish and sounds Scottish; an Egyptian man with an ‘olive chin’ that hints at his ancestry and a ‘Jewish’ lady who was really Irish. We all started laughing about how typical this was in both our area and the Houston area. The Egyptian man commented that this was makes America great – (if only everyone agreed with him). I told him about the barista who longs to speak Arabic so I imagine he will visit there next. As I left, I bumped into the barista and told him about speaking Arabic to an Egyptian man – his face lit up at the idea of a potential new friendship.

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Our Irish Family Secret

nana This is a photograph of my maternal grandmother aka Nana. One of my earliest connections on WordPress was with a fantastic photographer, Ed Mooney, from the old country (Kildare, Ireland). I was astonished that he liked anything on my blog when his was a work of art, particularly the black and white photographs. Recently, I noticed that he had his first guest blogger and asked him if we would consider a blog from me. To my delight he said yes and uploaded it this morning. I am overwhelmed by the response and am truly grateful to Ed for this opportunity. Below is an excerpt from Our Irish Family Secret and a link to Ed’s marvelous website.
I was Nana’s own personal Inquisitor and it must have driven her crazy. She gave limited details of her past not just to me but to her children. We knew that she had been brought up in a middle-class home in Bootle, just south of Liverpool. Both her parents died young and she took over the care of the youngest children until they married. She joined a convent as a novice nun, she was both religious and beyond marriageable age, but before she could commit to God she met and married my very handsome grandfather, Daniel McHugh. To an imaginative child this was my version of the Sound of Music. He had worked as a policeman in Liverpool but once married they both went back to farm some family land in County Sligo, near Mullaghmore. Sligo is in the north west of Ireland underneath Donegal. In quick succession, they had five children and then my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer.
I hope this tantalizes you enough to find out what the secret is and enjoy Ed’s blog. Click here to read the whole story https://edmooneyphoto.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/guest-blog-our-irish-family-secret-by-kerry-duncan/