Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking Photo Journal - Maurice of the Mountain - 100th Post

Maurice Collins

I was thinking about my 100th blog post, and to be honest, I couldn't decide what I would do for this momentous event!  So with no idea in my head, I went on my daily walk, and then I found the most brilliant inspiration. 

The man in the photograph is Maurice Collins, he is 94 and he walks the mountain everyday, sometimes 2-3 times.  He is a great man and apart from a little difficulty of hearing at times, and arthritis in the knee, he is probably healthier than myself.

It is great to talk to Maurice, because like the mountains he has been around for a very long time.  We spoke today about the bit of frost in the air, and the snow of 1947 when there were 40ft snowdrifts, we also spoke about the people, the new ones, those that have been here for only about 20 years!

Maurice got married at the age of 45.  His mother he says was a very good woman, and it didn't seem right to bring another woman into the house.  But when Maurice did get married, he was blessed with 5 children. 

As we walked down the mountain together, every now and then, he would throw a eye to his son's cattle, or wave to the odd mountain driver. 

I asked him what his secret was, was it healthy living?  He lived a hard life, he told me, but usually had enough to get by.  Times could be tough, but you just had to get on with it.  He misses being able to drive his car, but he misses driving his horse and cart more, despite often getting soaked through, often 3 or 4 times a day, hence the arthritis. 

Maurice remembers a time when Fridays was the day that folk, including his mother and father would travel into town, Camden Street, and sell eggs or buy seeds from Bolands.  They would make a day of it, he told me. 

The only time Maurice left Ireland, was when he went to London for his honeymoon.  He has a sister in America, a member of the Sisters of Mercy I think.  When he talks about London and America, you just know that he has no call to worry about either, his world is his life on the mountain, and there isn't an ounce of regret that this is the case. 

I enjoy talking to Maurice, he has a good outlook on life, and a gentleman for sure.  He loves everything about the mountain, and takes life as it comes with an appreciation that tomorrow is promised to no one.

We left each other at the corner of Piperstown Lane, both going our separate ways for a cup of tea to bring warmth back after the chill of the mountain air. 

I am sure I will write about Maurice again, he is just one of those folk that always brings something new to the conversation, but for now, thanks Maurice for my 100th post!


  1. He actually looks a part of the landscape...

  2. ...tomorrow is promised to no one. I like that. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Great post, and thank you for the introduction.


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