All posts by Dee Sewell

Christmas at Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Christmas at Goatsbridge Trout Farm… it’s coming!

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No one knows what anticipation is nowadays as everything is so immediate. Anticipation is the electricity of childhood. I can distinctly remember one year as a ten year old asking my mother how many days left till Christmas. I then spent the next 252 days counting down until the day arrived.

I can still feel that anticipation for the hope of Christmas as I felt the presents rustling at the end of my bed at four in the morning, much to my mother’s horror. Christmas was always a long day of tinned sweets, card playing and an excess that rarely happened in our house with nine brothers and sisters.  When Christmas Day comes there is still that same warm feeling that enfolded our hearts, as we had as children.

I somehow remember the year after my father died and my mother telling me we were going to have a great day regardless because Christmas was compulsory. And guess what! Santa still came and brought his usual apple or orange which we always thought very strange. I guess it was symbolic for my mother of her Christmases long ago when an orange was a luxury and she just wanted to make her case. We did not mind as long as we did not get anything too practical like clothes as there is nothing as mean as giving a child something useful for Christmas don’t you agree?

How times have changed for me over the following 40 years. Now I spend my time obsessing as I try and persuade everyone to consider using Goatsbridge trout as part of their festive celebrations. We will find any excuse to promote our trout recipes, encourage online trout sales and insist on support for our delicious home-grown smoked fish over the holiday period.

But somehow my kids kick me back into reality and I am catapulted back to my childhood as I read my youngest daughters Christmas letter to Santa. I think Santa should also throw in a spelling book!

Christmas at Goatsbridge Trout Farm

So let’s compromise and make Christmas the keeping-place for memories of our innocence but also Goatsbridge trout!

 

I will live to flog another Goatsbridge Trout!!!

It’s been nine days since that fateful day in October when I had, what I can only describe as, my Near Death Experience.

The day started out like any normal day. A day packed with the expectation of any other day as I prepared to head to Dublin to do a live TV3 program for Goatsbridge Trout on The 7 O’Clock Show.

The last conversation I remember having in my home town was with my local grocer’s daughters as I collected some dry cleaning.  We discussed the funeral of a friend James McHale, an American who facing death, did not want a traditional ceremony but something meaningful to his life, times and beliefs. It was the loveliest funeral at Woodbrook Natural Burial Ground in County Wexford. James received a glorious send-off with no priestly palaver – just a harmonica, a bodhrán and the soughing of the wind in the trees.

He was a writer and wrote the following which I will never forget:

 I love my friends neither with my heart nor with my mind.

Just in case…

Heart might stop.

Mind can forget.

I love them with my soul….

As I left the shop I told the girls that if I died I would like to be remembered just as James was remembered; they were to have a big party, quote poetry and laugh.

Little did I think two hours later as I drove up the M7 motorway, my life almost changed forever. I hit a car from behind that had experienced engine failure and had slowed down suddenly. I had cruise control on and for some reason I did not react fast enough.  The car went hurdling into the air, tumbled three times before coming to a standstill.

What did I think about? How did I feel?

I remember telling myself to go with the flow, not to fight it. I felt an inner peace, calmness. Once the car stopped I knew I was still alive but I waited for something to crash into my car as I thought I had landed on the opposite side of the motorway.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and we will call it fate. I was fated to live.

Beyond that time that innate fear of death we all seem to be born with just vanished. I really believe fear doesn’t stop death but it will stop life. Perhaps all of life is a near death experience.

As I was stretchered away I hurriedly passed the bag of trout goodies I was briging to the TV station for tastings to the lovely young nurse who was by my side as the paramedics removed me from the car. I then made her promise to use trout on her wedding menu early next year in Wexford .

I smiled to myself and thought of an expression I once heard … “Only the good die young”

I guess my job is not done.

Eat Trout

Photo credit: Aquarium I via photopin (license)