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About the book:
A fast moving account of the life and times of George Sturdy told with honesty and feeling which by turns are humourous, serious and sad.
This book is divided into two parts; Part 1 contains the story, beginning in the ‘50s and unfolds in three phases: School Days—Teenage years—Married Life.
The second section; Part 2 contains a collection of rhymes on a variety of subjects.
Sturdy never takes himself too seriously and enjoys having a go at the injustices and absurdities of life.
About the Author:
Retired director of Advertising Company, main interests include reading, cinema, travelling, working. The author is a widower since 1995 and is living at home with his son in Baldoyle.
When I was six years of age, I considered that I was old enough to think for myself. This certainly applied to my attitude towards smoking and cursing because I did both. My opinions about my acquaintances and surroundings were well formed and consisted of whether I liked them or not. It was not until much later when I was about ten years old that I entered into any sort of internal dialogue regarding the deeper meaning of life. There are certain events in our lives that stand out more than others, and the first one for me was my First Holy Communion. I couldn't wait for the day to arrive so that I could go around and collect money from the neighbours on the road and from my relations. Our teacher in school prepared us for our First Holy Communion, and it was emphasised to us that, not alone must we confess all our sins, but we must say how many times we committed them. I remember my preparations for this special occasion, which took place all those years ago. By way of example of what she meant, our teacher said that if we used bad words, slammed the door at home, told lies, or if we shouted at our parents, we must say how many times, as far as we could remember, we did these things. Here was I listening to this stuff and dying for a smoke and saying to myself, if I had given an answer back to my father it would be easy to remember how many times I did it because it would only have been once. I had no first-hand experience of a broken arse but I had a great sense of what it would be like. As for slamming doors, that was so childish even I, at six years of age did not indulge in that sort of behaviour, and any lies I told were absolutely necessary to avoid getting my ears boxed. No, I'm afraid my particular partiality to sinning was in the area of cursing. I was a bit of an expert in the field and indulged frequently. When it came to making my first confession with Father Foley, who was a pleasant and kind man, I didn't have the courage to admit that I was an incessant curser. In any case, I lost count for it must have been in the thousands, so my first confession went like this: “Bless me father for I have sinned, this is my first confession. I used bad words nine times and for these and for all the sins of my past life, I am very Sorry.” I agonized long and hard about the 'nine' times and tried to convince myself that this was a reasonable and accurate calculation, but no amount of self-delusion could overcome the fact that I had made a ‘bad’ confession. The making of such a confession had been gone into in great detail by our teacher, and she was emphatic in stating that if we made a ‘bad’ confession our sins were not forgiven.
The consequence of this scurrilous sort of behaviour was made perfectly clear, and during her explanation, the word hell was mentioned more than once. Even to this day, I know that my first confession was bad so you can see it was not a very good start. I dare say the train of our thoughts determines the way we feel about ourselves and simply put, are they positive or negative? We come to a conclusion, one way or the other, by conducting a review of our conduct. I am very clear about this as I have already indicated, and that is, I considered myself to be a First Confession offender. With regard to being a good or a bad person I could not accept the concept of goodness in itself. The way I looked at it, a person had to do something virtuous in order to be a good person, and as I did nothing like that whatsoever then I wasn't ‘good. With the exception of a bit of cursing and swearing, I didn’t go around doing terrible things either so I wasn’t bad, but that still didn't mean I was good. I did what I had to do and no more than that. In other words, what I did was the bare minimum.
The Life & Rhymes of George Sturdy
A Personal Journey
By George Sturdy