Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “simplicity”…
Mrs Brown believed passionately in the power of given names to influence a child’s personality.
This makes as much sense as the theory that if you name a cat Fluffy it will grow up looking like a feather-duster, or that a dog Spot will contract measles, but she had had a schoolfriend called June who was actually born in June, so she was unshakeable in her belief.
She named her daughters Patience, Hope, Chastity and The Feeling Of Contentment That You Get On Sunny Mornings. She named her sons (she preferred girls) Forbearance, Schadenfreude and, in the hope that he would one day buy her a house, Professional Footballer.
Then she had one last daughter and Mrs Brown called her Simplicity, since she had simply run out of ideas for names.
Overall her plan had mixed results. While Hope was hopeful and Forbearance was forbearable, Patience had to attend Anger Management classes, Chastity became a lap-dancer, and Professional Footballer became a professional golfer (and bought her a house, I did say the results were mixed, not necessarily bad).
Simplicity, though, was her great success.
It began at school, with her stick-men drawings and her phonetic attitude to spelling. If asked to spell “through” she spelt it “throo”. The town of Dun Laoghaire (yes, it exists, it’s about ten miles north of here) she spelt “Dunleery”, ignoring all the sleeping letters in the centre.
Mrs Brown then sent her to the secondary school that the Tinkids attend, Colaiste Chroabh Abhann. She referred to it throughout as “the school”. There she was a star of the hockey team (get the ball, run in a straight line towards goal, hit the ball into the goal), the basketball team (get the ball, run in a straight line towards the basket, throw the ball into the basket) and the judo team (hurl your opponent onto the floor).
She was captain of the debating team who won the All-Ireland Championship after her speech in the Final, against the topic “This House Supports The Notion Of Compulsory Porridge”, consisted of the three words “don’t talk shite”.
After school she went to university, where she studied English, because it was simplest (she could already speak it, she reckoned she was halfway there). She then became an architect, where her house-designs all had four windows, a front door right in the centre and a plume of scribble rising from the chimney.
Now in her twenties she lives happily with her husband (John) and their three children, You, Little You and Baby You. She likes vanilla ice-cream, plain digestive biscuits, and films that you can guess the end of within the first five minutes (romantic comedies especially, sometimes she just watches the opening credits).
She likes the simple life.