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Nowadays, when sleep doesn't come readily, I close my eyes and go back over sixty-five years to County Cavan ... I see myself with a bucket in each hand, go through the gate where the cows stand waiting to be brought in for milking. I tread carefully on the seven stepping stones Dad put there so we need not walk in the mud. Past the big puddle with the blue clay streak where we shaped cups and saucers for our wee house. Past the patch of cowslips and over the style into the castle meadow. The grass is longer here, and I search for trembling-grass which, no matter how still the day, shakes and sparkles with a life of its own. Through the old iron gate and into the bluebell wood, with the eggtree hedge on one side. I stop to pop a few of the large white berries between finger and thumb, and suddenly I come out into the sunshine.... I never get as far as the well, because peaceful sleep has overtaken me-it's better than a sleeping pill any day. Jessie Woodger (neï¿½ McMahon) was born in 1923 close to where Co. Cavan meets Fermanagh - an area which is now border country between the Republic and Northern Ireland. Here she speaks of the quieter times in which her family still farmed 45 acres after four generations on the land-and of the irreversible changes brought upon them by separation during two world wars.
Jessie Woodger (nee McMahon) was born in 1923 close to where Co. Cavan meets Fermanagh - an area which is now border country between the Republic and Northern Ireland. She settled in England after the Second World War, and now lives in Headley, Hampshire.