Unpredictability - Good for your health

Our modern life is based on organising an environment free from the unexpected. The house needs to be as stable and reliable as possible. The job as safe as possible. Nothing should break down. Nothing but what we predict, should occur.
This is the life of the zoo animal. Let's explore the life of the Nomad. Let's live the life of the Nomad.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Gypsy Girl and without Contract

WH Smiths is a general stationary and book store you will find on any English high street.  During my lunch break I will often take a look at the the new book releases and so it was a surprise, after recently reading a book called Gypsy Boy, to now see a book titled Gypsy Girl.

Gypsy Girl was written by an Irish traveller named Rosie McKinley, although a few pages in you read that this is a pseudonym: and in fact all the names are made up to protect the privacy of the lives discussed in the autobiography.

I have spent the last three days reading this book and this is because my contract has not been extended.  Not yet.  It is all a bit annoying since it is all due to a failure in administration.  As soon as the relevant forms are signed by the relevant managers, then the contract will resume.  So while it is nice to have had a few days without work, it is not as if I could plan anything special since I need to be able to cycle back into work as soon as the paper  work is sorted.

Now this book, Gypsy Girl, is a very moving and fascinating insight into the life of the Irish Traveller growing up in England.  A story about a girl whose throat was mauled as a baby by a dog.  Who grew up attending eight different schools, but only temporarily and so never managed to learn to read until her adult years.

And if you can retain some prejudice against the travelling community try at least to imagine a life of a gypsy girl that only wanted to learn to read and whose naturally inquisitive mind set her apart from her peers.  A girl whose grandfather died at 14 and whose father had an affair at the same time and whose mother took to depression and alcohol, leaving the girl to become the substitute mother to raise the family.  A girl that became a woman that married at 17 and had her kids and whose alcoholic husband regularly beat her black and blue.  And while she tried to save her kids from this atmosphere of violence and heart ache, ultimately the husband tracked the wife and the wife got the beating.

So it is a sad story and  the husband eventually died from the alcohol abuse.   Rosie, obviously an intelligent and strong woman, took some adult reading courses for travellers, learned to read and write, and also to become an advocate for the travelling world.  And in the end she found her non travelling man who treated her well and so, all things considered, in the end Rosie finds happiness.

And the story is not all grim and there are some very interesting and also funny aspects of gypsy life narrated.  For instance, and this was something I didn't realise, a good portion of the travelling world actually live in council houses.  After life where over a half a dozen folk are living living in a caravan, can you imagine what it must be like to be given a four bedroom house to live in?  It would be a pretty good feeling I am sure, except there was too much space and so the parents decided, for the first night, that the whole family was to sleep in the kitchen.

So again I can recommend an interesting book available in paper back so won't bruise your bank account at only 7 pounds.

Update - just found out contract is extended so it's off to work for me.  Have a great day everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Got the book from the library this mornin and just finished it now, couldnt put it down. Would really recommend it!