Tuesday, October 01, 2019

A Treasure Chest of Memories

"Memories, oh so beautiful and yet,
What's too painful to remember,
We simply choose to forget.
Barbara Streisand.

A treasure chest of cherished memories was burst open during the Topics Session at the last Speakeasy Toastmasters meeting. A simple question from the Topicsmaster, Verna Byrne on childhood memories of Summers long past prompted several recollections of a time when the Summers were always long and warm, children were easily pleased and Telephones hung on walls and weren't considered smart.

Liam Flynn waxed lyrical on Summer days in Wexford with descriptions of Hook Head lighthouse and eating crab meat, which, unlike nowadays, was not considered a valued food. Bobby Buckley recalled a recent stopover in Tipperary and how memories of looking forward to holidays in Thurles and the whole Summer spread out before him. Michael Cronin remembered whiling away the time with "racing twigs down a river", obviously an early prototype of the Duck Race. Far more exciting were the recollections of Gerry O'Callaghan - day trips to Youghal beach and packed lunches where the the word "sandwich" took on an entirely literal meaning and where one child would inevitably go missing.

Childhood ambitions were addressed in the topic - " when I grow up I wish to be". Inspired by the Moon Landings, Don McSweeney dreamed of being an astronaut, which was quite a tall order for someone who disliked cramped and confined spaces! And, for good measure, he wanted to be a cross channel swimmer, which would require the essential first step of learning to swim! Shane O'Donnell wanted to be a man in uniform! Toy soldiers sparked an ambition in Shane to be a soldier, an ambition that receded in teenage years.

"How life would be different when and if we achieved gender equality" elicited a huge response on women and their competency.The example of Joanne Cantwell stepping into a predominantly male preserve like "The Sunday Game" and bringing a skill set that was previously lacking was cited as proof that women can hold their own in all aspect of life.

Topic Sessions enable members to hone their skills of "thinking on their feet" in all sorts of social situations, be it in job interviews, work meetings or in inter-personal communications. Over time, members gain the confidence and the composure to respond to most off the cuff situations and to speak with clarity and coherence on a range of subjects. And, it be good fun, echoing the Toastmasters motto - "We learn most in moments of enjoyment".

To sample the delights of a Topics Session and all other aspects of a Speakeasy meeting, why not pay us a visit at our next meeting on Thursday, 3rd October in The Hibernian Hotel, Mallow at 8.00PM. Guests are always welcome and are never obliged to speak unless they wish to do so.
For more information, please check out our website,speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook. Alternatively, please contact Club President, Theresa O'Reilly - 087-6699156.

No comments: