Tulsk…The Town I Love so Well

Coming from the fast-paced world of a big, bustling Dublin suburb to live in a quiet rural setting four years ago once rendered this party animal feeling very lonely during the Christmas season. In fact every opportunity I got I headed to Dublin for the bright lights and the hustle and bustle of the shops, the companionship of my family, and my annual ‘must-see’ trip to Handel’s Messiah at Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of the city where I grew up, where I worked, and where, until this spring, I called my home!

  However, this will not be the case this year, because this year, our family, i.e. myself, he-who-thinks-he’s-the-boss and our six fur babies will be spending a community Christmas right here in the town I now proudly call my home, Tulsk.

  The tree is up; a real one, pine needles and all, the poor hoover’s in overdrive, the lights are twinkling, and if our granddaughter Ellarose’s diagnosis is anything to go by, her “I think Nana has a bad case of festive fever,” is pretty accurate. Oh yeah, Nana has a terminal case of OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder, rendering me to smile like a hysterical hyena and skip around the house belting out classic Christmas songs and berating anyone who dares to move a carefully placed tree ornament or dirty the Christmas tablecloth.

  Since moving to Tulsk with its historic Rathcroghan visitor centre, its speciality shops, its friendly pubs, its wonderfully welcoming people; since meeting our genuinely kind neighbours and enjoying their warm spirit, I’ve realised that having an old-fashioned, quiet, traditional Christmas in a small town is something that I’ve been missing. Of course he-who-thinks-he-knows-it-all was right all along when he told me I needed to relax and embrace rural life; but sure it took our move to Tulsk for me to cop on; and now, surrounded by beautiful countryside, cows to the left of me, sheep to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle happily anticipating the Christmas celebrations that are just around the corner.

  For the first time since moving to Roscommon, I’ll drag himself to midnight mass at our local church; I’ll make a show of him by singing carols at the top of my voice, and the lovely Fr. John might let me join his choir. This Christmas, I’m ready to soak up the festive spirit of a wonderful Tulsk Christmas because this town sure knows how to do it really well.