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16 October 2014

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Look on the Brightside

By Irene Goddard
September 2005, Ebbw Vale
A digital story from Capture Wales

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you

Irene is quick to bring joy and laughter to any situation, and finds the bright side in any challenge.

"I'll be 94 in July, and I can still cock my leg up (Laughter). I know my faults. My son always reckons I was vaccinated with a gramophone needle, 'Mam, Mam, for God's sake, shut up!' (Laughter) (Sigh).

When my husband died, social workers used to come and see me, and they talked down to me, sort of pat me on the head. So I sent for this - I am proud of this. So one week when they come, I said, 'This is old, but this isn't, and this is long' (Laughter).

Only the one son I had, but I got three grand-daughters, and a grandson. And my son had an accident, and he wears a spinal jacket. He can get about on sticks, but he has an electric wheelchair, going round. He comes over every day and has tea with me. After telling me off, he has tea, and he's usually in the front room, lying on the floor. He wouldn't encourage me to talk, he'd tell me to 'Shut up!' He can't lay on the settee, he has to lie - has to lie on the floor, I put a rug down for him.

He's 62, and I got a wonderful daughter-in-law. She's my best friend. And David, you know, with his bad back, he could be a right so-and-so, so she'll come and cry on my shoulder and I'll just say 'Sorry Lillian, I wish I'd belted him harder when he was younger!' (Laughter).

I's a right one to talk, David reckoned that I was vaccinated with a gramophone needle. I wouldn't have my life any different; I've had a happy life. 'Cos it's always been my motto 'Always look at the bight side.' 'Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone'. Well, I made many laugh, they'll have to put a staple in my tongue when I get in that coffin.

When I die, I'm going to say to God 'I'll help you with the, do a few blessings for you, in case you have sore throat, I'll be on the side.' (Laughter)".

Irene Goddard

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Mountain Ash. My mother died when I was 18 months old from TB and I had to go into care until I was 15. I have one son, David, and lovely grandchildren. I used to be an avid reader and I used to love drawing. I'm now 94 and can still cock my leg up!

What is your story about?
It's about my life and the experiences I've had. I'm very lucky.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
It was lovely watching the films at the end of the workshop - Fame at last! I liked it all. I liked talking and telling my stories the most.

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