Trails

Shellety Horn

A word has come spiralling down the rabbit hole from my childhood: ‘Shellety Horn’ – our word for snail.

I am wondering if that was an Irish thing. Or perhaps it was a Cork word, or maybe, just maybe, it was our family’s special word? There were others too, such as Fatty Pigs (wood lice). Then there was Goody Bread, an impromptu bread & butter pudding in a teacup, made with torn bread, a generous sprinkling of sugar and sultanas, all soaked in hot milk.

Now that I am on a trip down memory lane, milky puddings seemed to have featured strongly throughout my early days. As well as bread & butter pudding, we were regularly fed semolina, rice pudding, tapioca and tinned fruit with custard, with cream or ice cream served with everything. We always had a block of vanilla or raspberry ripple in our freezer but that didn’t stop us from walking to the shop most days for a whipped cone, an ice cream wafer or a glass of fizzy drink topped with a blob of ice cream. But best of all, there were Wibbly Wobbly Wonders. These Irish ice lollies (popsicles) had a two tone strawberry and banana ice cream base, then a layer of jellified lemon curd, half smothered in chocolate.

Those lazy ice cream days hold memories of sunny Sunday drives to the seaside with my friend’s family. (We didn’t have a car). Martha and I would spend the journey kneeling up (sans seat belts, of course) waving at drivers in the cars behind and then rolling around on the back seat in fits of giggles when someone waved back or pulled faces at us. Never the best back seat traveller, I would fight car sickness throughout the hot, rough and tumble ride, which always featured a treat. Yes, you’ve guessed it, an enormous whipped ice cream cone.

The thing is, it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance.

After almost 25 nauseous,  stomach-churning years, I now live a (virtually) dairy-free life.  (These days, the only ‘Wibbly Wobbly Wonders’ I get close to are the ones staring back at me in that full length mirror).

But back to the above image.

The Shellety Horn that once lived in this lovely, milky, lime-washed ‘des res’ has long gone, but he has left a trail of childhood memories behind.

I have a lovely update to add to this post. See here for Shellety’s exotic cousin!