Irish housing estates were a place of camaraderie, games and “are ya coming out?”
We each thought our estate was the best, and that no one would ever understand the intricate ins and outs of our own sacred haven.
Growing up in an Irish estate was a truly unique experience – or so we thought.
Because really anyone who grew up in one will remember these things…
1. Calling for people
But not on the phone, no no. Good, old-fashioned ringing the doorbell, without knowing whether or not the person will be home.
2. Going knick-knacking
It was funny when you did it, now, however, it’s f*cking irritating.
3. Having the space to play every game
Tip the can, Kerbs, rounders, chasing … You could play them all.
4. You were always spied on
The downside to living in an estate was that you probably knew all your neighbours, in turn, they knew you. That meant an extra couple set of eyes on you whenever you left the house, ready to report back to your Mam if you did something bad.
5. There was always someone to play with
You could leave the house, not knowing who you’ll find, but always coming home after a great time.
6. Having rivalries with kids on the other side
Your half of the estate was infinitely better, and still is.
7. Finally being allowed to go to certain areas when you were old enough
The sweet, sweet freedom of finally being allowed walk down to the shops through the bushes.
8. Being suspicious of new neighbours
And rightly so, are they worthy? Can we trust them? Do they have a dog?
9. Chasing the ice-cream van
Through rain, hail or shine.
10. Halloween Trick-or-Treating was insane
It was a free for all, and the queues to get to all the houses were never-ending.
11. Going for walks was a valid way to pass time
Whether you admit it or not, you most definitely were those kids who just wandered around. We all were.
12. Seeing people you didn’t recognise when it snowed
The snow brought everyone out of their houses for a collective snow-man making event, and you were always surprised at how many people lived here.
13. Birthday parties were a community event
Bouncing castles were for everyone, and if you didn’t receive an invite to the party, then that’s estate treason.
14. Everyone had the same toys, at the same time
At least we can collectively look back in horror at our Wheelies, stilts and rollerblades …
15. Games were taken seriously
Water fights were taken very, very seriously and cheating was not tolerated.
16. The green was the dedicated meeting point
If you couldn’t find anyone, you can bet they were on the green.
17. Guarding the bushes where your friend was getting the shift
Because that’s what friends do.