U is for Ups and Downs#atozchallenge


U    I have to confess that U is not my favourite letter of the alphabet.

I struggled with U. But then it came to me-every challenge has to have it’s ups and downs.

And then I had it- that little concept that every blog requires to wrap itself around before going out into the world.

My first literary encounter with  the idea of ‘Up’s and ‘Downs’ was on my father’s knee, as he recited a poem remembered from his childhood. It was about the fairies. The fairies are big news in Ireland. Not the fluttery, pretty type, but the ugly, otherworldly folk of mythology and superstition. They are a scary bunch and you’d be well advised not to annoy them or there’s big trouble. Anyway, back to the poem. It was written by William Allingham -http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Poetry/TheFairies.html

‘Up the airy mountain, Down the rushing glen,

We dare not go hunting, for fear of little men!’

Where next for more juxtapositions of up and down? We needn’t go far. There are a whole host of up and down sayings out there.

Take the laws of gravity:

What goes UP has to come Down.

And of pyschology:

Your head may be UP in the clouds- (Yay!!) but then you could end up

Down in the dumps (Boo…)

Or outdoor pursuits:

You may find yourself UP the creek without a paddle.

But if you get DOWN to brass tacks, it was probably your own fault for neglecting to bring such a vital piece of equipment.

In poker, you might well UP the ante- (and not the aunty as I used to think)

If you were cheating at poker, you might need to get DOWN and dirty (as in intently and fiercely competitive, not bawdy and lewd mind!)

And finally, in this whistle stop tour of possible ups and downs, let’s look at our very own Irish addition to the gamut.

headUP here for thinking


DOWN there for dancing. feet


But no, I think the last word on this should go to Mehmet, who advises us:

“Climb up the stairs cheerfully, climb down the stairs cheerfully! Let your mind be unaffected by the ups and downs of life!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

Well said, Mehmet!



14 thoughts on “U is for Ups and Downs#atozchallenge

  1. I like the old fairy tales – you know the way they were before Disney took them. I used to search library shelves for old stories, legends, and myths for places far far away. Now I think you can learn a lot about a culture/civilization from their tales. (Cringe worthy to think what future generation thinks of the bland ones from here and now)
    Nice post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When renovating what’s now your house over forty years ago my father (a brave man) would never sleep in it alone. If he was alone he would sleep in his car. When I slept in the house alone some years later my father feared I would be ‘swept’, i. e. taken by the fairies!

    Incidentally, but possibly not coincidentally, Safari crashed when I first tried to post this comment…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Poor Uncle Sean. I do remember he was always very wary of the fairies-. He was such a brilliant story teller- I used to be terrified listening to him (but also delighted, if you know what I mean!) I like the term ‘swept’ I can almost hear him saying it. Very dramatic. As for Safari….very strange.


  3. What great examples of ups and downs! I liked the ones about faeries. I’ve always enjoyed reading about them, and the wee folk.

    U is kind of a weird letter. It’s more like a supporting character, friend of Q and O. I don’t blame you for it not being a favorite letter.

    Liked by 1 person

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