Skip to content
26/11/2019 / Harry Browne

Bronze Cauldron

Bronze Cauldron

Elaine comes down the stairs and set her duffel bag close to the front door. As she stands up she notices the photo beside the downstairs loo. She’s never really noticed it before.

“That thing in this picture, it looks like one of the pots you have out in your garden Granny”, she calls out. “The big brown one”.

“It does look a bit like it, you’re right”, says the older woman as she comes down the hallway from the kitchen.

“It has those same little knobbly bits on them. I remember I’d hang on to them with my fingers”.

“Yes, you did alright, when you’d be trying to lift it up to get at the snails underneath it. God help them”.

“What is this picture of? Is it in Ireland?”

Her grandmother pauses, twiddling with the still-dark curls on her shoulders.

“It’s from the wreck of the Spanish Armada. From when they were looking for it back in the 80s. Before you were born, like”.

Elaine reads the caption under the photo, Streedagh, County Sligo.

“Isn’t that near the old family cottage?”

“It is. Your auntie Rosie got involved in all that exploration work, you know”.

“She did?”

“That’s her in the photo”.

Elaine looks away from her grandmother’s face, and back to the photo, studying more closely the ancient cauldron and the figure of the diver.

“Really, how do you know that’s her?”

“They sent it on to us a few months later. The monuments people”.

“She was a diver then?”

“She did a lot of things. She was the one who loved all those books of your granddad’s, you know the ones I still have in the back room. She went off to England to study Archaeology for a bit. Bristol”, she adds, when she sees the enquiring look on Elaine’s face.

Elaine takes it all in, this person inside that suit, with yellow and blue tubes and wires, feeding her air from a boat above, a mask covering her face, her identity. This was her mother’s youngest sister. And she realizes she knows nothing about her.

“She looks good in that picture, doesn’t she?”

In the photo the diver’s face is turned to look inside the old pot half-buried in the sand, her gloved hands holding it tenderly, a sense of amazement in her pose. She seems to know how precious this might be, left behind 400 years before, deep in the cold Atlantic waters.

“Ah but after that job she give up the diving and all that. She moved away altogether, from Sligo, then from here”.

“Granny, why don’t you talk about her much? About Rosie?”

The older woman says nothing and turns away, into the front room towards the kitchen.

Elaine hears the click of the kettle.

“Will you have a sandwich pet, before you catch your bus back?”

“Thanks Granny, I’ll have a quick one thanks”.

She takes off the jacket she had half put on and leaves it on top of her bag by the door.

“Do you still have that big pot, in the garden. You know, I always liked the smell that came from that one out of that one”.

“Ah that’ll be the rosemary, love. It’s always grown well for me in that pot.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: