Tag Archives: village

Reasons to be cheerful – Part Two

There’s a hawthorn tree in there. No really.

Coincidentally, I was feeling cheerful this time last year. This is why I’m in a good mood now.

1. I planted a hawthorn tree. Few things are better than planting a tree. Putting down roots. Engaging with nature. Creating a legacy that will last till…  Well, I hope it’s still there. I haven’t looked since the weekend. Better check it tomorrow. It’s tucked away in a corner between the village recreation ground and the allotments.

2. I encountered someone who has changed her mind and admitted she was wrong. She’s discovered she can’t wipe away what she wrote. But she’s apologising and rejecting the wrong. I find that refreshing. Good on you Nadia.

OK, I admit it. Some people’s hole digging productivity was a lot higher than mine. But surely that’s what Scouts are good at?

3. It may take a while, but given time and a fair wind, even a writer who it seemed had been written off, can get a publishing deal Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, In the village

Happy St Patrick’s Day you mutha…

Not at all like my own Mum. There'd be a tea cosy on that pot for a start. Sunglasses in the house? No way. That colour hair? No. And more importantly, she has no need to pretend on either of the two days in question. OK, end of excessive schmaltziness.

If only all festivals could be this cooperative.

St Patrick’s Day only starts after midday in my English village – in the pub whose owner is married to a Mayo woman, which is run by a Leitrim man and which is frequented by the denizens of Clare, Tipperary and Antrim. Some British people manage to squeeze in too.

The delay is to accommodate Mothers’ Day in the morning. (American mothers are even more accommodating, they mark it on another day altogether.)

So if you’re an Irish mother, you’re welcome all day. On the downside, you may have to put up with plastic Shamrock-tinted tat.

I may drop in myself – just out of politeness… to Mothers.

But beforehand, as is traditional, I’ll link to my all -time favourite St Patrick’s Day joke.

And leave you with this I Spartacus-type short Patrick-themed film Continue reading

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Filed under In the village

Firm rump, lean thighs and great tongue

Firm-Rump – Lean Thighs – Great Tongue.

Bit cheeky putting that on a recruitment noticeboard, isn’t it?

Especially in Continue reading

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Filed under language

Don’t you go getting any ideas now, d’ye hear?

I never sampled this one. Should I? Can anyone speak from experience on this brew? Or do you have... wait for for it... wait for it... no eye deer.

“Don’t you go getting any ideas now, d’ye hear?” Who said that to me? Teachers, girlfriends, police officers…. Er… my mind has suddenly gone conveniently blank.

But I can’t help it. Something will occur and I’ll seem to drift off for a moment. Here’s what happened earlier:

Scene – at the bar. A neighbour (by which I mean a fellow villager, not the fellas on either side of my house) leaves his lively table and arrives beside me at the bar to pay his tab. He looks at the printed out bill.

Neighbour: (Quietly) “How much is that? I can’t read it.”

Barman: “£34.35.”

Neighbour: (loudly) “Is it? Right…” (digs out his cash card)

Another drinker from my neighbour’s table: (shouting) “How much is it?”

Neighbour: “£200. And I only came in for a half.”

Laughter from the table. The barman puts the PIN machine on the bar top and my neighbour slots in his card. And then pauses.

Neighbour: (to barman) “I can’t see the numbers. You’ll have to put them in.”

Bar landlord: “Don’t worry, he knows the PIN numbers of half the people in the village.” Continue reading

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The day I met… My Nemesis (and discovered his secret)

I’d been dreading this moment – yet also girding my loins for the encounter.

Remember how this  The Day I Met… business all began? The incident involving the little girl, her hat, the bestselling writer and his eye for a pretty lady? Well… As the weeks and months passed, and summer danced into autumn, I knew that some day I would have to face him once again…

My nemesis Continue reading

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Filed under In the village, The Day I Met... Competition

Who was that masked man?

Is your dog ready for Hallowe'en?

Hallowe’en is coming and the goose is getting fat… That was what we sang door to door at Hallowe’en back in Belfast. Tuneful? No. A seasonal song? No. On the scrounge? Yes.

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat… At some houses my mates and I were listened to once, then other residents would be summoned to the door for a repeat of our odd performance.

If you haven’t got a penny, a pound will do… And at many doors we were Continue reading

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Filed under family history, In the village

Do ballerinas say “Cheese”?

James McDougall photographing a set at the Royal Opera House, London

My neighbour James McDougall was a gifted photographer. He recorded for posterity the nearly all the sets used by the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera between 1962 or ’63 and the early 2000s Continue reading

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Filed under art, D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, friends, In the village, Music, theatre