“across the evening sky . . . “

i’ve changed job and i miss the weakdays dayz off. i also miss the late starts, as it gave me the morning to walk the dogs and to listen to good radio (Q102 plays everyday in the new working environment, 5 dayza weak – and eyem sick of Hozier, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and “Rhythm is a Dancer”). eyem more offa RTE Radio 1 type a guy, i enjoy Morning Ireland, John Murray, Sean O’Rourke - i do miss Pat, though – and Ronan Collins, i really enjoy Ronan Collins, so . . . i was sad to learn today, that his 95 year old mother passed away.

Ronan introduced me to Sandy Denny.

“get UP! get OUT! get into something new!”

on Friday evening we left east Dublin and travelled south to county Limerick in our battered BMW. moo moo drove and i sat drinking cans of Danish green in the disordered back, where Delaney drooled on the shoulder of my coat, and Bonnie drooled onmah lap. it took three hours to drive to nowhere and we wudda got to there quicker if we hadinta been pulled in by the Guards for speeding.

the weakend waz luvvely and Ballyhoura was warm and welcoming with her long walks to towns i never heard of and hills i thought only existed in Rome.  our dogs indjoyed shit smells and country cousins who’d never met them, and from the sounds of those barking wolves, they didint want to.

tired, we returned to our forest roots; feet sore, from the ten kilometre walk up the fucking mountain, and the ten kilometre walk, down the fuckin’ mountain.  And we watched the greatest spectacle of Saturday rugby thatz bin played in some time.

 

“Country music, bonfires, lakes, and summer flings. I cannot wait ’til summer, i live for those things”

“babee, do yah wanna walk the mountain later this morning?”

“nah, i wanna see the lake behind the BIG house, out by Nobber. whatz it cawled . . ?”

“i dunno . . . white chapel or something like that, i think? eyem not sure, Eugene’d know. . . EUGENE!”

 

“WHAT?”

“WHATZ THA NAME ATHAT LAKE OUT BY KAYWOOD?”

“WHITEWOOD”

 

“itz cawled whitewood. are you sure yah wanna go there, i mean itz justa lake?”

“it’d be fun, maybe Eugene’d join us . . . with Max”

“i don’t think heel go”

* * *

He didint wanna go, he just said; “no, no, no, eyem not going to no fuckin lake” and i looked at my mother as Eugene left the house to smoke, and she smiled an embarrassed smile at moo moo, and left the living room to speak with him and returned shortly afterwards and told us heed go.

“eyem taking Max, and eyem driving your car” said Gonzo and that was that, we was going to the lake, which wasint much; just a lake by a littered carpark,

Whitewood Lake, Kilmainhamwood, Co.Meath

. . . with some reeds and cold looking water,

Whitewood Lake, Kilmainhamwood, Co.Meath

. . . that separated us from the rear of the BIG house, which we cuddint really see,Whitewood Lake, Kilmainhamwood, Co.Meath

. . . so we left, agreeing weed take a drink in one of Kilmainhamwood’s two bars, Keogans Bar, Kilmainhamwood, Co.Meath

Keoghans, or,

McKennas Bar, Kilmainhamwood, Co.Meath

McKennas,

. . . and we decided on McKennas because, as far as we were aware they hadda pool table . . . anda jukebox, so . . . we went in and drank two pints each and then returned to the car where Max had patiently waited, and Gonzo drove us home to Kingscourt,

Kingscourt, Co.Cavan

. . . where we drank more beer in the Blocks ALL day, returning to mother inna desperate state much later that day, and it wazza good day, a grand day out.

 

“There won’t be time to share our love, for we must say goodbye”

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Azza child i would wake late in the night and childishly stumble the corridor to my parents room at the front of the flat (azza child an apartment was called a flat) and sleep between them in their warm bed waking, to Morning Ireland playing from the wireless (a radio, and we called it a radio back then too).  Onna Sunday though, LMFM would broadcast from the large messy room and between the talk, the songs that would play . . . well, they stayed with me my life although i couldint name them for shit . . .

. . . and today this Irish musician guy died and like the honey badger i didint care, i didint give a shit, UNTIL i heard his song and then i slowly cried a tear, from my left eye for my father, for the cardboard cutout offa Ford Sierra hatchback (that i glued to his bedside locker and which i cut from the back offa Lyons teabox), and of course for the early years of LMFM.

RIP Jim McCann

“I drink to make other people more interesting.” Ernest Hemingway

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I like to drink and i like to smoke although i can only enjoy the latter either inna boozer or in our home and i guess the future tells me that soon enough the practice of smoking at home will be outlawed . . . because of the children no doubt and i’ll have nowhere to indjoy mah yellows, in fact if Avril Doyle (the zealot) has her way, ittilbee banned by 2025, and where do we go from here? well . . . we ban booze of course!

The seed has already been planted. Not content with limiting our personal responsibility regarding smoking (as we’re aware it ain’t a personal choice, it’s damn BIG tobacco and their brainwashing . . . of children) they now wish to limit our responsibility toward drinking, itz outta control! well eyem gonna play my part with a cuppla solutions and they ain’t gud’uns:

1:    those on welfare to be given food stamps . . . for food, not fags, not booze . . . for food

2:   minors caught with alcohol or found drunk will NOT be punished, their parents will be liable with €100 fines

3:   pissing in public to be enforced with €50 on the spot fines

4:   proper Garda enforcing of public drunkenness with €100 on the spot fines

5:  harsher punishments for those in court due to alcohol related incidents

 

. . . and thatz all thatz needed.  Out of control drinking solved.

 

eyem fookin’ good . . . i think?

“If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”

Over the past two months or so i’ve been letting things get on my nerve, stuff that ordinarily annoys me but which i try and ignore, such as Una Mullally, The Irish Times, Broadsheet, The Guardian, Ivana Bacik, Clurr Daly and her partner Mick, James O’Reilly, Paschal Donoghue, Gaydan O’Queerdon, RTE, the Unions, the two ones that make up Fintan O’Browne . . . and i could go on . . . you know what? eyem gonna go on; Islamic State and their apologists, Stephen Fry, the upcoming marriage referendum, vulnerable road users, children, the Waterboys . . . okay not really the Waterboys more th’fooker who sings with them . . . the guy with the hat who eats in Dunne and Crescenzi . . . Mike Scott! he really annoyed me recently after reading an interview in the Irish Times where he said that Jessica Valenti was “fantastic”, and tha’George Monbiot was creative and articulate with his anger, well . . . i dunno ’bout that, but i do dislike George Monbiot, however, he hasint annoyed me lately. Eyem unsure why eyem letting this shit piss me off, it don’t normally, i guess perhaps itz that an old friend has gone down a bad path and we can’t get him to turn back and eyem abitt blue because of this, but who knows?

* * *

On Sunday afternoon moo moo showed me an article in the Sunday Times, (she typed ’bout it yesterday), regarding Katherine Zappone, the American lesbian Senator from America who founded AnCosan with her wife Ann Louise and what annoyed the krap outta me is that sheez claiming a poor persons salary in order to travel to work, this broad is receiving close to €21,000 a year! Maybe if she was a principled person, respecting the public purse, our taxpayer money could’ve gone to some deserving charity, maybe even her own? but it doesint, €21,000 goes to her and that annoys me, a bit like our President Michael Dee.

. . . .and He does annoy me as, like Katherine, he cares, for the vulnerable, the less well off and so on . . . and on . . . and on, in fact i imagine, like Katherine he only cares for himself . . . . and his assistant Kevin, his travel buddie, who joined him in January on his holiday to the Canaries where the two of them stayed in the **** Rubicon Palace Hotel as Michael, i imagine, prepared his poetry and lived the luxuriant life of Lanzarote . . . with his assistant Kevin, ‘as his wife Sabina enjoyed the silver service at home in their Presidential Palace of the Phoenix Park, slightly sad and lonesome, alone with her thoughts of her husband’s salary of €250,000 and his existing pension of €120,000 a year, although that wouldint be touched for the next 7 years, what! with their expenses of €80,000?’ 

THE AGE OF GRANOLA
It was in the age of Granola
When you had long flowing hair
And people turned when we laughed
For they deeply coveted the reason
That we with so little
Were free

It was in the age of Granola
That our bodies were supple and thin
And our friends kept asking how you did it,
You had such beautiful skin.
But at night you told them of Miso,
On buses they wondered
When you went all serious about Zen.

It was in the age of Granola
When you wore a massive black hat,
That I burned the rubbish of guilt
And it really didn’t take much effort
For love to find its way in.

And that’s why we never really saw it,
The wave that was coming our way.

In Moscow they’re queing for McDonalds,
In Tokyo Bud is the choice
And freedom brings pills to the South.
And we never saw that it was coming,
The whole world was going to be free.

Repossession is nine tenths of the law

Brian O'Donnell mansion Killiney repossession

There hasn’t been much media coverage of the 1000 or so ordinary Irish families who lost their houses to repossession last year. But spare a thought for the O’Donnell family who have been fighting an eviction order from their €30m Killiney mansion for the past 3 years.

Despite owing the bank over €70m, the family have successfully managed to remain in the house three years past the original repossession order through a string of costly High court and Supreme court challenges brought by both the parents and the children.

In a final desperate throw of the dice, they have called on the Land League to assist them in their struggle against the receivers.

Michael Davitt would turn in his grave to see his organisation reduced to protecting the interests of the very people whose greed and recklessness prompted the collapse that has destroyed the lives of so many ordinary people of this country.

Brian O’Donnell is currently barricaded inside his pool house and his fleet of luxury cars is blocking entrance through the automatic security gates to thwart the bailiffs.

Oh the hardship…

Does not commute

Katherine Zappone Room to Improve

In a series of recent investigations, the Sunday Times exposed how our elected representatives are effectively defrauding the Irish taxpayers and getting away with it.

Last week we read that Anne Ferris (Labour) claimed an extra €16,000 in travel expenses, despite not having changed address. By travel expenses, I mean the cash that TDs and Senators get paid for getting themselves to work.

I would be delighted if my employer paid me for getting to the office and indexed the payment to the distance travelled. I would relocate to Kerry or Donegal and double my salary!

So back to Anne Ferris who resides in Bray, which entitles her to an allowance of €9,000 based on the distance between Bray and Leinster House.

However this year, Anne claimed she was entitled to an additional €16,295 because her commuting distance had increased by 5km. This was due to the fact that she chose to take a longer route into town which put her into a different allowance band.

Travel distances are self-assessed by TDs and not independently audited, so the country duly coughed up the extra sixteen grand.

Yesterday we learned that Senator Katherine Zappone is pulling the same stunt. Her commute from Brittas to Leinster house is a distance of 21k, however she claims it as 25k which entitles her to an annual allowance of €20,795. That’s €15,545 more than the allowance she should receive based on the location of her place of residence.

That’s one hell of a lucrative detour!

Interestingly, Senator Zappone appeared on RTE’s home renovations show Room to Improve last year, where she and her partner renovated a rustic forest dwelling they had recently purchased. Nice to know that the taxpayer effectively footed the bill for that piece of work.

Flying in the face of reason

aer lingus pension benefits

It’s become apparent, over the course of the protracted Aer Lingus negotiations, who is actually running the country (clue: it isn’t the government).

Vested interests like the unions are in fact dictating policy and influencing decisions that are supposed to be made for the good of the country as a whole.

In any functioning civil society, the good of the many should outweigh the good of the few, but under pressure from the unions the government are prepared to walk away from a deal that could net our impoverished country €1.4 billion, for fear that a single baggage handler may lose their job 5 years down the line.

This is gombeenism and parish pump politics at their most insidious.

The proposed IAG takeover deal is likely to increase tourism, create jobs and ultimately establish a more efficient and sustainable business in the long term but clearly the decision will succeed or fail on the issue of whether staff will keep their gold plated defined benefit pensions and perks.

Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair, Aer Lingus’ biggest competitor and 29.8% shareholder, regularly points to Aer Lingus staff’s archaic entitlement culture and work practices as the main barriers to the airline’s success; and with Ryanair reporting an annual profit of €522m last year compared to Aer Lingus’ €72m it’s hard to disagree with him.