Sunday, 27 March 2011

Golf continued

Something went wrong and the golf blog ended before its time. Therefore I am simply moving on to the the real point, which is that I have now come across an equally dangerous infection. Angling. Think of it. The fishing season lasts a good six months during which the angler rarely thinks of anything other than killing fish. Alone in a boat with one other person for many hours on the trot, the surprising thing is that so few of them turn to homicide when the trout aren't rising I have a friend who caught the most virulent form of the curse about ten years ago. A lovely man, who I had hopes of turning into a serious observer of the political scene, he has now taken to the water for the season. And when not hell bent on fishing on the Loughrea lake, he is lured by another addict to deplete the stocks on every stretch of water in the West of Ireland. In fact, now I come to think of it, my friend has even taken to foreign travel in his murderous stalking of the innocent trout. Only the other day, I discovered that he has now been elected president of the local angling club. This makes him a man of some clout in the environs of our lake and a person anyone thinking of impeding local rights of way to access the lake would want to be careful of. This is a warning that the clergy would do well of consider. For it is my experience that you cross an angler at your peril.

The Curse of Golf

As a general rule golf is not seen as an occupation that should come with a health warning. Most people, considering joining a club, imagine that the worst they are letting themselves in for is a connection with a gang of the most unspeakable bores in christendom. It is my opinion that this fact is down-graded to a minor difficulty by the illusion, almost always erroneous, that golf club membership bestows some sort of social cachet - a fact that automatically puts you one up on your neighbour.Five minutes on the fairway, isolated from normal life by the prospect of seventeen more holes before escape is possible, should be enough to bring the acolyte to his senses. Unfortunately this is rarely the case. And as the the women - the curse is even worse. Just to look at the gang of haridans braying their way out of the locker rooms of every club in the country is to look in the face of disaster. These are the sort of tasteless females for whom the pinnacle of social grace is to fill their houses with Waterford Crystal - much of it never used -( if the Waterford tag is anything to go by.) What they have to talk about is anybody's guess, though I suspect their world view is not too far behind that of Desperate Housewives.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

new boys

Welcome to the new boys - mark keaveney and ciaran cannon. I wish them well in their new positions as TD's. I do not share the same warm feeling with the other two men returned to power because both are chips off the old blocks. Mick Kitt inherited his seat from his late father and youngPaul Connaughton is his father's son (though the old boy has made way for the gassoon before shuffling off this mortal coil). In other words, both are carrying on the well-established tradition of dynastic inheritance. There are greater curses in Irish politics, of course, but in a small country, where everyone knows everyone else and most people are at least married to someone with a tangle of connections to their credit, the fewer relatives you've got the cleaner you can look to a jaundiced electorate. Having said that I came close, if only in jest, to claiming Mary Hanafin as a distant connection. Maybe this was what did for her.
Anyway, here we are in the bright new Ireland and there is no better time to remind the lads that they only have their seats on lease. Now that the electorate has got a taste for chucking politician out, if they don't perform, they could be out too.
And on this score a visit from a handsome young man brought to mind one of the serious problems that generations of Fianna Fail power has left us with. In a word cynicism. The young man was dishing out census papers (or almost small books). He turned out to be an archaeologist by training, and therefore, by definition, unemployed. We had a very pleasant talk about the census and he offered to lead me through it if necessary. What a good idea - give the few remaining young and educated people a chance to earn a bit more than they'd get on the dole. Then a few days later, I heard of another case where a retired teacher had bagged herself one of these numbers, even though she is already in receipt of a state pension. And this is where the cynicism comes back to haunt me. Can it be that there are no other people left in the country without a state pension. Now I come to think of it even I get one - just for being old. Maybe you just have to give the retired teachers and guards these little windfalls because there's simply noone else left? Thought actually I know this is not the case for a friend of mine applied for some jobeen on the census circuit. This friend is one of the most competent women I have come across as well as being very plasant to meet. She realised she had not got the gig when the Department failed to get in touch with her and she was resigned to it when she ran into one of the members of the interviewing panel who assessed her case. She asked him why she'd failed the test. Looking shifty, he muttered that the decision wasn't his. So, who's was it? Of course these appointments were made under the Old Dispensation, but in the new Ireland will they continue?Who you know being more important that what you know, and everyone knowing that this is the way to get ahead -by unchallenged corruption.
When Ciaran and Mark are finished putting the big things right, I hope - I really do hope, they'll do something to give us all, a straight and clean playing field.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


I wonder if its true what they say about cameras. You know, the one that goes," the camera never lies."? Because if it is I fear we're in for a tricky ride, candidatewise.
This thought struck me as I hit the outskirts of Galway. There, on every single lampost the image of Michael Martin smirked down like a confirmation candidate who has just taken the pledge - and means to keep it. In a line-up of the nearly angelic he could stand shoulder to shoulder with Enda Kenny. The pair of them every mother's pride and joy. But would you vote for them?
I mean ,with or without a halo, wouldn't you want someone who's, maybe tested the waters of the world, to lead us through the rough patches - not someone who looks like he never bought a round in a pub - let alone kept the guests in the Ardilaun up and roaring till the down broke.
It isin't that I'm dead set against virtue. I'm sure it has its place - but not necessarily leading a country. For that you need someone with a whiff of brimstone or even interest. The danger of the alpha male (or female) the suspicion that whatever sins they may have confessed, very few were venial - that's what you want in a leader.
The impression given by the portraits of all parties is of unsullied purity - like they never even thought of fiddling their exes and wouldn't know a banker if he came up and whacked them with a machie in the Druid's Glen.
Obviously this marks a departure from the days when the photographer's lens's were hard at work attempting to give Bertie the look of a favourite uncle with only a rabbit up his sleeve.Now that attempt at metropolitan sophistication is banished.
But the thing is can you be bothered voting for any of them. Personally I'm very underwhelmed. and then I realised that this election is only the first we 're in for this year. Immediately a truely brilliant idea struck. Why not run the general election and the presidential one in tandem? Indeed let's cut to the chase and declare Michael D the Prez by acclaim. Saves time and money.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Clapped-out on a hard lesson

The clapped-out Corsa seems to be having a nervous breakdown - that or a midlife crises. Either way the experience is as uncomfortable for me as it is for itself.Only last Wednesday the wagon engulfed itself in smoke at the beginning of a dual carriageway, leaving me and two dogs on the horns of a dilemma. Should I save myself from what might have been the start of an inferno - leaving the mutts to their fate? Or should I spend the last seconds before conflagration, attaching them to leads -( assuming I could find same).I'm not proud of the fact that I saved myself first. Needless to say this was not the end of the story. In due course, the smoke cleared. I retrieved my mobile and discovered that I had just run out of credit. This was odd since a couple of days previously I had topped up and should have had plenty of juice left in the Vodaphone well. But no - some days earlier I had attempted to ring a friend and got his messaging service. I left him a trailer of the news I had and listened as the phone imparted all sorts of strange groans and such. Suddenly I was through to my mate who informed me he was in Paris. What I should have done was close the connection, immediately. What I actually did was tell him an edited version of my news - thus wiping out my credit status with the Vodaphone bank. Next time I tried to make a call, I was in the doghouse. They wouldn't let me talk to ANYONE. Not even other 087 customers. So there I was on the hard shoulder , the smoke clearing and two dogs sitting in the back seat looking deeply aggrieved. Happily, I was saved by a charming young man with and iPhone. Imagine. Not only that but his car was a million miles away from clapped-out corsas I have known. Its a funny thing about disasters. Sometimes they come disguised as learning experiences. That was the case here. For after much nerve wracking and some extraordinary good luck they ended up teaching me much about life ( with a capital L). On this occasion I discovered that all the drama was down to having too much oil in the engine. In a racketty life as an intuitive unpredictable driver I had never heard of this one. And neither had the other woman who actually poured the extra two litres into the engine.You live and learn, I suppose, though mind you, the dogs are not all that mustard keen to get back into the wagon.

Monday, 26 April 2010


The last time I tried to record the arrival of the cuckoo in Kylebrack the machine let me down.

Saturday, 24 April 2010