It’s been a terrible week here in Tuscany Downs in Cork City, just terrible. And it’s only Tuesday.

We had frost and you’ll never guess what happened. My gutter was leaking and with all the rain the past few weeks, the water was flowing down my path and on to the road. Well, that froze over last night and didn’t Tommy Sullivan next door slip on it and he’s after hurting himself. I can’t get the rights of it from his mother, that little rip, but he’s on crutches and she says he has ‘severe trauma’ – whatever that is. I don’t think anything is broken, though.

I wouldn’t mind but that know-it-all next door has been on to me for weeks, months, about fixing it. But I kept putting him off. I just couldn’t bear being beholding to him, Jesus I’d never hear the end of it. Of course the minute he heard, he was over again and this time I did get him to fix it, even though he made a huge song and dance about it, the ice on the path and his ladder, and insurance and all the bloody rest. I don’t know how Josephine puts up with him, I really don’t.

So I went down to the Judge about it – he made me, in case there’s a claim. Well, he’s a retired judge but we’re supposed to call him Judge forever, it seems. And the state of the place! Oh my God, it’s like a bomb hit it. And the smell off him, you never saw the like of it. I think he must have early dementia or Alzheimer’s or something. That pants had more food on it than a working man’s dinner. I’d love to have given the place the right once over, but it’s none of my business. He has two children to do that for him, even if they never call, the ungrateful wretches.

Now, of course, I’m a nervous wreck, sure how can I afford a claim? I won’t get a wink tonight I’d say. The Judge recommended a solicitor but I hardly have enough for the gas, let alone pay for one of them. I’ll have to call Norma, but I hate to worry her. She has enough on her hands with poor Robbie, but I think she knows a solicitor so that might be a way around it. Sure Dublin is full of them, I’d say.

I see the students are back after the holidays. I hope they behave a bit better now. I’d say they will after The Turners ringing the Guards that time and all the publicity on the news about the student parties over on Glasheen Road. When I think of the time I picked up that unfortunate skin-and-bone girl with the dyed grey hair before Christmas and put her inside the house. She hadn’t a clue where she was and DYED GREY HAIR! Lord save us and guard us, what’ll it be next?

They say they’re all at it – those students – and you know what: they’re dead right. They might as bloody well because they won’t have the time or inclination later, when they’re having babies and raising them. Too late then, that’s for sure. Mustn’t be thinking about it, sure didn’t I have Pat for forty years, God rest him. What’s the point, anyway, that bird has flown.

No sign of Jack and his dog this week at all, I wonder is he sick. Maybe I should call down but I don’t want to give the wrong impression.

I’ll go to Mass tomorrow morning and say a prayer to St. Jude that nothing will happen about that fall. They might just sue the council instead of me. I’ve meals and wheels on Wednesday and Thursday and that always takes my mind off things – there’s  many a lot worse off. And I’ll have a nice bit of fish on Friday, after I visit the grave. I’ll go into the market and get it from that chatty man there.

And that’s all the news from Tuscany Downs in Cork City, where the students are back, there’s ice on the road and, please God, nobody will be suing anybody else for a long, long time.

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