Tuscany Downs 4: The Judge


A week like any other in Tuscany Downs – this little estate on the Banks of my Own Lovely Lee. Decrepitude is creeping onwards in its inevitable march.

I had another visit from my neighbour, that lady whose name I can never remember, two houses over. It appears she is being sued by one of those gurriers whom we are both unfortunately adjoining. A great pity that man was allowed to purchase the house at a ridiculously low price, with his ill gotten gains from a no-doubt spurious insurance claim after the bottom fell out of the market some years ago. I seem to recall his brother was a serial recidivist.

I don’t see what in the world she expects from me. I tried to explain the difference between the Circuit Court where I functioned and the High Court where she is bound in the unlikely event that her insurance company decides to contest the case. Of course I know the law but I have no intention of becoming involved. She will simply have to purchase the time of a solicitor – I tried to recommend one with an unusual level of honesty and ethics, but she seems determined to go with some Dublin firm who will undoubtedly part her with whatever life insurance monies she has managed to squirrel away when her strange husband died.

I spent a good hour this morning looking for my latest pair of reading glasses – to no avail. It is a real wonder to me how those infernal objects can disappear into thin air with such alarming regularity. I know that two of them broke in the washing machine, but that has been out of order now for two months so they cannot have been lost there. And another two went missing down behind the sofa – well they are a write-off without doubt. I found a few when I changed the bedding that time, but they’re not there now. Nothing for it but another trip to the pharmacy. That taxi company charges exorbitant prices but I can’t risk driving any more since that unfortunate collision on the Blackrock Road, which I still content was not my fault.

Of course if one of those alleged children of mine made the effort to visit their ‘father’ they could bring me into town to the optician and even arrange for someone to come and fix the washing machine. But the two plumbers that I phoned last week both hung up on me for some reason – I can’t fathom why. I’m sure I paid both of them the last time they did some work for me. Although I do recollect some words also…

No sign of the mysterious Mr. Jones, my other contiguous neighbour, for several days. I’m sure he’s a writer of some kind but I’m also of the firm belief that there is something clandestine going on there. That lady – she might be Cullinane, now that I think of it – never shut up about him both times she called. And if I’m not mistaken that was the girl of the Crowley’s paying him a late night visit the other night. I didn’t notice when she left. The mind boggles.

And that’s all the news from Tuscany Downs our little estate on the Banks of My Own Lovely Lee. Where I really do need to wash my clothes but dry cleaners are out of the question, I’m determined to get to the bottom of Mr. Jones’s secrets and I haven’t been bothered by that know-it-all at the top of the road for three weeks running – an all time record. Thank God for small mercies.


Novelist, short story writer, essayist, sports writer. Crime novel: Whatever it Takes due out 31 July 2020. The First Sunday in September, debut novel, published in 2018. Mercier Press, Stinging Fly, Irish Examiner, Irish Times, The42.ie, Holly Bough, Honest Ulsterman, Quarryman, Silver Apples.

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