Four Brothers in The Ossau Valley, Day 5

Four Brothers in The Ossau Valley, Day 5

They go low, so we go high.

We drove south past Laruns into the mountains up to the Lac de Bious-Artigues at 1400m altitude. We were shocked, shocked I tell you, to find the car park by the lake full, with well-equipped and, worse – fit-looking – hikers setting forth. We were most aggrieved, having had the forests and mountains to ourselves the previous two days – well, except for the cattle and horses, but they didn’t clog up the paths, they weren’t smugly thin and they didn’t have hiking poles and expensive walking gear. Continue reading “Four Brothers in The Ossau Valley, Day 5”

The Echo Boy

The Echo Boy

I’m the Echo Boy on Patrick’s Street. No, not that one, I’m the one across the road, outside the old Examiner Offices. I’m the statue.

I didn’t know I was a statue for a long time, actually. I used to be over on Cook Street and one day I heard a woman tell her daughter what I was, so that’s how I found out. Continue reading “The Echo Boy”

Five Days Walking in France – Day 4: Words of Love

Five Days Walking in France – Day 4: Words of Love

Thursday came with our first clear dawn and a hard frost. I put on a hat and gloves for the short haul down to Madame Aldi – we weren’t quite on first name terms yet, myself and the woman who opened it up in the morning, but we were getting there. Light had been filling my East facing bedroom since well before eight and I went outside with a cup of tea to enjoy the sun’s rising over the glen. It came up clear under a blue sky ribboned with aircraft contrails, my breath misting in the cold Autumn air, long shadows appearing behind the garden chairs and the porch column and on the pages of my notepad and my pen was enshadowed now too, and the back of my cup. Funny how the shadows are longest at the dawn and the dusk. Mist from my nose and mouth in the cold, mist billowing gently from my cup of tea. Mist in the soft stream of condensed air rising from the central heating chimney of the house below. Continue reading “Five Days Walking in France – Day 4: Words of Love”

The Old Cinemas go for a Pint

The Old Cinemas go for a Pint

All the old Cork City cinemas get together now and again, for a few jars in a quiet pub, and to reminisce about the good old days. Capital is in great form tonight – they’re making a retail centre where he lay derelict for years, and he’s proud of that.

Capital – Come here lads, what was the best fillum ye ever showed? I can go back to the forties, but still, I think for me it was Jaws  in ’75. That was a great show, a big breakthrough for Spielberg, and I had queues all the way ‘round to Oliver Plunkett Street. The screeching of the girls when that shark came out of the water, you never heard the like of it. And the John Williams music when it was going to attack. Dadum, dadum, dadum. Great show. What about you, Savoy? Continue reading “The Old Cinemas go for a Pint”

The Shawlie

The Shawlie

“Onions! Onions! Three for a penny.”

Once I sells off the last of these, I’ll go over to the Market and get a nice bit of tripe for Joseph’s tea. He loves the bit of tripe boiled up in milk. He be’s starving after taking the horse and trap all the way to Ballycotton, to get them poppies and carrots. I hope to God he don’t go into that dirty pub and lave everything on the cart outside like he done a few weeks ago. Continue reading “The Shawlie”

Scaffolding in South Terrace

Scaffolding in South Terrace

I’m a West Cork scaffold, I’m on the go now 22 years, and I work all over the county. I even did a job in Tralee once – I was glad to get out of the place to be honest, they’re wicked boastful down there about their footballers.

Right now I’ve a job in Cork City, in South Terrace. I’m outside the old Jewish Synagogue, that’s being renovated. Now so. This is different. This is something different altogether, lads. Continue reading “Scaffolding in South Terrace”

The Golden Fish

The Golden Fish

I’m the golden fish on Shandon. Well you might call it Shandon but it’s St. Anne’s Church to me, and from here I can see my city in all its manifestations and its finery.

I’m a salmon, not a goldfish. Do not call me ‘the goldfish’ on Shandon. I don’t like ‘the goldie fish’ either – it’s somewhat demeaning. You don’t hear the golden angel on Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral being called the ‘goldie angel’ do you? Continue reading “The Golden Fish”