Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A great day for the Irish

That thought of Mike came to me when the news broke the other day about a young pregnant mother and 3 young children died in a fire here in Dublin.
They had left a candle burning as it turned out.
It just shows how important smoke detectors are.

Things are hotting up here for St.Patricks day, Chicago has turned their river green and Niagara falls was also turned green.
Sure it will be grand on the day.

A guy crossing the road gave me a big grin and I remarked that the guy looked strange, like someone who had fallen out of a movie...It turned out to be Martin Scorsese, he had been given an award by Trinity college. A few years also I saw him in Fitzwilliam Square once before in the same place.
That time I didn't know who he was that time either.

So I was passing and she was desperate.
"My flight closes in 10 minutes, from the Omni center",
So pedal to the metal.
I broke 2 red lights and the speed limit.
Coming up the ramp at terminal 1 I told her to get the money ready so she could jump out as soon as I stopped.
She ran off and I swear she didn't even say thanks.
€9.50 on the meter
I counted the fist full of change €7.20

How could she have good luck ??

Friday, March 10, 2017

In memory of Mike

Mike wrote a blog, he was an native American Indian and an elder of his tribe.

He contacted me through the blog and we swapped wisdom. 

This story is wonderful, its about what humanity should be.

God bless you Mike RIP



.....arrived one winter day in March of my 11th year. It was a Saturday and my Uncle 'F' and his wife had gone to the small city on an 'errand'. Rather an unusual occurrence in winter, especially on the sketchy backwoods roads of Maine in the 1950s. Around two in the afternoon I heard his old Studebaker straining and spinning its way up into Uncle 'Rs' barnyard. Going out to see why he'd come here rather than his farm across the road, I saw a tall (to me) willowy slip of a young lady climb from the back seat.
   Being of the tender prepubescent age of eleven, I was immediately fascinated by this slender, but well shaped young woman. Breaking my through hypnotic reverie, F's wife was introducing this vision of wonder to me, me! I managed to awake from my stupor in time to hear that her name was Elise Cote and she was F's wife's cousin from France. The reason for her coming wasn't revealed then and I actually learned the details later from my aunt E. In those times you were thought, and rightly so, to be rude to inquire after such personal information. In many ways I miss things being that way, but in many other ways I relish the openness that has forced 'family problems' into the open. If you read the first few posts of this blog you'll find my reason for feeling so strongly about this issue.
    As the winter morphed into a gorgeous spring, I learned a deal more about our quiet guest. She spoke English with a smooth and lilting French accent, made all the more sensuous to my young self by the mellow, soft tones of her voice. She was nineteen and would be twenty in mid-summer, she read every chance she got. Aunt 'E' placed her in the room at the top of the rear stairs beside the 'dry' bathroom with the lime toilet. She decorated her room strangely in my opinion, simply a collection of mismatched dolls, stuffed animals, crinkled photos of groups of children, and other odd mementos of things from her past.
   As summer burst forth she and my, quite smitten, young self started to venture for walks in late afternoon before supper and evening chores. Our steps seemed to always draw us to a spot beside where the small brook emptied into our farm pond. There was a large flat rock and we'd just lie there in mutual silence watching clouds or sit observing the fish in the clear pond water. I didn't dare ask many questions, like why she always wore a headscarf that covered her face starting just behind her beautiful blue eyes. The scarves invariably were worn in the same manner and she never was seen (by me) without one on. Her features were near perfection and her hair was very dark brown and slightly wavy. She helped around the house and taking care of the elderly folks in residence at the time during the day and evening. Then she'd retreat to her room where I'd have been dispatched several times carrying buckets of hot water. I wondered if she bathed herself with the scarf on. One of life's mysteries.
    Another mystery was why a doctor from Canada came to visit her once a month and always entrusted my aunt E with a package when he departed. As a former nurse she kept a locked medicine cabinet where the packages invariably were deposited. Elise also seemed to shy away from fireplaces, stoves, direct sunlight, etc. At our rock she'd always remark how nice it was that somebody planted a huge oak tree so it allowed a great view of the sky while shading us from the sun's rays. Some days she'd even wade into the pond in pants and blouse, but never allowing her head to get wet. Another thing that worried me was that she'd often awaken screaming at night, but only my aunt had the key to her room. Sometimes she'd go down to her sewing room and come back with little packets, sometimes I could hear only E's voice calming her back to sleep. I knew something wasn't quite right, but also knew enough to refrain from watching and prying.
   Elise stayed through the next winter and into the summer. That summer she was noticeably paler and distracted. Toward the end of the summer she started to go to our rock earlier and I'd find here there after my chores were done. One afternoon was so different that it turned my world upside down for months and still remains in my memory as though it were yesterday.
    Elise had gone off earlier than usual according to aunt E, and she noticed she'd seemed especially troubled. That was also the only time she'd ever told me to leave my chores for others and go to check on our young guest. I hurried down to the rock and was relieved to see Elise laying in her usual manner, but when I drew closer I noticed something was amiss. It was too quiet, no happy greeting. I climbed to her side and my world shattered. She was cold to the touch and her eyes were staring into the skies unseeing. I don't recall running back to the house, but I do remember not being able to tell my aunt what was wrong, just took her hand and half-dragged her to the rock and Elise. As she got closer, she bent over and scooped up a tin that I recognized as medicine for the horses, especially the oldest workhorse who was lame.
    In the next few days my aunt paid special attention to me as I did little but grieve for my friend. Finally, she took me into the parlor where Elise lay and pulled back the colorful scarf for me to see. After I settled back down, I could understand the scarves. Her left ear was gone, as was much of the hair on that side of her head. In their place were terrible scars from deep burns. Her upper arms and back were badly scarred as well. My aunt explained that the Dr that came each month was a burn specialist and the packets were morphine vials and syringes so E could administer the drug when needed. Elise also suffered from horrible nightmares, what today would be known as PTSD. 
    On graduating from school at sixteen, Elise had gone to work at an orphanage where she mostly cared for the younger children. One night the place was hit by lightning in the barn area attached at the back. By the time the fire was discovered it'd spread throughout the rear upper level where the young children and Elise slept. Elise had carried children from the burning rooms by twos and threes and led older ones. After many trips she was overcome by smoke and exhaustion and collapsed just inside the rear area. A fireman found her there and carried her out to safety. After several operations and recovering some of her lung function, they could do no more. Today they'd be able to do far more, but things weren't advanced as much in 1954.
     The nightmares were filled with the screams of the frightened children and pain was mainly from nerve endings that had become heat sensitive or scar tissue that pulled the tissue too much. Aunt E explained what I'd already figured out, the pain and memories had become too much for Elise to bear and she'd taken the animal pain medications to end her suffering at a place she loved. Uncles R and F and the local minister buried her between the oak and the rock where the sun shone through in bright speckled dances.
     Later a man from the big city came and created a smooth spot on the rock above her head and inscribed: 
                                     Elise Cote
                              Her pain is gone and 
                             the screams are stilled.
                              She joined those she
                                  could not save. 
   Not a sad memory for me, she gave me two magical summers of afternoons learning how to lay on a rock and quietly enjoy life's many treasures. I only wish it had been the 1990s or later so she could have found the relief she needed. At least a little of it. Until next time, take care and be well.  

Would I change ?

This is an Indian, just right for mid life crisis

MSL motors in Ballsbridge,
A customer told me today that he went in to buy a second hand car that was in their yard.
He was told that anything in this place was out of his price range.
He is now on his 5th Merc, but he would not stand for that kind of attitude today.

The other day I had to bore a hole through a wall. A solid wall 2ft.thick.
The tool to do this is called a core cutter, it has a kind of a cup on the end of a shaft which vibrates and turns. Problem is it weighs 2 stone and the hole had to be bored 2ft above my head.
I can now admit that I am not the man I once was.
Hard enough to hold the drill above my head, but when it hit a stone it kicked like a bucking bronco.
But I kept going and got the drill back to Sam Hire before

Then on the way through Santry an African lady waved me down. I hate not to help people in trouble.
She was desperate.
From Rwanda as it transpired.
Where to ?
Airport T1 Quick !
She had 10 minutes before her flight closed!
So the pedal to the metal, after 2 red lights broken.

Quick have the money ready I said as we went up to departures.

She put a fistful of change into my hand €9.40 on the meter.

A handful of change into my hand and she hopped out.

I don't recall a big thank you.

But I counted the change into the coin holder. €7.20

I don't wish her bad
But tip the ones who help you.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Joey Dunlop

Custom made bike

One of Joeys bikes

A selection of his racing leathers, many were badly scuffed each one worth thousands

Part of his trophy cabinet

For the true biker. a hearse to go in style

Joey Dunlop an Irish motorcycle legend King of the TT circuit in the Isle of Mann and World champion many times over.
What did he win? Click here
So I took a 1/2 day off to visit the motorcycle show to see Joeys memorabilia.
Great to see it all.
When Joey was in Australia he was looking at a bike and the other competitor asked him if he would take it for a spin, so he set off at 200 mph +
The local cops stopped him on his return trip.
"Who the hell do you think you are Joey bloody Dunlop?" Asked the police man.
"Well I hope so" said Joey taking off his helmet.
"I want you to come down to the police station tomorrow at 5 pm"
"Are you going to arrest me?" said Joey


Here is a video about the great man

And a story from a taxi

Monday, March 06, 2017


Medusa at carnival in Rio

Inside the harp room in the college of music

I had a lady who needed to have some repairs done to her harp, the guy tried and snapped something instead, she was not pleased to say the least.

The tram drivers went on strike and the bus drivers now want more money as well.
Money from the public purse is pumped into our bus company CIE and now it is crunch time.
Stop press, strike deferred talks to begin.
Well things carry on and such is life. 

Ambulance drivers are marching this afternoon, they want to take off paramedics and just employ drivers. With this way of going you will be ringing UPC if you are having a heart attack.
The world is mad.

A lady in the taxi told me about how a madman chased her along the EastWall Rd blowing his horn.
She was on a bicycle and shook her fist at him and kept going.
Later on she missed her hand bag. She turned around and went back and retraced her journey to no avail.
Her kids had to be collected from school so she rushed home.
The delivery man from Tesco was there. She told him to leave it on the step as she had to go.
Just then the RUDE MAN pulled up and his daughter ran over to her with her handbag.
"God to think of it, he had driven to her house and left without a thank you, but he could surely see the relief on my face."

Sometimes you don't see the obvious try telling a lady that the coat is sticking out of the door and dragging on the ground,