Monday, February 28, 2022

Back from Blackpool and never again

 I don't know if this post was published back in Feb

Most times when I go to this magic convention I come home whacked and say never ever again.

Until the next year around December when the names which are due to appear arrive in my email.

The names are big and the magic dealers will all be there. I spent £24 on props last year, nothing really.

I worked too hard coming up to the event and I fell asleep through much of the action.

So never again for sure. 

Flights were affected by weather and trains were cancelled both ways. The train to Manchester airport was cancelled and coming back was very chancy. But I got a train to Preston and from there to Manchester Piccadilly. No one I asked knew if there was a train coming to bring us to the airport. Then I asked one guy in uniform and he told me to get the tram! Where do I get it from? and he told me. No luck! I asked 4 people to find the tram, instead of saying they didn't know they sent me in a different direction. Then I asked a taxi driver and was finally on my way.

The tram was very slow. It took us through some of the most deprived areas of Manchester that I have ever seen. Shit! but the UK is in a really bad way.

I was in Newcastle a few years ago and I went into a bar to try the famous Newcastle brown ale.

The barman said I could have a small glass not a pint as it would "Blow yer ed off" He was right it was strong, so I had a few words with the lads at rge bar and not one of them had a job, they had skills in the shipbuilding and the work was gone. One of the lads pointed to a man at the end of the bar. "Ya see im dn dere E is a right romeo him he is a postman, a job, holidays. A great catch for the women"

I bought the 4 of them a pint and was amazed when I went outside to see that WW3 had broken out Police in paddy wagons with Alsatian dogs and clubs breaking up fights.

One thought always stays with me is of groups of 10 to16 year old ferrule kids running wild. I asked Nobby how come they are out going wild ?." These kids are dealing drugs. The parents are on drugs or they are alcoholics, or the parents just don't just give a shit"


So I arrived and had a sandwich and tea. Big mistake! I headed down to security and it took over an hour and a half to get through security. Bags were being taken from the front of the conveyor belt while others were being placed in a queue. No order to the method. An American lady standing beside me told me that her bag had been placed up at the back and no one was paying any attention to it for the last hour. 

Her flight was soon.
I saw these Zombie like people drop my bag on the floor and I exploded.

I let a roar which woke them all up and in a few minutes security and a supervisor came.

What's the matter Sir? Look into that guys eyes he is on drugs, stoned out of his mind.

This lady here, her bag is way up the back and she is heading for Hollywood.

He grabbed my bag and hers and started to whip his staff into shape.

The lady threw her arms around me and gave me a big kiss. What a wonderful perfume.

She was crying with relief as she ran for her gate.

I ran for my gate only to see.


So I ran for it anyway away in the far end of the airport it was.


The Guy standing there called me by name was glad to see me and he let me in. 

HOORAY FOR RYANAIR. (I thought that I would never say that again)

Covid saw a lot of staff laid off and replaced by minimum wage with no skills and no one to train them.

A young lad from up the road worked on cruise ships. A while ago he went back to work with no pay, The trainee staff will not be paid for 6 weeks or will the regular staff. But they will have a place to stay and be fed until they sail again. Now the BOSS has a salary as big as a New York phone number is taking a zero hit, the other big one was P& O shipping, they parked the ships and let all the skilled men go.

Many things happened, one thing in particular comes to mind.

The engine stopped and the novice crew rang for help to start it. It was a calm night, but the ship was drifting. No one knew how to start the engine..Panic. A tug headed out and if he landed a line on the ship he could claim it for salvage. But before it got there a captain was air lifted to the ship.

Big fines followed..

by the way I am paid up for Blackpool in Feb,

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Christy Moore "They Never Came Home" (1985)

Valentines day massacre

 This year it is 41 years since the disaster struck Dublin. 

Young people turned up to a dance in the Stardust ballroom.

A fire broke out and the fire doors were padlocked shut 200 kids were injured and 48 were killed.

The owners of the ballroom were well connected and they got compensation for the damage to their property.

No jail time or massive fines for them. For the survivors it has been a lifetime of pain.

A few years ago I was in Blackpool at a magic convention and a lecture was being held in one of the ballrooms. A few thousand in one giant room. When I went in I was in shock. No gangways and all the fire escapes were blocked because of building work. I had to go, though I wanted to see the lecture.

When I got back to Dublin I rang the police in Blackpool and was greeted with "This is not our job"

I said that she should ask someone to tell her about the Stardust disaster and that I have told you and if you don't follow it up it will be your problem.

The next year there were at least 3 fire safety officers going around.

I have been in many places where the fire doors are blocked with beer cases and rubbish.

Sometimes I make a call.You never know.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Let the games begin

So it has come to pass that the 6 nations rugby kicked off and thousands of fans came to see Ireland beat Wales. Not a simple task. They are on a par with the all blacks of New Zealand for skill and ability.

So right from when I got up the ball started hopping for me. One job after the next. Wonderful after all this time.

But I know that Monday will be back to slow jobs. This is the nature of the job.

One poor unfortunate lady was Mary Hanafin, She left her return ticket back to Thurles, it cost her €43.98,it was stuck into the slot for the seat belt in the back. If I had seen it in time I would have brought it down to the ticket office and she would have had a great surprise. I am going on a train next week from Manchester to Blackpool  that is a fair hop. But if you book your tickets on you get a great price. Return ticket Manchester to Blackpool €22.64 that is nearly half the price. 

Still you have to keep your travel documents safe.There is heartbreak when tickets and passports go astray.

One day I was walking towards the gate in Dublin airport when a guy in front of me dropped his passport. I picked it up and went after him. He didn't even say thanks and then he dropped it again. This time I stood behind him at the security gate and let him sweat for a few minutes before I gave it back to him again. I told him that it is important to say thank you, what do you mean? I just told him that if I was a different kind of person I might have thrown his passport into the bin to teach you a lesson. He might learn some day. 

Good manners cost you nothing.

At the airport with an English man, €18 on the meter, he said "Give me a receipt for 20. so I wrote it and he grabbed it and ran off. I was shouting for him to come back. There was a Garda there and he asked me what the problem was. So I told him that the guy had not paid and just ran off and can I run after him?. No you can,'t. I will look after this, so he got onto his radio. 20 minutes later the passinger was 

was brought back by a Garda to the taxi.

You didn't  pay this man. 

Yes I did I have a receipt to prove it

Now sir the taxi driver says not, but we can go down to the police station and play you back the footage  from his camera and if it happens that you did not pay we will convict you for theft.

He paid €18 and then the Garda said the receipt was for €20, so I got the €20

I have missed my bloody flight thanks to you he roared as he turned to go.

The Garda looked him straight in the face and said this is all your fault, now be on you way and enjoy the rest of your day.. 

He was really boiling as he went off. 

The Garda had radioed ahead and the other Garda waited just as he went through the first security check, then dragged him all the way back to us.

There are bad days and great days