Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The salt, the spray and the wind.

I grew up watching those towers; always standing at the other end of the long, low tedious tide. With a tide that low and a beach that flat you could walk among the wet rippled sand out a mile or so, if you wanted, but I never did. I had a job to do.
First thing in the morning I'd be out there with a pile of newspapers draped over the bars delivering them to the news starved families of the strand road. I've smoked some of my best cigarettes there.
Woodbines, they were called. Orwell's brand. Rough and ready. Filterless. A bit like smoking a sweet turf fire. I could buy a pack of five when I was twelve. I'd buy them at work at Browns on the Merrion road on payday. Six days a week. Six thirty 'til eight thirty. Be in school by nine. Every friday Mr Brown would pay me my 60p and I'd get a pack of five for 10p. I felt like a real worker. I smoked one a day every day except Wednesdays. Mainly I'd just hold it in my mouth dragging and blowing whilst hanging on to the handlebars. On days with no wind I'd try to hang on to the ash for as long as I could. It's been one of my favorite roads in Dublin ever since and if given the chance I'd of lived there with the salt, the spray and the wind.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The times they are a changen

Some things never change in Ireland. Like, for example my fathers' love for the newspaper. He frequently sleeps with it on the couch. There it lies crumpled all over like a blanket keeping him warm and informed. He'll cozy up to the small print or the situations vacant on the back page. He might snore through the Israeli conflict, maybe change position on the rugby page. His mouth will droop on the editorial page. His nose can drip a little on the weather page. He might wake up to a letter.

Your brain on eggs

The other thing that hasn't changed of course is the cooked breakfast; the fry up— good old bacon and eggs: Apart from the basic essentials like a fried rasher, a sausage, an egg and some white toast and butter— it can be embellished with any number of things, like fried mushrooms or fried tomato, perhaps a fried kidney or some fried black or white pudding. Or, you can have the whole lot of it fried up on one plate.
I have a theory about my mother's brain tumor: She never used to have an Irish breakfast until her tumor got going good and strong. These days, she craves one every morning with double the butter. And she hoards extra butter in the fridge by her bed. I think she craves cholesterol laden foods because her brain, in a desperate bid for survival, demands them.
Mothers milk contains a massive amount of cholesterol, because without it our little ones couldn't survive. The brain needs a considerable amount of it to grow. Maybe that's why she seems to improve every day.