Saturday, 15 August 2015


In times past lepers had to peel a bell and cry, "unclean, unclean," as they moved among the unsuspecting throng of people inhabiting medieval citadels. They were tainted beyond saving, they were cursed. I wonder what terrible things they did to draw such retribution upon themselves.

It's was a sickness you say, nothing more than a sickness. Those people were not cursed...just infected.

Well, cursed or infected, it matters little, because I am afflicted just like they were.

I walk the streets as those miserable souls did except I wear a Savil Row suit where they wore filth encrusted rags. They jingled their tiny bells...all that jingles when I walk is the coin in my pocket. They were horribly disfigured, but those who gaze upon my face feel nothing but envy.

All around me city workers strut their stuff, feeling invincible, deluding themselves that nothing can touch them. The arrogance of them. They crush people’s dreams...make money from disaster....rise high on an ocean of shit. People...they're all cursed, infected, like it or not.

Yes, I'm like them in every way. I won't even try and deny it. In every way but one, I know I'm doomed.

I walk these streets knowing it’s only a matter of time before the first lesions appear on my perfect skin, before I lose the feeling in my hands, before my nose drops from my face, because like the lepers of old, I am unclean. My sin is survival. I got behind the wheel of a car, pissed. My brothers... by my side. Only I made it out alive. 

Suspended sentence, said the judge, but that didn't matter. My sentence wasn't suspended, nor commuted, but forever dangling over me, and I deserved every second of it.

I glance sideways and see three shadows, cast on a building wall. That's the one good thing about all this, I'm never alone.

Soon guys, soon, I will be joining you soon.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Teddy Bear's Picnic

If you go down to the woods today, you better go in disguise. If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise.

Never a truer word was spoken. I like the dark, I spend most of my life in the dark, so it will come as no surprise that I’m quite comfortable in the dark. Working late most nights, my two dogs often have to wait well into the wee hours, for a walk. As it happens, where this photo is taken is right at the end of Ballyseedy Wood, one of our favorite spots for an evening stroll.  

One night (and it was night), I arrived home and decided to head out for an amble with my two little tearaways. We parked up at the Castleisland car-park and decamped. I was kitted out in black rain slicker, combat trousers and waterproof boots. I've a handy head torch for these nights, but knowing every twist and turn, I didn’t bother to switch it on, rather I aimed for the slightly lighter patches of night which faultlessly led me along the path, deep into the forest.

It wasn’t long before I neared the northern entrance to the wood and became aware of some unusual movements behind a large directional stone.  I moved closer and listened. From behind the rock I could hear voices, talking in whispers.

I did the only sensible thing I could think of. I looked over the rock, and said,
“What you at there, lads?”

The two men in their early twenties, crouching behind the rock, nearly shit themselves, and fell back into the bushes. At that time, I flicked on my head torch, and their huge moon-faces looked up at me from the dripping foliage. One of them managed to stammer “NNNNNN-Nothing.”

“Grand so,” I said, flicking off my torch and vanished into the darkness once more. 

By the time I came back that the rock was deserted. It was only a week or so later I heard the Guards had discovered a stash of drugs, hidden in the very same woods. Perhaps I scared them straight, who knows.

It’s a true story by the way    :O) 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Jimmy picked up the phone on the second ring, despite it being nearly five in the morning. He'd slept with one eye open all his life, by now, it felt completely normal. The letters PB flashed on the screen, and Jimmy knew exactly who was on the other end of the line.
“Yea,” he said, holding the phone to his ear without raising his head from the pillow.
“More trouble, Jimmy,” said the rasping voice on the end of the line.
“Where,” asked Jimmy.
“Zoe’s, they hit Dave. Hard.”
“How hard?” asked Jimmy, sitting up in the bed causing Kathleen to roll over and turn on the bedside light. She didn't ask who was in the other end of the line, she'd lived this life long enough to know you don’t ask, unless you’re told.
“Hard, looks like he’ll lose an eye.”
“Where is he now?”
“They've just taken him into James, accident and emergency. That Scobi kid called me. I am on my way over there now to find out what happened.”
“What’s the point, you know who it was.”
“The Griffins.”
“Yea, the fucking Griffins. Text me tomorrow, we need to get this sorted.”
“Fair enough, boss,” said the gruff voice before cutting the connection. Jimmy hit the power button on the mobile and laid it down on the locker, beside three identical phones.
“More trouble,” asked Kathleen, turning off the bedside light.
“They hit Zoe’s,” said Jimmy closing his eyes. Just before he drifted off to sleep again, he heard Kathleen say, “Time to do something Jimmy.” As sleep took him once more, Jimmy knew she was right, it was time.

Pete, Pitt-bull, Byrne flipped his phone closed, and stuffed it into his pocket. He looked out through the rain splattered windscreen at the city lights, spread out like a blanket in the distance below him. The Jaguar purred as he negotiated the narrow turns of the mountain road, descending on the sleeping metropolis. He loved his car: its feline lines, its elegance. As he bore down on the city, he felt like a stalking cat preparing to pounce on its prey. The only difference being, a jaguar is hell-on-earth to a gazelle, but to the hordes of humanity, terror was Pete. Like any successful hunter, Pete understood he needed the weaker species to survive, it didn’t mean it he had to like them.

Slowly, the land leveled out and street-lamps began to illuminate the darkness. Pete eased up on the accelerator, letting the rumble of the powerful engine die away, until he could hear the hiss of his tyres passing over the wet tarmac. At this time of night, the streets were nearly empty, and the city was at its most beautiful. Light sparkled trough the rain drops, dappling his windscreen. In the distance, a couple walked hand in hand in the shelter of overhanging trees. To Pete’s eye, they looked like a stylised painting of Paris, by Matisse, or some other old master. Pete might well be an animal at heart, but it didn’t mean he was ignorant of the beauty the world held. He also knew the attack on Dave was only the beginning, the beginning of something that would rip this whole city apart. Jimmy might think the situation could be handled, but he was kidding himself. Pete knew that some people were destined to push things to the very limit, and the Griffins were just that kind, as was he.
Tonight a storm was brewing, in reality, and metaphorically. Dave was nothing but the first pregnant drops of rain, falling from a thunderous sky. Soon the very heavens themselves would open, and blood would run on the streets of Dublin. Pete felt his heart quicken and his mouth go dry at the thought of what lay ahead. His foot pushed down on the accelerator, and the tires bit into the surface of the road. If there was going to be a war, Pete was destined to be first into the breach.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Garry the Goose

I was home for a visit with my parents recently, which is always great. After spending some time splitting timber, and having tea, we caught up on all the news I've been missing. One of the highlights of the last few weeks seems to be the lighter approach, one of our priests is taking to mass. He ended a service, a couple of weeks ago, with a joke. I for one am fully behind this new direction and thought it might be cool to share the joke he told.

Mrs Delaney was an elderly widow woman, who had a habit of picking unusual animals as pets. For several years, she was seen wandering the highways and byways of the country, with a large white goose, waddling along behind her.

Very early one morning, Mrs Delaney opened her front door to see Garry the Goose, lying on his back in the middle of the yard, with his wings spread akimbo. She ran over to him crying, “Garry, Garry,” and scooped him up in her arms. Poor Mrs Delaney was beside herself with worry, and ran down to the village as fast as her feet would carry her. Very soon, she was hammering on Mr Gibson’s door, the local veterinarian.

Before we go any further, I should tell you a few things about Mr Gibson. He is a bit of a gruff old sod at the best of times, but first thing on a weekend morning, he’s sure to be positively grizzly.  Mr Gibson was also renowned for his sarcastic nature and fondness for brandy. When he eventually threw open the front door to see who the hell was trying to batter it down, he was amazed to see a frantic pensioner cradling a clearly dead goose in her arms.

Mrs Delaney, burst through the door and rushed past a frazzled looking Mr Gibson.
“You got to help Garry, Doctor,” she said, dumping the flaccid bird in the middle his kitchen table.
“I’m not a doctor and who the hell is Garry?” asked Mr Gibson.
“That’s Garry, do something,” said the woman, pointing at the bird adopting a Jesus style pose across Mr Gibson’s breakfast. Mr Gibson found a statoscope and pressed it to the cold breast of the recently departed Garry. Mr Gibson soon looked up at the fretting woman and said, “Your Goose is dead, Mrs.”
“Rubbish, he was fine yesterday, do some tests, just do something!” demanded the distraught pensioner. Mr Gibson rolled his eyes to heaven and draped the statoscope around his neck, before stalking out of the room.
A few seconds later he reappeared with a chocolate Labrador dog on the end of a lead. Mr Gibson pointed at bird, and the dog leapt on the table and began sniffing the goose from top to bottom. Within minutes, the dog gave Mr Gibson a sad look and shook his head, side to side. The dog climbed down from the table and plodded away into the back room in a state of near depression.

Mr Gibson left the room once more, this time returning with a ginger tomcat in his arms, which he laid on the kitchen table. Much like the dog, the cat sniffed and prodded the flaccid bird extensively before rising its tail in derision and walking away with a superior look on its feline face.

Once the cat was gone, Mr Gibson turned to Mrs Delaney and said, “It’s beyond doubt, your bird is no more, I’m sorry.”
“Poor Garry, I guess he’s gone to a better place,” said the old lady sadly, laying a hand on the birds bent neck. At last, she turned to Mr Gibson and said,” How much do I owe you, Doctor?”
“Again, I’m a vet, not a doctor. Let’s call it a hundred euro,” said Mr Gibson, crossing his arms in a superior manor.
“A hundred euro, why is it so much?” demanded the aghast woman.
“It would’ve only been twenty, if you’d believed me in the first place, but you did insist on Lab work and a CAT scan. They don’t come cheap you know.”

Mom said about half the congregation laughed and the priest looked slightly embarrassed, before adding. “I can see some of you didn’t get it, I explain it to you afterwards.  In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”