Showing posts from March, 2013

Smother of Morrows

Smother of Morrows
It occurred to me today that I know more about Siobhan now than when I knew her. If you know what I mean. When she was well, she was just Siobhan, or on rare occasions Mam, the calm hand on the rudder of my life, the understated presence in our house, the quiet husky voice on the end of a phone line. Now as I dissect her here, and in blogs, stories, notes, on air and on screen, I feel I have come to inhabit her very skin. More and more of late , people are calling me Siobhan when they meet me, her old neighbours and friends, the nurses and carers, once I even called myself Siobhan on the phone. We become intimate with the geography of a loved ones body, its curves and contours, its small secret spaces and places – the softness of the pale skin, the light other worldly heft of a limb. Things that would have been considered a bridge too far in their awfulness become as familiar as anything one repeats on a regular basis. One becomes innured, if not immune. I stare aghas…

Nosmo King & The Vaping Man.

I appear to have given up smoking by accident. 

It all started last week when I was out for lunch with a friend and some random children.  We decided to luncheon  al-fresco ( due to penury)  and so consumed a brace  of  jacket spuds  with chilli on them in the Bullring Market -  ( after I had extricated a table and chairs from a shed )  followed by a pair of cupcakes that are apparently entirely composed of secret ingredients -  angel dust, Seratonin, and God's Dandruff.  And heroin.   Well, something that makes them extremely  moreish anyway.  I was so busy trying to get at the butter tub that I almost knocked over a woman who was valiantly trying to praise my writing, and saying to all and sundry that she "feels better after she meets me" and that she is rejuvenated.  Bless.  I am so busy trying to get a plastic spoon into a giant butter tub that I am heedless. She could have been telling me the 3rd secret of Fatima for all I am aware. Imagine then my blushes if you will,  w…

Me, Myself & Id

Siobhan is being fed when I walk in the door and her impossible blue eyes are open. I rub her legs to say hello. It is the closest I can get. She has a shamrock badge sewed or stuck or both to her cardigan. 
It breaks my heart. 
I have spent the day watching the parade and lunching and cofeeing all over the gaff. It has been exhausting. I like to talk in bursts and then stop. I like to be able to walk away and be quiet. When I am in full flow, it is like someone turned on a volcano that spews forth endlessly, quips, incidents, stories, tall tales, things I have seen or heard, or eaten, or watched, things I have done in this and many other lifetimes.
If I love you I want to inhabit your skin, feel the insides of you, inhale the smell of you, see the world from behind your eyes. But I also want to walk away and think about you quietly on my own where I can process the information and unwrap the essence of you, slowly, like chocolate, one square at a time.
I like to sleep alone curled up in …

Michelle La Bellringer

The noise of the bells draws me out the door. The sky is charcoal and scarlet at the same time. There is no-one on the street -   no passers-by, no cars,  no stray terrier. I have just posted a jocular photo of Cardinals lighting cigarettes with a caption of “Smoke, you say”  on facebook  when they announce on the radio live from the Vatican that they have white smoke. Now I know why the bells are pealing, and they are so appealing that I run across the street, through the car park where I stand sentry on Saturday, over the worn steps of the Transept and up the belfry stairs. I have left my hall door wide open and only have my phone in my hand, as per. I run up step after tiny step until my laboured wheezing, and the clipclop of my boots draws a brace of faces over the hand rail to peer down at me. You may remember the bould Frank asked me a number of weeks ago to ring the Angeles at the Friary, but they were being a little misogynistic about it. “You’re too small” they said. “You’ll b…


H er Father is walking slower now.
 She supposes she has noted it in stages, a grimace as he settles  into the car, an intake of breath when he moves, a half stretch that he cant complete without wincing. She wonders how long she has not noticed. She studies him as he comes over. 
He does not look his age. “Oh” he says. “You’re here already”. “I am” “Jesus. It’s bitter out.” He sits in his drenched coat and scarf and places his wet cap on the table.
 “I hate them armchairs” he says. “They’re too feckin low for me.” “I’ll get you one of those big leather cushions they have” - She looks around and locates one across the room and walks back dragging it. Her Father is standing again to place the cushion and looking lost. “Would you not take off your coat? How can you go back out in this weather afterwards” she asks. “I’m perished!”   As they manipulate the giant cushion in the armchair she stands near him and can smell the rain and damp from his coat, but underneath it something unsettling.  It’s a …


The day after my Grandmother died we three children arrived with my Father to my Mothers childhood home. I was curious to see how grief would have affected her, curious even then about how people cope with loss and devastation on a grand scale, and noticed that she seemed harried and not quite herself, greeting us at the front door (which was seldom used) in a distracted manner, missing my cheek as I stood on tiptoe for a kiss.  The smell of the laburnum hedge which we children all loved to shred much to my Uncle Olivers consternation, was at its strongest in the late August heat and the trains that hurtled through the gardens at the back (and on whose tracks my “senile” Grandfather had been found wandering in his pyjamas) evoked a note of normality that was strangely absent from the house. The relations had assembled en masse and people from all over had called in - Rossmore, Killeshin, The Hill, Castledermot, Pollerton, Tullow and Gowran. A parade of characters and personalities and…

How does She do it ?