Showing posts from 2015

No Wonder I'm Tired. (A life in the week of a Scourge) .....with pictures


Laundry Day

For  20 weeks the Guards had been tailing John Duffy. The 55 year old had unknowingly been under surveillance as he drove in and out of the yard, or went to the shop, unmarked cars tailing him, lads sitting outside the farm when he was inside watching the news, or chawing the fat off a chop. Or wondering what he would do with the one and a half million euro he had buried in a field outside. Duffy, of Ballynanty Beg, had been inside before in 2000 -  for having drugs for sale - but this time a van load of men dropped the money over to him and told him to hide it fairly lively or there would be mucking furders. 
Previously, he had worked as a chauffeur and could valet a car as quick as a horse could trot. It may have been a mistake to rent a large container and connect an ESB supply to it. Ditto the humping of an electric tumble drier across the yard and up the step while the plain clothes boys on stakeout wiped the brown sauce from breakfast rolls off their chins in disbelief.
After bei…

Michelle Dooley Mahon


The Eff Word


Death of a Clown

After a disasterous attempt to run a schizophrenic restaurant,   by day one thing, by night another,  which saw me consuming bottles of Champagne and Blue Bombay Gin with alacrity and some considerable dexterity,  I  hosted  a Millennium Ball that would put a roman orgy and the worst displays of Caligula in the hapenny place - it  began with a drunken priest skidding on a vol au vent and bringing  an 8ft mirror filled with  canapés down  on top of himself and ended in a shirtless brawl in the Bullring - 

I put my head in my hands and surveyed the  bulging black bag of invoices and reconsidered.   I had already tried coffee shop, wine bar, music venue, intimate bistro, fine dining and ultimately, pot luck.  With hindsight, it would have been easier to dispense with the middle man and just throw the money over the quay.  I may as well have been nailing jelly to a tree. I put the white on the window and repaired to an adjacent hotel with the Crosaire and an espresso, to contemplate my next ca…


One morning you will find that it is 17 weeks later and you are googling images of an Alzheimers brain split down the middle. Your eyes will watch an autopsy on youtube. Your mind will try to process and retain the fact that a human brain resembles a bowl of cooked pasta bake that has been left in the back of a fridge - a heavy plate of cold ham on top -  and consequently it has formed a brawn of its own volition. Pressed Pigs Head. Pressed Head. Our Father who art in Wexford made it for us as children in Carne. Forcemeat. Your ears will hear the voiceover mention  that the weight of a healthy brain is approx 3 lbs. and that it feels like a jelly just about to set, firm but with a little give. Your mind will try to process and retain the fact  that what the Scientist is holding in his blue - gloved hands is the piece of pink meat that controls the entire body, the personality, the conscious and sub conscious. You will remember the theatre sister with a lisp announce at Sunday lunch that…

You couldn't make it up

This is the closing scene of the Shellshock Café Show in Wexford Arts Centre  -

where I tie the stories together by demonstrating the places and people mentioned.

It begins with the hometown shot on a misty quayfront -

 and follows our heroine who emigrates  to Germany in the 80's,

 the hotels and characters,

through to London and half of Great Britain in the early 90's,

through bratwurst and bitter,

and home again,

as the call of the stones of the homeland,

 was embedded in her like subliminal sound.

The soundtrack is  Wandering by Lúnasa. 


May 2015

Shellshock 5 07 pm Film


Sour Dough Bread

Sour Dough Bread Once upon a quiet summers evening  - the car drops  me at the glass doors with the tinkling chimes. I carry freshly plucked Marguerite daisies from the furze yellow hedges around the ridged chocolate fields. There is also ice-cream wrapped in a deli-foil bag to keep it cool so I open the door to my Mother’s room with my chin. A  pretty blonde woman in a blue tabard is kneeling on the floor,     both of my Mother’s hands in hers,  craning upwards to see the face under the flopping fringe. -Kin you tell me if there is anythink I can do for you? She speaks with an accent that as a race we have become familiar with,  although one is never sure if it is Croatian, Serbian, Polish, or Lithuanian. I am at pains to mark my territory,  and inform this stranger that my Mother does not, cannot speak. I throw the flowers onto the patchwork quilt and make a production about getting a vase, a saucer and spoon. How very dare she -  I wonder  and stalk  up the miles of carpeted hallw…

Tart Shaped Box

They moved us to the New Forest and a 200 seater carvery that turned over 3 times on Sundays, where a Welsh chef called Taff would grind out his cigarette  with the heel of a steel capped boot and call them bastids as they surrounded the building like a pack of feral animals on their never ending quest  for Yorkshire puddings. “I’m sweatin’ an orchard by yere” he groaned after a night on the cider. The first sitting of Sunday lunch, a choice of a salad bar  *with prawns* (which would be decimated instantly) 3 roasts and as much veg as could be carried on a dinner plate, ended  with someone taking their life in their hands walking through the crowd with a dessert trolley containing Missisippi Mud Pie , Black Forest Gateau and the intrigueingly named Death by Chocolate. English people love to queue, and so a phalanx of cars and vans would begin to assemble in the giant car park from about breakfast time. Despite the licensing laws which precluded us from opening the actual doors till…

On Losing a Mother

One morning you will find that you are lying, in bed, staring at the headlights of cars as they criss cross the white ceiling of your room, 
the shadow play,  chiaroscuro of light and shade.
One afternoon you will find that you are standing, staring at the yellow names flashing on the phone  ringing to voicemail and you will not call them back, and you will realise that it is days since you spoke or left the house, and that you almost wore shades and a hat to buy smokes.
One nightime you will find that you are sitting staring at the  TV  and your racing mind will project lights and squares and colours all around the room, off to the right, in the corner of your eye, and even rubbing or closing them will not remove the dancing lights and you will think you are having a turn. 

It is 3 months since my Mother died.

I type the word "died"and my stomach flips.

Her quiet breathing over the days of her leavetaking became the soundtrack to her end-of-life, and in my diary I wrote only t…