Friday, July 25, 2008

It's D-Day...!

...where the "D" stands for "Dentist". Or "Dread." Or "Drew out three of my feckin' teeth."

Yep, 12.30pm today yer man will be prying out three broken teeth and ending this prolonged and recurring illness I've laboured under (or not laboured under, being out of work for nearly six weeks now).

Wish me luck.

I may be some time.

Ooh-er, missus....!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other



Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Dad

I read out the following at Dad's funeral Mass today:

Our Dad, Tom, was 81 years old this June. People who met him often remarked that he seemed a lot younger. This, perhaps, was due to his great spirit and love of life. He felt at his best when he was working on some project, or examining a new gadget he had made or seen in a shop window. He was a believer in the idea of “early to bed and early to rise.” Anyone who heard his grass mower working at seven o’clock on a Saturday morning can testify to that!

Tom loved to collect things and to share his latest discovery with his friends and neighbours. If someone was working on a blocked drain, or having trouble with a garden shrub, he delighted in producing some strange invention or unusual advice to solve the problem.

He loved dressing up in a favourite suit and making an entrance. In recent years he added some fancy waistcoats and a number of hats and caps to his collection and knowing how much he liked them, we, his family, often aided and abetted him by giving him presents of new ones.

We will miss him in his Sunday hat.

To many people, Tom was larger than life. To us, his children, he was that and more. He cared deeply about what was happening in our lives. He was full of pride in our times of joy. He had a quiet wisdom when we shared our woes. A word from Dad would add to our happiness or help solve the problems we found ourselves within.

Tom’s cheerful outlook is the more remarkable in the face of the setbacks that life threw at him over the years. In 2001 he lost his wife, Maureen, after 50 years of marriage, a terrible blow. His own health could sometimes be poorly and he was all-too familiar with clinics and with hospitals both as an in- and out-patient. He bore too the losses of dear brothers and a beloved sister.

In all these times, he took comfort from his religion and his faith in God which gave him the strength to not only survive but overcome his ills. He returned, each time, with renewed optimism to tinkering on some machine, hanging some shelf, fixing some door. Often these were done for other people who remarked on his resilience and (once more) were astonished by his age.

Our Dad was usually wise in his choice of friends and extremely lucky in his wonderful neighbours who looked out for him in his latter years. He joked that if he chose to have a rare lie-in it wouldn’t work out because someone would come knocking on the door to check if he was okay!

Tom’s independent lifestyle always left time for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly. He met his newest great-grandchild, brought on a visit from England, only a few weeks ago. We know that each of them will sadly miss their “Grandad Tom.”

Dad would have been touched by the support and sympathy offered to us over the past days by everybody. You are too many to mention individually, but we are pleased to use this opportunity to thank you, his extended family, colleagues, clergy, musicians, friends and neighbours at this difficult time.

The family would like to welcome you to attend the crematorium at Newlands following this morning’s Mass. And there shall be refreshments served in the Cuckoo’s Nest afterwards if you would like to come along.

Tom will always be remembered, whether as “Thomas”, “Tommy”, “Tom”, “Big Tom,” “Big Dad”, “Da Walsh”, “Uncle Tom”, “Grandad Tom”, or, simply, “Dad”.

The world already feels a lot emptier without him.

Thank you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thomas Walsh 1927-2008

It's with great sadness that I report the sudden death of my dad, Thomas Walsh, at his home in Tallaght, on 12th July, 2008. Funeral arrangements will be posted in the Irish Independent and Evening Herald newspapers, shortly.

Edit: Arrangements as follows: Removal from Tallaght Hospital Mortuary on Thursday 17th July, arriving at St. Aengus's Church, Balrothery, at 5.30pm. Cremation at Newlands Cemetery following 10.00am Mass on Friday 18th July. Visitors and well-wishers welcome at both the church and the crematorium.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Me nerves...!

Herself leaves me a "note" like a contract drawn up by a particularly paranoid American lawyer, in which she suggests, (if I'm feeling up to it), I might, (for example), remove wet clothes from the washing machine and hang them in the specified place, or, (if the action mentioned in Section 1 is impossible), I could feed the cat (but only) if I go to the shop and buy either (a), wild red salmon, or, (b) sardines in vegetable oil (not tomato sauce), and, (assuming I have gone to the shop), a six-pack of lager and a large bottle of (sugar free) 7-Up.

At the bottom of the note it says: "P.T.O."

On the other side, in alternating red ink and blue ink, it continues with a suggestion that (if I was really feeling fit) I might (a), hang a rack of kitchen implements on the wall, (b), put the missing hardboard backs on the cupboards beneath the sink, and/or (c), put longer electrical flexes on the two side lamps.

While the cat is sucking up great gobs of wild, red salmon in the other room, I sit at the dining room table twiddling with electrical connections.

There is something bred into me about electricity that means that even though the whole project is entirely disconnected and not even remotely near an electrical outlet, I am still being extremely wary. I inspect the two-core cable critically, finding a little nick in the insulation which means I'll have to cut that piece off for safety and reconnect the lampholder. As I'm twisting the screw into the "Live" terminal, there's an unmerciful shrieking twin blast that rises me at least six inches out of the chair, scattering screwdrivers and screws and electrical cables everywhere.

I open my eyes and see the "New Message" symbol on my mobile phone, resting on the table.

It's a note from Herself.

"What's for dinner?" she asks.

Grumbling, I send back:

"What are you making?"

I turn back to the scattered bits and pieces, pick up the screwdriver and start attaching the "Neutral" wire. Five seconds later the phone shrieks twice and I nearly bite off the end of my tongue in fright.

I read the dinner menu suggestion and instructions as to where I can find the ingredients. I send off a terse "Alright."

My fingers drum on the table. Two more shrieks from the phone announce the inevitable:

"Are you okay?"

I'm switching off that bloody phone before I do anything else in this house.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The 9th of July....

...and I've just seen a truck going by the window delivering bags of coal.

Wasn't there supposed to be a summer here around now???

Spitting bullets or dodging them?

As folk have been wondering, I shall tell you that someone rang the dentist's doorbell and ran away, leaving me tied to a red coloured sack truck on the doorstep unable to reach my tin of patented dentist repellant.

The receptionist was very nice and gave me only two forms to fill in.

The dental nurse was like all dental nurses I have ever met at their work, which is to say incapable of saying anything other than the patient's name and otherwise remaining professionally silent throughout the consultation.

The dentist, whom I was pleased to see was past puberty, but not yet at my own age, was a gem among tooth-pullers. He listened to the list of my various ailments then lifted the hood and called out a string of chess moves to the nurse who scribbled them down on my shiny new chart. He then stuck my head in a slow but determined x-ray machine and when all had been revealed he booked me in for a Friday treatment whereat I shall be dental intacto coming in, but three teeth the less coming out.

And that was it. I have still got the ticking time-bombs that are the remnants of my dental abcesses and I am still absent from work on sick leave. On the plus side, the dentist ("my dentist", I must start calling him!), recommends salty water gargling as an aid to infection avoidance, and I am still absent from work on sick leave.

The Friday in question is the 25th July. I have fourteen and a half days of not getting a huge relapse to work on.