Please, please, please, forgive me for interrupting the narrative flow, but I’ve been toying with an idea for a couple of days as to whether I should put certain thoughts on paper or not. Something has happened which would allow me to expand on an event I have already written about. Let me try and explain.
Every time I access this blog I am presented with a page of statistics. It’s very nice to see the total number of people who subscribe to and read this blog grow. At the moment it is one, or two, shy of one hundred followers, not exactly the two hundred thousand I am told I should be aiming for, but still a lot better than the zero when I started. It was like standing in a room talking to myself, however that is just something else I’m quite good at.
One of the statistics I am presented with is a map of the world and your location, yes you, your location is plotted on the map. So as I begin to write I am aware that people in Australia or New Zealand or America might not understand certain phrases I could use, so I try to be careful when choosing my words. For example I could use the phrase, ‘he’s got a face like a Lurgan spade,’ and many of you might not know what I am talking about, when in fact it is a local saying that means a person looks miserable.
I am very aware of the trouble one can get into when people do not understand what you are talking about. One day I was in a small team that came off the mountains, near Snowdon, and were waiting in a car park for some transport to come and pick us up. There was an ice cream van in the car park, selling ice creams. Paddy Cross insisted I go and get myself an ice cream. I went to the van but rather than get an ice cream I got a slap in the face, which greatly amused my colleagues.
You see in Northern Ireland a slice of ice cream, from a block, between two wafers is called ‘a slider’, a cornet ice cream is known as ‘a poke’. So as you can imagine the young lady in the ice cream van, near Snowdon, thought I was after something complete different when I asked her for ‘a poke’. So I try to take care in how I write. I am aware that some of you know me and know exactly what I am writing about, like John Hughes over there in New Brunswick, Canada. Everyone give John a wave, hello John. Or the Bodkinator in Lisburn, hello Lynn. Everyone give Lynn a wave. Those two know exactly what I am on about, but it’s you others I want to focus on.
I shall not however mention the radio DJ James Oreck, over there in California who is a disc jockey on The Glow Radio, an internet radio station, please do not wave at DJ as he tells his listeners that I earn my living by being the only transvestite bare knuckle boxer in Ireland. Although with my legs and fighting skills who knows what will happen in a few years’ time? I suppose you will have to keep reading to find out the truth.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. I would like you to look at a photograph. It is a black and white photograph and it is of me. The first thing you will notice is that I am ridiculously pretty and the second thing you will agree to is that I really do have the most loveliest legs in Ireland. I am standing outside my friend Samuel’s house. Samuel is taking the photograph; you can see his shadow on the ground.
Above me and slightly to the right you can see the steeple of a church. That is Holy Cross Church at Ardoyne in Belfast and the small section of road surface to my right is the exact spot where rioting is going on at the moment. It is the junction of the Woodvale Road and Woodvale Parade. Our house is five down from Samuel’s house. And the Leneghan’s house, you remember the Leneghan’s ? Mary Leneghan who used me for snogging practise before I knew what snogging was. Yes that Mary Leneghan who went on to become Mary McAleese, the eighth President of Ireland, those Leneghans, they lived about six houses away in the other direction.
So If I can put a small video in this blog and you watch it, you should if you haven’t already read this blog,
and you will see that it’s not the first time there has been an angry mob on the Woodvale Road. I was perhaps far too young to understand what was going on but I’m sure even you can now understand how my parents felt with a baying crowd like that outside your front door.
At about the ten second point, moving away from the camera, the first white house is or was Samuel’s and is where I was standing when the photograph was taken, our house would have been about five more house down, away from the camera. The Leneghan’s house would be behind the camera and the police land rovers, by about three or four houses.
In fact I understand the Leneghan family were given the same ultimatum as ourselves and they moved to Rostrevor. So, once again, sorry for the detour, normal service will be resumed immediately, I just wanted to show as they say in the best brothels in French France, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” the more things change the more they stay the same.