The horror on the doorstep

The elections seem to be moving into first gear.

I had my first doorstopper a couple of weeks ago.

I opened the front door to find a couple of gobshites grinning there and begging me to vote for one of them.  I told them to fuck off, which in fairness they did.  The baseball bat I had to hand might have helped, but we'll never know as they never came back.

I believe the posters are starting to appear around the place too.  I hate those fucking posters.  Sticking the same poster on every single fucking lamppost is not going to make me any more likely to vote for them than one poster would.  I used to have a simple method of collecting names off the posters and then not voting for those names.  Now it doesn't make any difference as I won't be voting anyway.

Apparently Fine Gael have given all their candidates a DVD telling them how to go about annoying people.  I managed to make a copy but the sound and vision are a bit out of kilter.  I don't think that detracts from their nauseating messages though.

If this is the caliber of candidate that is being foisted on us, then God help Ireland.

I have had enough of politicians and politics.  Neither ever did anything for me though they did plenty against me.  They can play their pathetic little election games and I shall ignore them.  They can fuck off to their council offices or to Brussels and at least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I had no hand act or part in their election.

I have removed the baseball bat from its place by the front door.

I have replaced it with a billhook.

And if that doesn't work, I'll set Herself on them.


In which I fill my hole with quick setting cement

A late start to the Interwebs today.

I finally got tired of the front gate which has been jamming for a long time now.

A while ago I had sniffed around the big hardware store in Skobieville and had found the corner where they stash cement.  Now I am of an age where a cementing job usually required the purchase of a sack of cement and a rake of sand and the whole lit has to be mixed in the right proportions on a concrete floor which will never be the same after. 

Apparently times have moved on though.

In the corner of the hardware I found loads of smallish bags of ready mixed stuff and there seemed to be a bag for every job.  If you want to point some brickwork, there's a special bag.  If you want to lay some patio slabs there's a special bag.  I didn't see one for building a house or a motorway, but what I did see was a special bag for posting.  I came to the conclusion that they meant fence posts and not letters and parcels, so I bought a bag.

For one reason or another the bag has been sitting on the garage floor for a few weeks.  Never do a job today if you can put it off 'til tomorrow is one of my many mottos.

However the gate has been getting progressively worse and it requires quite a back breaking struggle to get the gate to open enough to get the car out.    This morning I decided to have a bash.

The main problem was that the post had been already mounted in a concrete foundation but for some reason this had shrunk.  Or something.  I therefore had to spend a few hours removing the foundation using a chisel and a lump-hammer.  Naturally there were a few misses with the hammer so the hand that held the chisel is now really fucking sore.

I eventually cleared a grand pit beside the post and decided it was time to mix the cement.

I had cleared an area of the garage floor to make the mix but then for some inexplicable reason I decided to read the instructions.

"Fill the hole half full with water and then add the contents of the bag".

Weird, but who was I to argue?  They also warned that it was quick-drying which had to be nonsense as a hole that was half full of water is going to take a while to dry?

I followed their instructions and even paddled the mix a bit.  My trowel got stuck in it.  I had to lever the trowel out and contemplated writing to the manufacturers to tell 'em that their stuff hardened in ten fucking seconds and not ten minutes.

To my amazement it seems to have worked.  The gate no longer jams and people can now come and go as I please.

I still can't open the second half to get the car out but that's because so much shit washed in during the winter that the ground is now higher than it was and opening the gate means gdagging it across the gravel and mud.  So I have to attack the area inside the gate and remove about an inch of crud.

That can wait until tomorrow though.

A change of oppression

Two years to go and they are starting already.

In two years time it will be the centenary of the Easter Rising here in Ireland.

In two years time we will be inundated with glorified fairytales of our great heroes and all they achieved for Ireland

What exactly did the Easter Rising achieve?  Apart from the fact that it failed and that it was the execution of the leaders that sparked independence, what did we gain out of it?

There are those who will say that we gained independence from English rule, but I can't honestly see what difference that made?  The ability to issue our own passports?  The ability to have a separate flag?  What we really achieved was the honour and glory of being oppressed by the Irish instead of the English.  We still have the same oppressive laws.  We still have the same oppressive taxes.  Democracy is still a farce here as it is in the UK.  As far as the man in the street goes, there is fuck all difference apart from a different currency.  In fact I would argue that we would have survived the recession better under Sterling than we did under the Euro.

Of course all that is academic now.  Any vestige of "independence" we did gain has been thrown away again.  We are now a vassal state of the Fourth Reich and have as much independence as a slave in chains.

Sinn Féin are rabbiting on again about the "end of partition" and the reuniting the whole island of Ireland but that too is a farce.  The North would still be ruled by Brussels and the only effective difference would be a switch to the Euro and changing their speed limit signs to kilometers per hour from miles per hour.  Big fucking deal.

Ireland will never be free.  The only way we could achieve true freedom would be to get the hell out of the EU superstate and to abolish our current legal, financial and political systems and replace them with something entirely new.  That ain't going to happen.

So on Easter Sunday, 2016 there is going to be a mighty commemoration of an event which ultimately had fuck all result for the Irish.

The only light note is that I bet they hold their commemorations on Sunday the 27th of March, where the original rising was on Sunday the 23rd of April.

I'm dreading it.

Old traditions

There used to be a tradition in my family.

I'm talking now about the good old days when I was a wee lad.  In other words, a very long time ago.

The tradition, which at the time was immutable was that on Easter Sunday we had the first picnic of the year.

There was another tradition which confused me a bit at the time and that was that the picnic had to include Simnel Cake.  That was a rather nice mush of fruit cake with layers of marzipan and part of the cooking process was that someone had to hold a two bar electric fire over the top of it to toast the marzipan.  That was usually my job as it was a pain in the arms.

Of course Simnel Cake wouldn't be allowed these days – much too nice and unhealthy.

The choice of picnic destination was down to a family vote.  In other words, my father decided where.  His favourite spot was in a wood on the banks of a river somewhere in the middle of Wicklow.  I have never been able to rediscover that spot which is a pity as it was a beautiful place.  All I know is that it was somewhere in the region of Woodenbridge or Laragh or somewhere.

The family is all gone now and I am the only one left.  Well, there is a brother somewhere but he mysteriously vanished some years ago.  Leastwise I haven't kept the Easter Picnic tradition up.

I couldn't be bothered cooking a Simnel Cake.

And I still can't find the picnic spot.

And anyway it's too chilly for a fucking picnic.

It was a daft time of year to choose in the first place.

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake

Easter surprise

Easter weekend, huh?

One of the things I learned when I retired was that time is bloody confusing.  When I was an employee the likes of Easter were well known in advance – one had to book time off and there was a countdown to a few days peace and quiet from The Idiot Boss.  Even when I was working for myself I was aware of holidays and their ilk because my clients would yabber on about them, and how they wanted such and such a job done by Easter.

As a retiree the calendar ceases to exist.  There is nothing to distinguish one day from another.  Monday is the same as Friday is the same as Sunday and so on.  I like it that way though it can cause confusions sometimes when I want to phone a business only to discover that it’s a Saturday.

I had no idea when Easter was this year.  Then I started noticing things such as advertisements for eggs, demands with menaces for money for the church [I don't know why they bother sticking their stuff in my letterbox] and shit like that so I assumed it was somewhere on the horizon.

And now it has arrived.

I suppose I had better go and try to find some chocolate eggs for the grandkids.

They need their sugar.