Every now and then I get an email asking me to highlight some cause or other.
Quite frankly, I don’t like those mails, because I’m not a Damien Mulley who does fluffy links.
You see, when someone suggests a topic for me, it just doesn’t work. My ramble becomes a guided walk which isn’t the same thing and my words dry up.
I received a mail the other day asking me to highlight the plight of a school in Sandyford who are looking for a new building.
I am all for doing my bit, and particularly when it involves children, but what really intrigued me about this mail was that he referred to me as a “former Sandyford man”. What? I only once ever mentioned Sandyford before, and that was just in passing.
What is strange though, is that Sandyford did play quite a big part in my younger days. I used to go to Mass there every week. Religiously. In fact, I used to go to Mass on Friday night, Saturday night and all day Sunday.
Back around forty years ago, I used to pal around with a group and we called ourselves The Lads. Apart from myself, all The Lads were from Sandyford, so it was natural to congregate there. We used to meet up in Sandyford House which was a grand scruffy pub in those days.
The weekend would start on a Friday night, where the drinking wasn’t too serious. Friday wasn’t really our drinking day, so we would down maybe half a dozen pints of stout and then go home. Saturday was different. Saturday was a serious Lads Day, and we would meet up in the pub at around six, because that was when Mass started.
Most of The Lads were a tad scared of their Mammies, and when they were told to go to Mass, they had to do something about it. So every Saturday, we would meet in the pub and one of The Lads would be elected to nip down to the church to hear the sermon. That way, the elected could return and tell all the others what the sermon was about, and they could all go home and tell their Mammies about it. That is how going to the pub became “going to Mass”.
Life was very simple in those days.
Friday: A mere six to eight pints to get in form for the weekend.
Saturday: Serious drinking day. Ten to twelve pints and off for a game of darts until about three in the morning.
Sunday: Recovery day. A mere ten pints as a hair of the dog to wind down from Saturday.
In those days, alcoholism, binge drinking, drunk driving and the like hadn’t been invented yet.
Life was so much simpler then.