If there are smells in heaven, they must surely include Sarson’s Malt Vinegar, the smell of happiness.
Sarson’s went over soggy chips wrapped in sheets from unsold newspapers. Like Liam Clancy once said of eating pig trotters wrapped up in copies of last week’s Munster Express, “there was eating and there was reading”. An over generous shake of the bottle and the paper became soggy and left newsprint on your hands.
Sarson’s went over bags of cockles bought from a stall at the harbour in Lyme Regis. The shellfish already …
A black Cordelia moment on Monday.
There’s an encounter in Brideshead Revisited between Cordelia Flyte, the youngest daughter of the big house family, and Charles Ryder, the quintessentially bourgeois Englishman
“Cordelia Flyte: If you weren’t an agnostic I should ask you for five shillings to buy a black god-daughter.
Charles Ryder: Nothing would surprise me about your religion.
Cordelia Flyte: It’s a new thing that a priest started last term. You send five bob to some nuns in Africa and they christen a baby and name her after you. I
“Your grandad was a tailor”.
“No he wasn’t. That’s a lie”.
“Yes he was. My ma told me.”
“My dad is a solicitor”.
“Yeah and your grandad was a tailor”.
“No he wasn’t”.
He lashes out and the teacher intervenes.
“What is going on here? You must not hit people”.
“Miss, she says my grandad was a tailor”.
“Apologise to him for saying that”.
“But, Miss, my ma says he was”.
Going home that evening, the boy says to his solicitor father. “My friend said that Grandad …
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me .” John 10:14
I grew up in a very small village in the middle of Somerset in the West of England. There were 44 children at our two teacher primary school; everyone knew everyone else. Because there were so few people in the village, you didn’t just know everyone else, you heard everyone else’s business as well. You heard how much they had sold livestock for at the market; you heard how many gallons of milk …
Headache inducing calculations of how much extra tax will be payable through the self-assessment system on 31st October; the permanently miserable visage of Taoiseach Brian Cowen; the strike by Dublin bus drivers against cutbacks; the fact that the Luas will not run from just down the road this year; a friend’s loss of his job last month; the anxiety amongst pensioners about what other reductions they face; the derelict properties along our road; the bigger class sizes in the primary school; the prospect of having no prospect of retiring at …
No, not for money, but for clues.
Ian Graham is 48 today. It would be good to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’, except that he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.
Ian’s father was a priest in the Church of England and lived at the vicarage in Chilton Polden, a village in Somerset between Bridgwater and Glastonbury.
Ian and I did our A levels at Strode College at Street in Somerset before he went off to the University of Sussex where he read biology. Thirty years on, …