Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas Day at Peggy’s!

Well, finally, it’s here- Christmas, I mean. No more build-up.  No more out of control trollies driven by demented little women with grim determined faces. No more shop assistants dressed up in Santa outfits looking ridiculous. I just wonder is there a clause(excuse pun)n the small print of their contract these days that they must dress up in these daft outfits and wear antlers?? I can’t really come up with any other reason for their agreeing to make spectacles of themselves in public. Some of them look as glum has Enda Kenny when he realised that the water charges protestors aren’t going away, you know.

Anyway it was Peggy’s turn to do the Christmas this year. As well as myself, there was Bridie and Mick and Dolores, our other friends also joining us. Dolores is a grand dancer, she’s one of the best in the village sean-nós group. They often do a show below at the Singing Donkey Lounge Bar and they’re brilliant, you should just see them. Then there’s her husband, Mick, well, I know it’s Christmas and the season of good will and all that but whichever way you look at Mick, he’s wan right thick cabóg. I don’t know what Dolores ever saw in him – of course, she was barely twenty when she married him. Shure, what does anyone know at twenty? Anyway, the bright spot on the horizon in that though we may have to put up with Mick, let’s be grateful for small mercies in that at least we’re not entertaining Lourda Kennefick.

I honestly think if I had to sit through Christmas dinner listening to that Lourda murdering her vowels and shaking her badly dyed black head at me, I’d end up doing her an injury, a permanent one, Christmas or no Christmas. I mean where did she pick up that accent? I know she used to be a Speech and Drama teacher but c’mon, the woman never left the village for more than a month so where in the name of God did she turn up that accent?

I popped in to Peggy this morning to see if she wanted a hand and shure the woman nearly threw me out the door. She was there with the turkey and she pouring scalding water all over it. Well, I can tell you if the bird wasn’t already well dead, it certainly would be dead now, drowned in scalding water from the electric kettle. She didn’t seem too anxious to have me hanging around so I left her to it – gladly, if I’m to be truthful. Though she had me puzzled as to why she was pouring scalding water by the new time on the bird. I’m not a great cook so maybe it’s some part of a recipe that her mother handed down to her or something.

When I go in later to lay the table, there’s no sign of Peggy, only muffled sounds coming from behind the closed kitchen door. I have to say, though I don’t like blowing my own trumpet, that I lay the table beautifully. A dab hand at it. Crackers beside every plate, the bottles of wine, Peggy’s best dishes handed down by her mother, well, so she says anyway and the mother isn’t around to say anything to the contrary.

Before we know it, Mick and Dolores arrive, Mick with a belly on him that Santa would be ashamed of. You know that Mick must be the glummest looking individual in the parish so he must. They’re closely followed by Bridie who’s all glamour for the occasion. She’s wearing a lovely skirt except that could well be a bone of contention  later on when Peggy has a few taken. She’ll tell Bridie that the skirt is too young for her and couldn’t she wear something more fitting for her age? It’s always the same once Peggy has a few drinks take. She rarely takes a drink during the rest of the year, thank God, she’s a handful enough to cope with when she’s stone cold sober, so she is.

Actually it’s Bridie who notices it first – she has a great sense of smell – except there’s nothing to smell. Sure, our mouths should be watering now with the aroma of the fresh turkey but there’s nothing and there’s still no sign of Peggy. Dolores, who’s very hot tempered, strides over to the kitchen – door and opens it – except it refuses to budge. It’s locked, if you believe. Now we’re all seriously worried. There’s not a sound from the kitchen and we’re terrified that something is after happening to Peggy. We’re all now outside the locked kitchen door and Bridie shouts in to find out what the matter is. Well, we all shout but Bridie tells us for feck’s sake to give over we’re behaving like a group of badly rehearsed banshees. Then just when we’re getting seriously worried for Peggy, we hear this real very meek voice, not at all like her usual one, and we all start screeching like banshees and this time Bridie doesn’t hush us cos she’s screaming louder than anyone of us and is Mick is fucking and blinding Dolores that she persuaded him to come to that bleddy woman’s house for dinner. Jasus, he wants to know what’s wrong with their own kitchen and their own fireside and why in the name of God had she to drag him down to this fool of a woman’s house is beyond him. Then Dolores, fair play to her, tells him to shut his fecking mouth and if he wants to go home, who’s stopping him because she’s staying here anyway.

Well, things calm down a bit when Peggy unlocks the door and comes out of the kitchen, looking as sheepish as I’ve ever seen her. Her eyes are all red and her voice wobbly as she tells us again and agan how sorry she is for not taking  the bleddy turkey out of the freezer in time. Even pouring a deluge of scalding water on the fecking bird for half the morning didn’t thaw the little bastard out, she says. Then she brightens, the woman is an incurable optimist, and says shure, we can have our Christmas Day dinner tomorrow on St Stephen’s Day, there’ll be no problem with the bleddy bird then. Let’s create a fashion out of her mistake, says she airily, instead of moaning over it. Honestly, when she said that I thought that cabóg Mick would strike her, so I did.

So to cut a long story short, that’s why this Christmas Day, we’re sitting down at a wonderfully festive table eating sausages and scrambled egg washed down by glasses of chardonnay and buoyed up by the thoughts of our turkey feast on the morrow. Even Mick has stopped sulking, well, more or less anyway.

So Happy Christmas all.



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Recession, My Arse, says Peggy.

Peggy says there must be a bleddy famine coming with the amount of shopping that’s going on. She was below in Super Value this morning for milk and butter she said and had to wait nearly twenty minutes at the checkout, that’s how bad it was. Not only that but a body is in mortal danger of being struck by a trolley because the wan behind it can’t see in front of their fecking noses, they have the bleddy things that over-loaded. She wants to know what happened to the recession. ‘Recession,’ says she, ’there’s no bleddy recession, people are spending like there’s no tomorrow’.

She says she could hardly see the woman ahead of her in the queue there was such an amount of food in the trolley and while she was waiting she counted FIFTEEN slice pans in the trolley. What in the name of Jasus she wants to know would any normal person be doing with FIFTEEN slice pans? Well, I must admit I have absolutely no idea. Does anyone out there know what a person would be doing with FIFTEEN sliced pans? Shure, the whole place has gone mad, she says and I have to agree with her. She wanted to know if the shops were closing for the month of January or what that there’s  such a rush on with food. ‘And one third of all that we buy,’ quotes she ‘will be thrun out. That’s a proven fact’

Jeez, ever since she heard that statistic from someone on the television, she’s only been quoting it constantly. I’m heartily sick of hearing it, I can tell you. People on television should be more careful with the facts they bandy about, so they should, especially when they have people like Peggy Lysaght listening to them and dissecting every word they say.

Peggy hates Christmas. She says there’s not wan ounce of Christianity anymore. ‘tis all spend, spend, spend’.  It’s not a bit like long ‘go.(here we go with the violins again)She thinks that staff in the shops must be brain dead by the time the season is over what with the monumental food shopping and being forced day in day out since Halloween to listen to carols and hymns and Christmas songs. Just how many times do you need to hear Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer before going stark raving, barking mad?

Listening to the advertisements on television and radio drives her mad altogether. She came in for a coffee a while ago with a face on her that would curdle milk. She was after hearing some advertisement or other about buying a washing machine for your loved one for Christmas. ‘Well, says she, if anyone of my loved wans bought me a washing machine or, or a food mixer or a fecking juicer for Chrismas, they wouldn’t be buying them again in a hurry. By God, they would not then’ She says the sooner the whole bleddy thing is over the better for her and if she sees another fecking Santa’s grotto in a shop, she’ll march right in and strangle them fecking elves.

Which a’course brings her to Mary Lou McDonald. She thinks the woman has a neck like a swan. There she is above in the Dáil abusing everyone in sight, especially that poor misfortune, the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett. What in God’s name, she wants to know did that inoffensive poor man, who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, do to annoy Mary Lou. The woman is always giving him lip, Peggy says and because the man is a pure gentleman, she’s able to walk all over him. She thinks sitting in the Dáil for four hours with no work being done by anyone is the height of blackguarding, particularly as we’re the goms paying for all the perks and privileges of the politicians. It’s a great pity, she adds, that someone didn’t trap that Mary Lou wan in a car for a couple of hours so we’d get a bit of a rest from her. God only knows, she never seems to be off the national airwaves.

There’s a short silence while she contemplates the serenity of the airwaves without Mary Lou and then she asks me in a totally different voice, kind of meek and humble, you know, all the bombast gone out of her, if I’ll ever run her down to Tescos, she wouldn’t ask, only there’s not a thing in the house, not even one slice pan, she adds sheepishly. Jeez, the woman has a neck to rival Mary Lou.

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Peggy At the Barricades

Didn’t I tell you? I mean, how could Peggy Lysaght and Lourda Kennefick ever be content to be part of a peaceful protest?  There was no way the two of them could behave like civilised human beings and enjoy the day out and the carnival-like atmosphere above in Merrion Square, Oh no, didn’t I tell you that before they took off for Dublin on the free travel pass? But of course, you know all that by now – captured for all to see by the RTE cameras. There were the pair of them and the rest of the Active Age Group, as bould as brass at the barricades pushing and jostling trying to get into Kildare street.  It was like a scene from Les Miserables.

Ah, of course, you saw her, shure, you couldn’t miss her in a month of Sundays. Remember the fella at the front shouting obscenities at the guards, your man in the red hoodie- well, she was the elderly woman right behind him, slightly to the left. Yes, that’s right, the one waving the placard with the words Póg mo Thóin written in big bold print on it. Not only that but she was wearing what appeared to be a dead Siamese cat on her head. What? No, no, of course, she hadn’t a cat on her head, for feck’s sake, have you ever heard of anyone wearing a dead animal on their head? Have a bit of sense for yourself.

It was a cap she was wearing, a cap, a thick woolly thing that she picked up for half nothing down at the Vincent de Paul shop in the village. From the state of it, I think Vincent de Paul should have been paying her to take it off their hands. The same cap now could be home to a family of birds without your noticing, the thing is that bushy. d2113afca4b6daeab4fbe3cd9ad2322f

But to see herself and that rabble rouser Lourda Kennefick shouting and jostling at the guards manning the barricades would make you itch to give the two of ‘em a right belt across the kisser, so it would. Did they mind that they were bringing the entire village of Sugar Hill into disrepute? Not them. Neither of them gave one toss for the show they were making of us, or themselves either if it comes to it. Peggy, of course, had herself convinced it was 1916 all over again and she was pushing back the evils of imperialism along with Countess Markievicz and the Citizen Army. ‘Shoneens and gobshites’ that’s what she calls all politicians although she has a bit of a grá for Joe Higgins. She loves his accent and the way he’s able to lambast the Taoiseach in the Dáil.  According to her, politicians have only one agenda, to ‘grind the little people into the ground with their bleddy taxes’. James Connolly’ she says ‘is only spinning in his grave at their antics’

Well, the two revolutionaries and the rest of the group returned home late Wednesday night laden down with shopping bags from Arnotts – these now are the very people who can’t pay the water charges. When I pointed this out to Peggy, she didn’t even have the grace to blush. ‘Tisn’t every day you get to Dublin, she said so she decided to make the most of it while she was there. Anyway, she says she’s paying taxes all her life and has ever and always been law-abiding and patriotic. Isn’t she after paying that bleddy property tax, she asks me rhetorically. That bleddy tax, according to her, that was large enough to include the little amount of water that she uses, a poor widda woman like her. Honestly! She can see a day coming, not far off either,  she says darkly when the plain people of Ireland won’t be able to wash themselves at all because they’ll be paying through the nose for the water they’ll be using. ‘I wouldn’t believe daylight from that Enda Kenny,’ says she ‘before we know it, we’ll be paying hundreds every year for the little dropeen of water that we can’t do without and ‘twill be too late to protest then, so it will’

It’s worse than useless to argue with her when she gets on her high horse about something and she’s riding a very high horse now with the water charges.  She never even noticed me leaving because she was too busy admiring herself in a lovely coloured skirt and matching blouse that she got in Arnotts. Thank God, I was spared coming face to face with that Lourda. The two of them spouting their brand of socialism would definitely have me reaching for the bottle.

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Peggy Lysaght says No!

My next door neighbour Peggy is fit to be tied over the water charges – I’ve never seen her so incensed in all the years I’ve known her and that’s saying something, believe me. According to her, it’s a fright to God that an elderly, inoffensive woman at the end of her days can’t be left in peace without having the fear of God put into her by tax after tax is being slapped on her. I swear, you only have to close your eyes to hear the violins playing!  She says they can stick their water charges and any further charges they think up because it’s over her bleddy dead body that they’ll be getting their money, so it is. Enough is enough, she says and the fecking politicians won’t be getting another penny out of her.

She’s so incandescent with rage that Enda Kenny or any of his ministers have only to appear on the television and she starts turning this alarming pinky, purply colour. I honestly fear that the charges will be the cause of her bursting some blood vessel or something. I try to tell her that whatever about the water charges, she’d want to be minding herself at her age or she needn’t worry about paying any charges because ‘tis inside in her grave her rage will land her. But no, I might as well be talking to the wall for all the good it does me. When Peggy gets on her high horse about something, I’ve noticed she’s like a tsunami, there’s just no stopping her.

She says that ‘tis aisy for the feckers to hit the little people. ‘Fecking bullies is what they are,’ and they should be downright ashamed of themselves to be hopping off the ordinary Joe and Joan Soap in the street. Herself and her friend, Lourda Kennefick and the entire Active Age Club, are all off to Dublin on Wednesday on the free travel pass for the big march against the water charges. I hope to God herself and Lourda aren’t planning on doing anything outrageous to make a holy show of us in front of the whole country. Herself and Lourda are capable of anything when they get together and I honestly wouldn’t trust that Lourda Kennefick as far as I could throw her.

When I dropped in to Peggy the other morning for a coffee, what was my woman doing but watching a You Tube clip of the Tanáiste being barricaded inside in her car, drowned wet after being struck with a water balloon in the protest above in Jobstown. You know, the ‘peaceful’ one a few weeks ago? She was so engrossed in the clip that she never heard me come in until I was right behind her and then, she looked dead shifty and tried to block my view of what she’s been watching on the screen. But unfortunately for her, she’s too late as I’ve already seen it.

Oh of course, she denied she was up to anything. But I have grave doubts and am only very sorry that I ever showed her how to work a computer, so I am. The woman doesn’t have an ounce of shame in her and if she does anything out of the way above in Dublin, I’ll never forgive myself so I won’t.

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