Monthly Archives: March 2016

Let’s Stand up for Currant Bread before it’s Too Late!

No one bakes currant bread as good as my late mother, let’s get that fact established immediately. Of course, she had one great advantage over other bakers I’ve encountered through the years – you see, my mother actually believed in using currants when baking currant bread. So when I’d bite into a hot slice of currant cake, I’d bite into a mouthful of delicious, succulent actual currants or sultanas as well as bread. So there we have another fact – currants or sultanas need to be actually used in the making of currant bread. Simple, right! Well, you might think so, seeing that it’s not exactly rocket science. But you’d be wrong because it’s not really, no!

In the last number of years, I’ve bought bread advertised as ‘currant bread’ and when I’ve eagerly unwrapped the loaf and cut it, my eyes have focused on a few bewildered and miserable looking currants spread over vast empty areas of dough. In fact, you could run a competition giving a prize to the person who spots the most number of currants. You know, a bit like Spot the Ball competitions in the newspapers years ago?

No matter whether it’s bakery mass produced bread or crafted in restaurants, the result is the same. Hopeless – an absolute dearth of actual currants in the cake! My blood pressure is not in the better of it, I can tell you. You see, it’s very simple – if I want bread with no currants or a few scattered strategically around to give an impression of currant bread, I’ll simply buy non currant bread. But and listen very carefully while I say this, when I buy currant bread, I want it to be awash with currants with no dough visible at all. I do not want a hybrid currant cake or an ambivalent square of bread,that can’t make up its mind what the feck it is. Do I make myself clear?

To be honest, even though I didn’t inherit my mother’s prowess at baking, I think there might be nothing for it but to take up baking myself.Because that seems to be the only bloody way as far as I can see I’ll ever sink my teeth into a slice of succulent cake simply saturated with lovely juicy currants . Sheer bliss. My mouth is simply watering at the thought.

Vanessa.

PS: I was only saying this to Peggy earlier and says it’s all the fault of the EU with their codology about health and safety. She says there was none of this bleddy nonsense in her day. Nowadays, the bureaucrats are so terrified someone will choke on a currant and sue them for millions that they’ll only shake out a few at a time on a full cake of bread. Either that or else, the blasted bureaucrats want to maximise profit over culinary perfection by using one bag of currants to bake a dozen so-called currant cakes whereas in my mother’s day, she, rightly, used the whole bag of currants in the one cake.

By God, Peggy says, whatever we were in her time, a nation of wimps and  spineless craven, skin-flinted cowards we most certainly were not. By God, we were not then!

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Peggy’s Day in the Sun

Peggy can’t stand St. Patrick’s Day. Well, that’s what she always says anyway. She complains about the amount of paddy-whackery that passes for national customs and traditions and claims it’s only ridiculous. People vomiting and fighting and throwing broken bottles into private gardens! Wearing green clothes like overgrown leprechauns, pulling green pints and having famous buildings all over the world draped in green is wan right nonsense, according to her. ‘Making a show of ourselves on the world stage’ as she’s fond of saying.

Still, that didn’t stop her from participating in the parade below in the village though, herself and the Senior Citizens Club that she somehow managed to rope in. In fact, however she might give out about the day now that it’s over for another year, on the day itself, she had a fine auld time for herself dressed up as Countess Markievicz on top of Connie Thady Bill’s cattle trailer.

There she was with a rifle and uniform and the wide brimmed hat. Honestly! I had to close my eyes as I saw her waving the gun around for fear the thing was loaded. You simply cannot take anything for granted with Peggy. In fact, I’d say, ‘twouldn’t knock much of a shake out of her if she shot someone – she’s all for realism and authenticity when enacting these pageants. The rest of the group were all dressed up as well but Peggy, of course, being so big headed just had to be the countess. Lourda Kennefick had a right sour pus on her afterwards, she said that no one else got a look in and if anyone had to play Markievitcz, it should be her, Lourda, on account of her bearing a striking similarity to the woman. I ask you – Lourda Kennefick looking like Markievicz! I often wonder to myself what planet that woman lives on?

The trailer was full of females because Peggy wouldn’t allow any of the men to take part. She said that they had their moment of glory in 1916 and that was enough for them. If the women were airbrushed out of history for the last ninety years, she declared, it was only right that the males all got a dose of the same medicine during the centenary so she right go wrong refused to allow them play any part at all. I often think Peggy should have lived in the age of dictatorships, she’d have felt right at home. It doesn’t seem at all odd to me that she should have such a huge regard for the men and women of 1916 who declared the republic by force of arms. Honestly, the woman is so blood-thirsty, it’s downright unhealthy, dangerous even.

I have to admit though that the trailer of ‘The Women of 1916’ was very dramatic. It put all the other floats in the shade. There was Peggy dolled up in her uniform that she got inside in some theatrical shop in Limerick waving her rifle and pistol at the crowd and uttering blood curdling yells and shouting Up the Republic. When she wasn’t aiming the gun and shooting Lourda who was dressed up in a British uniform, she was reading from the proclamation with no regard whatsoever for historical fact. To be honest, it was really a one woman show, the rest of the cast were only there to make Peggy look good. I felt sorry for them, even Lourda, that’s how bad it was because Peggy shot her every few minutes and just as Lourda got up on her feet, Peggy would go bang, bang and shoot her again. That way Lourda spent most of the parade lying on the flat of her back inside in the trailer and the majority of the spectators had no idea who she was. It definitely was the Peggy Lysaght show, no question.

There was no doubt but that ‘The Women of 1916’ would win first prize for the best float of the parade. I did think though that Connie Thady Bill could have given a bit of a hosing down to the cow dung plastered all over the sides of the trailer. ‘Twas nearly the same colour as Peggy’s Citizen Army uniform. I haven’t much time for his story that shure, as it was green, didn’t it fit in grand with this year’s theme of patriotism and that of course, otherwise he would have power hosed the shite off . He’s wan idle fecker, is Connie Thade, like all his family before him. Still, that in no way put Peggy off standing up at the front of the viewing platform and singing ‘A Nation Once Again’. Imagine, singing and the same woman hasn’t a note in her head, worse, the whole trailer was covered in cowshite and everyone staring!

My God, the embarrassment of it.

Vanessa

PS: I mean, ‘A Nation Once Again’. Ah jeez!

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Peggy has to Bite her Tongue.

Well, the latest here in Sugar Hill village is that Peggy is after having a big stand up-row below at Gilhooley’s Spar with Lourda Kennefick for telling everyone that she only went and spoiled her vote at the general election. Peggy is livid but shure, the woman hasn’t a leg to stand on, I mean, c’mon, anyone that blabs a secret to Lourda Kennefick and is then surprised when the same woman tells the whole country has to be downright stupid. Of course, the peculiar thing is that Peggy is anything but stupid so whatever prompted her to unburden herself to Lourda with regards to her voting strategy is beyond me. We’ve been scratching our heads and trying to figure that one out since the election.

Bridie, another one of our friends, says that she believes it was vanity that caused Peggy’s tongue to loosen. Bridie says that it would have been pure torture for Peggy to see her ballot paper turn up on the news on RTE television and radio and in all the newspapers and not be able to claim her moment of fame. She says that Peggy would be thinking what’s the point of making a statement like that if no one knows that it was her, Peggy Lysaght that did it? And do you know, I think she might have a point there. Peggy always likes to get credit for anything that she does, I’ve noticed that in the decade I’ve been living here in Sugar Hill. Mind you, I’d say the same woman now is fine and sorry though that she didn’t let the whole thing go by without saying a word.

You see, apart from the fact that the whole village knows that Peggy spoiled her vote, the woman is right thick because now she can’t say a word about the politicians of any party, or about the formation of a government or the shenanigans of Michéal Martin and Fianna Fáil playing hard to get and refusing to contemplate going into bed with Fine Gael, or her favourite one, the stupidity of people for forgetting about Fianna Fáil ruining the country and putting  them back in a position where they’ll be able to have another shot at bringing us to our knees.

No, not one of us will entertain her when she attempts to start. We tell her, rightly, that anyone who went into the polling booth at a critical period in her country’s history and deliberately blackguarded the democratic process by spoiling her vote and writing Liam Neeson and Daniel O’ Donnell on the ballot paper has no right whatsoever to criticise anything or anyone. She can’t even cut loose on Baldy Biggane, who’s been a right pain in the arse appearing on Prime Time and the 6 One news bleating about the core values of Fianna Fáil. I mean, isn’t that a contradiction in terms – like, core values and Fianna Fáil! That’s really sticking in her craw, I can tell you. I’m expecting her to put her size eight through the television any day now when Baldy is introduced yet again on nationwide television as a ‘senior Fianna Fáil party figure’

As she’s wan right opinionated woman, this enforced silence is only killing her. I can tell you, she’s getting sorrier every day, for not keeping her mouth shut when she met Lourda Kennefick. As for us, that’s Bridie and Marilyn and Dolores, who’ve been listening to her like, forever, we don’t know ourselves and I can tell you that we’re making the most of the peace and quiet because as sure as God made gooseberries, she’ll be back up on her high horse and making inflammatory speeches before we’ve time to say Jack Robinson and bless ourselves.

Vanessa.

PS: Ah jeez, I knew it was too good to last. She’s after arriving in here now in full flow. Over what?  Only over Gerry Adams, you know, he who was never in the IRA? The woman is only blue in the face she’s so exercised over how he’s after comparing himself to the American Black Civil Rights Activist, Rosa Parks.  And do you know, I can’t really blame her. Shure, Adams is only after losing the run of himself altogether. I mean, Gerry Adams and Rosa Parks!! Ah Jesus c’mon, for God’s sake.

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Peggy in Disgrace

Peggy has been a fine quiet woman since the election, so she has. We haven’t heard a word about hung Dáils, the stupidity of the people who voted for having Fianna Fáil back after only five years of repentence and praise the Lord, the words Baldy Biggane haven’t passed her lips even once – despite the fact that Baldy topped the poll here in our constituency for Fianna Fáil. And no, it hasn’t been because she’s got sense all of a sudden – but rather because she’s made wan right ass of herself in front of the whole country!

Shure, you’ve all seen it on the television and newspapers. Ah, you have, of course, you have. Remember the ballot paper with ‘Number 1 Daniel O’ Donnell’ and ‘Number 2 Liam Neeson’ written on it, the one that was shown on the 6 One news? Well, I can now tell you that that was the work of the bould Peggy Lysaght of Sugar Hill village in the County Limerick. Yes, our Peggy, the very same Peggy that’s been living next door here to me since I moved to the village ten years ago. I know you can hardly believe it, shure, I can hardly credit it myself.

Imagine, this is the same woman who’s been pontificating about the lads and lassies above in the GPO and they dying for Ireland and how the dead patriots are only spinning in their graves with the showers that are running the country for the last fifty years, blah, blah, blah. There she’s been, putting legs under hens for the rest of us and in the heel of the hunt, when her country is on its knees and calling all its children to her flag, the same woman only goes in to the polling station and brazenly spoils her own vote. Honestly, you’d want to have a doctorate in psychology to understand the workings of that woman’s head.

Of course, we’d know nothing at all about it were it not for Lourda Kennefick, one of the members of the Senior Citizens Club with Peggy. Lourda is one right bitch at the best of times so why Peggy was stupid enough to confess to Lourda is anyone’s guess. Apart from being a right wagon, the whole country knows that Lourda Kennefick is like a sieve leaking water for gossip and the woman couldn’t keep silent about anything if her life depended on it.

I can only surmise that Peggy was eaten up with so much guilt that she only blabs to the first person she has a conversation with and of course, that’s where Lourda came in. I have to hand it to Lourda,  she always manages to be in the right place at the right time to pick up whatever’s going. So after the ballot paper appeared on the 6 One News, the fool of a woman only goes and spills the beans to Lourda that she was the one who had spoiled her vote . ‘Twas a protest, she claims, against all the Shoneens and gombeens who’ve been running the country into the ground for the last fifty years.

I should have known there was something up when Lourda sidled in my door on Saturday evening looking as if she was possession of the Third Secret of Fatima. I can tell you now that she was about as welcome as a dose of the shingles seeing that I was glued to the Election Count on RTE and didn’t want any interuptions, least of all from Lourda Kennefick. Of course, if I wasn’t so obsessed with the count, I’d have noticed that there hadn’t been a sign of Peggy all day. Normally, she’d come in and we’d have a cup of coffee together and sit down and watch the excitement as the boxes were being opened around the country and the tallies got busy with who was going to top the poll and who was likely to be eliminated.

After Lourda left (and she wasn’t encouraged to linger by the right wicked looking head on me) I sat there stunned. I thought back to the many times that Peggy pulled me up on things like parking in the correct space, having a current TV license and other equally unimportant matters, ending every telling off with the mantra that this wasn’t what the dead patriots had given their lives for way back in 1916. Well, if that woman was in front of me that minute, I’d have had to put my hands behind my back to stop myself from giving her a right belt across the kisser. I can promise you that I’ll be strongly impressing on Peggy Lysaght that voting number 1 for Daniel O’ Donnell and number 2 for Liam Neeson is most certainly not what James Connolly, Pearse and ‘poor sick little Plunkett’ gave their lives above in the GPO for!

After a bit, though, I calmed down. The more I thought of what Peggy had done, the more I began to cheer up. I even began to think that maybe I was a biteen short with Lourda. After all, by telling me what Peggy was after blabbing to her, wasn’t the woman only after giving me a fine big stick to beat Peggy Lysaght with for the next five years? So ignoring just one more of Labour’s trounced election candidates whinging into an RTE microphone about how the people had spoken and how they hadn’t appreciated that the Labour Party had put the country first, I put on my jacket and made my way out the front door.

Regards

Vanessa.

 

 

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