Monthly Archives: June 2016

Down in the A&E.

My heart was thumping so badly by the time the ambulance arrived, that I thought I’d pass out myself. The whole village was there, with their mouths open and their ears pinned back, in case they’d miss anything. Lourda Kennefick was a very fortunate woman she didn’t end up unconscious, in the ambulance next to Peggy. She came flying into the garden as Peggy lay there, scarves and earrings flying, like a cheap imitation of a fortune teller, wittering on about Peggy taking deep breaths. Deep breaths, I mean, Peggy looked as if she was shuffling off her mortal coil and there was Lourda going on about taking deep breaths. That woman is a perfect fool.

By the time we arrived in A&E down in the Regional hospital, Peggy had regained consciousness and was screaming with pain, while heroically managing to curse the Brennans and all belonging to them, and threatening to do unspeakable things to the ginger tom, when she’d get her hands on him. I didn’t think it was the time to point out, that it was her absolute idiocy in first, chasing the tom and secondly, her failure to actually catch him, had her where she was, which was inside in the ambulance, with the fate of her leg in the hands of a vastly under-funded health service.

The minute we arrived, there was a bevy of professionals around her, it was obviously a quiet night at the hospital, the drunks must have been all at home, saving to go to the Euros in France or something. She was screaming like a banshee and nobody could touch her leg, she was that bad. They must have pumped a massive dose of morphine into her though, because after about ten minutes of bedlam, she began to quieten down and they whisked her off on a trolley. Well, I must have spent hours in that A&E department, wondering what in the name of Jesus, they were doing to the woman. I knew if she lost the leg, ‘twould be the finish of her, she’d die inside in a wheelchair. What the unfortunate woman would do if she wasn’t mobile, I couldn’t even bring myself to imagine.

Sometime around three in the morning, Bridie and Dolores arrived. They simply couldn’t credit the stupidity of the woman in trying to jump a three foot wall at her age. Dolores said you could understand it, if she was being chased by an axe murderer or a rapist or something, but pursuing a cat, for Jesus sake! Bridie was far more sensible, saying that there wasn’t much point in talking now about how cracked Peggy was, seeing that the damage was done, and how she’d have to make the best of it, and what was the bleddy point in giving out to her now, when ‘twas all over?

But there was no stopping Dolores. She’s a right prophet of doom and ’tis worse she’s getting lately. What, she wanted to know, was going to happen if Peggy lost the leg, how was she going to manage and who was going to look after her? Jeez, the woman went on and on, until I felt I wouldn’t be able to resist giving her wan right clatter across the pus to shut her up for good. I mean, I’d had a terrible shock myself and I wasn’t making a big performance out of it. I could see Bridie rolling her eyes to heaven and taking deep breaths – Bridie is very into the yoga and the deep breathing, imagining all the stress going out like a puff of smoke, through the balls of her feet, all that kind of visualisation thing. Actually, Peggy was only saying the other day, that she had a very strong feeling, that all wasn’t well between Dolores and Mick, the husband. Now, to be quite honest, that scenario wouldn’t surprise me in the least. What she ever saw in that Mick is a pure mystery, he’s wan right cabóg, so he is.

Of course, Dolores was very young when she married him. She was born and raised in Liverpool and met Mick at an Irish Club. He was working on the buildings or something and had loads of ready cash. She said he swept her off her feet and before she had time to draw breath, she was standing in front of the altar saying ‘I do.’ After a few years, they came back to the small family farm in Sugar Hill and there they’ve remained since. She looked right fed up anyway, as she sat there cnáthsaning about Peggy, and how stupid she was, and how she had no consideration for anyone, except herself. Honestly, she’d swear by her talk that Peggy had caused the whole accident, simply to discommode Dolores! If she only came down to the hospital to rant and rave about Peggy’s stupidity, I really don’t know why she bothered. I knew I’d have to change the subject or else, she’d be the next one in a hospital bed. So in desperation, I asked her how Mick was. Well, was I the sorry woman as she started off on another fecking rant. As the men slip the wedding ring on your finger, ’tis the ball and chain, they’re putting on,  no more romance or nights out or any other little considerations. Pure slave labour, cooking and cleaning and compromising. Then, she pauses for a minute, and looks at the two of us straight between the eyes, before she only goes and drops her bombshell.

‘Do you know,’ she asks, with a right wicked looking head  on her ’we haven’t actually had SEX since St. Patrick’s Day, 2011?  What do you make of that then? I might as well be in a fecking convent.’

Well, that shut us all up, I can tell you. Bridie even stopped taking the deep breaths.In fact, I think, she might have stopped breathing altogether for a few seconds. The pair of us sat there with our mouths open, staring at Dolores! Imagine, no sex since 2011.  Jeez, the woman had to have miscalculated, shure,there’s no way she could have been celibate for, like, five whole years! But before we could manage to utter a word, we heard footsteps behind us and there was the doctor and a small nurse advancing.

All thoughts of the sex life of Mick and Dolores flew out of our heads, as we waited to hear what was after happening to poor auld Peggy!

To be continued.


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Peggy Comes a Cropper

Well, the last three weeks have been like something out of Dante’s Inferno. I must have lost a stone, rushing around like a headless chicken. I know that Peggy is suffering and I know that ‘twas no picnic going under the knife at her age, but honestly, if anyone ever deserves one good puc in the kisser to drive a bit of sense into her, it’s that woman. She’s put years on myself and on her other friends, Bridie and Marilyn and Dolores, rushing in to the hospital, looking after her house, bringing up night dresses and underwear, shampoos and towels and bringing back the dirty clothes to wash and dry,  before taking them all back up to the hospital again for her ladyship to use – like blue arsed flies, meeting ourselves coming back. We were only saying the other night, that we wouldn’t be one bit surprised, if we were all to end up inside in the hospital with the stress and tension, that the woman is after causing the lot of us..

How did she end up in the hospital? I suppose you could say the whole thing goes back months, when that stray, ginger cat took up residence at the Brennans, who live on the other side of Peggy. Well, from the minute she set eyes on him, she hadn’t a good word to say and when he began to come into her back garden, sunning himself and digging up her flower beds, open warfare was declared. Honestly, I’m convinced the fecker was doing it on purpose to annoy her. The minute she sat down with a cup of tea, that’s when he’d stalk across the grass as if he owned the place, taking good care to look up at the window where Peggy was, just in case, she didn’t happen to notice him. Of course, the minute she sees him, she’s up off the chair like someone on Red Bull and out after him, screaming and waving the sweeping brush. Well, that was all well and good until one Saturday evening  three weeks ago when she spies him coming across the garden. This time though, he’d gone too far because what had he inside in his mouth but a bird, a robin. Now Peggy had made a right pet of that little robin and was feeding him from her hand for months, so when she seems him hanging out of the cat’s mouth, as dead as a doornail, she loses the plot entirely.

I was inside having a cup of tea with her when it happened. Suddenly, she leaps up out of the chair, starts screaming ‘you foxy little bastard, you’ and takes off out the back door and legs it across the grass after the tom, who’s still holding on to the poor dead robin, for nothing else only pure devilment. I stand up inside the window, with my mouth open, as the cat jumps over the wall and then, well, what does my óinseach of a woman do, but  takes a flying leap at the same wall, as the disappearing tom. Well, I actually thought I was seeing things. Imagine, a woman nearly eighty years of age with a bad knee, attempting to clear a two foot wall as if she was a race horse. For Christ’s sake!  Ah, are you mad, shure of course, she doesn’t manage to go over it, for feck’s sake, aren’t I just after telling you, that the woman is nearly eighty years of age with a bad knee!  No, what happens is the next few seconds seem to pass in slow motion- I see her taking a half jump and then she’s whacking up against the wall, before falling sideways and rolling over and over on the stony path, before coming to a dead stop.

For a second, I can’t move and she obviously has lost the power of speech, because there’s this eerie silence. Then, the screaming starts, like she’s being squeezed between two gorillas. When I hear the racket, I come to my senses and race out the back door, my heart in my mouth, to see is the fecking eejit of a woman only after killing herself or what?

When I reach her, she’s seriously scary-looking, she has this ghastly grey pallor and beads of sweat are pouring down her face but worse, her left leg is flung out in front of her and her ankle is bent kinda backwards at a seriously, unnatural looking angle. Now, I’m no nurse but even I can see that the situation is bad, very bad. I think it’s possible she might even lose the leg, maybe. By this time, half the village is scrambling into the garden to see what in the name of Christ is the matter with Peggy? Is she dying or what, they want to know? Of course, if she is, no one wants to miss it so by the time I’m dialling 999, the whole fecking place is like a madhouse and my heart is palpitating with terror and shock . By the time the ambulance races down the village street, all sirens blaring, I don’t know if it will be Peggy or myself  who’ll be the first into it, so I don’t.

To be continued


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