Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Teenage Kicks

Ruby comes into my shop every evening, usually about 4pm. It’s a time of the day I love. My heart jumps to see my darling daughter walking in the door after her day at school. This is due to not having seen her since early morning plus it means that going home time isn’t too far away. Thursday evening wasn’t any different; in she struggled with her gear and school bags, dropped them in the corner and asked me for money for food. It’s a routine we’ve developed in the short time that the two of us have spent on our own in Dingle. She goes off to get a sandwich and for me she gets a bottle of water. Just a simple little thing but a father daughter thing that will stay with me for life. No questions asked just done every day at about 4pm. After she comes back she takes my seat to check her Facebook page and download some music. It’s a time I take to wander out for some fresh air before anyone comes in. Not many people of my age group got to spend this sort of time with their Dads so as a parent I value it very much. Shortly after 5pm we head home and those forty minutes or so is another precious part of our day that I love.
In the mornings neither of us feels like talking much on the journey out to Dingle. It’s just an early morning thing and the peace of the car helps me prepare for the day ahead. Now that Ruby sorted our late leaving the house problem I’m not in such a mad rush to get her to school on time. No more tearing down the Connor Pass at 8.55AM hoping to get her there before the bell goes or stupid overtaking on the Castlegregory road to try save a few minutes. No it’s so peaceful these last ten days that Lyric FM should be playing as we drive. But it isn’t, its Spin SouthWest!  By the evening  we’re usually more chatty, tired after our days but in the mood for talking nonetheless. Sure the radio is on, Radio 1 at my insistence, but Ruby will talk about school, ask me about things that I may or may not know the answer to or just chit-chat about this, that and the other. Thursday evening was no different and when our conversation went into a lull I began to think about Friday evening. All the last week the talk has been of Friday evening. Yes the night of Ruby’s first disco as a teenager, her first proper disco. The excitement had been building, where she was going beforehand to get ready, who was going, what she was going to wear, where she was staying the night.  She had it all arranged, she didn’t need her Dad much, in fact I knew feck-all. All the youth clubs on the peninsula were going, everyone aged 13 to 15 or so was going to be there. Every spotty teenage wasn’t so much that I wanted to protect my darling daughter from those horny teenagers cos I can’t plus it’s all part of growing up. No it was the idea that I’m no longer the main man in her life or at least my days as such are numbered. Someone else will get to hold her close, occupy her mind, tell her things from a male perspective and I’ll be relegated to the “just the Dad” position . It’s the beginning of that part of her life and of course I know I can’t always be involved and that’s just something I’ll have to get over. To be honest I think it’s great that she’s becoming this independent wonderful person but sometimes I miss that curly headed baby whose eyes lit up every time she saw me. 
Another thing that came to mind was my first was the same time of year and I was about the same age as Ruby is now. My friend Ken and I cycled into Cobh to the disco at Mount Crozier tennis club. If I remember correctly it was on from 8pm to midnight and I was delighted that I was allowed go. The surprise of hearing the music blasting from the speakers that I’d only ever heard on the radio at home really blew me away. That and the girls.  The girls from school and the other schools in town too all out dressed up and dancing. As this was my first time I didn’t know what to do but if I remember correctly it wasn’t long before I was showing the dance floor what I had. Then came the slow set. Now that was something I definitely knew nothing about, still don’t today! Ken went off dancing with a girl I didn’t know and after the first dance came back and said I should ask her friend out. I looked over to see who her friend was and it was only one of the best looking girls in our class. All curly long blonde hair, tall and beautiful compared to my little thirteen year old self. Though she was from town I’d even known of her for a year or so before we went to secondary school together, her beauty went before her! Not knowing any better I asked her to dance and she said yes. It had taken me so long to ask her we only had one song before the set was over. The song was that John Denver one which had been the theme song of a popular TV series at the time, can’t remember it now but it went “deep inside the valley ...” Strange that I can’t remember it now as I remember singing all the words into the poor girls ear that night! Oh cringe. After the disco the girls got a lift home from one of the Dads, Ken and I got on our bikes and cycled home.  The next morning I woke up a changed man, I’d danced with a girl and not just any girl either. My shyness convinced me that she’d only danced with me cos Ken was dancing with her friend and as a result I was scared stiff to talk with her when school began again after Halloween. In fact I can’t remember ever talking to her again. Did Ruby have the same experience Friday night? Did some worthy boy have the same experience as me? Do they still have slow sets?
As an epilogue to my disco tale I have this to tell.  A few years back I spent a weekend in Dublin with some friends from school. As it turned out my friend’s wife was working with my slow dancing partner from all those years back and she mentioned to her on the Monday that they’d spent the weekend with me. It was reported back that she’d always really liked me at school and wondered why I’d never asked her out after that night or at least would have liked to have gone out with me if asked.
Damn you teenage shyness!
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The Wisdom of Taxi Drivers

Well Ruby in the infinite wisdom of the teenager she is gave me some advice this week.  Having said that it was more of an order really, she doesn’t suggest things to me she just tells me. A bit like her Mother really and she’s knocked some corners off me over the years. Anyway we’d been late a lot in the mornings recently so Ruby TOLD to get up at 7am, have my shower, then my breakfast and we’d be out the door by 8am. I’d been doing it the other way, talking with her Mother over breakfast, resulting in us not getting out the door till about 8.15. So we tried it this week and what do you know but we were early for school every morning.   The thing that gets me though is that when I get up at 7am Ruby comes down and gets into the warmth of my bed for twenty minutes! Plus she’s still in the car before me. Freddie and I are wandering around for the first ten minutes just trying to figure out what day of the week it is whilst she snuggles up under the duvet. Reminds me of the piece of wisdom I got from a Cork taxi driver once. He was driving me to a wedding when we got talking about each other’s kids.
“Do you know the difference between young girls and young boys?” he asked, looking at me in the rear view mirror.
“Ah no” I answered laughing.
“Well” he said, “boys get out of bed rubbing the eyes wondering what to do. Girls? Girls get out of bed with an agenda!”
Never a truer word did I hear from a taxi driver.
Certainly beats what I got from a Dublin taxi driver once. He’d picked me up from a famous flat on Botanic Road the owner of which had picked me up from the Airport the night before. Having told the taxi driver that I’d flown in from London he asked.....
“Did you go down to the hoors in Kings Cross?”
I laughed and told him I hadn’t, which was true.
“Ah the next time you’re over you should pay them a visit, I’ve had great fun with some of those ones down the years.”
That’s one piece of advice from taxi driver which I haven’t followed up on.
Freddie and I have spent the day inside. The weather has been crap all day, rain, rain and more rain. Not that I mind too much, I’m away all week during the day so getting the chance to spend all this time with the little man is great. Lisa went off shopping for a couple of hours, this living in Tralee lark could be an expensive one. When she came back she walked in with only one bag, unusual I thought, normally she’s laid down with bags. All was revealed later after she’d collected Ruby. In she walked this time with four more bags not expecting me to be in the kitchen, I didn’t say anything , there was nothing to be said. .....Oh how I love her!
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Home again

Well its Sunday afternoon in Ballyseede and its the end of a long week for us. Ruby is behind me on a the kitchen couch watching some movie with Katherine Heigel which I would have been embarrassed to watch in front of my father! Freddie is inside on the other couch watching a Star Wars The Clone Wars DVD. Having never seen a Star Wars movie I can easily say this DVD makes no sense to me.

Yes its been a long week. Freddie reached day 34 seizure free on Monday, a new record since things went south two years ago. He keeled over on Monday evening however and all four of us were in A&E at Tralee General by 10.30pm. The move in here has paid off, we didn't want to be tested but we were and everything went to plan. Ruby and I went home at about 11.15 when Freddie and Lisa were admitted to the ward. The little man was put through the ringer overnight though and when I went back at 6.30am he was doped to the nines. But he made it through without the drama of previous visits which was a comfort. Boy was he cranky and he spent the day fighting with his mother. After work I came back and poor Lisa nearly ran out the door when she saw me coming to take over. Freddie doesn't normally fight with me but he did Tuesday evening, poor fellow those emergency AEDs are really mood altering. The consultant sent him home Wednesday morning as there was no point staying when we lived so close. The gurrier was still very cranky though and when Lisa rang at 11am to say they could go home, I asked when did she want me to collect them. "NOW!" was the order and I jumped. It was great to have them home and so soon too was a major bonus. Unfortunately he had another small one Wednesday evening as he fell asleep. Depressing. However we saw it as a chance to get the video telemetry done. This is a procedure where you are wired 24/7 to an EEG machine with a video camera on you also. The idea is to catch a sezuire when one occurs and try find where it begins in the brain which can really help in solving the problem. Fred had been wired before but after seven days and no seizure we'd given up. As he was in a cluster we hoped it might be the ideal time. This procedure can only be done in CUH so I called the reg on duty on the childrens ward. A bed was available but he had nothing to do with the EEG department and "the boss man was off". After a late night call to my great friend Brian, "the boss man", who was at home, we sat around waiting to see if it could be arranged. Ten minutes later he called back, all sorted and we were expected anytime the next day. You can't beat the Cork Mafia boy!

Well we drove like the clappers the next morning and Freddie was sitting up in his bed by lunchtime. The welcome we got there was great but we're on first name terms with far too many medical people for my liking. The dinner ladies came to say hello and asked if he wanted the usual for dinner! At about four I left and soon afterwards the legendary Brendan arrived to wire Freddie up. He has to use superglue to keep the sensors on and poor Freddies hair is full of glue for days afterwards. The drive back to Dingle, I had to collect Ruby, is a hard one when I've left Freddie and Lisa behind in the Real Capital. Back home at about nine that night the text came through from Lisa, "he performed". Ironically the thing I hate the most was for once welcomed, maybe now we'll find a road out of this, I hoped. Well the little soldier performed nine times that night before they intervened with the AED to stop the cluster. For once things went our way. Brian rang in the morning to see how he'd done. Though upset that Freddie had had to go through it he was hopeful we'd get readings. Brendan arrived midmorning, took him off the machine and wheeled it away for downloading. But boy was Freddie cranky that day. At one stage I got a call.. "Dad can you come collect me and leave Mummy behind?" There's appreciation for you! Poor Lisa who'd been to hell and back with him was been dispensed with at the first opportunity. Mid-afternoon and Lisa on the way back from the bathroom is met by Freddie's neurologist. She's smiling. After a quick look at the first couple of readings it looked like they could see where his seizures were beginning. What a relief. When you can diagnose something its easier to find a cure, at least thats the logic as far as I'm concerned! Brian rang a couple of minutes later. Though at home he'd spoken with Brendan and confirmed what Olivia had said to Lisa. He's naturally very,very cautious at this stage but at least we have something to go on. Its the beginning of a long, long road. Deep MRI's, more telemetry, surgical conferences its all ahead of us but we
now have the audacity of hope.....

Lisa rang first thing on Saturday morning, they could come home. I was in Cork by eleven and home again by 1.30.  On the way back Ruby rang...she'd hurt her finger playing football. She's on the Kerry Ladies development squad and had been on a skills session in Killorglin. Our great friend Fiona collected her back in Dingle and took her to the doctor. As I feared she had to go to A&E. We weren't back half an hour in Tralee when Lisa was off down the hospital again. No speedy treatment when it isn't an emergency and the two weren't home again till 6.30pm. Home again and we were a family together once more.

Home again.... its a phrase I've been using a lot lately but it never loses it's lustre I can tell you!

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Razors and blackmailers

Sitting on the couch with Freddie and he's doing one of my favourite things to watch. He gets his DVD player, puts on one of his movies, gathers round his boxes and re-enacts the movie using the appropriate toys. Tonight he's watching Land Before Time, an animated dinosaur movie, and using his stock of dinos he's all over the couch roaring and fighting. Its a show I could watch all night and never fails to bring a tear to the eye, he gets so involved the look of concentration on his face is only gorgeous.

Today I decided to try keep a note of people who came into the shop, just to try get an idea of the variety of people I meet every day. If I wrote a piece on everyone from today I'd be here all night and probably well into tomorrow as well. And today was a quiet day! First up, just after I opened was a friend who was working on a plan for a garden design and leaving it till the last minute as usual.. she'd run out of ink and needed to submit the plans by midday. So she got her ink and rushed off to print the plans. Its reassuring to know that even Chelsea Gold Medal winners leave things to the last minute. After she left a guy came in wearing an old suit jacket, trousers and a polo shirt with a fine crop of grey chest hair sprouting out of the top. He had a phone about five years old, 'a great one', but the dog had eaten the charger. Had I an old one lying around? I had to break his heart and tell him no. He left me his number just in case and we parted friends. As I sat down a woman looking like she'd had the shock of her life came rushing in. For some reason she'd been sitting in bed last night and had decided to take out her sim card. In the process she broke the phone and was in a panic. As I put her new phone together she wondered about what happened to the text messages on her old phone. "They stay in the memory of the phone" said I. "So thats what happens to the phones you send to Jack and Jill." her voice rising in worry, "They send them off to Africa and the nigerians read your all your messages" I laughed. "No. That's what happens.That's how they blackmail you,those africans." She was serious. I decided to leave it at that and quickly finished our business. Number four of the day was a nice English man, probably in his seventies who's lived here since the mid 1980s. This Winter he's decided to learn about computers and was in buying another piece for his collection. We chatted for a bit and off he went, his USB Hub under his arm.

At about eleven I had to drop down to the Medical Centre to get yet another prescription for Freddie. On the way I went into Benner's Hotel to use the toilet. There was a guy in there giving his hands a good wash. In these circumstances I never say anything as you never know if someone wants to chat or not. "Fine fresh day isn't it?" he said washing away. "Lovely" I answered," pure Autumn."
"Jesus I love these sort of great days, can't wait to get out in it" still washing as he spoke. As I washed he left, giving me a big goodbye. After collecting Fred's medicine I headed back towards the shop when it started to lash. Walking back up the hill there was my man from Benner's coming down. "Not so fresh now" I said "Fucking awful" he said from under his windblown umbrella but still with a chirp in his voice.

Back in the shop a guy came in looking for "something called a router" speaking in a lovely beautiful city accent. "What sort of broadband do you have?" I asked " The ordinary sort. I don't know" he said smiling at me. We came to deal on what he wanted, he has a holiday home back in Dun Chaoin and now retired was down from Cork on a more regular basis. "This can be a mad place sometimes" he said laughing as he spoke, "the funniest thing just happened to me on the way up here." He'd been walking up the street when a guy stopped him and asked if he wanted to buy an electric razor kit. My customer declined but the seller kept going. "Its worth €140 but you can have it for €40" he was told. He declined citing the fact he already had one as an excuse. The price was dropped to €35, €20 and the €15. The retiree still refused to buy and the hawker opened a Lidl bag to show the goods. Still refusing and walking away the guy said "Alright a fiver" From €140 to a fiver in a matter of seconds. Fearing it was going to be forced on him my man walked away and ducked into me for escape and a bit of sanity!

That's the story till midday. Its getting late, time for a glass of wine and some cheese from The Little Cheese Shop on Greys Lane. Well worth a visit if you're around.

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Pretty Hikers

Midweek in Tralee and we're settled in for the night. Ruby on her blackberry whilst also watching Friends, Freddie watching his DVD player and Lisa, well tidying up as usual and making herself a cup of tea. Lucky to be home tonight after my van broke down. Simon, the guy who helped me out when I needed the new shop decorated, had the van yesterday shifting some rubbish from the old house when the clutch gave out. Should have guessed I suppose as it was making such a screeching noise all weekend. Luckily he'd made it home to his own place before it gave up the ghost. So I was stuck in Dingle with Ruby and no way home. A quick call to my GOOD friend Siobhan and she'd offered us her car for a few days, she's off to the sun, poor thing. Ruby and I weren't stuck in Dingle, not that would be a bad thing except when your home is in Tralee. At least we didn't have to hitch in the rain...

Which brings me to my third hitching story of the Summer. After I'd dropped my pineapple and aubergine man I headed off to Cork. Coming out of Killarney  I spotted two hikers standing in the rain, in all-in-one kagool type raincoats with big rucksacks beside them. Over I pulled and got out to open the boot. As they walked towards the car I noticed it was two females, as they took off their raincoats I noticed they were two beautiful females and not just that they were only wearing shorts and tshirts. This looks great I said to myself, someone who knows me will pass and all of Dingle will be talking about John Verling picking up two young, beautiful, scantily clad hikers with his wife and son in hospital in Cork. The dirty looks, the furrowed brows, children pointing in the street.The nice man tag would be gone once and for all.  Anyway the two, Anna and Maria, got in the back and with big smiles thanked me for stopping. "Where are you going?" I asked, "I'm going to Cork."  "Oh we were going to Mallow but now we'll go to Cork" they said laughing. Great. Well I have to say they made the journey go very quickly and their happy outlook on life helped lift my mood. Of course they had perfect english and despite talking via the rearview mirror all the way to Cork, we got on well. One of them fell asleep, guess I'm not as interesting as I'd like to think. In fairness it was only for twenty minutes or so. We spoke of life and what they planned to do with theirs, after all they were just beginning I tried giving some sagely advice. They explained how being from the old east Germany they had a better sense of humour than those from the west. we did laugh a lot and the hour or so to Cork was probably the most fun I've had with two Germans in a long time. As I had to go straight to the hospital I dropped them at a bus stop near the entrance. More funny looks were given by those at the bus stop who were watching a middle aged man drop two young women and saying goodbye with a hug and a kiss. Ah whats a guy to do?

Heard today that my friend Dave Walsh lost his final appeal for disability payments from the Dept of Social Protection. The reason given  was that his Parkinson's meant he wasn't sufficiently disabled. As I've said before what the fuck is "sufficiently disabled"?  According to the OED sufficiently means "as much as is needed". I know Dave and he certainly doesn't need to be as disabled as much as he is! Just keep working those two jobs Dave you're doing fine...makes me angry just thinking about it! A society is judged by how well it looks after those most in need. The Dept of Social Protection ain't painting a pretty picture of Irish society at the moment

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Pineapples and Simon Cowell

Cuddled up with Freddie under a blanket, the fire lit, Ruby watching XFactor USA, Lisa reading some sad story in a magazine which is making her wince. Perfect night so far in the household cept maybe for XFactor USA.. I'm not against the XFactor just wish I didn't have to watch it. The problem with these programs is as soon as its on I'll start watching despite myself. Before I know it I'm following the gossip on Spin South West about who Louis' got in his bootcamp. If it wasn't on when I was in the room I couldn't care less. Those of you old enough to remember Opportunity Knocks will know  that there was a talent show and a half. Hughie Green with his clapometer, Make Your Mind-Up Time and last weeks winner kept the Verling houshold going through many a Winter. There's a lot said against the one-channel land I grew up in and its monopoly on our viewing but  I can still name weekly winners from thirty years ago! Ralph MacTell, Pam Ayers, the guy who sang about his pickled gerkin, I can name off the top of my head, who among us can name the XFactor winner from two years ago?

It was a quiet day in Dingle today. A big contrast to the hectic days of the Summer season not that long gone but could have been last year at this stage. Still a few Americans coming in "Probelms with my Cell-Phone, the guy at Verizon told me it would work in Ireland." That guy in Verizon must have a lot of black marks on his tongue by now as I've had so many Americans in with the same problem and the same promise. Not a problem another hitch-hiker I picked up in August would have had. On my way
down to CUH to collect Lisa and Freddie I spotted a guy on the Killarney bypass as I approached the turn off.  Coming closer I noticed he had one of those old style army knapsacks over his shoulder with a pineapple sticking out the top. With his scraggly grey hair, beard and loose fitting clothes he looked the type who'd seen a thing or two. He was so appreciative that I'd stopped. Apparently not many people stop for him. Turned out he was only going to the next roundabout, only five minutes down the road. He'd collected his pension at his local post office and hitched in to Lidl cos they do good pineapples and aubergines. Now he was heading into the health food shop in Killarney for some tea he couldn't get anywhere else. Who said life can't be simple anymore? He asked me what I did for a living. "Oh" he said "I've never owned one of those,probably never had the need I suppose." As he got out of the car he said in his gentle voice "If I'm ever in Dingle I'll come visit you."  I hope he does.

Whats on our TV: Outside of XFactor and America's Next Top Model Lisa and I have been watching The Hour. I'm no fan of Murdoch but without SkyPlus we would have missed a lot over these last couple of months and now we're catching up. The Hour is a BBC six part series set in the 1950's. Starring Ben Wilshaw, Dominic West, Romola Gerai in a very strong cast it covers the development of a weekly one hour political commentary  television show. Set against the backdrop of the Suez Crisis and how the BBC operated in a time of state intervention and censorship its a very stylish well written show. At the time any program put out on the BBC couldn't report on anything debated in the Commons til two weeks had passed. Known as the fourteen day rule the government could keep things from the public by just mentioning it in deabtes. A government man also had direct access to program makers making sure no anti-government bits slipped in. No wonder the british public was kept in the dark about so much for so long. If you can catch it again its well worth watching with affairs, upper class twits and M16 spys it won't let you fail to keep your attention.

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Settling in

Well this is my second attempt at trying to write this, I managed to lose the first version just as I was about to finish it or at least a version I was happy with. So I'll try to redo what I was doing with the vim, vigour, passion and whatever other bollocks I try put into my work. Hope all you millions of folks out there appreciate the effort I'm putting in here. Funny you know I was talking with my old friend Siobhan yesterday and she was talking of how therapeutic writing might be for me. Well Siobh you might be right but the annoyance of losing a nights work has fecked me off. Lets hope I can match the heights of that magnificent piece lost in cyber world. Reminds me of a something that happened to favourite author of mine, Garrison Keilor. He travelled by train across America with the only copy of his first novel, Lake Woebegone, and the hope of finding a publisher. Well he left it on the train, never found it again and had to start from scratch. Its one of my favourite novels but he always claims the lost one was his best piece of work.

Well with the late Summer and Autumn my family have had I think we're finally beginning to settle into our new life. Ruby and I are almost on time for school each day, only one Stampa Deanach so far and if I can get away from work by five o'clock we're home by six. The terrible news is that Spin SouthWest can't be got from the top of the Connor Pass till we're beyond Castlegregory but every cloud has a silver lining as I can now listen to  5/7 Live or Classic Drive on Lyric for a portion of the journey.  Maybe RTE will realise at some stage that we're not all enthralled with the presidential race and we'll get some real news. Its amazing how the famine in Somalia has finished now that Dana and Co. have started their race. If the Aras was in Athlone would they be giving it blanket coverage? Anyway I've done a lot of driving these last few weeks much more than usual as I rarely leave Dingle and when driving on my own I'm always on the lookout for hitch-hikers. Not to chop them up and scatter their remains all over the county bounds... no, just for the company. Somewhere recently I read a piece that hitching was a dying occupation which would be a pity. In my youth I hitched all over.. from Cobh to Cork, Cork to Clonakilty, Dingle to Cork, Cahirciveen to Kenmare, Limerick to Dingle, you name the route in the southwest and I've hitched it. Well in those days when I was stuck on the side of the road for hours on end I made a promise to myself that if I ever grew up and got a car I'd never pass a hiker. Its a promise I've fulfilled as much as possible cept maybe for the drunk who's hitching outside of Moran's most evenings. Nothing personal as I used to pick him up but the stench got too much. With the smell of alcohol combining with the fact the last time he washed was when he was last sober it all got too much.

In July at a roundabout close to Shannon Airport, I'd just dropped my boy Thomas to his flight home, I picked up a middle-aged Frenchman down on his luck. The poor man had arrived in Westport for three weeks of fly fishing only to be robbed on his first night. "I was so stupid" the shrug of the shoulders, the hand movements were stereotypically french. He'd put all his money in his wallet and left it in his bag while he slept. In the morning he woke up to three empty beds and the money gone. They left the wallet. The insurance company would only pay up after six weeks so the hostel owner had paid for him to change his ferry ticket home and stored his stuff till he came back in September. With the money he'd left in his pocket he was trying to make it to Rosslare by Tuesday, it was Sunday afternoon. As we drove he spoke of his life, this was one of those fellows whose life just doesn't work out for. He'd been a merchant seaman all his life, had to retire on health grounds but wasn't due a full pension for two years. Now he was trying to live off the whatever the french system would give him. La wife of nearly forty years had divorced him taking his savings. His only child, a daughter, hadn't spoken to him in three years, probably a connection there I guessed. This Spring his only sibling, a brother, died of cancer and the reason he was travelling by ferry and bus to Westport was that he was off the road for drunk driving. If the journey was longer I'm sure there would have been more. "I'm not a bad man just wasn't nice to be around sometimes I guess" he said with a shrug of the shoulders "but now I don't drink."  I left him at the Waterford roundabout, I presume he made it!

Yesterday was spent emptying the old house of furniture and moving it all to a lock-up in Annascaul run by an interesting character of whom I will write soon. But the real thing about yesterday was the unselfish help I got from that man Aiden again. This time we were joined by Garry, another friend without whom I'd still be there. People helping me or my family always gets me emotional, I really do appreciate it. On the way home to Tralee Aiden rang to see how I was doing. I thanked him again for all his help "I know you appreciate it but there's no need I was glad to help. You know that"  he said. Have to admit I was in tears after hanging up!

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