Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Thursday 30 June 2011


No one was more excited than myself when supermodel Ana Beatriz Barroz was spotted on the boulevards of Monaco smoking a pipe. It was a clear signal that this years fashion accessory 'must have' est une pipe de tabac! In the fusty world of archaeology the sighting was greeted with an odorous puff of relief as university lecturers and circuit diggers alike leapt from their metaphorical closets, pipes gripped tightly between their teeth. Hurrah chums! Slouch in the shadows of obscurity no more because once again our favourite toot is chic.
But let us not be lax in our pipe smoking habits - there's a right way to carry a pipe and a wrong way.
Figure 1 above illustrates the right way, with the aid of none other than Sir Mortimer Wheeler CH, CIE, MC, FBA, FSA, WTF? Morty was no stranger to sucking on a bowlful of doof - but he rarely placed the mouthpiece to his lips, preferring instead to wave it languidly in a circular motion as he spoke, allowing the sweet aroma of baccy to scent the air much like incense at a Roman Catholic mass. This man knew what it was all about. He could waffle nine to the dozen and leave his audience in no doubt about the veracity of his gibberish thanks to the hypnotic effects of old Mr. Smokey Mac Pipe.
Figure 2 GOOD HEAVENS! No, no ,no, no, no, no, NO! This mindless bean has his pipe stylings all wrong. It might work well enough for him in the theoretical archaeology circles he stumbles through (and God knows those hopeless people are so hopped up on disco biscuits they would believe anything,) but in the serious, tweed bedecked corridors of scholardom he doesn't stand a chance.

And while I do love the comments you add below these postings let's have no smut along the lines of 'Sir Mortimer certainly knew how to have a good pull on his pipe.' Thank You.

Tune in for more tips soon archaeofashionistas.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Monday 27 June 2011


This is it chums! We're nearly there. Let's hold hands and perhaps we might see our way through this oddity without too many mental scars. No tears now, let's be big brave boys and girls.

Aboard the pirate ship Pecorino the captain stood atop the forecastle, a spyglass pressed to his eyepatch. 'I think I can see him Mister Mate,' he said.
'Can you captain, where?' Said the Mate.
'Just there beyond the caption competition,' said the captain handing over the spyglass.
'Blow me down yer right captain!' Said the Mate. 'Ho hoo! get a load of that caption competition though, I've seen some sick images in my time but by gum that takes the biscuit!'
'Yes, there is a biscuit in it! And a polar bear and Herr Uberrooter, but never mind that Mister mate, let's just get down there fast and catch that blogger and teach him a lesson.'
'Aye, aye captain.'
Behold the phenomenon of JATTIGRAPHY. Free form JAzz straTIGRAPHY (if you will Daddy-O.) Herr Uberrooter has pioneered this method of beatnik stratigraphic matrix for many years now. That's the site matrix above - man that cat knows how to razz my berries! He plays fast and loose with the epistles laid down by that real gone radioactive dude Dr. Ed Harris. The jattigraph is usually accompanied by a Ginsberg style poem to clarify things . . .
Herr Uberrooter had this jattigraph assembled before they even lifted the capstones off Meeting House Square. SQUARE MY ASS! DAMN that man is GOOD! Someone pass the Kerouac.
And so the final three days of site kicked in. . . 

Mr. Barrett can be seen here with his gauzy tresses swishing hither and thither as he expounds about his love of gingham fabric. Not visible on the far left is The Chairman setting forth his positive ideas on the same point. It was all bonhomie and 'Yes, you're sooo right!' but five minutes later they were pulling each others hair (with many a cry of 'Cissy' heard) after the agreeable conversation had veered onto the subject of shoes with buckles (always a contentious theme on site.)
It was always the way with Broken Nose and The Chairman, love and harmony one minute, bile and venom the next. It was such an interesting relationship I felt I just had to prepare a jattigraph of it . . .

And there it is! I think it goes a long way towrds explaining the orgiastic bond they had. And don't they both look dreamy in their costumes? I have as yet to write the Ginsberg style poem to go with this one but it will probably be short and go something like:
I love you too,
You wingnut . . .

There were salacious peepholes cut in the site hoarding so deviant archaeology buffs could get their redfaced jollies watching us grit bedaubed mud jockeys do our thing. Periodically we would be asked by these depraved sickos: 'Did ye find any gold!' This, of course, never failed to raise a hearty chuckle from among our number and after wiping the tears of mirth from our eyes we always returned with our well honed four letter riposte.
The Bishop of Nobber often approached these lost souls and (after performing a pole dance with a ranging rod) offered confession to ease their heated brains. Males were uniformly given two Our Fathers and three Hail Marys, females were offered a liason in a five-star Nobber hay barn. The Bishop enjoyed a high success rate among the females and currently has three paternity cases to prove it. 


It's not often I illustrate the curious ideas swirling between my earlobes and then find myself at a loss to add words, but on this occasion I admit I'm stumped. Quotes like 'Someone rinse that poor animal off with bleach,' or 'Dejeuner Sur La Bear,' do spring to mind but I'm leaving it to all you superb ladies and gentlemen to find the appropriate caption. Post them in the comments below, I'll pick a winner and (this is for real!) the winner will receive a copy of my world famous 'Tinned Clergy,' linoblock print. (What do you mean you've never heard of my 'Tinned Clergy' print? Philistines!))
Now excuse me while I sign on the dole . . .
'Not so fast,' cried the pirate captain.
'Oh dear,' said I. 'What's this about? Go easy with that cutlass.'
'No chance, now get on the ship,' said the First Mate.
'Oh heavens to betsy!' Said I.

And so the last day came, here's Mr. Barrett, Brian and Cathy staring forlornly at the bare cheese. Every last trinket rent from the soil. Every last speck of silt bagged and numbered ready to be tenderly ministered by those fine chaps and chaplettes over at the museum. 
At times like these a gentleman's heart can run away with itself and Brian (Herr Unterrooter) was no exception. In a haze of post-excavational emotion he turned to Cathy. 'Will you marry me?' He spluttered.
'I'm sorry baldy,' she replied, 'I can't.'
Brian clutched at his heart, 'Why ever not?'
'I'm a nun,' she said.
'A nun!' Said Brian. 'Which order?'
'We're an enclosed order who are televised twenty four hours a day on channel four, 'The Little Sisters of Big Brother.'
'Okay forget marriage,' said Brian, 'how about some old fashioned indiscretion then?'
'You stand a better chance with Mr. Barrett,' said Cathy.
Brian turned to look at Mr. Barrett who flashed him a rotten toothed smile. 'Hello sailor,' he said.
'Speaking of sailors,' said Cathy can you see that pirate ship floating out on the Liffey?'
'Yes,' said Brian, 'Is that Conor standing on that plank sticking out of the side of the vessel?'
'It is!' Said Mr. Barrett. 'Why are those pirates sticking swords in his backside?'
Aboard the Pecorino my time as a blogger was rapidly coming to an end.
'Gwan jump!' Roared the captain, 'Let the sharks have ye!'
'I'll have you know my solicitor is a member of the Fine Gael party,' said I. 'And my brother runs an influential grocery store in Kilfenora. They could make things very sticky for you if you choose to continue with this abominable action.'
'I think I'll take that risk,' said the captain hurling a chunk of caerphilly at my head. It caught me on the cheek and the force of the blow caused me to topple Liffeywards.
blub  blub

With profound apologies to all my bestest friends and work mates.

Sunday 26 June 2011


Recent results from a study finding a direct correlation between wear patterns on trowels and the career of their users . . . (see Sponge and Bob 2010)

Fig. 1 YOUTH: Archaeologist is bouncy, full of good intentions, working on a prehistoric research dig. Gullible as hell.

Fig. 2 MATURITY: Archaeologist has dreadlocks. Working on an urban site. Smoking banned substances and reading William Shatner style science fiction. Can't understand why members of the opposite sex don't find them alluring.

Fig. 3 OLD AGE: Head shaved bald after bad dose of cooties. Working part time on mushroom farm. Is on first name terms with dole officer. Argues with everything said to them, even compliments.

Fig. 4 DECREPITUDE: Naplam grade halitosis, crippling arthritis. Seriously considering upskilling to become a petrol pump attendant.

Thursday 23 June 2011


I'm a man who's has no qualms about admitting he likes a dried fig as much as the next chap but there's a fine line between creative types and unmitigated fruitcakes, sometimes there's no line at all and I usually prefer to hang around the deep end of the pool among the old fruitinis. To prove my point here's a cartoon I did for a competition in the Observer some years ago.
I didn't win . . . if I did I wouldn't be here sitting in my turbo jacuzzi posting this effort online.
More champagne darling?
(If you have problems reading the text just click on the picture - that'll make it bigger. I promise. PS- this is the first time this has ever been seen by le grand public.)

Wednesday 22 June 2011


Ms. Cathy Moore often arrived into site lugging a soiled wool sock crammed with some unorthodox confection she had 'thrun together' the previous night. All the grand boys and girls on site got to try out her baking (whether they wanted to or not.) If you liked broken teeth and you couldn't get enough of humiliating bowel issues then you needed to look no further than Cathy's sock.
When first offered this recipe by the fair Cathy I demurred from publishing it but a broken bottle shoved up my snot soon sorted that one out.
Fine girl you are Cathy!

flour 5oz.
water 500ml
a box of caustic soda
a packet of Serutan (look that one up)
one postman
mace (the spice)
mace (the mugger repellant)
mace (the weapon)
one shovel
a bottle of vodka
sugar hearts
a soupcon of vanilla
a hint of love
a bag of lime (optional)

Mix all the ingredients (reserving the mace weapon) in your bathtub. Allow to marinade for three years before beating into submission with the mace. Drink the bottle of vodka and have a fight with the postman. Place batter in a trough and transfer to a furnace (gas mark six.) Using shovel dig a hole to deal with all the bodies, use optional bag of lime to speed up process of decay.

Tuesday 21 June 2011


Bear with me dear readers as the blog becomes progressively more bizarre.

By week six the French Government had agreed to help Ireland's woeful economic predicament by bombing Dublin. Isn't Mr. Sarkozy a marvel? We should have him in charge here!  Of course these were no ordinary bombs, they were 'Cheese Eating, Surrender Monkey' Bombs, designed to turn the capital into a city full of Gallic types. Herr Uberrooter called all the staff indoors for fear of a bomb falling on us and turning us into baguette wielding, garlic mouthed individuals with a hunger for cheese which could never be satisfied. (At this point in the blog you may ask: 'Isn't this becoming a bit racist?' and I will do my best taxi driver impersonation by looking back from the front seat and saying, 'I'm no racist but . . .' So just sit back and enjoy your freedom fries, because this week also saw the arrival on site of our special guest star, an All-American Legend, none other than Mr. Mark Twain!! (Play soundtrack: Theme to 'The Muppet Show.')
Restricted as we were to the tea hut, things became a little tense. Herr Uberrooter decided to lighten the mood by having a hat party at the captain's table. Here they all are having a sensational cup of tea beneath their fancy head vestments. It was a joyous occasion with The Chairman even offering the stale rancheros about (left over from HRH's non-visit the previous week.) Jivebunny read horoscopes from the newspaper (very very enjoyable,) and then Broken Nose Barrett did a sublime party piece which involved hurling his full cup of tea at Herr Uberrooter's face and calling him (and I quote) a 'gatemouthed soapdodging sting-bum.' Oh how we laughed! To cap it all he stormed outside where he was hit by a French bomb and returned smoking a packet of gitanes and sneering for no particular reason.
The following day a temporary truce was called after Sinn Fein threatened to explode a Paddy Bomb in the centre of Paris. Sarkozy baulked at the thought of his capital full of redheaded welly wearing bucolic types called Brendan. 'I veeseeted zee Agreecoltore Beelding in UCD wance and I lurnze zee full 'orror of such zings.' He was heard to say.
Here's Corned Beef Ryan, The Incralac Tintoretto Scully and Digger Drivi' Cheese Minin' Derek enjoying the truce outside. Derek wasn't impressed with Corned Beef's abilities when it came to sculpture. 'Corned beef me hole. Give me a tonne of spam and a scrubbin' brush and I'll do a Shergar portrait you won't believe,' he boasted.
Look pals! It's Cathy Moore enjoying her usual lunch of tofu, beansprouts and raw pork belly. Mm, Mmmm. Fine dining was always the order of the day when Ms. Cathy staggered into work, her blonde locks bedecked with wet beer mats. So enamoured was Cathy of matters epicurean, she pioneered the use of marshmallow as a loft insulation, (it had the added benefit of killing any vermin in the roof space through type 2 diabetes.)
That's The Cardinal at the other end of the table watching Herr Uberrooter doing his usual trick with a loofah and a pigeon.
This is a view of the south face of Broken Nose Barrett. Many have tried to climb it but the only ones to succeed were a rugged breed of hair lice. The fallout from the French bomb had effected hims so badly he refused to look anyone in the eye. Instead he spun on his heels while looking upwards, saying 'Laissez moi seul!' There's Herr Uberrooter in the background still smarting from taking the cuppa directly in the mug.

Yes that's right, a hard hat in a bucket! Pencilled while I was sober, inked while I was baloobas.
Friday came and Mark Twain arrived on site looking very well despite his advanced years. Herr Uberrooter lined up the staff and did the introductions.
'This, Mr. Twain,' he said grandly 'Is (in the unlikely event of my demise,) chief bottlewasher  Brian Hayden.'
'A delight to meet you Mr. Twain,' said Brian bowing, 'and if I might be so bold, I loved your Moby Dick,'
Herr Uberrooter gave a horrified look but Twain diffused the situation well with one of his killer quotes: 'It is no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.'
'What?' Said Brian.
'And this,' said Alan moving along swiftly, 'Is The Bishop of Nobber. Easily identified by his crozier, his mitre and his frying pan.'
'Why Mr. Bishop,' said Twain smiling, 'clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.'
'I'm sorry President Twain,' said The Bishop, 'I haven't a clue what you're on about. In fact I'm not even sure who you are.'
'And this gentleman here,' said Herr Uberrooter, 'beside the corned beef Huck Finn statue is the redoubtable . . .'
'HIT THE DECK!' Screamed Cathy Moore as an airborne whistle pierced our ears. Little did we know it but Sinn Fein had exploded the Paddy bomb (and France was now overflowing with bad skin and freckles,) so Sarko had decided to launch a retaliatory strike.
Old and infirm Mark Twain didn't stand a chance in the headlong wrestling match to take shelter in our tea hut. He was left outside banging on the door for a good ten minutes before the bombs hit.
Moments later it was all over and we emerged to a street full of crepe stalls and Charles De Gaulle lookalikes. There in the rubble lay Twain, his splintered cigar flattened onto his face. We shook him hard, brushed him off and enquired if he was alright.
'Rheumers of my dayce have been graaatly eggzajjurated,' he replied jumping on a bicycle and cycling east with a garland of onions around his neck.

Coming soon - plot ideas become even more kooky as I progressively give less of a s*** about this madness - We give Ms. Cathy Moore's soda bread recipe a test drive and the RIVETTING final three days of the Meeting House Square Excavations hit a computer terminal near you. DON'T MISS IT!!!

Sunday 19 June 2011


I took Her Ladyship out on a little jaunt to the Rathgar Museum of Hats and Bombs. It holds a tidy little collection consisting of James Joyce's hat (Rathgar's filth monger of choice) and a newspaper clipping from the 1970's detailing a bomb scare in the locality (sadly, it all turned out to be a hoax.) Surely no one could doubt how significant Rathgar is in terms of world history after seeing this fine assemblage.
That's the museum pictured above, the box like structure attached at the back is the cafe/gift shop (check out the hat cakes, absolutely deelicious they are.)
I'm sorry to say I had a furious row with the attendant over the disabled access, it took me an age to get Her Ladyship through the slot. Luckily I remembered I had a block of lard in my pocket and after applying it judiciously to the Missus she whizzed right through. Unfortunately this had the knock on effect of making her slide off the handcart on the way home.
She didn't complain, she just kept smiling with that manic grin of hers as I hauled her out of the gutter.
The moral of this little tale is always keep a block of lard handy. It has a thousand uses - and only one of those is deep-frying.

Friday 17 June 2011


Fig. 1 - The Flowing Heather: A largely abandoned type, now only found among older archaeologists. Often accompanied with a pipe, brogue shoes and a six pack of Harp.

Fig. 2 - The Hayden: A streamlined version of fig. 1. Cheek pieces have been removed to cut down on drag. All remaining hair is kept short to diminish the stink of burnt hair on re-entry to the earth's atomosphere.

Fig. 3 - The Minimalist: Very contemporary. The load bearing capacity of the beard has been completely reduced in an ill judged attempt at irony.

Fig 4 - The Full Brazilian: I'm not ashamed to admit I sport one these myself.

Thursday 16 June 2011


Aboard the pirate brig Pecorino an ocean worn captain and his first mate were involved in a heated debate.
'Five weeks cap'n we've been at sea and not a sight o' land anywhere. The water's run out, the ship's biscuits have been ground to dust by weevils and the salt beef is turned to leather,' said the first mate.
'Fiddlesticks Mister mate, I'll have no bellyachin on my ship!' said the captain with a growl that made his parrot jump, 'Now lookee here, by the way them clouds is rollin' I can tell a nor'easter is a comin' our way. Tell the men to lay aloft, loose the topsails and . . . hold on Mister Mate . . .'
The captain looked about in an anxious way, there was something unsettling about the horizon, the air reeked of vagueness. 'I think we're in the wrong blog,' he said, lifting both of his eyepatches to get a better look at things.
'Well blow me down cap'n,' said the first mate, 'I think we are in the wrong blog! It's a fairly poor jape ain't it? The writer must be runnin' short o' ideas'
'No it can't be,' said the captain. 'I heard this writer is the bees knees. Got a 'D' in his pass grade leavin' cert an' all. Still, just in case, bring the ship about Mister Mate! We need to sort this out.'
The First Mate did as he was bade while the captain turned and walked towards the larboard deck, all the while his wooden leg making a rhythmic tap, tap, tap . . .

Ian' Jivebunny' O'Leary was always insatiable when I whipped out my 160gsm sketch pad. 'Draw me! Draw me!' He would plead before tearing off his shirt and saying: 'Look I've even got chest hair!' It was never the chest hair which caught my eye, it never stood a chance with that carriage clock dangling from his pierced belly button. That's him at the front of the above drawing, I always made such a hames of him it's a wonder he ever came near me. At the very back we can see the bowed features of Siobhan 'The Incralac Tintoretto' Scully. She was a whizz with the finds, caking anything not moving fast enough with a plethora of museum numbers. Early in the excavation we lost a poor staff member called Enda Fahy because of Siobhan's deft pen and brush, she caught him across the shoulder with an 'E' number and it was bon voyage Enda, a swat team from the National Museum (led by The Keeper of Secrets) scaled the hoarding and dragged Enda away. I hear he's now sharing a shelf marked '1980's Retro' with Boy George and a stack of shoulderpads. Damn but those museum chappies are efficient. Never fear Enda, you are in safe hands now old bean!

You don't see this sort of thing often do you? It's a view of the site from the cab of a cheese miner's Maasdam-o-Matic 9000 digger. There were two cheese miner's left on site in order to pile the psychological pressure onto our already overloaded hindbrains. It was a dirty game they played, leaving jars of Branston Pickle and toasted sandwich makers in pertinent locations suggesting the horror to come. To this day I still toss in my sleep sweating, my mind awash with shadows of them gorging themselves on mountains of solidified dairy fat, hurling lumps of Weisslacker and Raclette into each others slavering jaws, an orgy of grease, depravity and Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. . .
But I always have dreams like that, especially when I eat too many cheesy whizzers before  bedtime.

Starting from the left, there's Herr Uberrooter, then 'The Chairman' Kerins (nice haircut) and at far right we have John 'Broken Nose' Barrett doing his best impression of and Easter Island garden ornament.

Thursday 19th and Herr Uberrooter Hayden rushed onto site rapidly fanning his face with his hands, 'O.M.G,' he whimpered running in a circle. 'O.M.G!' Line up everyone, I want to address you!'
'Oh no you don't,' said Ms. Cathy Moore, 'My Mammy warned me about durty divils like you. You're not undressin' me.'
'I said address,' grunted Alan indignantly, 'I have wonderful news for all of you.'
'They've finally found a bed for you in Mountjoy Prison?' ventured Mr. Barrett.
'No,' said Herr Uberrooter.
'The immigration board is sending you back to the Rhineland?' suggested The Chairman Kerins.
'Nooo,' said Herr Uberrooter.
'We're finally getting paid! Yippee!' Squeaked Niall Colfer Nanoarchaeologist.
'Don't be ridiculous Colfer and come out from under that tea cup,' said Herr Uberrooter. 'Last night I was contacted by our President, she said the Queen has very erm. . . fruity tastes but she wants to visit our site. THE QUEEN IS COMING HERE TOMORROW MORNING!!'
We cheered and threw our hard hats in the air which proved to be an exceedingly stupid thing to do when they descended and battered lumps the size of turnips out of our heads.
'I'll play her a tune on my alpenhorn,' said Mr.Barrett slipping on a gory nugget bashed off his own skull.'
'I'll do the catering!' Said The Chairman. 'Everyone will be issued with a new teabag and I'll even put a packet of rancheros on a plate.'
'Very classy,' nodded Cathy Moore (catering goddess) clearly impressed.
'I'll say a novena for her highness,' offered the Cardinal. 'Even if she is an execrable left-footer,'
'Hello toes,' said Jivebunny O Leary lighting a cigarette.
'I'll do her portrait in corned beef.' said Johnny.
'Corned beef eh? I can't wait,' said the Bishop of Nobber licking his lips.
Brian Hayden sang Le Marseillaise and Siobhan had her ink pens confiscated for fear her highness would end up on a shelf with Enda Fahy.
Then Niall Colfer stood on a luchbox and a yelped: 'God Bless us, everyone!'

Friday 20th and the morning came early (what sort of an expression is that? - how else does the bloody morning come?) The crew stood expectantly by the tea hut door waiting for it to swing open and herself the Top of The Blue Blood Ladderness to enter. Everyone looked very smart, Alan and Peter had combed all the sheep out of their beards and the Cardinal and the Bishop were all cassocked up to the nines.
'I can hear her coming,' whispered Her Uberrooter and we all listened to the sound of her expensive shoes approaching. Tap, tap, tap . . .
But the door swung open to reveal a pirate captain with a wooden leg.
'Where the hell is that writer?' He bellowed swinging his cutlass.
I was already gone - out through the window of a nearby charcuterie and up Sycamore Street with me skinny legs spinning like a windmill in storm.

Y'all come back now for week six.

Wednesday 15 June 2011


I had Oliver Cromwell and his charming family over for tea recently. All I can say is the academics have it all wrong because the man is a perfect dote. He was charming, witty and urbane. I was a little provocative in my choice of table linen but it didn't knock a spot off the old boy, he said nothing about it and wanted only to discuss the latest episode of Desperate Housewives while he dined on the feast of roast witch and gruel I had prepared (it's the Lord Protector's favourite you know.)
As the evening wore on I suggested they sit still and allow me catch the moment with my faithful dip pen and brush. They all warmly complied and you can see the results above. That's Olly at the head of the table (sucking on a rib,) to his left sits his wife Elizabeth (she was rather quiet I thought) and winsome daughter Bridget. On his right is his son in law Henry Ireton (who I felt was somewhat boorish, he spent the whole evening making farting noises with his armpit.)
We finished the meal by administering a good flogging to each other (as is the fashion among puritans) and they departed floating softly into the midnight sky.
Did you know royalist thugs dug Olly up after he died and hung his corpse from a tree? They did too!
He still hasn't forgiven them for it - and I don't blame him.

Tuesday 14 June 2011


My darling wife is a real treasure! She's been dead for several years now but I don't let that bijou detail spoil our relationship. We are inseparable, often seen together on the main Terenure thoroughfare, me wearing my plus fours and monacle and her ladyship stretched out on the handcart before me (it's an antique handcart, very much in the mode of Molly Malone.) I always raise Her Ladyship's pale little hand to give a polite wave as the charming peasantry of our village pass. Detouring into our local haberdashery shop is a standard part of our walk. This Aladdin's Cave of gewgaws, gimcracks, trifles &c. is known as 'Kacsynski's' and it is here we puchase a demijohn of embalming fluid (just to keep Her Ladyship sweet.)
'Greetings Infidel,' is how Mr. Kacsynski bids us welcome. 'I'll give you five euro for the stiff. Scrap value.' But I will never be parted from my darling.
I do wish she would occasionally cook dinner though . . .

Monday 13 June 2011


HRH Queen Lizzy II was due to visit our fair shores, so week four saw John Barrett arrive on site in full Tyrolean garb. He skipped giddy as a school girl singing 'TRA-LA-LAH! I'm the Queen's biggest fan in Ireland. Just look at my lovely royal outfit!' The chairman Kerins caught him with an eye hardened by years of self-immolation, 'No you're not,' he countered, 'You never talked about her until it became fashionable. I was a HRH devotee long before it was hip.' 'No! I was first!' Roared Barrett. 'Well I was firster!' said The Chairman pulling a bearskin hat out of his bag and donning a red frock coat typical of the Queen's Gaurd. 'And,' he added, 'As for your tatty Tyrolean outfit, the Queen is not Austrian, she's British.' 'Oh you're such a know-it-all,' squealed Barrett clonking The Chairman's bearskin off his head with an alpenhorn. 'You unmitigated cad,' hollered The Chairman, 'If you had any sense you would know the alpenhorn is of course Swiss while your outfit is Austrian!!' And so the week began . . .

The handiwork of long dead Vikings winking at us through the murky clay made our days toil seem somehow less difficult, but in the teahut another type of handiwork caused a lunchbreak epiphany when Johnny 'Corned Beef' Ryan arrived on site with a large wooden crate. It was no surprise when he levered the box open to reveal a 16 stone block of corned beef (he ate sinful quantities if the stuff in his sandwiches chaque jour.) What was surprising was when he whipped out a chainsaw and began carving the block into a human form. 'I was the World Processed Meat Carving champion three years running me hearties,' he said with a cheerful grin. 'Thought I might give you all a demonstration.' By now we had all gathered tight around the artist as he sliced and diced out something very curvaceous indeed. When he turned off the chainsaw and we swabbed the corned beef out of our eyes what did we behold but a life-size carving of Ursula Andress (in her 'Dr. No' bikini.) It is no exaggeration to say testosterone levels hit boiling point. His holiness Monsignor Weldon was unable to control himself and threw his body at the sculpture in a state of wanton abandon. By the time he was finished with this fine artwork it looked more like Brian Cowen than a James Bond actress. Afterwards, when we quizzed Kevin why he acted so frightfully he replied 'Because I'm worth it!' while picking chunks of corned beef off his string vest.
You can see Johnny in the background of the above drawing, between Herr Uberrooter and Jivebunny. Mr. Barrett's pained expression is no doubt a result of chafing caused by his lederhosen.

There's Kevin, proud as punch after the Ursula Andress Corned Beef Clone Incident, and who can blame him, I would have done it too if I had been quicker off the mark. Good man Kevin! I doff my hat to your superior virility. To Kevin's left (wearing the peaked cap) sits his brother Cardinal Dermot Weldon (exiled from Nobber after he chose the wrong side during the infamous Nobber Turnip Wars.) To Kevin's right sits Cathy 'Hollow Legs' Moore, working on site to try and pay back a debt owed to Anglo Irish Bank after her business went belly up. She was marketing methylated spirits as a vodka substitute under the clever title of 'I Can't Believe It's Not Vodka.' Apparently even the most drunken sots could believe it and poor Cathy was saddled with a mountain of debt. Cheers to you Ms.Moore! May your hollow legs never stop sloshing with alcohol. (I will be publishing Cathy's recipe for soda bread a little later in this iblogorama, she is quite the chef you know, so don't miss it dear reader.)

Although the impending royal visit was several days ahead Herr Uberrooter Hayden felt it appropriate to give us all a lecture on the importance of personal hygiene. He tenderly guided us to the tea hut sink and pointed out where we could have baths. Always a man to lead by example he stripped himself bare (but not to the full monty, Alan is well appreciated for his powers of discretion, he left on his rayon Starsky and Hutch underpants -circa 1977,) and then smeared himself with LIDL brand washing liquid before climbing into a sinkful of cold water and rinsing off the suds while singing 'Je Ne Regrette Rien.' He rounded the whole affair off by drying himself with used teabags from the bin.
I must admit after this spectacle I have vowed never to wash again.

The gas cylinders that boiled our water exploded as a result of 'Broken Nose' Barrett's alpenhorn. The instrument was poorly hung on a rusty nail which gave way. The alpenhorn fell on top of them and cracked one open. The explosion was remarkable and we were tweezing lumps of shrapnel (along with stray sherds of Corned Boeuf a la Cowen) out from between our teeth for days afterwards. This forced us to use an electrified kettle which was a little disconcerting since rural electricfication has yet to reach any of our cottages and we were quite at a loss trying to figure out how the contraption operated. At first we lit a turf fire and placed the electrified kettle on top of it, that didn't work so we placed it over the fire and plugged it in to a nearby socket. Finally we got it right but tea hasn't tasted the same since.

Here we are looking west at the derriere of 'Bin Laden's Good Time Emporium,' much like the hindquarters of a galleon sailing into the sunset. - As the week drew to a close The Chairman and Mr. Barretts' novelty clothing was in tatters, they stared at each other across the site through eyes made wise with time. They smiled as only old friends can and embraced. 'I'm soooo sorrrry,' blubbed The Chairman. 'Me too. I've been such a fool,' said Mr.Barrett (tears flooding his cheeks.) 'Could I . . . could I . . . maybe try having a toot on your alpenhorn?' asked The Chairman. 'Certainly,' said Mr.Barrett wiping his eyes, 'but only if I can try on your bearskin hat.' With that the two men walked into the sunset, The Chairman improvising a hornpipe and Mr. Barret gaily dancing to the merry tune.

And may the Goddess Kali bless you all until we meet again through the miracle of Blogoscope!!

Friday 10 June 2011


I grew up on the badlands of Rathgar (Dublin 6) where the fields of oakum stretched as far as the eye could see. My home was a salvaged biscuit tin with a scraw of thatch for a roof and a scab of blood for a floor. Times were tough, tougher than trying to force an uncooked grub sausage through the eye of a needle (give it a go dear reader,) but I had good family and great neighbours. One of these neighbours was a very elderly lady, clad mostly in wrinkles, by the name of Ms. Priscilla McWalnut. She was the spit of Charlton Heston, right down to her wig and semi-automatic weapon. Oftentimes my brother and I would call around to see how she was getting on carrying a cyanide dipped barnbrack for her tea. She would smile as she polished a bullet with the hem of her sackcloth skirt and engage us in loose parley: 'Tell me boys,' she once said, 'have you seen the latest movie beyond in the cinema? It's a cracker, full of monkey men knockin' the bejeezus out of each other.' 'Oh dear no,' my brother chimed, 'I've already been on holiday to Mullingar thank you.' 'It's not like that,' added Ms. Priscilla, 'It's no holiday this movie, it's pure class. More real than reality itself. Here,' and she flicked a spanish picayune in our direction to pay the admission tariff into the Terenure Luxury Iplex (pictured above - it's now a donkey sanctuary.) In those days there was real cinema food, none of your effeminate popcorn and golly bars, it was either the aforementioned grub sausage served on a pitchfork or else a dozen crubeens served in a bucket. I always had a weakness for the crubeens, you could chuck them at the screen if the movie was in any way distasteful.
Ms. Priscilla proved bang on, 'Planet of the Apes,' was a marvel, the special effects were wonderful, how they managed to get gorillas to speak english is still a mystery to me. As myself and my brother wended our path homewards the evening sunlight caught the spire of the local slaughterhouse and turned it an enchanting shade of yellow ochre. In this wistful atmosphere I overheard my brother mumble 'Ah, damn you, God damn you all to hell,' while I wondered if Ms. Priscilla was really a woman or just another one of those brazen cross-dressers Rathgar turns out by the ganseyload.

Thursday 9 June 2011


Terenure's historic public lavatorial convenience is about to bite the dust. LIDDILYALDI or some other cut price purveyor of dried beans and drillbits is about to erect a temple to Mammon on top of this peachy relic. As a child I remember the loos were so popular queues of people stretched out the door as far as the Mayo border, even the queue for Santa at Switzers paled into insignificance when compared against this particular item. I spoke recently to Mrs. Marian Mutton, chairperson of the Terenure wing of the Tattooed Irish Jockey Association and her comment on the place was quite shocking, 'Conor,' she said, 'The place is a s**thole. It was when it was built and it still is today, why are you so upset about it?'  She was of course right on so many levels but  I still struck her off my Christmas card list toot sweet. Interestingly the building was thrown up in 1943 when Ireland's most successful export to Germany was Lord Haw Haw.

Wednesday 8 June 2011


Greetings Amigos, here we are again to plumb the depths of our pre-cheese excavations. Week three begins . . .

The surrounding vistas of the square provided quite an opportunity to take my pen on a perambulation around the old Daler Rowney A4. In the background you can see the gallery of rancid dairy produce. A stunning ediface, the large window (through which you can spy two gallery devotees checking out some smears of yoghurt on brown paper) sometimes played host to a surprising type of fauna - this room was on occasion flooded with saltwater and filled with great white sharks. An unusual practice but a neccessary prerequisite to claiming an arts grant these days - I myself have two freshwater dolphins slathering about on a thin skin of milk in my parlour, unfortunately I have yet to receive a single cheque for my efforts. The two people wearing hard hats in the foreground are nondescript oiks, let us waste 'non plus de temps sur ils' (as they say in Monaghan.)

Oh the lee, oh the lee, oh the sweet Rosie Lee, long may it flow between you and me. You can't beat a good cuppa, can you? I remember well when the wind howled outside and we huddled together in the tea hut and wee Nially Colfer was nestled on Herr Hayden's lap and Herr Hayden ruffled wee Nially's hair and said 'Will you do a turn.' 'A what?' Says Wee Nially. 'Will you not give us a recitation and you with such a lovely voice dangling off your larynx,' says Herr Hayden. 'Oh I won't,' says Nially with a blush the colour of a splattered punnet of strawberries. 'Oh go on do, for all the grand boys and girls here today,' says Herr Hayden and we all looked at the Colferoo with visages teetering with expectation and sure what could he do but give that fine smile of his and pronounce 'Begor, in troth I will!' And with that Herr hayden slid his shovels of hands under Wee Nially's uxters and swung him onto the tabletop. Nially first composed himself by dusting the crumbs off his short pants then he lifted his eyes to heaven and gave a look as if the muses were weeping into his very soul. His right hand went onto his hip, his left hand pointed skywards and he then recited his immortal party piece: 'I'm a little teapot, short and stout . . .' By the time it had ended there wasn't a dry eye in the teahut. 'The Chairman' Kerins was so enthused by it all he stripped to the waist and bolted out onto the street screaming 'Ave Maria.' Truly if and Icelandic Eadda was ever composed with more power in it's words then I have yet to hear it.

Can you spot Herr Unterrooter Brian Hayden in this one? I can, with his tasteless shorts and haircut (although using the word 'haircut' is gilding the lily if you ask me.) The man was insufferable, standing to attention every time the Bishop of Nobber used the word 'Waffles,' and once he was on his feet he began singing La Marseillaise. Really, the nerve of some people! That big thing in the background is not a building, it's actually a rare breed of begonia, somehow I didn't quite manage to get it to look right. Still the wheelbarrows are rather pleasing.

At this point in my blogging career I'm beginning to wonder - does anyone actually read this stuff? Never mind. Goodness, there's Chairman Kerins and Broken Nose Barrett discussing which works better, a decade of the rosary or a pick axe handle. I myself always favour the latter, particularly when chasing charity muggers off my property.

Here we are looking onto the Billy Barry School of Archaeology (thank you Mr. Barrett for pointing that out to me,) where young hopefuls were trained to grip trowels and bark like dogs. Oh how I envy their mettle. The person with the mattock was a government mole sent in to draw out a chunk of halloumi for Enda Kenny's imminent lunch with the Queen. We soon showed him gate with the help of a decade of the rosary interspersed with liberal doses of the pick axe handle. Herr Uberrooter thought this drawing somewhat similar to an episode of Trumpton.

Monday 6 June 2011

A Clever Invention of Mine

Check these out!! Now the fashionable lady can write while she walks. Where she walks is of no concern to me (it could be to the tripe boutique for all I care) what she writes is her own business (perhaps edited highlights of a toffee packet) the only thing which is of interest to me is that someone puts enough wonga my way to put these babies into development.


My photo
I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.