Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Wednesday 1 May 2013


Hello Darlings.

Blog going on general hiatus for a little while. In the meantime I will be posting occasional images from my personal history of Terenure. Do enjoy.

All my love - McHale.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

A Bad Dose of the Sonnets

Hello folkingtons, delightful to see you again. Three more poems - and yes I haven't a clue what any of this is about or where it's going, but I must say being a poet is a real blast, the money is spectacular and sitting in my underpants smoking gitanes at four in the morning c'est tres moi!


The sun's a solar instrument
At the angels' beatnik gig
But if you want to hear it
Daddy-o, you have to dig.
For the music flows in silence
From the tip of heaven’s eave
And quietly it jives through air
Below to waiting leaves.
The leaves they vibrate twigs,
Twigs and branch and bough,
Down the tune keeps beating
Past the locus of the plough.
Until, where trees are fastened
To terra firma by their shoots
There you sense that music
It goes Rooty

* * * * *

* * * * * * *


Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the Cupboard
To feed her minature poodle
When she got there
Inside lurked a bear
With his big hairy bum in her strudel.

* * * * *


Eve eloped with the snake
(Left one rib I.O.U.)
Noah’s ark did not float
(Leaky two by twos.)
The Tower of Babel reached its peak
Avoiding liquidation
(Two Mormons climbed to the top
Then offered God salvation)
Abraham’s sacrifice
Isaac did not survive
A Japanese whaling boat
Ate Jonah alive
And walls around Jericho
Israel did not uproot
While Goliath with a sheep
Cleaned David off his boots

And that's the truth despite the plain
Bible contradictions
Those Mormons rubbed the Lord up wrong
Now truth's stranger than friction

* * * * *

Until we meet again - keep chewing on those gitanes.

Tuesday 2 April 2013


Fond friends - lately it appears sweet Polyhymina, the muse of sacred poetry, refuses to leave my ears alone. I might only be lifting a broom to innocuously beat the cat out of the chandelier - when (quite without my conscent) the Goddess seizes hold of my Eustachian tube and discharges a sonnet or (more often than not) a filthy limerick, into my cerebral cortex.

I am, in short, becoming a poet (well, it can hardly pay worse than archaeology can it?)

My first poem today is a short reflection on L.P. Hartley's immortal line -'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.' Please read on.


Last night I passed a foreign land.
How it got up there
I will never know.

My next poem is a stirring ode to death and birthday cake.


Oh say you'll serve buns at my funeral
Jellys and chocolates and cakes
Marshmallow top hats
Lots of sugar and fats
To keep the folks sweet at my wake

- My wake
Feed them all sweets at my wake

Strew my coffin with icing and candles
Then ask all assembled to puff
Like and exhaling choir
Extinguish those fires
So's I won't be the only thing snuffed

- Thing snuffed
See that those candles are snuffed

Make my end a sugar rush festival
Let the tears be frosted with fun
That's all that I'm sayin'
But if you find that profane
Nail me up on a hot cross bun

-A bun
Let me die for my sins on a bun


My final poem today comes with a colourful illustration which would be oddly suitable as a bookmark.

Captain Cheese
By mistake the navy knew him
As 'The Corsair Captain Cheese'
On account of the prosthetic
Mounted just below his knees.
It was that adapted flagpole
The error had been built on,
Since mariners oft' spoke of
That pirate with the Stilt-on.

That's all for now darlings. Thank you for your continuing ability to read.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Rudy - A Message To You

Revised Edition: Includes added bitterness.

Hail fellow heritage truffle hunters!! Are we not all poets? Do we not record the steady metre of the soil, measure the rhythms of the past and after all that is done, write the report in rhyming couplets?
Okay, maybe YOU don't - but bear with me while I try and shoehorn this posting into a legible position . . . Ahem.
Correspondence between Rudyard Kipling and Emily Dickinson has proved beyond reasonable doubt that they were both archaeologists!! It seems Rudyard set up the first private archaeological company and Emily on completing her BA wrote to him looking for a job . . .

Dear Mr.Kipling,

Because I sadly have no work
Will you give work to me?
I have dug a flower bed
And done some C.P.D.

With wiry limbs - and all my teeth
My friends say I'm quite plucky,
And I will gladly trade my youth
To get my clothing mucky.

Your company is to heritage,
(I've heard declaration,)
Like the kamikaze is
To prudent aviation.

Yours Faithfully
Emily D.

P.S. - I adore your French Fancies!

 - - - - - - - -

Dearest Emily,

If you can work in a trade with wages like a hobby,
If you can toil in places swine would christen slobby,
If you can go myopic when bulldozers penetrate,
And after that doff your cap to shallow men of state;
If you can spend a fortnight in a stinking, sinking hole
And follow those two weeks with a six-month on the dole;
If you can cross thy shapely legs bereft of vital crapper,
You can use the ditch you know! (And wipe with sandwich wrapper.)

If you have not a care for those who share your labour,
And through dumbest silence show your employer favour
When he picks upon those workmates and rubs them on his bottom
And only mutter in your head -I wish someone had shot him;
If you desire to see yourself ignored and in a pit,
Your years of education valued less than shit,
Then I shall give you work - the sort that makes you hurl,
But we don't pay for sick bags - because it's P.P.E. my girl!
     (and therefore your own responsibility)

Yours in Anticipation
Mr. Rudyard Kipling (a.k.a. Mr. Backyard Fondling.)


Oh Jaysus let's have a ould tune to cheer us up. Press HERE please!
Until we meet again Mein Mucky Meisters.

Tuesday 26 February 2013


Time is short my little pickled chumions - so I will make this brief - we are busy people - tempus fugit and all that. Every second that passes is in need of our attention, slap a feature number on it, plan it, photograph it and take a sample from it. Tick, tick ,tick. We are busy folk and if we are to be happy - it must happen quickly!! The following 3 step method holds no guarantee. Keep your hands on the railing at all time and no feeding the crocodiles.

A long one. Tuck it under your nether regions and out the back of your roomy leisure pants. This method of beard deportment was advocated by Karl Barth (while he was taking a break from dialectical theology.) Barth was from Basel, hence the name of this beard style. (See below.)
Dance to the outside
Dance to the middle
Set the floor a blazing
While Nero jigs the fiddle

Hula by your lonesome
And boogie in the herd
Gambol in the tulips
Pogo in the turds

And dance because they say you can't
And dance because you can

Hand-jive out to Charleston
Shuffle with your shanks
Shimmy waltz and whip it
Hoedown with a skank

Do the mashed potato
Or perhaps the quiche lorraine
Rhumba with Nijinsky
Slam Margot Fontaine

And dance because they say you can't
And dance because you can

God's moves are mysterious
The dancer gets the spoils
So swing it in the bell tower
And waltz right up the aisle

Fleet-footed as Mercury
(Galileo Galileo)
We'll disco to the heavens
In excelsis Deo

And dance because they say you can't
And dance because you can

Print the image below a million-billion times (do it on someone else's printer - the cost of ink cartridges is crippling.)
The worst picture of Childe ever drawn. Even if I do say so myself.
You are now rich with raw Heritage (notice the capital 'H') to the tune of one million billion arckydollahs. The arckydollah is legal tender absolutely nowhere, therefore, by the time you stick your head in the gas oven, the gas will have been disconnected.
Afterwards file for bankruptcy, on the forms in the space marked 'occupation' write bank director. You will be handed a bonus, a pension and the right to shit on anybody you like.
Well done.

Thank God that didn't last long - 'til next time mein heritage MacGuffins . .

Tuesday 12 February 2013


For the purposes of this blog every non-national reading it is now IRISH. Please check with your local embassy for terms and conditions.

Hail fellow heritage-stalkers, it is no secret that mein old fickle mistress Fame has seen me hounded by prominent members of the glitterati in order that I might grace their sybaritic bunfights with my thermoluminescent presence - and it is in my role as self-appointed world ambassador of buried bunkum that Mr. Barm Stroker MBA recently requested I cut the ribbon at the opening of the newly refurbished Notional Museum of Ireland. This sacred ark of our Irish birthright has seen itself redesigned by HRH Donald Trump and several Ryanair executives in a charming blend of heritage and free market economics which has proved so a la mode over the last few years.
They even laid on a chaffeur to take me to the event!
On my arrival I was greeted by adoring crowds, many of whom, (after assurances I had never attended a seminary) begged me kiss their babies. Once this degrading drool-fest had ended I dallied no longer and swiftly ripped the red ribbon using a blunt knife (which a fellow archaeologist had thoughtfully plunged in my back.) Camera flashes flushed, I beamed a smile (marred only by the three teeth I lost fleeing a Magdalene laundry,) and Mr. Stroker cooed 'Do come inside, admission is €25 plus VAT for adults, unless you are a student - we don't admit those scrounging bastards.' Somewhat miffed I paid the spondoolicks (believing it best not to make a scene) and entered the foyer (or what common yobs might describe as a narthex.)
The pilastered foyer (designed in 1775 by Gabriel Abandon,) which was once celebrated as a calm neoclassical well of purest daylight, has now been converted into a kick-ass rapture-a-rama chockablock with an endearing treasure trove of arcade machines - an assemblage of binary beauties which would put Blackpool (and all it's whorish lights) to shame.
'Arcade games Mister Stroker!' I ejaculated.
'Well these are recessionary times . . .' said Stroker. 'Pray sit down and have a go off one.'
I was chagrined, but to show I was a good sport I played a game of 'Super Mario Heritage Butcher,' and upon bulldozing Newgrange I received 100,000 points and full planning permission. A shocking bargain for a fine of only €50!
We then left the foyer and processed into the acclaimed Grand Hall (where Dean Swift himself once cried 'this is the canary's tusks, this is truly the shit!!') Unfortunately things did not appear as they should, emptiness hollowed the hall and a fallacious funk filled the air  . . .
The Interactive, (all singing, all dancing) Audio Visual, Heritage Simulator

'Pray tell Mr. Stroker,' I enquired looking about myself, 'whitherforth art all the artefacts of ye olden days gone? Those sweet museum relics which filled my childhood eyes and drew me into a career in archaeology? - The Waxen Axes of Waterville? The Darndale Meth hoard? The carved offal sculpture of Biffo, the big inside-out god?'
'We binned the shagging lot,' he replied, boulderfaced, 'Too expensive to maintain. Trump described it as a pile of cultural baggage, and when the Ryanair boys heard the word 'baggage' they started charging us twice as much for doing the job.  - But do climb aboard our heritage simulator.'
He directed me to the only thing in the room, an inflatable bronze effect statue of Molly Malone and her cart. We ascended the handcart and sat there bobbing away while a pan-pipe version of 'Highway to Hell,' played over the Tannoy.
'It's better than sex,' winked Stroker at me.
'Simulated sex,' I corrected.

Once the main cultural meat of the tour had been exhausted I was dragged screaming into the cafe where I was indulged in a panorama of bargain beer slabs interspersed with an incomparable range of leathery sandwiches, all glued together by means of horse protein. Afterwards I was introduced to the Marlboro smoking head chef who promptly mugged me using naught save a ladle.
The inexorable final port of call was the shop - where a million bits of cheap plastic (shackled to the counter) mewled MADE IN CHINA at me, many bookstalls were drenched in tomes about Celtic mysticism and several music sheets of ould Irish tunes went for a song. I could afford zip (since the chef had the last of my money) but the bearded lady behind the cash desk kindly agreed to take my shirt in exchange for nothing.

Finally, FINALLY Mr. Barm Stroker MBA did the decent thing and shouldered me from the building, defecating me onto the pavement with a slam of a cast iron door. I stood there, shivering in the reliably crap Irish climate and hollered: 'Can people really be so GULLIBLE?'
The following week, a kind invitation to open the National Gullery answered that question pronto.
This blog posting bears NO RESEMBLANCE to ANY Irish national (or for that matter International) cultural institution, living or dead.

MAY GOD FORGIVE US ALL and see ya next time.

Tuesday 5 February 2013


Don't panic darlings, will resume in a few days. Here is a nice picture of a burd (as we say in Dublin) to keep you busy.

Tuesday 22 January 2013


This archaeological blogging business has conferred stardom, like a shining crown, upon my willing brow. The sheer weight of universal fame, under which I now humbly stagger, has provoked many esteemed universities to beg my attendance at their conferring ceremonies in order that I might speak and bestow a few beads of wisdom upon the newly contrived archaeologists being evacuated from their hallowed halls - and occasion has compelled me to formulate the following speech in order to satisfy their necessitous demands:

(Darkened hall. Spotlight on Author. Top hat is removed. Throat clearing noises, silken handkerchief flits briefly across glistening forehead.)
My fellow children of the Stygian mud, as I behold this room full of newborn archaeologists, my eyes cannot help but dandle on those trowels clasped in your eager meathooks, and I say grip well those steely utensils, the rest of your professional life will see you scraping the bottom of the barrel and a trowel knows no equal when it comes to carrying out that humiliating task. We may only pray, as you scour your way though that timber hogshead, backside raised heavenwards, that nobody will seek to take advantage of your inviting position.
(Author looks at graduates through narrowed eyes and makes rapid biting motions a la Hannibal Lecter.)
But enough talk of scraping barrel parts lest we wind up scratching our hoops - and instead we will look towards the future. - Yes, we as a profession, stand poised at a historic crossroads, behind us lies the past (and who gives a monkey's about that anyway,) while before us, on the road to the left, awaits archaeology, aye fond archaeology, rent asunder - nay - raped by wanton capitalist greed. On the road to the right lies much the same arrangement - but this time accessorized with beige curtains. We may only hope that providence will show us the correct path to choose.
The more astute amongst you may have spotted that the previous metaphor of a crossroads was wholly deficient, really I should have said 'a fork in the road,' but in answer to this I would say I am an archaeologist on a podium and in that sense, I truly haven't a clue what I'm talking about. But at least I have the prudence and cojones to admit it.
Still Life with Man in Top Hat Jamming a Stick in His Eye in the Endless Pursuit of Bigger Thrills
At some point in this contemptible whine I suppose I should add that life is not fair. From my own experience I would venture that life is ginger, with bad skin and stands approximately about five foot one in height (while wearing platform boots,) hence the old saying 'Life is too short.' Now put that in your pipe and smoke it. Although, when the discussion digresses to pipes, it may be more helpful if the average digger considers themselves to be the pipe. -  A simple musical pipe. - A total one-eyed flute for accepting wages similar to those doled out in Chinese factories. Which is extraordinary because excavating archaeological sites is one trade that can never be outsourced to a cheaper country, not without a fucking big wheelbarrow anyway. Although we may already be passengers on the fucking big wheelbarrow - and headed straight for the fucking big spoilheap. Who knows?
Apologies for using the 'fuck' word, I was warned not to do it, I did it anyway, it tends to happen when you are Irish and invited to speak publicly. But who cares? Not me. I'm only here for the money.
(Author's hand reaches into loincloth and jingles spare change in order to impress bursar's wife.)
If you see a nice bus and you don't feel like giving it a big hug
I say you grew up and got boring.
So there.
And so, in summation, I would like to quote Steve Jobs by saying, 'You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.' I really couldn't care less what Old Jobbie meant when he spouted that baloney but the good news is that I don't have to, and neither do you - because we are ARCHAEOLOGISTS and we will NEVER be able to afford an iPad. (These days I'm glad of having a slate and chalk.)
However, fear not the grim reality of our situation, let us follow our dream! But if that dream leads you down the bottom of a deep, stinking, Medieval ditch (for mingin' wages) might I make so bold as to suggest your dream has fled and left you following a nightmare?
So it's time to wake up Darling.
You've drooled all over the pillow.

Thank you for your time, it's been an absolute pleasure, which is a very telling reflection on the overall quality of my life.
(Low bow. Burst of applause. Author passes his top hat among the crowd before being chased out of hall. Loincloth is abandoned in pursuit.)

Tell Laura I Love Her.
'Til next time at least.


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.