Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Parting Glass


I hope ye are all getting the candles ready for New Years Day Festival of Light, if we all light them together the scientists will think it's more evidence of global warming. The photo is of Lough Mask in County Mayo. I fell into it the next day but, despite being unable to swim ,miraculously survived. Then nearly killed myself laughing.

I always tell people I never learned to swim to give me respect for the sea, even though the only boat I have ever been on is the ferry to Holyhead. Actually I was on another boat once in The Clyde Estuary and nearly drowned that day too. Oh, and a canal boat on a weekend holiday in Staffordshire in FEBRUARY.I didn't nearly drown that time but I did fall on some ice down into the canal on the way back from the pub.

The locals were the strangest people I've ever met in my life, they also bought me pints of Barley wine and I had no idea how strong it was.


We left the parafin heater on all that night and got sick with the fumes. We had also travelled way , way, too far down the canal to get back in daylight , so we travelled through the pitch black night. The others stayed snug below while I was at the front frozen to death holding a torch and a bottle of whiskey and shouting directions to my cousin who was steering at the back. A freezing fog had descended combining with the black night to give zero visibility. We seriously annoyed all the bargees moored up and asleep, the engine slowed to less than half it's normal pace because nobody had listened to the boat hire man telling us to keep it topped up with water. We sailed(?) at less than a snails pace through the long night but got back too late for the morning check-in deadline and had to pay extra. Least he never checked the engine.


I realised then I'd left my wallet with train tickets and house keys back in the pub. My cousin had a car , it was only a 2 seater but he gave me and Miss EEjit, sitting on top of me, a lift back to the pub.The Landlord (Fair play to him and the people drinking with us who found them) had given my wallet and keys to the police station. So we drove there and hid the car around the corner as we didn't want the Police to see three of us getting out of a 2 seater car. The friendly policeman explained that all lost property is taken to the police station in the next village, that he was heading there and we were to follow! So we dawdled hoping he wouldn't notice what car we got into, but he kept coming back, it was like something out of Mr Bean. Then eventually he fecked off and got into his car and we followed him from as far back as human eyesight would allow us, again hoping he didn't twig. We got away with it, I think he did notice us all piling out of the tiny car (Fiat x1-9) but either felt sorry for us ,or couldn't be arsed. Anyways my cousin drove us back to the train station but I'd missed the train I needed to be back on time for work. Already on a warning for always being late, I asked the ticket man when the next train was due hoping it would be ten mins, or half an hour at the most, 'Tomorrow' he said.

Never liked that job anyway.

26 comments:

Elisabeth said...

What a blessed comedy of errors and so well told. I'm in there with you all the way.

If we are to light our candles in unison what do we or should I say, when do we, on the other side of the globe, light up?

Tomorrow comes to us sooner than for you. We are about ten to twelve hours apart, depending on which country you're in.

If you on your side of the world light up first thing in the morning on New Years Day then I can light mine at the other end of the day, or is that too complicated and too literal for an online event?

There must be room for time travel online.

What do you think, oh creative organiser of this wondrous event?

Niamh Griffin said...

Congratulations on not drowning! Loved the car story; you couldn't make it up!
Happy New Year and fruitful poetry-ness!

Poetikat said...

Mr. Bean meets "Master and Commander". What a yarn! You're a great raconteur, do you know that?

Niamh B said...

This is a great story that'll have me giggling into the new year. All's well that ends well I guess.

Moira said...

TFE, your last three posts have really touched me deeply. Just wanted to say that I think your Dad would have really liked you and you would have liked him, it sounds like he was a kind and gentle person and it is so obvious that the apple has not fallen far from the tree. My newest blog has the names of the people I will be thinking about and I have my candle ready. A big Happy New Year hug to you, Mrs Eejit and Molly!

NanU said...

Great story! Nah, fate knew you needed a different job.

I've got my candles ready and my bit written already. Is it time yet?

Have an excellent new year, and stay away from water! Beer or whiskey only!

John Hayes said...

A wonderful tale, TFE--I especially liked the bit about the Fiat--that took me back to my ill-spent youth! Happy New Year to you & Mrs E!

steven said...

absolutely brilliant!! larfs and guffaws and smirks aplenty here tfe. sad news: my last guinness went down the gullet last night. what a mistake! i usually organize things better around the ending of the year. i'll have to settle for some sordid plonk from my wife's wine cellar! have a lovely eve. stay away from water. drinking it or swimming in it. steven

Heather said...

So much stress! Glad you survived all those adventures. I'm all ready with my candle for noon tomorrow - it's been so dull and dismal the past few days a bit more light will be very welcome. Happy New Year to you and Mrs.Eejit. If you are seeing the New Year in tonight, are you sure you'll be up in time to light your candle by noon?!!

jenmorrison said...

What better way to spend a damp rainy new years eve afternoon than with a good story.

Happy New Year to you and yours TFE.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Timey wimey wibbly wobblystuff Light your candle when you are ready ,Elisabeth,then as if by magic we will be with you there in spirit.Neither time nor distance can keep souls apart.Happy New Year!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Niamh G, I am world champion at not drowning, so far!
Hapy New Year!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Kat though I think I'm more of an asshole myself.Happy New Year to you Kanadian Kat!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Mrs Niamh, Merry Christmas!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

That's really nice Moira, thank you.We're looking at a possible -10 here tonight, hope things are a bit warmer in Mauritius.Happy New Year!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Oooh! NanU, something written? Coolio! Will have to check that out!Happy New Year! (Whiskey ,whiskey, Nancy Whiskey.Whiskey ,Whiskey Nancy Oh!)

Dominic Rivron said...

Canals in Staffordshire? When I was being reared by the Weaver of Grass, we lived round there. Spent many happy hours knocking around the canals - especially at a place called Fradley Junction.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Did you have a Fiat John? If so it must have ben the smallest car on planet America! Paradoxically,I always think a mispent youth is a well spent youth!Happy New Year to yourself and Eberle!!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Steven,' Alas poor Guinness we knew him well!' (Too well?)Happy New Year!! Glad you liked the story.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Happy New Year, Heather!! I left out the worst bits of the story but I have a pic somewhere of the lcals and will post it in The New Year.See you at noon, candles at the ready!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Welcome Jen and thanks.Very Happy New Year to you and yours!!

aleph said...

A wonderful, delightful chronicle, Mr. TFE! Have a good time and Happy New Year! (candles in my heart and table tonight)

Phoenix C. said...

Enjoyed the story, TFE! I love barley wine - started drinking it first when at Art College in Sheffield, and they used to send us out sketching in the snow in the ruined steel works. Very warming!

Happy New Year!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Dominic, I can't quite recall where we were on the boat but I have an idea it was called Stone? Perhaps? I do remember we went past a stately home (Shugborough?)
Despite (or because of) everything it was one of the best trips I've had.The pub was a bit 'Royston Vasey' but the people were very friendly.I have a photo somewhere-must find it.It was beautiful on the canal and I would love to own a canal boat.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Aleph, candles of the heart are the best flames of all! Happy New Year to you too!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Phoenix C, I'd really love to see some of your drawings done after a few Barley wines! I could barely walk ,let alone draw!Mind you I can't draw when sober either.Doh!