Memories of those bedsit days!


 Back in 1968, as a very young innocent country lad, I headed off to the bright lights of our Capital to start work in the Bank of Ireland. Like almost everyone who came up from the country, I ended up staying in a one-bedroomed bedsit in Rathmines.

  Now a one-room bedsit was, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin – a tiny room with a cooker, a bed, a small little wardrobe, an even smaller table and one chair – and basically that was it. The toilet was a communal one, in the hall, serving maybe the three or four bedsits that were situated on each of the respective floors. All was grand until some of my friends would call and then the bed, table, the only chair and oftentimes the floor, became emergency seating areas, and if one person needed to visit the toilet, it was like musical chairs – everyone had to move around to enable the ‘afflicted’ person go to the loo.

  Even when I was on my own, which was most of the time, I had to be very careful moving around and I often think it was a blessing that at that time I weighed in at a miserable eight stone. If I was my present portly sixteen plus stone, I would surely have left half my belly on the sharp corners of the kitchen table.

  Funny enough, from the time I left Dublin, I never again inhabited a bedsit. In Listowel and Ballinrobe I was in excellent digs where I was well fed and had the use of all the home facilities, while in Sligo and Ballina I shared houses with a number of other lads, and I also spent a few memorable years in the lovely Quarry House in Roscommon.

  Anyway, the bedsit days all came back to me this last week as, thanks to a bit of work we are doing on the house in Crosswell, we found ourselves more or less living, cooking and eating in the sitting room. Now we still had the bedrooms – but with no kitchen, downstairs toilet, or any of the ordinary utensils.

  It has been an interesting few days and at the weekend when we had a good few family members home it certainly tested our patience and resolve. No cooker means we have been living on imported food, readymade dinners, takeaways, eating out, etc. – and it has been awkward – but as I write this on a horrible wet Monday morning, the worst may be over and please God we will be back to normal – whatever that is – in a couple more days.

  Anyway, even though we live in a pretty modest home, I think we will appreciate it a bit more when we can say goodbye to our bedsit living.

Full-blooded GAA action!

Sunday was a great footballing day and I was at a real rollercoaster of a match; the third round intermediate championship game between Creggs and St. Dominic’s. After a titanic battle our lads just edged it by a point, 0-11 to 1-7. The non-stop rain made for a full-blooded contest and no matter what they say there is nothing like championship football to stir the blood of players and spectators alike. This game had everything that is good (and some bad) in club football, with total commitment from all the players. After a start in which they had a goal and three points on the board before Creggs scored, Dominic’s must be wondering how they lost this one –and, in truth, they were in hard luck.

  For us however, it was a big win and having secured our place in next year’s O’Gara Cup, we can look forward to another couple of championship matches at least, and hopefully they will be as entertaining as yesterday’s one, though I would say my old ticker couldn’t stand many as tight as that one.

  Later in the afternoon I saw the wonderfully competitive All-Ireland semi-final clash between Kerry and Mayo, and yet again the Mayo men proved that for heart, commitment, effort and resilience, they are in a league of their own and I just pray they didn’t leave it behind them. I felt coming in that they had the measure of the Kerry men and nothing I saw yesterday has changed my opinion, and so I believe we will see the green and red in Croke Park again in a few weeks’ time. Whether they can beat either the Dubs or Tyrone is another matter, but please God they will get the chance.

  Before I leave the game, what a performance by 33-year-old Andy Moran. His display was one of the best I have ever seen by a corner-forward, and in this age of super-fit non-stop running forwards, he fairly flew the flag for the older player, proving that age really is only a number.

And finally…

We are getting excited about the big dance in Dowd’s, Glinsk on Saturday, 30th of September for Cancer Care West and Lourdes Invalid Fund.

  Once again, we will have our usual committed team of ticket sellers out calling. As with last year, the reigning parish personality of the year, Tom Connolly, will be visiting you in the near future, while hopefully I will have my usual gang on duty. We will try to call to you all over the next few weeks.

  The Lancers will provide their normal fabulous entertainment, we will have the usual raffle and spot prizes and we hope to have a special door prize for those who turn up on the night.

  Looking forward to seeing you all and I know that, as always, you will support two wonderful charities!

Till next week, Bye for now!