Brnng brrrrng ….Hey hey ! … “hello is that mister Mauricio Wilhiem OConnell ?”…Indeed ” hello Mr o’connell this is the principal at your daughters school I am mister Earnshaw!”…. hello to you ..”I am sorry to call you on the weekend but there was something your daughter said at Fridays assembly that has been bothering me . As you know each Friday we invite each child to share a bit about themselves and their family . Well , it was your daughters turn I am not sure how to say this; so I will say it in your daughters words ..MY DAD IS A ROBBER!…. I spoke to her mother and she suggested I speak to you ..” ..Well Mr Earnshaw to be more precise I am a bank robber and I haven’t been caught yet ..I hope that sorted this misunderstanding I am not a robber, I am a bank robber. I will speak to sylvie . She, I am sure didn’t mean to leave the BANK bit out and, I will see you at the parents teacher meeting next week, however I can’t stay long I have a lot on a work at the moment !!!!!
Hermann Melville probably sets the best landscape for understanding what it might be like to arrive at whaling town with its colourful characters ..last night I found myself stranded overnight in maritime town of Newlyn I was plied with various kinds Of grog and rum ..the evening found me among new friends and we roared a full range of sea shanties and two Neil Diamond numbers .a local girl by the name of Drucilla and myself seemed to have an affinity and the night stretched for what seemed like eternity …it was only at 6 am this morning with a mouth full of shingle and the rather corpulent caress of Drucilla did I realise the full extent of the deceit ..a deceit that many a seafaring traveller have been warned ..this caution I indeed ignored … well there you have it
My fridge is being used by persons unknown to access the Hollow earth ..woke up in the late hours of the night or early hours of tomorrow ..A door slammed then a chug chug just caught a glimpse of persons unknown ..I was not suitable dressed to pursue the aforementioned in the manner of a protagonist of Robert Ludlum novel so tonight I will sleep next to the fridge..
My parents resolved not to invite their friends to Minnetonka , Raratonga and nintonja our various homes… ever …. all visits were brief and rarely revealed the depth of human friendship that is often described in many of the classics …as teenagers we were well versed in the phrase” Youth is wasted on the young”….We were raised as much as possible in the manner of the misguided propositions of Dr Spock … we believed truly that adults lack the depth of emotion and the range of feeling to experience what we as true humans believed was possible… for years we fought with our father to allow us into an insight to this halcyon time ….we were too vain to imagine we might not recall our youth in later life …father with skill and determination documented our acne and hormone riddled journey all the way to a late arrival to adulthood … yesterday he phoned me and revealed to my utter shame the true nature of that merchant ivory idyll of my mind …he cautioned that this was a gate once opened could never be closed. It was my decision ….to never know and leave it to a false memory .or to glimpse into a potential Pandora box…..my vanity won ….an email.arrived. as I was finishing my time in the recently reoaired sauna….dripping sweat stung my eyes…..with a subject heading ..THIS WHY YOUR MOTHER AND I HAD NO FRIENDS…a jpeg dated June 1982 Entitled OUR BOYS. Started to download…with a footnote. You are second from the right
…. your Father…enjoy ….
We sat in the car ..rain and wind whipping across the windows … The acupressure wrist bands had worked … various people squeezed past the car .. Wales peered at us from the gaping mouth of the ferry … Our tongues increased their blue intensity as we sucked on our bonbons …” so daddy tell me more about your brothers my uncles … Well if you close your eyes and try to imagine four brothers sleeping in one room …did you have beds?… Oh no we all hung from the ceiling each night ! We wore orange pyjamas and granny Ireland insisted we had short hair now close your eyes and imagine ” with eyes tightly shut the car slid down the ramp and we sloshed across Wales. . The quiet whisping of a child’s satisfied snore while a world of fraternal chaos and bliss unfurled like a beach towel being shaken from a day at the beach .. five hours later .. In a raised voice as the car stopped … ” That’s why myself and your uncles have very long toes !!”
Waking from our sleep we enter a trance like world our bodies tired, bellies rumbling, as we had ended a great adventure, it is in this waking world we feel fragile vulnerable .We can no longer fly, breathe under water ..the limitations are confounding ..sometimes we struggle and wrestle to return to our sleep world, the world where if we are lucky we have three brightly coloured legs that wait for a ever but never approaching train …why because of signalling problems that affect sleep and awake worlds the same …bloody trains
When I first wrote these anecdotes ..They were on photocopy pamphlets with instructions to be read out loud ..and so tonite I write this with an amount of difficulty ….So for those who have actually met my mother or have an image based on these jaundiced recollections I ask you to be seated when reading past this point , and under no circumstances should you be near someone with a hot drink …..ok here goes … despite the outward appearance of suburban sophistication our home life had its moments or what I call punctuations …having force fed us malt extract and encouraged plenty of exercise we have all grown to what a recent observer described as being a company of silver back gorillas. ..mother in recent years has shrunk slightly but as I leaf through our non existent family photos I am reminding of one singular fact about mother during the 70s. …..we had rigid but not strict discipline at home and mealtime was no exception ….sorry just one, mother , who had a rather peculiar habit which only appeared when friends were over for dinner …..The table gifted with upto and on this occasion over 9 hungry mouths would ravage large pots of pot tatoes and with the careful use of garlic the fried liver in seasoning was welcomed by all ..what was not welcome ..mothers ability to belch …without warning with two fists thrust in the air like an opera singer about to sing an aria she would silent stare at my father and release an unearthly bellow from within her belly lasting upto a minute ….to help the reader if you can imagine a bull walrus defending it’s territory. …The first occasion this happened father a confident public speaker and mild mannered politician asked all the children to leave the table while dessert was being made ….The second time my friend daragh aged 9 had to be collected by his parents … mother has never explained the frequency and bellicose nature of these outbursts as I write this I am reminded of our kitchen windows rattling and my infant sister crying as the deafening blast gurgitated from her gaping mouth…and now in her dotage we often see a twinkle in her eye especially on big family meals out when a member of staff asks if everything was to our satisfaction ….us her children are poised like panthers ready to intervene in case she feels obliged to reply …. as a footnote This was not easy to write…..just think 76 and bull walrus…i ask you