There would be high jinks above in the hall when they heard that Lilly Hikey was not going on the expedition to Bundoran
Well .. now she thought . Well indeed .
- fuck them and she rolled over in the bed and decided to lie in for the day.
There was a recession and while her chores in the village library were largely unchallenging she decided she wouldn’t get up. On account of the recession . God knows there was enough talk about it .
But she was not by inclination an idler . She was afflicted with the protestant work ethic , and though she had just about come to tolerate protestants she was reserved in their presence . Never forget Cromwell . He was a right boyo.
As bad a bastard as ever put his hand through the sleeve of a coat as her father used to say. So despite her reservations she got up , and went to the dressing table. She looked at the haggard figure in the mirror that looked back at her.
- fuck them she said and reached into her stationary drawer .
Sittong down she addressed the letter
Just a few lines in haste to say I wont be going on the parish outing to Bundoran , and will miss you all DV..
It was a complicated story .You see when Lilly Farell - that was her name then . Its Hickey now .But as she was cycling down to the church didn't she suddenly realize that she lad left the keys behind her and the monsignor would be locked out. and there'd be ructions if there was no 8 o clock, Oh the monsignor was a bit of a lad and he had an awful temper ; didn't he excommunicate Joe Higgins for overcharging him for petrol during the Emergency - so poor Kitty ; she turns straight back up the hill, only Dr Gibbons was going out on an early call , bang ! and didn't poor Kitty get flung up in the air and landed on the doctors new Vaxhall ;
Well between one thing and another poor kitty landed up in hospital ,and there was no 8 O clock.
Kitty was blamed and the whole village ganged up on her and her family- The Farrells - that was her maiden name ( but some of them are sayin she was never a maiden at all ever ..never ) calling them traitors and informers- they drove them all the way to Killtormer and there was pitchforks and shovels and scythes and the devil knows what. They were disliked you could say. And you would be right.
Anyway when Lilly got out of the hospital and realised all the goings on didn’t she take to the booze - poor creature, and she stayed on it till 1966.
That was in 1949 and that’s why my birth certificate didn't get to the parish records till 1966 because of the bitterness; and anyway they didn't want any more people in the village; a kind of population control Well that’s the story of how I was not born till 66. Well I was officially borne in 1949 you see.. But that was the confusion , So I’m always 16 years older than I am .
Ahh !! I often do call in to see them all now and I do have a great laugh with auls fells that were borne years after me and they half my age . Well about half .
The upshot was that my aunt became my sister and my grandfather became my father , and I'm dammed if I can remember who the mother was .But all that old business is forgotten now. Not a blessed word about it; but its all there for the world to see. What the blazes is wrong with a few dates missing. And even if they put in some other fella as me father , what about it. Does it change the facts one iota. I like to get the facts right . There’s no business telling a story if ye don’t have the facts .So I’m putin them facts before ye so ye can jusge for yourselves whats right or wrong. I’m sayin no comment medelf.
Kitty ended up in the nuns and she became the reverend mother . Then she was cot with the grounds man doing the hucklebuck in the barn and she was flung out of the order - by Rome no less.
Back she came to the village and begod there was still some still ill feeling you know at the time , but lord Jesus when they heard about these shenanagins - down came the sythes , pitch forks and the few auld Feenian guns and they hunted her all the way to Moat.
And that was the end of Lilly - she started up a whist club above in Moat ; the bauld Kitty , then the 25 , then the Poker , and wasn't she cot dealing from the bottom of the deck by the PP , and herself and the aul sergeant she was kind of married to - he was the Hickey - well the two of them were hunted out of Moat , and ended up robin banks .
They had a great knack with the banks and didn't they take off to Lourdes for the pilgrimage and a bit of a holiday , but the temptation of the big banks out foreign was too much and didn't they end up with the Basque Separatist Movement. and didn't they fall out with them and packed up and off with them to Columbia .and didn't they go in to the drugs business.. Well no good came of them after that .
They took off to America and started a kind of RiverDance for the elderly...and that came to no good. The sergeant tried to become a stand up comic.. no bloody good either poor hoor .Lilly went on to do a bit of trapeze act in the circus , but didn’t she let the main fella slip..They said there was drink involved but there was no charge , on account of a bit of a mix up herself and himself had over the gate money .But no charge , Lilly came from decent people . She took the corpse home by container ship to Galway and she collected him herself in a van she got from the old grave digger . She was as good as gold to him.
He's buried up in Kiltormer cemetry .But she had a heart of gold to the end .. Up she goes every nght for the November to the grave and begod .. she has it done it up powerful.. lights flashin , angels swooping up and down, and fireworks.''.Roberto was his name and the high wire was his Game '' - she has written as his epitaph… She hat that artistic way about her . He had to change his name from Clarence to Roberto for the trapeze act.
After a while them old foreign police stopped comin round spying on her because of the insurance money .
Anyway that was the background to bit of old ill feeling . Country people are like that . They are always suspicious when someone gets a bit of unexpected luck like that .
And Llilly got the lolly . Just in time for the recession.
I thought I might try my hand at a claim on a bit of the dosh but that’d give the game away.
And this morning with the recession she just said
- fuck them , again making it a round three times.
Then she said a decade of the rosary and went back to bed .
Fuck them all ! She said and rolled over .
The letter to the sister could wait for another day.
She opened the naggin of Paddy Powers and took a little sip , and wasn’t it glorious the way it seeped straight into the old bones .
She checked the bedside locker. Thank God there were another two noggins there in neat brown bags beside the statue of the Child of Prague , which fell out on the floor .
- Get up yerself - she cackled as the liqour seeped in her old veins.
Maybe she‘d be back in the mental again or maybe they'’d send her to Mount Mellory Abbey this time . There was a much better class of alcoholic in the Abbey. Gentlemen. And proper ladies. .
And they had dinner in the evenings like proper people instead of one o clock on the dot.
Horse people and professional people . that’s what you’d meet in the Abbey.
Shed have to get something nice to wear .
Maybe she’d send the sister to Dublin for a new frock.
- are you ready for your lunch
- oh no I shant eat lunch till after 2
that’s how they spoke
Lilly was acting out her little play beneath the blankets.
- Fetch me my pipe
- oH there’s a dear
My dear you dooo look well this morning
How very nice of you to say so
The party was extremely jolly .. Ddint you think so my dear
Oh yes they talked so nice.
Kitty was imagining being invited to a game of tennis.
Ohh no dahlinh I shouldn’t ..or was it I daren’t .. no shouldn’t ..
There was something going on in the street which arrested her little fantasy,
She went to the window and with rheumy eye she peered down t from behind the faded pink curtains with a faded paisley pattern
It was the crowd in for the library
She opened the window
- whats on ye
-the library .. Seems to be closed
- that’s because it is
-well open it
- why do ye want books all of a sudden ..
-didn’t ye know there’s a recession on..
- yere just tryin to be posh ..whu don’t ye go to the pictures..
She went to the drawer , tripping over the little statue of the baby Jesus of Prague
- she returned and the threw the keys out the window
Fetch the fuckin thinhs yourselves.. - then ., and slammed it shut with a clatter .
Dinner will be latish this evening my darlngs Hope this doesn’t unduly inconvenience you
Perish the thought old heart.
Perish the thought.
Sitting on the bed she took a long slug from the naggin of whiskey.
There was no beating a bit of class… you couldn’t beat it..
She looked up at the sepia photo of her uncle Tobias ; a handsome man in his 3 piece suit , Drank the drapery shop away in ten good years.
He had a cast in one eye , she squinted now to see which one it was . He got it from lifting weights or rowing I with the university .
A grand old man. Left nothing behind him only an empty shop.
But the kind of man youd be proud to have in Mount Mellory
_ fetch me my shotgun
- Im a rambler I a gamler im a long way from home
I’ll eat when Im hungry and drink when Im dry
And if moon shine don’t kill me ill live till I die.
Well I’m hoping Lilly gets up here . And please God she will.
You see I’m in the monks in Mount Mellory..
And we get the very best alcoholics up here .
Classy people .
But let ye not be sayin anything..
She does think I was drowned at sea when I was on the trawlers. Twasnt me at all only one of the Neachtan twins from Rosmuc .And there was a strom and all and when we came ashore there was consternation and so I slipped over the side and came up on the strand , and when they found the Neachtan lad , he was eaten by the crabs and didn’t they think it was me . So they put me name on the death cert and I not dead atall . The other Neachtan fella went off to England an never said a word cos he had a young wan from Clifden up the pole ..
That’s what I do always about the facts . Get them riht when yer telling yer story
So there ye have it now
Always make the facts clear . Thats me own motto