Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bad Good Friday

IN my working life I have only ever had Good Friday off a couple of times, this year was no different. I was working but it was fine. Town was quiet and the bus makes its way across town quickly when everyone else is off work and school. Aside from being locked in just when I was going home, the day was actually good craic.

Then I got home where I received a letter I have been waiting for that I have not been successful in the latest round of affordable housing lottery draw done by Dublin City Council.

I say I have been waiting for the rejection letter because irregardless of being normally a positive person I have a feeling the scheme is a non-starter for me. To say I am pretty despondent about it would be an understatement. But that is probably a post for another day. The crux of it being I have to get my own mortgage and my initial inquiries only provided me with €50k less than I need. Don't talk to me about affordable because I wonder who it is affordable for...

Anyway our lack of doing anything over Easter made me think of things I have done before during this time. One of the more memorable ones was the Easter a gang of us spent on an island off the coast of Donegal.

We were going to Aranmore Island, an absolutely beautiful spot and six of us headed up from Dublin to Letterkenny where we got a lift from someone else's brother to Burtonport where we would get the ferry to the island. The six of us were in the back of his large hiace van with no windows for a journey of about an hour.

To say we were green after the journey would be an understatement but we were in great form, and once out of the back of that hellhole hiace, feeling grand.

As there was no boat about we headed into the local pub in Burtonport and had a pint. I remember asking for crisps and was told there was no crisps BUT they had steak. I still laugh about that and we all ended up having steak. While we asked about the ferry times we were fobbed off with tails of ferry times being a relative thing.

Now I wouldn't dare say we were being held deliberately so we would miss the ferry and maybe stay and drink more and then stay for the night in one of the local premises. I would not imply that at all.

At one stage we went outside only to find a couple of ferries had been and gone while we were having our steaks inlcuding the last one of the night.

We were treated to an awful story more than once about how some kids had drowned doing the crossing a few years back with a fisherman (as were contemplating asking one of them to bring us over) so we decided we would stay the night and go in the morning (which would have been Good Friday) laughing about how stupid we were to miss all those ferries in the first place.

So the bartender recommended a B+B in the village and one of us headed over to book. We didn't want much and from the first visit we would get what we wanted which was two or three rooms whatever they could manage. From what I remember there was no one else staying at the time.)

The member of our gang who was negotiating the rooms said the woman said we could have six rooms if we wanted no bother with a cracking breakfast in the morning.

Great, we thought we are elected and about an hour later we sent over someone else with all the bags and a different story emerged.

"There'll be one room for the boys and one room for the girls. AND there'll be no bacon in the morning because it will be Good Friday," the B+B woman said with a pinched face.

Hhmm now this was a spanner in the works, we couldn't even begin to work out her complete and utter u-turn in offers.

So as one of the lads was from Donegal and had relatives nearby a phonecall was made and the next thing we knew we were heading out in a taxi to stay in a caravan on the guy's relative's land.

That night alone was funny. We all woke up hearing this eerie call which turned out to be his uncle calling in the dog 'Darkieee' 'Daaarrrrrkkkiiiieee'.

The taxi came back the next morning and brought us back to Burtonport where we successfully caught the ferry to Aranmore Island. (Here's a link to the current ferry operator).

We arrived into the cottage where we would be staying and there was a great fire lit when we went in cooing and ahhing. We were there no time at all before someone knocked on the door with a big bin of turf saying 'we heard you had some problems getting over yesterday. Here's some turf and if you need anything else let me know'.

And off he went. We didn't know who he was or where he came from and we all thought wow. They heard about us and the ferries yesterday and look at the wonderful fire.

As there are no gardai on the island we thought there might be a chance of a drink, not that I would say we would have gotten a drink, we didn't. But that was what we thought. Only the Gardai came over on the boat that day, Good Friday, just to make sure there wasn't any drink to be had.

Two things were happening in the island that night, a rave thing and a country and western night, we foolishly choose the rave thing.

We were the only ones there. Oh yeah except for the 14-year-old behind the decks singing into the microphone 'give me an e, eat 'em up, yum yum'. We were more than bewildered, we eventually wandered off and ended up playing hide and seek on the dark beach.

Course as it turned out all the craic was at the country and western night, which we found out the next day.

The next thing I am probably a bit embarrassed to admit but apparently the cottage we were staying at would have been known as a party cottage when people were up staying.

On Easter Saturday some of us walked to see the lighthouse on the island, a long walk, so that night everyone was knackered and headed to bed early-ish.

The wee hours of the morning saw loud knocking on the door. At the time it felt like something from a horror movie (remember that one with the Satanists and the caravaners - we had all seen that?).

It felt like there was a big scary crowd outside and there probably was a big 'friendly crowd' only we were big bloody eejits and were scared and wouldn't let them in. I laugh about that now heartily when I think of it.

So that's how I spent Easter a couple of years ago, and it was a great and wonderful weekend. This weekend the highlight will be the Sunday dinner tomorrow before heading back to work on Monday.

Happy Easter and I hope the Easter Bunny brings you lots of chocolaty goodness. I managed to get two eggs this year unlike last year... Phew, well I did learn from last year.


Irish Church Lady :) said...

Enjoyed your story of a mixed up Easter on Aranmore Island.

Sorry you had to work Good Friday.

Happy Easter!

nightspy said...

I liked your story a lot. I had no idea Gardai would really show up there on the island to make sure no one has a drink.

Happy Easter weekend.

Hope you are off on Monday !

KwajaleinSile said...

Have a nice Easter!


laurie said...

great story. i want to stay in that cottage! though .... why would the gardai care if you drink or not?

Boliath said...

Shite on the Corpo anyway, sorry.

Tell the story about Clear Island next, I know it wasn't Easter but there are similarities.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how much of this brilliant story I had forgotten. Although having said that, I do remember the part where some of us walked to the Lighthouse and some of us stayed at home reading a Jane Austen noval. What a weekend. Thanks for bringing the memories back.

Ooh and by the way, hello nanny.