Red Bums: A Sight For Sore Eyes

Before I start speaking of red bums, let me thank all of you who send me birthday wishes last Sunday. Your thoughts and kind words mean a lot….so thank you sincerely for taking the trouble. There strange times indeed…but let me wish you in turn a good next twelve months…and hope I catch up with you along the way.

It’s been a long time since I’ve laid eyes on a red bum! And longer still since I’ve seen a plethora of red bums! So imagine my delight last week when spied a gawall of them doing their business by the side of an abandoned road on the way into an unfinished housing estate. The sides of the abandoned road have a thriving yellow daisy population…so no surprise they were availing of the lack of traffic to get on with their business in peace. See below:

I’ve always had a love for this particular bumble bee!

Patiently having waited for the latest clean jam jar to become available and warned my Mother to keep the lid, I’d repair to O’Connor’s field to catch redbums, brownbacks, and striped Kilkenny types….packing them a jar no bigger than a pint glass. Not much love there say’s you?? But I’d also have the jar stuffed with purple and white clover and the odd pissybed to make sure that they did not go hungry!! If I had only put myself in the redbum’s, place as they frantically pawed the glass, I might have given that summer hobby a mis…..but certain sensitivities take time to develop …..if back then you were sensitive enough to empathise with the redbum’s plight, you wouldn’t have lasted too long in the Christian Brothers? I don’t think that my seasonal assaults did too much damage to the redbum population…but other stuff did? However, if my guess is right….this year has been a good year for bumble bees….so hurrah for that!!

New Laptop: A Sight To Make Your Eyes Sore

I knew that I wouldn’t like this machine….so far I’m right. I remember my father fighting with the gearstick of a brand new Renault car which had been given to him as the local sales rep for Matterson’s Bacon factory….this was one of the perks of the job, but to my father it meant the sacrificing of his beloved Morris Minor. He’d put nine different Morris Minors through his hands….well that’s an exaggeration….the beauty of the Morris to my father was the fact that they never changed? The only development that I remember was the replacing of the pop out indicator which my father broke repeatedly.

“There no bloody loss” he said.

But to get back to the gear stick….the Morris gear stick was designed for those driving skills were rudimentary…..that was everyone!…..and so withstood the yanking and spanking that my father duly gave it. One of the selling points of the beautiful new Renault (pronounced Renawlt) was that it had the latest ‘Synchromesh’ gearstick……it required very little persuasion to function. But gentle persuasion was not my father’s way….and so the gear stick revolted.

Eventually, there was all out war between my father and the Renault… times I feared that he might take a lump hammer to the gearbox and soften it’s cough. I feel a lot like him now as I try to patiently negotiate my way gently round the laptop. My sloppy fingers now touch things that make the print disappear into the distance like a vanishing star…or split the page in two….not to mention hitting two letters at once. I daren’t resort to the lump hammer, but believe me …I’m often tempted.


Enough of that……Two gigs coming up next week-end. Mullaghmore and Carrig-on-Shannon. The details are on

I’ll be thinking of going for a dip in both places….but then again, I’m a great man for the thinking? Strange times indeed…but hats off to Juno…what a journey?



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