Faux-Ho Chic in the chipper…

Faux-Ho Chic in the chipper…

Well thank Fup that’s behind us! Red alert, Hurricane warning, lock up your daughters the Vikings are coming! I don’t know. I suppose the auld met office have to give us the heads up, but social media gets hold of it and it’s wall to wall Storm chat.

Just when you think it’s all over we have another storm warning.  Apparently this one’s called Brian. Yes you heard it Brian.  Now, I have a brother and nephew called Brian so it’s quite a nice name to me, a familiar name and it sits easily on my tongue as a result.  It doesn’t sound scary- not like Ophelia!  That one sounded like an Opera, all grand and loud and dramatic.  Now we have Brian.   It nearly sounds cuddly.

Close to two billion Euro worth of damage, at the worst point almost half a million homes without electricity and many without water as a result, all numbers from our recent hurricane.  Perhaps the only number that matters is the number three. Three people died in the storm and to the families they left behind it is surely an enormous, painful weight.  We were fortunate I suppose that the number is so small, largely I suspect due to the cautionary warnings we had in advance of the event.  But each and every one of that number carries a weight that will be a huge burden to those left behind.

When I wrote of its impending arrival, I joked about the stories that people would have and there were many.  None of them matter in the face of such personal tragedy. That being said, we were lucky in the grand scheme of things and now we face into more ‘normal’ Irish storms.

I’m well used to them.  These ones howl through and rattle the bejaysus out of us and oddly because there is less emphasis on them they can present just as much danger, as we take them less seriously than the ones labelled with the dramatic word hurricane.


But I know what you want to know. You want to know how I fared don’t you?   Well there was that rescue at sea and that other thing with the collapsing roof, but I don’t think I was actually present for those. However I did actually go outside near the end of the storm and what I witnessed is hard to describe. 

The chipper was packed! I’ve never seen so many people in a take-away in my life and that includes chucking out time in Dublin in the eighties on a Friday night. It was like a scene from The Walking Dead. The absolute state of everyone’s hair! Now I’m not sure there is designated hurricane attire, but there certainly seemed to be on the day and it isn’t good.  It is sort of a cross between Faux-Ho chic and homeless ex-circus performer. Honest to Jaysus one six foot five heavyweight guy was wearing a hoodie, combat shorts and sandals with socks and he was carrying a man bag!  The look on my face must have been something special because someone asked me if I was hurt.

“Hurt?” I replied. “My sense of style is highly offended!”

As for damage? Well I did a fairly good tie-down before hand and we walked the perimeter several times in advance of the hurricane to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything, so we were pretty well sorted.  That being said, we nearly lost a watering can and only by the grace of God one of our hanging lanterns survived. Oh the horror of it all!

Personal injury? I broke a nail packing away garden furniture and it will take days to grow that one back.  Other than that? Well to be fair, my hair was a mess because I wore a Beaney when I went to the shops and I can’t really be sure that no one saw me so you know… I’ll have that hanging over me for some time.

Now here comes Brian! Storm Brian no less. I don’t remember them having names when I was a kid, probably because they didn’t.  This lesser-storm naming thing is a modern phenomenon.  I suspect it is designed for the world of 24 hour news and stupid people. When we were kids it was easy.  A fella stood in front of a map of Ireland and talked about areas of low pressure and force ten gales.  He’d point to badly drawn clouds on the map and say it was going to be windy or very windy.


If it was going to rain, there’d be rain drops falling from the cloud and if it was going to be heavy rain then the rain drops would be closer together and the cloud would be darker.  Sometimes he’d point to a little spikey yellow sun picture but for the most part it was always half-hidden behind a cloud.  It is Ireland we’re talking about after all.

Now they give us the weather in the Pyrenees and throw in the snow quality as if we’re all just waiting to pack our skis into the 4X4 and hit the slopes at the drop of a hat! For the love of Mike, all we want to know is if we have to bring a coat to work or not.  Can I leave the washin’ out, or will I be fecked if I go to Tesco and come back to find the shirts wetter than when I went out?

I have a game I play in the car listening to the news.  When they say “and now the weather”  I look around and before they say a word I say out loud, “Its rainin’” or “It’ll be windy” depending on what I see.  Do you know what? I’m always bang on!

The good thing about Irish Weather is that it’s generally crap and it gives us a chance to take the p**s out of ourselves. We talk about it a lot and I know from talking to my friends overseas, that many thought we’d never seen anything like Ophelia before. In fairness, we don’t get full force hurricanes too often,  but we do get the bejapers rattled out of us on a regular basis.  I remember  driving down Dorset Street one Saturday morning in the eighties. I was doing fifty miles an hour when I was overtaken by a bin doing at least 70! 

So tonight it’ll be Brian’s turn. Four days on after the hurricane, it’s two in a row but do you know what? I’ve seen storms that last a week here. Wind and rain are all par for the course. Why do you think this place is known as the Emerald Isle?  All the feckin’ rain that’s why!  Strap yourselves in folks its going to be another week in paradise…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

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17 thoughts on “Faux-Ho Chic in the chipper…

  1. A great piece, Patrick, as always. When I heard the name of the latest burst of wind and rain to hit us I wondered if the Met Office might do a follow up, a sort of post-hurricane summary, titled, The Life of Brian. 😀
    Last week in the stationery store where I’ve been working a couple came in, shaking their brollies and cursing the rain.
    “How long have you lived in the UK?” I asked, smiling.
    “All our bloody lives,” the husband said, and the wife nodded behind him.
    “And you think heavy rain is unusual do you?” I said.
    “Where are the highlighters?” the wife asked quickly, which was an early warning that I might have to employ a printer or fax machine to fend off her glaring husband.
    No bloody sense of humour, some people. 😀
    Fatalities aside, which were thankfully few, an uplifting post, mate. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sounds familiar Tom.. I often wonder like you if some people have any sense at all when it comes to the weather in this part of the world… How can any of us be surprised by wind and rain? Hell that’s summer here …

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I can those weather maps well…remember when the clouds would fall off and they’d just bend down and pick it up and pat is back on (velcro, I guess!). Hope you fare well with Brian … at this rate they’ll go through the alphabet a couple of times this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “For the love of Mike, all we want to know is if we have to bring a coat to work or not. Can I leave the washin’ out, or will I be fecked if I go to Tesco and come back to find the shirts wetter than when I went out?”
    We go online to accuweather to find out what WON’T be happening. Forecast for tomorrow: Sunny and warmer? That’s the signal to get out our heavy sweaters.

    Liked by 1 person

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