28 Days Later…Day 81… Turning 95 in Lockdown

28 Days Later…Day 81… Turning 95 in Lockdown

Happy Birthday Jomammy

Jo’s mother has lived with us for the last 5 years. Today she turns 95. What an age. It is something we would normally have celebrated but in the current crises we cannot really mark the day with a gathering of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as would be approximately. Joan was born in 1925, 8 years after the Spanish flu pandemic and right in the middle of the roaring twenties. Maybe there’s hope for a repeat and we might roar again in the 2020’s.

Some people refer to reaching such an age as an achievement. It is still unimaginable in some parts of the world while in some counties, such longevity is more common place. I still think it is a landmark to be celebrated. I lost both my parents 26 and 28 years ago, both died at the relatively young age of 60.

Looking glam…

The coronavirus has been tough on Joan. She is still relatively mobile, although not as much as she used to be, nonetheless, her weekly visits to some of her other daughters, and the odd trip to the supermarket or post office, broke up her days and weeks to some extent. Now she is ‘cocooning’ unable to leave the grounds of our house and meet people or visit family, go to the supermarket etc. In theory she could go for a walk, but it would be a challenge to keep her from interacting or getting too close to people so she has been pretty much a prisoner of our house and garden.

There was a time when she would spend all day pottering around the garden with a spade, clippers or rake, but those days are gone. Luckily, we have had an unusually warm and sunny spring so she can spend much of the day outdoors basking in the sun, snoozing or looking at her flowers and counting the pears developing on her pear trees, that will come in the autumn.

With Hokee by her side

She loves the 3 dogs and they her. For some reason all dogs love Joan or Jomammy as many call her, a name generated from the struggle one of her grandchildren had deciphering the fact that she was Joan and also her Mammy’s Mammy – Jomammy. It stuck of course and many people still call her Jomammy. To me she has always been Joan. Daisy used to be her favourite, a little fluffster always available to jump on her lap, but of late our best boy Hokee has wheedled his way into her affections.

Puppy love

Our Hokee is a special, empathic creature, with an uncanny ability to sense pain, sadness or mood in general. Unlike the other two little barkers, he is the strong silent type. If he barks, he means business and as I have mentioned here many times before, he actually saved my life. Now he watches over Joan more and more. He sits by her side as she has her tea in the morning and then jumps up beside her for a few minutes. She brushes him and she has noticed how gentle and attentive he is. When she sits in the sun, he is never far away, and he watches her even as she sleeps.

Of course being 95 has its challenges. Joan’s hearing is impaired and her relatively new hearing aids need repeated re-adjustment, something we cant get to the audiologist to do because of the lockdown. They help with her tinnitus more than anything else. Luckily the walls in our house are solid brick as she listens to the TV at full blast with the text on as well.

Joan and Peter

Unfortunately with no where to go, when the weather turns, she is restricted to occupying herself with TV and crosswords. She used to always finish them but not anymore. Every Sunday I walk to the local shop to buy her favourite newspaper, which unfortunately is a tabloid full of hyped up stories about Covid-19. Joan had a series of mini strokes a few years ago and while she did recover, her ability to retain new information is impaired and it can sometimes take weeks of repetition to get a notion ingrained. She will remember who she loaned her bike to in 1939, trust me I’ve heard that one, but can’t quite remember what day it is today.

At the Eden project

The weekly Sunday newspaper reminder of Covid, makes her uneasy and it sparks off a series of questions. They go on all day, repeated to both Jo and I and we answer her same way each time. She asks “what is this thing …the corona?” She asks, “how do you get it? Is it in the air?” Joan tells us that she never remembers anything like it and wants to know if she can go out. We calmly explain, that it’s a bit like the flu but it is more dangerous for people over 70, so it’s best to stay away from people and shops. Mentioning age, she proudly asks, “do you know how old I am” and then she tells us as if we didn’t know. I tell her it’s only for a few more weeks and that she is safe and she moves on, for a while at least.

With her gal pal Daisy

But there is only so much TV one can watch. She has tired of her usual favourites, Murdoch Mysteries, Ms. Marple, Blue Bloods, Death in Paradise.  We look for movies that she likes, Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, old B movies, she loves detectives, murder mysteries, that’s what she tells me every day. She loves horror, the gorier or cheesier the better. Joan is a big Sharknado and Chucky fan. But it has been nearly three months now and we have even started diversifying her tastes to Scandi drama.

Caring for Joan daily is my darling Jo. As I lock myself away in my home office all day, she is calmly, patiently answering the same questions, looking after her physical needs, making sure she takes her medication and making meals of her choice, not to mention some of the more difficult aspects of caring for someone who is not perhaps as completely capable as she once was. That has become a burden that leaves me in awe of the girl I love. Normally, she gets some break, perhaps only short pauses if you will, when Joan visits her daughters, but in their absence, Joan has become increasingly focussed on my sweetheart. I know she is a little anxious about the corona as she calls it, and now she pretty much follows Jo about the house and garden until the sun sets, and she settles in to watch some schlock horror on Netflix.

Happy times in Greece

It’s the small things and I see it every day, the little details and although they pile up and cause her much distress, my darling Jo is unceasingly patient and kind. Joan comes looking for tea, always saying, “I think I’ll make a cup of tea.” This is code for, will you make me a cup of tea and when I say, I’ll make you a cuppa Joan, she reminds me, “one and a half sugars” which is of course two, or she’ll be back in to add the bit you left out.

How she likes her food, what her favourites are, trying to create a varied menu for a woman who has pretty much fixed tastes, are challenges in themselves and Joanna always rises to them. It is the big things, the doctor visits, the chiropodist, bathing, worrying, it is a huge list. Like I say I am in awe.

Joan is my cover girl for Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes and the photo in fact inspired the title. It was taken in 1946 when she was just a slip of a girl aged 21. Now, 74 years on she celebrates her 95th birthday, cocooned away from the world to keep her safe from the coronavirus. It is not the 95th birthday we envisaged at the turn of the year but… 95… The sun is shining, we will have a couple of socially distant visits from her daughters and daughter in law in our garden which is luckily a perfect, safe environment for her. There’ll be cake and sure later on, she can have a glass of bitter lemon, a couple of ginger snaps and I’ll slap on Sharknado V. That’s how you rock a 95th in lockdown… Happy Birthday Jomammy…

While you are here, why not check out my books. Links below;

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days Later… Day 72… Victors not Vectors

28 Days Later… Day 72…  Victors not Vectors

Icelandic craic, culchies and driving it like you stole it…

I was descending the Atlas mountains, driving a pick up with three passengers, the vehicle only just managing to stay on the dusty track as I steered along the edge of a precarious drop off, on what was for me the wrong side of the road, while my co-pilot blasted out a hideous Irish country and western trucker song, called Hit the Diff. To say it was nerve-racking would be an understatement. It was a redneck dream and a nightmare for an urbanite like me.

Three of us were Irish with a lone Icelander in the back, nervously smiling at our cruel sense of national humour and perhaps cringing like me, at Hit the Diff. To him I’m sure we sounded like we were arguing but of course we weren’t. We Irish are quite self-deprecating and along with that comes the outward expression of the same, which we call slagging among our friends.

I was the only Dub (from Dublin) in the car and my other 2 compatriots were Culchies (from the country). My Icelandic friend was a city boy from Reykjavik. I’d spent the previous day with 3 ultra religious Israelis and a couple of Russians, one of whom modelled himself as a young Vladimir Putin, so all things considered, day 2 was still looking like more fun.

Now if you’ve ever been to Ireland you will know that everyone outside of the pale is a Culchie and while each of the 32 counties in Ireland have huge local rivalries, especially when it comes to sport, 31 of them band together in their abuse of people like me from the capital of the Republic, Dublin. It is all good fun, but in a car careening along a cliff edge dirt track, with country and western music blaring, the last thing our poor Icelandic colleague needed, was us abusing each other over the sound of slide guitars.

Mowing, lifting, sowing, bailing, drawing, hauling and buckraking. Being a man of eclectic musical taste, I still struggled with the guitar twangs and the lyrical torture that my 2 Culchie cousins were subjecting me to, and I wasn’t behind about coming forward.

“Turn that shite off, I’m beginning to hope there’s some Jihadi sniper out here somewhere that will put me out of my misery!”

I should have known better. It only encouraged them to hire it up. I hated apple air play in that moment. Unfortunately the road was so precarious, that I needed both hands on the wheel at all times or I would have taken control of the audio. The best I could do was lower it down from the steering wheel, but that just started a childish game of hi-low.

“You Jackeens don’t know good music.” my front passenger laughed and the two of them sang along to the chorus. “Drive her like ya stole her…”

O hit the diff and pray, that she goes all the way

‘Kill me now’ I thought. But then I had a better idea. Like I stole her eh?… I stepped on the accelerator, edged my right wheels as close to the terrifying cliff as I could, and my countrymen on the right hand side of the pick up, nearly soiled themselves. The drop was horrifying and there was nothing but a couple of inches of gravel and sand keeping us from tumbling down to our death.

“Jaysus!”

My co-pilot leaned away from the door and grabbed the handle above his head with both hands. Not so funny now I thought.

“I can’t concentrate with that shite blasting in my ear.”

He lowered it down and having been defeated he had to change tack. He criticised my driving.

“Have you never driven a left-hand drive before? The gap to the edge is tighter than a duck’s arse…and that’s water tight!”

“I have” says I, but I’ve never driven one this big on such a narrow track along a cliff edge while being tortured” I emphasised the last word, “TORTURED by bog man music. Did the 80’s even come to Tipperary?”

On and on we went, slagging the bejesus out of each other until we came to our rest spot.  The legs that got out of that car were nervous ones. We were all a little bit shaky, me less so, because at least I had been ‘in control’ at the wheel.

That Moroccan trip was hugely enlightening and while it was at times a bit scary, our Icelandic colleague had a great time, which he put down to the fun he had with a bunch of strangers who welcomed him as one of our own. He joined our group as a lone outsider and we made him comfortable, by treating him like he was one of us. No special treatment or allowances. By the end of the day he was jumping in, slagging the rest of us like a native.

Everywhere I have travelled, the locals have their own way about them. Things about which they are proud and somethings they like to complain about. The arrival of Covid-19 has hit us in Ireland in a way that was unexpected. We are very social animals. We are renowned for our love of gatherings in the pub, sing-songs, telling stories, partying whenever we get a sniff of a chance, and our weddings and funerals are a thing to behold.

Being forced to isolate, has been a wound to our national psyche.  An Irish wake is perhaps one of the most important rituals we have. I’ve never laughed so much as I have at Irish funerals. Now, people pass quietly, alone, and we are not able to comfort those who mourn their loved ones.

There is no house full of people in the days leading up to the funeral, people coming to the funeral home or house the night before to comfort, pray with, and chat to those who have lost someone. There is no proper funeral Mass, no church filled with sympathy, the crush of the gathering outside where everyone jostles to make their presence known. There is no crowd around the grave as prayers are said, and sometimes there might even be a song. There is no going to a venue afterwards for soup and ‘sangwiches’ as they say. No party atmosphere as everyone shares stories about the dear departed, quite often retelling stories like the one I just told, only with some exaggeration and slagging the loved and lost. All done with a twinkle in the eye and a nod to how much craic the person was, so that the chief mourners could get to see how much others, shared their love for those who had died. Pints are not drunk, nor glasses raised and worst of all, at the end of the day, there is no one to call around to comfort in the saddest days after the funeral is over. Death brings loneliness at the best of times…but now…

It is a cruel virus no doubt and it has impacted us all in ways we never even contemplated when all this began. Here in Ireland, we begin the first phase of withdrawal from full lockdown on 18th May. By then it will be 80 days of this and it’s been tough. But that date is just for a few. For others it will be June July and even August or September before we get out of these restrictions, all things going well.

Victory will be strange in the circumstances, for what will we have won other than that which we surrendered in the first place. But then, will it be even that. Victory for me, will be that we learn from this and that the world and everyone in it, will move on to a better level. It is wishful thinking and probably unlikely, for despite our best intentions, it is human nature to fall back on that which is easiest. We are a lazy species. But I will be positive and hopeful. By staying apart, by not being ‘Vectors’ transmitting the virus, we have started to shut this down in Ireland and hopefully soon across the world. The remaining message is simple, stay safe, stay at home for now at least, and let’s be Victors not Vectors.

While you’re here, why not check out my books… Links below

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days later…Day 66. Truths and consequences

28 Days later…Day 66.   Truths and consequences

A meander through the cobwebs in my head…

I’ve always been a bit of a consequence. That’s what they used to say when I was small. I don’t think it’s an expression used outside of Ireland and it has a range of meanings, but for the most part it is used affectionately when you are a bit of a cheeky fecker. Maybe I was that, but as far as I knew, I was always just me.

I never really knew who I was, until I did. By then, it was too late to do much about it. The nature vs nurture argument will probably always be just that, an argument. No one can prove it without someone else disagreeing and presenting their evidence to the contrary. But I won’t get into that. I’m too much of a consequence to be getting that serious today… and you know what that means, I’m about to contradict myself… I’m such a consequence.

As it turns out, underneath my rough exterior, (fab but rough) there is a rather soft heart which carries its own consequences. If you’re familiar with my blog, you will well know there is a little cloud that long ago, decided to rest above my heart. In my head I visualise it like a raincloud atop a mountain, just sitting there, dampening everything it touches.

Of course, I discovered that a little sprinkle of sunshine tends to heat the air and rise the cloud to let the light in, so I have always tried to shine. You can’t be waiting for someone else to fix things now can you? That’s a crude analogy but it’s probably true. When I was a sad little boy, I tried to make people laugh. That was me, trying to shine the cloud away. I remember I’d do impressions of James Mason and Peter Laurie for my aunties and they’d all laugh. In truth, my impressions were probably not all that good, but they laughed anyway. I didn’t know I was trying to fix my own sadness, but I was.

These days, I have hardened myself to who and what I am. I still try to sprinkle some light and I see the thing that wants me, coming long before it arrives. That helps. Most people never see any of it and no one sees all of it. But I am fortunate. I can take care of myself, mostly anyway. I’ve been lucky in life, I have people who love me and what else do you need. They are my brightest sprinkles of sunlight.

I did my back in recently, just at the beginning of lockdown. Then I got sick from all the drugs I was taking on top of all the drugs I already take for my heart. I’ve had weeks of pain, some of it so bad, I couldn’t sit, stand or lie down without a struggle. On top of everything, I am working from home, something I refused to stop doing through my sickness. It is only in the last few days that I have started to feel better. I’m a martyr… “God love me” as my mother would say. It isn’t only Jihadists that can be Martyrs you know. People forget that.  A fella like me, working away, crippled I was, in the middle of a pandemic, the sun shining, and me stuck indoors, not a decent drop of Sangiovese to be had in the shops and they only had the cheap tonic to go in my gin…a martyr I tell you!

So, what do I do? The minute I can move again, I get out the power hose, and clean the gutters and the paths all the way round our house.  My old back is struggling again, but now it’s a more familiar back pain that I have grown used to, so it’s not as bad. Still, I’m an asshole for not resting. That was Monday. Yesterday morning I took a short break from work at my desk to stretch my legs, and I ended up cutting back some plants that have been wrecking my head for weeks. Now I say a few, but there was a hedge cutter, a shears, a couple of clippers, a hoe and an extendible lopper that I call my Zombie slayer 2000 involved.  (Let them come, my shed is an anti-zombie arsenal.) I had to stop because I realised, I was overdoing it.

That’s my new cloud.  Having to stop. When I power-washed the gutters and then the paths on one side of the house, I was done for, knackered, kaput. So, I started fooling myself. I would target a line in the distance and convince myself that I’d stop when I got to it. Every time I’d go a little beyond and then tell myself, sure, I’ll just do the next bit. By the end of the day I had done the lot, including my car which had been splashed with dirt from the path.  It was a bank holiday, a day off for me and I spent it in the sun, wearing a rain coat to keep dry, power-washing anything that wasn’t tied down.  Did I mention I was a martyr?

Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me. There were multiple times when I had to stop. I was in so much pain, but I knew if I stopped, I’d be defeated, my little heart-cloud might darken, and the rain would begin to fall. So, I pushed on through like I was a twenty-year-old, pretending to be fine. But of course, I wasn’t. I’m still feeling it today, I can tell you. But that didn’t stop me taking a break from work yesterday to…work in the garden… I need help and by help I don’t mean the physical kind, (although actually I do) I mean a psychiatrist!

I went back to my desk, finished off some work, did a little research, then took a break (to walk the dogs) I have no one to blame but myself. By five pm I was shagged, so instead of resting, I started doing this. I should be sipping on a nice glass of red but no I’m a gobsheen.

I only have Joanna and her mother to be consequential to now, since we’ve been under the spell of the lockdown, so I think that’s taking its toll on me as well. I mean I can’t annoy the woman I love or her mother now can I…well…

I’ve managed a few trips to the local shop, but that only gets me into arguments. There are some idiots around let me tell you, and I’ve taken to not letting anyone put me in danger, so they get told very quickly to step the feck off when it comes to my personal space.  God I’m turning into a narky auld hoor. (If you’re not Irish, it has the same meaning as it sounds like it should, but spelled differently)

See, like I told you I can be a bit of a consequence. Speaking of consequences and on an altogether different topic, I read the newspapers this morning and the headlines brought me back to another time. Not in a nostalgic…ah the good old days… kind of way, more the …Holy Fup!  Not again… kind of way.

A South American president capturing a former U.S. special forces soldier as part of an attempted coup, three Russian doctors mysteriously ‘falling’ out of hospital windows after they spoke out about problems in the medical system during the pandemic, shots exchanged between North and South Korean soldiers, oh dear!

I lived through a chunk of the first cold war and I remember as a child actually expecting a big red button to be pushed at some point. Back then Europe was divided quite physically and there were massive troop and tank numbers either side of the divide. The whole world seemed to have a side. It was quite scary. The world was a very dangerous place and most of us never know the extent of how close we came on many occasions to the launch of nuclear missiles.

The more people like Putin, Trump, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un get their knickers in a twist, the closer we edge to the bad old days.  There is nothing like picking a fight, when you want to distract from trouble in your homeland.  The language of war is already in the air. First, Donald Trump tried to pin the blame for his woes on China.  Now he has started to use the term ‘under attack’ when speaking about Covid-19.  That’s no coincidence.  Today I read he is comparing it to Pearl harbour and 9-11.  It doesn’t seem to be sticking. Maybe Iran might be a target next or maybe things could get worse. War might be his only saviour if the polls don’t fall his way.

Vladimir Putin is no less focussed on maintaining his own power at pretty much any cost. I could go on, those two gobshites are not alone in their behaviour. The combination of political leaders with such a very narrow focus, the human and subsequent economic tragedy that is unfolding before our very eyes every day, may yet prove to be just the beginning of something stupid.  Why did I ever mention consequences?… Where was I? What the hell was I talking about?… I tell you I was a consequence when I was a nipper, but if the old-timers starts kicking in, I’ll be a consequence on a mission.. Look after each other folks and above all…Stay safe…

While you’re here, why not check out my books… Links below

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days later..Day 58… The Handmaid’s Trump

28 Days later..Day 58…                          The Handmaid’s Trump

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

There are many stages of a pandemic and apparently one of these is called the divisive stage.  I sense it coming already in Li’l old Ireland. Patience is wearing thin and the understandable frustrations are bubbling close to the surface, as it looks like we are about to get our lockdown extended. It is 2 months now to the day, since our first diagnosed case here and over 1100 people have sadly died.

This is a small country and we have done reasonably well, to have kept an overwhelming surge to our health system at bay. Maybe the problem to some extent, is that people can be quite selfish and they just see numbers, not the close family members who have passed without a proper send off. 1100 seems small when compared to global numbers. Sadly in a country this size it is not. Only 3,600 people died in the 30 years of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. I apologise for the only, but over 1,100 have died in 2 months. Still the majority of us are keeping the ship sailing and doing our best to follow the rules for the sake of our whole community.

More worrying is what’s happening across the water in a country that while it is relatively young as a nation state, is starting to sound older by the day. I know many Americans have a difficulty with liberalism, which they identify as basically socialism if not almost communism for some on the extreme right, and that still remains a word that evokes a cultural, visceral response.

It is largely due to the cold war antics of both sides creating fear and waging global puppet wars especially post WW2. What is odd therefore, is how America seems to be afraid to speak about the Stalinist utterances from their own president. The press being the enemy of the people is straight out of Stalin’s playbook, suppression of truth and dissemination of state sponsored spin on a daily basis, are all reminiscent of the former Soviet Union. I’m surprised there aren’t giant pictures of Trump in every major city like there were in other dictatorships. I know I exaggerate but leave me some licence and forgive me for my sins.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. As a multi genre writer, I have yet to dip my toe into Dystopia but I wonder if the Dystopian novel might not be in trouble.  Look around? Like I say it’s not my traditional genre but when the world is in the state it’s in now, how bad can things get?  Maybe I’ll have a go at it, only, and apologies to my family and friends in America, I have to pick on a setting and at the minute it’s just the obvious choice. Let’s fast forward a few months.

We enter the world of U.S. elections in November 2020 and Sleepy Joe has apparently become the favourite given the rest of the country are in their bedrooms as well. The Covid-19 pandemic has resurged in the Autumn (or should I say Fall – oh the trouble we International writer’s have) and desperate to gain in the polls, Don has tried and failed to improve his polling, resulting in increasingly crazy conspiracy theories being spun from the Whitehouse.  The elections take place and lo and behold, Joe wipes the floor with Donald with a greater than imagined majority, as more and more Americans just want rid of the increasingly despotic and erratic leader.

But a man so obsessed with power, simply can’t’ imagine conceding such a massive loss. It is unimaginable for him to say he was wrong, or that he has lost to anyone, let alone a man that over the months he characterised more and more as a loser. The only solution is to declare that it’s a fake result.  The election has been stolen from him through a number of conspiracies and he insists on something he cannot have, a re-run. In the run up to Joe’s inauguration in January, Don invigorates his still strong base of supporters, the do or die type, and calls for them to liberate their states. Gangs of armed militia, repeatedly protest in states still believing every word from the man they cannot believe is ever wrong. Sound familiar? Is this too soon?

Alright, I’m not writing a novel here but you get the idea, a beaten man, unable to hand over power generates momentum for a break-up of the Union.  It is nothing short of civil war. Now don’t get me wrong this might sound familiar if you’ve read Margaret Atwood’s splendid The Handmaid’s Tale, but I can’t help it that Margaret thinks like me. Perhaps we are all plagiarists. There was a time when such a notion would have been unimaginable, but as extreme as it seems, is such a thing really that unimaginable now?

It is weird how a young country has gone from strength to strength in just a couple of centuries and from a once envied state, it has now and very quickly descended into the country most pitied. All the while, there is a man at the helm shouting “Lets make America great again.” A man with such a narcissistic approach to everything, a person incapable of yielding the floor and capable of telling one bare faced lie after another to achieve his goal, is not now, nor never was suited for high office.

That America has been seen to try to assert pressure by what looks to the rest of the world like ugly bullying and threats, simply isolates the country from other nations that once allied themselves to an America they trusted in the past. To lie, bully and renege on promises, to insult those world leaders who once respected the office of the American President, was never a good idea. To feign friendship with enemies of the state, only to go back to hating them at the drop of a hat, then to try and pretend to be friends again when it suits, is adolescent at best.

The lack of maturity embodied in the President of a country that styled itself successfully at one time as leader of the free world, has diminished all things American to the rest of the world, and it should not reflect on the good people of America upon whom he has unleashed his nonsensical polices daily. Unfortunately, it does.

My politics carry no bias in this matter. I am not American and who the leader of that country is only impacts on me in terms of business and economy. The problem for America at the moment is that the man in charge is so vain, that he can only live in a world where he is always right and can never admit to a mistake. I can say for certain our government in Ireland, have made a bucket load of mistakes and will continue to do so. But what government or leader hasn’t? You can’t think of any leaders like that?  Here’s a few hints for you, Kim Jong-Un, Hitler, Stalin.  Now don’t get me wrong, he’s no Hitler, as far as I know, Hitler had a plan.

There is a hole in the old door of St Patrick’s cathedral in Dublin, with an interesting story. In 1492 two feuding families, the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds, ended up fighting over who should become Lord Deputy. The Butlers took refuge in the Cathedral and when Gerald Fitzgerald cut a whole in the church door then subsequently put his hand through to offer it in friendship, he risked getting it cut off with a sword. Instead, the symbolism was recognised and they shook hands to end the dispute. This is where the term ‘chancing your arm’ comes from.

When this is all over the United States of America’s light will be at best, an ember in the fire of the pandemic, but largely because the man in charge of the fire was too busy on twitter to keep the fire lighting. Bringing their country back is not simply a matter of rebuilding the economy. It is about finding a leader who respects their constituents and looks outward to re-join the world of diplomacy and proper commerce. It will depend on social solutions never contemplated, much as it will here in Ireland.

We have to change our ways, but we are a country that has learned from being on its knees. I know that here in Ireland, we will find our way back to normal, perhaps a new normal, but that’s part of the secret, being able to adapt. Perhaps I should share the secret. Remember my story about the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds? Hold out your hand not your sword and you will be helped to get back on your feet. Let’s hope when this is all over, we have survived with a new understanding of what community means in a global sense. I fear worse may yet be to come for many. May you all stay safe wherever you are, and my dystopian tale be nothing more than that…

The shops may be closed but you can still download my books with the links below.

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days later…Day 52… Under-crackers…

28 Days later…Day 52… Under-crackers…

Making adjustments…just be careful

I can see it start to become too much. It’s like a bad pair of underpants. Once you become aware of the discomfort, it just never leaves you for the rest of the day. People quickly become used to a situation no matter how difficult and they become weary of it. I’m like that with the aforementioned undergarment.

Men and women are so very different in all sorts of ways, but I venture to suggest that the under-cracker department, is one area of significant divergence. I can really only speak from personal experience, but it is a subject in an odd way that’s important to all of us, and one that we generally take for granted. 

It’s no secret that I was far from wealthy when I was a little chiseller and living in Ireland it rains a lot, so the ‘drying’ isn’t great. That combination of factors once placed me in a dreadful predicament. For those of you unfamiliar with the Irish phrase and small-talk opener, “great drying today” it is a reference to a warm, perhaps breezy day, when you can actually hang the washing out on the line to dry, without it getting re soaked before you have time to run out and take it back in again.

If you live in a Mediterranean climate, (Lucky Baxtard) you will of course have no true experience of having your mother scream at everyone to get the washing in, with a shriek of “The rain!” It’s not funny how many times you have to rehang washing out to dry in a single afternoon. If my Ma left you alone in the house and it rained while the washing was out, you might as well slap your own arse if you forgot to bring the washing in before she got home.

Anyway back to the point at hand which I was making in relation to being a working-class child in Dublin, back before we had tumble driers or radiators in the house. Bad drying meant a shortage of dry clothes, which when you’re short of a few quid to have extra, or spare clean clothes is an issue. It certainly became one for me specifically when I was eight years old, and was obliged to go commando or wear my older sisters kecks to school, as there were none of mine dry. Little boys back then wore little shorts, so commando wasn’t an option as my dangly bits would eventually flash one of the Christian brothers who thought us, and I didn’t need that sort of attention believe me.

Now to be fair, no one was going to see them or ever know about it, (until now) but the trouble was that I knew. I swear I nearly had a fit. I threw a little eight-year-old wobbler. But having a conniption wasn’t the same back then. If I pushed my luck, I’d not only have to wear the offending lady jocks, I’d get a clip around the ear and a reddened arse for my trouble so in the heal of the hunt, I went to school wearing my sisters keckers. It was the first and last time I tell you.

But as I was saying, men and women have very different pant challenges. I say pant as in the singular of pants, which for some bizarre reason Americans call trousers, but everyone knows pants are your smalls right? I can’t speak to the lady issues and quite frankly it might get either disturbing or creepy if I did, so I’ll stick to what I know, which with the one exception when I was eight, are men’s Jockeys.

Of course, over the years through lack of choice, accident, design or just plain fashion, I have had the pleasure and sometimes discomfort, of trying many different variations of this particular form of packaging. When I was a kid my Ma insisted on y-fronts. Lord knows why it was her preference, but I hated them. Structurally they are such a poor design and make that, which they are supposedly designed for…impossible. That little y shaped hole at the front, I mean seriously, even my eight year old little tiddler couldn’t be winkled out of there through the fly of any normal pair of trousers.

I hate y-fronts as they led to the pee-pee in the zipper incident of 1971. I’m still traumatised. That my mother, decided to invite the mothers from the two houses either side of us in to assist with the winkle extraction, is something that I will carry with me to my dying day. Zippers and chonklers have a long and murky history that most of us men would care to forget.

But like I say I moved on and over the years, I went through the tightey-whitey phase, the loose boxer phase, the tight legged boxer phase, high wasters and the loose crotch fit, all with their own distinct disadvantages. These days, I’ve sort of found a grove and stuck to it, but there is never a perfect fit when you are carrying a man bag that has a life of its own, when it comes to dressing to the left or right. Don’t mention the trouser fit, because unless they are tailored, dressing to either side is not necessarily something one has control over. The tight jean trend of the 70’s and 80’s really did us no favours. Which leads me on to the adjustment factor.

Oh yes, whether you’re a man or a woman, you’re familiar with the jiggler and to a lesser or greater extent, every man is guilty of a jiggle now and then. Sometimes it’s an adjustment jiggle, but other times it might just be a casual jiggle. We do have a fondness for a subconscious if not unconscious fondle every now and then.

If you have an adjustment emergency and they can happen, it’s best to find a discreet location to just get everything back into some level of control. But of course there are times when you get caught short and you have to play pocket billiards, while drawing as little attention to the offending issue as you can. If one is in a small group, let’s say in a business setting, especially if there are non scrotum carrying attendees present, and the need presents itself, then the discomfort can be quite distracting. It’s like an itch for the uninitiated. Not that it actually itches, I’d see a doctor if that’s occurring, but like an itch, it grows in your mind if you can’t actually attend to it.

There are also those moments where it’s ok. A group of male friends chatting in shorts by the Barbeque for example, won’t think twice about pocketing a hand for a not too subtle adjustment while swigging a beer with the other. At home on the sofa watching Netflix, or standing in the garden admiring your rose bushes, all perfectly acceptable self-fiddling opportunities, although you may find your wife disagrees. But you have to be careful.

If you get too relaxed or become accustomed to a little private rattle to make yourself more comfortable, such as in times of pandemic where no one can see you at home, that habit may come back to bite you when you return to civilisation. Remember lads, when it comes to property it’s location, location, location. When it comes to tweaking or correction of the nugget satchel, its discretion, discretion, discretion. Don’t relax the kacks too much just because you’re working from home for a while. Its OK to grow a beard, you’ll remember to shave again when this is all over, that’s like riding a bike. Bad habits are harder to shake…maybe shake was a bad choice of words in this instance but you get me… remember stay in, stay safe and stay discreet…

The shops are closed but you can still download my books with the links below:

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all-5

28 Days later … Day 46, Opinionated, imperfect and flawed…

28 Days later … Day 46,                 Opinionated, imperfect and flawed…

Who the hell am I ?

I haven’t decided what kind of man I’m going to be, and I’ve been around a long time. You see it’s not really up to me and that’s the mistake people make when trying to work out who they are. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who you are, everyone else has that pretty much worked out for themselves, not that what they think really matters anyway. It’s a paradox.

Who you want to be is something entirely different? Adolescence is when we become most aware of it and that can be a cruel learning curve. If we only knew then what we know now eh?  When I was very little, the choice was simple. I was more certain of what I wanted to be than at anytime in my entire life. I wanted to be a cowboy. Not just any cowboy either. Technically, I didn’t get the whole notion that being a cowboy involved actual working with cattle. In my head I wanted to be the Virginian or Manolito from the High Chaparral. I wanted to be the Sundance Kid, or Chris from the magnificent seven. It was easy.

That I lived in a council estate in working class Dublin seemed irrelevant. What was relevant was perhaps that it wasn’t so much the cowboys that I admired, but their character. To me, when I grew up, I wanted to be the kind of man who would stand up for the little guy and protect his gal. When push came to shove, I wanted to be Clint Eastwood lighting a cigarillo in the face of 10 heavily armed bandits and telling THEM, that they might need more men.

Perhaps it sounds foolish, and maybe more foolish to any women reading who don’t get the pressure on young men to measure up. I remember being afraid when I was very young, for many different reasons and all of that fear was real and presented itself in very tangible physical threats. Figuring out how to bridge the gap between wanting to run away or hide, or indeed stand tall and face up to the threat, was a thing bigger than many people can even imagine. 

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I remember taking a beating for not backing down to four guys when I was 10 years old. I should have run away that day, I could easily have outrun them, but I knew that I’d come across them again so I had to make a decision.   I’d love to say I go them back one by one, but that was the real world and they moved on as did I. There was no retribution. But I did learn  from it. Sometimes you have to jump from the moving train, even when you know it might kill you. 

In my teens it got worse because the fear manifested itself in a far more dangerous way. Where I grew up you never left your friends to face trouble alone and I recall with frightening clarity, the time when my then girlfriend’s brother challenged a group of guys threatening his neighbour. It was a very brave thing to do on his part. Me? I was sticking to the rules of the street nothing more. When I saw the iron bar in the first guys hand, I realised what it was to be afraid. But I stood by his side keeping a close eye on the pick axe handle that one of the guys was holding by his side, while Thomas reasoned with a gang of very unreasonable assholes.

For whatever reason, they walked away that day and I got to feel how terrible fear can be when it grabs you in the pit of your stomach so tight, that you literally feel sick. I also learned how to walk a walk I hadn’t walked with such confidence before and it stood me in good stead for the rest of my life. I won’t go into detail about how that same fecker of an in-law, challenged an entire biker gang in Melbourne for interrupting a show we were watching in a club, with me once again as his only back up. All chains, tattoos, muscles and knuckle dusters they were, and that was just the women.

But I grew up and got out of that life. I moved on in life. I travelled and felt the touch of success. I married had a family, divorced and found love again and through every second of that life, my life, I learned something new. My parents taught me something valuable. If you don’t know or understand something, look it up. Find out what it is. Don’t talk about things you don’t understand, but don’t avoid them either. Go learn what they mean, then you can talk about them with understanding the next time. Be true to yourself and don’t be so stubborn.  I never really fully learned the stubborn lesson but I listened to the rest.

Every book I write is about love. That’s what I always say. The power of it, the absence of it, the desire for it or what people will do for it and in writing about love the way I do, many people miss it entirely. They read Darkly Wood and feel the fear and terror for example, but all of it, and I mean all of it, even the despicable Mr. Wormhold, gain their power to instil fear through their relationship with love.

I haven’t decided what kind of man I’m going to be. That’s how I started this piece. Of course, I haven’t. It isn’t me that gets to decide and while it may take some people a lifetime to realise that, it’s true. I know some of the things that go into making me whatever kind of man I am. I know that I will take action, make decisions and act, and I know in having these traits as part of my makeup, that I am sometimes wrong.  People like to say that when your moment comes you have to take it. I know I certainly do and that’s definitely a part of me.  I’m a thinker, I’m opinionated and I am often too quick to criticise. I can be many things that I dislike. I am indeed an imperfect, flawed and sometimes difficult man. 

But all of these things are just traits. How they combine to make me whatever kind of man I end up being, is most likely something I have yet to discover, and perhaps I never will. We all like to see ourselves in our best light. I have had the misfortune of coming face to face with the grim reaper and I think if it changed me in any one way, it was to realise that it not only doesn’t matter what other people think about me, it really doesn’t matter what I think about me.

All that matters is what I do. How I live my life. What good if any, I can conjure up and how I can avoid doing as little damage along the way as I can. I haven’t decided what kind of man I am going to be, perhaps because I long since abandoned the fantasy, that I can be any more or any less than the sum of my actions words and thoughts.

Today I am a grumpy old man with a bad back. That is not my destiny I hope, so I work to be more than that. Maybe I’ll fail today, but you know what, I might do better tomorrow.  Remember, do or do not, there is no try. Now I’m going to pour myself a nice glass of Sangiovese and maybe I’ll work on what sort of man I’m going to be again tomorrow. Stay inside my friends and stay safe…whoever you turn out to be…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all-5

28 Days Later…Day 34 A terrible beauty is born…

28 Days Later…Day 34                 A terrible beauty is born…

Post Touching Covid Disorder and don’t be talkin’ Bollix...

If I wasn’t for my tablet box, I wouldn’t know which day of the flippin’ week it is. Seriously, since I started working from home, the whole weekday thing is gone a bit sketchy. It’s not that I’m taking it easy. To be quite honest, I’ve been flat out since I took the office home. Sometimes it feels like half the country has had to stop working, so I’m taking up the slack!

It is a little weird though. I’m lucky because I have my own home study for writing anyway, so the dedicated space makes it easier than working from the kitchen table. That and the fact that I have no small children going…Dad…Dad…Dad…Dad…Dad until my head explodes.

We do of course have 3 dogs and one of them is my personal guardian angel, so he won’t leave me alone, and because he comes into the study the second boy has to follow. Our girl doesn’t do needy. She stays where the food is. Clever girl – but as Father Ted might say…”Aren’t you all clever girls.” Please don’t correct me on that one, I know he said something about lovely bottoms, but I’m using licence here.

There is a lot of noise about boredom in the home at the minute and while I won’t deny it can be a challenge, this period of difficulty really is going to end, so it can be exaggerated. I am not denying that some people, those who are alone in particular, may find this very tough, but leaving aside the vulnerable in our society, for the most part sitting at home watching Netflix, eating too much chocolate and discovering our inner alcoholic, shouldn’t be an impossible challenge for us to cope with. Or is that just me?

For the most part, when I’m not working, I’m pretty much doing nothing and waiting for the Bollix. Now in case you are confused, I am not talking about a person here. The Bollix in question is not a person.  I am using the noun Bollix as in “He was talking Bollix.” You know it, I know it. When this is all over, we’re all going to have to listen to some colossal amount of shite.

It’s like a guy coming home from a warzone shiteing on about how heroic he was, while at the same time insisting, he doesn’t want to talk about it, despite the fact he never left his job dishing up food in the officers’ mess 100Km from any danger. Yep, that’s what we’ve got to look forward to.

Just you wait, there’ll be some bloke who normally never left his room except to work his shift in the local Londis, telling us all how he risked life and limb on the frontline. There’ll be stories about how; “There was this time right, I swear I was on my knees after working 2 hours straight without a break, down to my last pair of gloves, hands dry from sanitising…bleeding actually … they were bleeding yeah… and I still have a scar from the face mask… you can’t really see it now…it’s faded, but you can see it in the sun… but to be fair I have to avoid direct sunlight now… my body has had to adjust to the trauma of always being inside, protecting and serving cold hams and coleslaw… anyway.. there I was in the soft drinks aisle and this guy…crazy he was… you could see it in his eyes, you know the sort, lethal, a virtual assassin…he was on me before I knew it and he… he came within 2 metres of  me.. It was…I…I…I can’t talk about it… I have PTCD… Post Touching Covid Disorder.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everyone who has to work through this and there is a risk, but I’m not talking about the silent heroes, just the noisy feckers whose shite we’ll have to listen to afterwards. There are the true heroes on the medical front line in particular, and we all need to appreciate those who care for us in our society. I have already come to respect, admire and thank those in the medical profession, for they have saved my life in the past and without them, I wouldn’t be typing this piece. This crisis has really highlighted just how special they are and let us all say it now and more importantly remember them after this is all over…Thank you. That I mean, from the bottom of my heart.

I know there is a lot of worry and stress out there at the moment, but we do need to keep it in perspective. Ultimately, we can all be or own hero. We can all be heroes for each other. I am reminded of a fellow Irishman, far more talented a writer than I should ever hope to be. From Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats…

I have met them at close of day   

Coming with vivid faces

From counter or desk among grey 

Eighteenth-century houses.

I have passed with a nod of the head   

Or polite meaningless words,

Or have lingered awhile and said  

Polite meaningless words,

And thought before I had done

Of a mocking tale or a gibe

To please a companion

Around the fire at the club,

Being certain that they and I 

But lived where motley is worn:

All changed, changed utterly: 

A terrible beauty is born.

…And later in the same poem, perhaps something we can all connect with;

Too long a sacrifice

Can make a stone of the heart.   

O when may it suffice?

A century later but in a different context, this seems oddly appropriate. Stay safe everyone and remember, don’t be talkin’ Bollix when this is all over…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all-5

28 Days Later… Day 28 The beginning of something…

28 Days Later… Day 28            The beginning of something…

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin… Wilfred owen

I can never expect anyone to fully understand this. We each have our inner us, our private sense of ourselves that we keep pretty much to ourselves. Today we begin what is essentially a 2 week lockdown in Ireland. We have been partially locked down for the best part of March anyway, this is just the final push to save ourselves from being overwhelmed by the virus with a name that will form part of our history. My ghosts are quiet and I will try to keep them that way.

Sometimes I feel like the ghosts in my head. I am outside of myself looking in, or inside of myself looking out, not quite in touch with the man I am and either way, I lose that connection and the ghosts make sense to me.

Outside my door, my beautiful little country has ben invaded and the walls have been breached. It turns out we are all soldiers now, only not everyone is made to fight. This land of my birth, the place I call home was born of struggle and blood, and we do not forget such trauma.

That the police or army should have to prevent people from going about our daily business is anathema to us. This state has always depended on policing that is part of the community. They are of us and for us. Our soldiers are peacekeepers, not war dogs. They are people we are proud of and we will find it hard to accept their new, potentially authoritarian role.

Our Taoiseach, that’s prime minister to those who are unfamiliar with the title, has reminded us of this fact. He has asked each and every one of us to stand tall and do battle for each other. I am so proud of how our government have handled this.

Like teenagers being given responsibility at last, we can mess up. We have already and we will yet. But like good parents our government have given us the chance to prove that we are adults rather than force us to go to our rooms like children who have misbehaved. None of us want to lose someone we love, so we must be part of this coming battle. Too many people have already had to say goodbye.

Yesterday, we were still holding the line, tomorrow we may have to fall back. We know what’s coming and we are unprepared for the heat of battle. No one knows how they will respond under fire. You have to go through it and so we wait to find out if we are truly adults, or if we are still children, needing our parents to do the dirty work. Allowing our parents to decide who should live and who should die. This is our time. Our destiny is not yet written. What we do next changes everything.

Today is the beginning of something. I can feel it and my dark shadow man finally came to call, as if to remind me that he hasn’t gone away. Many of you will know him if you are a frequent visitor to my blog. Mr. Squiggles has been biding his time and he has stirred the ghosts in my mind.

But I have been battle-hardened. I have seen the face of death and it holds no fear for me. Even so, today is really the beginning of something and this feels different. We must hold our nerve, stand fast and we must not step back in this battle. In the days to come, there will be much to worry about, but the way to deal with this is to look at what you can do. I know what I must do. It sounds so simple but it is seemingly very hard for many people. Stay inside. Be a soldier, defeat the enemy by starving it of victims. We must cut the enemy’s supply line, starve it out. There is only through it with no way around. Together we will quieten our ghosts and together we will win…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all-5

28 Days later Day 26…… Don’t take your love to town…

28 Days later Day 26…… Don’t take your love to town…

Too soon to let your hair down?

Now I’ve worn a rather neat smig of a beard for the last 30 years and strange as it might seem, I’m not that attached to it. I’m a rather neat and tidy sort of person so it’s essentially a well-groomed goatee, that I don’t let get out of control. The problem with it, is that my beloved Jo couldn’t countenance me without it. She has never known me without a beard except in pictures, and I am probably safe in saying that she is rather fond of it, more so in that without it, I just wouldn’t be me to her, if you get me.

I first attempted to grow one when I was seventeen and I have destroyed those photos. It was one of those teenage, look at me I have facial hair therefore I’m a man, sort of things. Only, when you can actually see the distance between each hair on your face, you can’t strictly call that a beard. I let it be for a few years and then finally grew one while on holidays in Spain. It’s been there ever since with one brief attempt to lose it, which devastated my then young daughter, so I grew it back.

Because of the Covid-19 crises, I have been working from home for a week now and I have decided to give my face a break. Usually I shave my face each day apart from the goatee, as I need to look neat and tidy for my job. I trim and shape my little beard throughout each week and now that I have a moment where no one can see me, I’ve decided that my face needs a rest.

But there’s a problem. There are 2 problems actually. The first is not directly related to beards, but has relevance. I was due a haircut when the government decided to start shutting places down. My barber sensibly enough closed up for the duration and as a result, I’m getting a little quiff going on at the top of my head. It’s in-between at the minute – a little bit Sven Goran Erikson. Back when I was twenty it would have looked cool, and indeed it did, more Leif Garret back then, but at my age and with my current hair colour, soon it won’t be a good look, if it isn’t already too late.

The second problem is the fact that while I enjoy the break from the razor, I looked in the mirror this morning and between the hair and the beard, I am starting to get a whole Kenny Rogers vibe going on.  Now there’s nothing wrong with Kenny, rest his soul, but when I caught myself singing Ruby as I sat at my desk this morning, I began to worry.

The coronavirus will have a lot of impact on our lives in all seriousness, but on a lighter note, it is having lesser, unintended consequences as it were. Of course I could always shave, but I rarely get the chance to leave my auld face alone. The follow-on problem for me will be when to stop. I mean I don’t want to go from Kenny Rogers to full blown ZZ Top and if you see me with a grey pony tail, please slap me…slap me hard… though maybe I could carry off a mun…STOP… you see what’s happening!

Let’s all hope for the sake of my reputation as a dapper dazzler, that this pandemic is over before such horror is unleashed into the world.  I have visions of myself with mad, long hair on my face and head like the Count of Monte Cristo or Robinson Crusoe.

It might actually be better if I just go with the skinny jeans, no socks, hair in a mun with a braid in my beard look. At least then people will think I’m just a wa***r and not untidy.

Take care of yourselves my friends, don’t forget to wash, trim that beard, cut those toenails and if you are a man of a certain age like me, just remember, a crises of pandemic proportions is still no excuse for the Willie nelson look, unless your from Texas in which case knock yourself out. No offence to Willie, he could always swing the look, most people can’t.  It’s a bit like the football jersey on older men with a certain shape that isn’t fooling anyone…you don’t now, nor did you ever, play for Real Madrid.

Me? I still trying to get past the Kenny Rogers issue. Now I’ve got Islands in the Stream bouncing around in my head and I have a facetime request from someone called D. Parton? Gotta go, there’s some Lady at he door telling me that we got tonight. I think she believes in me. She says her name’s Lucille and you know me I’m a bit of a gambler… and whether you are, or are not a Kenny Rogers fan, I suspect I owe you all an apology for that last paragraph… stay safe, stay inside…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

all-5

28 Days Later- Day 20 Coronapirates!

28 Days Later- Day 20 Coronapirates!

I met a fella in Cavan once, well I say met but I stopped to ask directions and half an hour later, I was on my way, none the wiser after chatting with a man with an indecipherable accent, say something about a brother in Gortnahoe, and he may have actually given me directions as well. We parted with smiles on our mutual faces, one side of mine red with sunburn from being caught in the one spot for so long on that rarest of Irish things, a very hot summer’s day.

Now I tell you this for illustrative purposes only. If you are not Irish or have never been to Ireland, you have yet to experience the countless opportunities that come your way, to talk utter scutter to some stranger you’ll meet at a bus stop, walking down the street or in a pub. I can’t even go for a stand up wee without some fecker engaging me in conversation.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We have an expression here, ‘that fella could talk for Ireland.’ I reckon we’d win the world cup of talking if there was such a thing. Who hasn’t heard of the term Blarney. Imagine we actually have a filthy auld rock, that you have to lean out of the top of a castle backwards to kiss, in order to be granted the gift of the gab. It’s only for tourists though. You wouldn’t want to let an Irish person kiss that thing, Jaybus we’re bad enough.

All of which brings me to the current crises with the cov-whatchamacallit. It’s tough on everyone around the globe, but we Irish seem to be having a particular problem understanding social distancing. It’s anathema to us. All we do is socialise in pubs and clubs and restaurants. We love an auld party and we are obsessed with knowing everyone else’s business, so we’re in and out of each other’s ears constantly.

Well now it has to stop. I’m sick saying it and so is the government and every health spokesperson they’ve wheeled out in the last 2 weeks. It seems that we can’t get it into our heads, that if we meet 5 people this week, we have effectively met 4,000 through the 5 people that each of them have met, and the 5 people that each of them have met and … you get the idea.

Worse still, people seem to think that if you’re related you are somehow safe? It is the opposite, as the closer you are to someone, the less precautions you take. Think about it. If your auldwan and auldfella come to see the grandkids, they will touch everything from cups to doors, door handles, spoons, toilet seats, taps and even if they are careful enough to wash their hands thoroughly, they then dry their hands on the towel you will have used. The virus can go either way and every person they have met and you have met, times every person those people have met times every person they have met.. Oh I won’t go on.

But Fear not, I have a cunning plan to get everyone on board. Apart from talking the hind legs off a donkey, there is one other thing that Irish people are… and that’s stupidly competitive. So lads, here’s the plan. We make it a competition. It’s easy. We look at the Brits, the Germans and the French for example and see how fast their numbers are rising. Then we do everything in our power, to be better than they are. Sure that’ll get everyone social distancing, washing their hands and self-isolating like there’s no tomorrow (pardon the pun). We never want England to beat us at anything, we’ve still not forgiven Thierry henry for that infamous handball, and the Euros and the rugby are suspended, so we need something to be competitive about. Sure there isn’t even any GAA on the telly! While everyone is battling the beast with traditional methods, we’ll do it like pirates, swashbuckling our way to victory through hand hygiene and engaging in effective social distancing with a swagger and an ahoy there matey.

No doubt once the Germans realise what we’re up to, they’ll want to be the best, sure don’t they want to win everything. Then the competition will begin in earnest. It won’t take long until they set up a proper league, that’s the Germans for you, organised to bejaybus, but with any luck, we’ll have had a head start and that’ll be that, we will beat the virus first.

Or…. We could just continue to act the eejit and wait until it’s too late to stop the deluge. In all seriousness, this is before that deluge and we simply don’t have enough umbrellas. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Make our voices heard and stay apart. Tell everyone. Don’t be embarrassed to say ‘feck off’ to the ones you love, it’s for their, and your own good. Stay safe my friends where ever you are and if you fancy a flutter, I have Ireland as 5 to 4 odds on favourites. You can get 3 to 1 on anything Donald Trump touches and due to the last minute about turn by Boris, the British odds have improved to even money. Let’s get through and out the other side of this with as little damage as possible folks. Spread the word. Let the competition to beat this thing begin.

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
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
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twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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