What a lovely morning. What an utterly lovely start to the day, with blue skies and all the little birds threatening each other in song. Not that you’d know it if you were listening to Radio RTEland, which informed the nation that we’d all be better off in bed because it was raining outside.
Outside their studio in Dublin. Or outside their house, also in Dublin. Or outside their car, on the way from their house, in Dublin to their studio in Dublin, but that’s the national broadcaster for you. Meanwhile, here in Limerick, the weather was mild-to-warm with sunshine, but of course none of that matters in Medialand.
I got into the market a little late today due to a wild goose chase that should remain in the shadows, but when I finally made it, the rewards were great.
Very often on Saturday mornings, it’s nice to meet up with friends in nearby Nancy Blakes and have a coffee, but first, of course, it’s essential to pick up some delicious buns or cakes at one of the market stalls.
But of course, you can’t walk through the market without being accosted by vendors selling other delicious fare, which is why not one, but two Turkish chaps stopped me. The lad with this stall sold me a really tasty pastry sort of thing made with Feta and vegetables, Baklava, he called it. As I left the Big Top, another Turkish man handed me a delicious lamb sausage and I guarantee you, I’ll be back to him next week, but with photos and lots of lip-smacking.
On the way between one Turkish man and the next Turkish man, I met this charming lady selling Clangers, though I don’t believe for one second her story of how they got their name.
It’s another sort of pastry thing, with a sweet filling at one end and a meat filling at the other, though there is a vegetarian option for vegetarians and for people trying to convince themselves that they’re vegetarians, and for other people who think it will make them healthier, and why wouldn’t they?
The idea is a lot like the Cornish Pasty, except that it didn’t originate in the tin mines. It’s actually from Bedfordshire and you don’t throw away the crust. But apart from that, it’s the same. I got a sample and it was delicious.
All that before I ever get my nice cup of tea, which will be flung in my face unless I present a nice cake to the terrifying German barman. I’m no fool, though, and so I have my delicious little confection tucked away here, ready to present in return for a nice cup of tea.
Hello. I would like a nice cup of tea, please.
You will do as I say. We own you.
Have a bun.
Oh thanks. Would you like a nice cup of tea?
It’s great. It’s all good. I pass a happy thirty minutes among witty raconteurs and the weather remains good, apart from the cloud hanging over me. I forgot to pay the electricity bill and they sent me a snotty letter, so I’d better stroll down to the Post Office and pay it.
Before leaving, I bump into a New Zealand friend. A rugby-playing Maori cannibal type. What do you reckon our chances are of beating South Africa?
Pretty good, he says, to my surprise, me being of little faith.
I rickon, he nods.
I bid my friends a good day and wander off, still enjoying the indescribable mildness of being, until I come to O’Mahony’s bookshop, a place of iconic significance to me. This is the place where, as a teenager, I bought most of the books that made me who I am today, and therefore it’s almost a place of pilgrimage.
And there, in my place of pilgrimage, is the man who single-handedly, though temporarily, convinced me that journalism is dead. There, signing his latest book, is Paul Williams, a man whose access to hard information about criminals is in direct proportion to his usefulness to his Garda handlers. There he is, in a bookshop in Limerick, signing copies of his latest book about crime in Limerick, even though the lowlifes he writes about are all in jail, and even though he has not the slightest access to facts about life in our town.
I pause in mild surprise , but then I notice the title of his book: Murder Inc. This, according to Paul Williams is the nickname given to the small family of useless morons who, for a while, sold drugs in this town. Who gave them this imaginary nickname? Nobody in Limerick, or anywhere else, except in Paul Williams’s imagination. Limerick people just called them what they are: scumbags.
It was such a nice day up to that point. What a shame that Paul Williams, a man who knows nothing about Limerick, should be milking an old story to death, and what a worse shame that Limerick people might be lining up to buy his book and solicit his X on the flyleaf.
What a further shame that Limerick.ie should slavishly and moronically repeat his blurb in their What’s On section. I see that they’ve taken it down following complaints, but here it is anyway.
This is a website paid for by our local taxes and managed by employees of our local authority. Ponder that for a minute or two. Promoting a self-publicising fantasist who has done as much as any man to tarnish the reputation of our town by talking up the activities of a small gang of scumbags for his own personal glorification.
Is that what we pay for?
Anyway, the gloom didn’t last long. Paul Williams is far too small a man to take up my whole day, there was a rugby match to see, and besides, it was quite a thing to see him pulling copies of the book out of his arse as easily as he pulls facts. He should charge for that.
Finally, let me confess that I didn’t really expect Ireland to beat South Africa but the cannibal was right, as usual.
Yay! Take that, South Africa! And take that, Paul Williams, when you’ve finished fiddling with your orifice.