Monday, May 26, 2008

Another photo

Found this photo in "My Computer" on, well, my computer. Have no recollection of downloading it!

From Shelsweb

"My favourite moment of the game was when the players for both sides spontaneously decided to play out an interpretive dance routine." - Comment and pic by Pizzapie

A Tolka Romance by Bill Zunmoon

Part 7
Spring arrived at last in Ireland. The sun came out, admitting in a live TV interview that it had always had feelings for Alpha Centauri, starlings hurriedly completed snag lists for their nests and Shelbourne surged up the table like testosterone rising in a buck rabbit just emerging from four years in Glenstal Abbey.
A veritable goalscoring fest from Freeman, O’Brien, Dunne, Hedderman and Brennan saw the Mighty Reds reach the pinnacle of the First Division in the middle of May as Dundalk struggled with altitude sickness at Camp V, yet Lionel was a troubled man. Amid the euphoria that greeted every goal, he knew that his life was incomplete, as if there was a piece of the jigsaw missing and somebody had hidden it for a laugh. As the great Irish composer Stephen Gateley once said, “Have you tried looking under the settee?”
Of course he knew the reason for his malaise. Karen. The love of his life, the girl of his dreams, twenty one stone of pure woman. He had gone to the Kildare game, hoping to bump into her – not literally of course, as that might have resulted in serious injury – and explain his feelings. He was sure she would understand, providing he spoke in English. But, although he lay in wait by Burdock’s for most of the game, her ample frame was nowhere to be seen.
At the Tuesday night game against Monaghan, he circumnavigated the ground three times before admitting that she wasn’t there. She had always joked that hide-and-go-seek hadn’t been her forte at school, laughing jocosely that many of the other kids had used her as a hiding place. And Lionel knew well that she was no Wally, blending effortlessly into the background like Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora.
On the coach down to Lissywoolen, Lionel brooded over Dundalk’s sneaky Friday night attack on the summit, pushing Shels back down the slope and robbing their chocolate. And he brooded over Karen. He knew she hadn’t gone by Tosh Travel since that embarrassing incident with the coach doors on the way back from Wexford but neither had he heard any mention from AA Roadwatch that a large load was moving slowly down the M5 and that motorists were being advised to continue on the N4 to Edgeworthstown before cutting back.
“Let me tell you ‘bout the way she looked, the way she’d act and the colour of her hair,” he remarked to the bearded guy in the seat next to him, and from Kilbeggan to Moate he poured his heart out to a complete stranger, stopping only when the latter pulled out his earphones and said “Wha’?”
She wasn’t in Athlone at all. Lionel knew this by the absence of a large shadow across the playing surface. He tried to concentrate on the football, marvelling how Sparky, now in his early eighties, still managed to cover every blade of grass on the pitch, except perhaps seven of them near the far corner flag. He roared with the sizable travelling contigent as the net bulged for the opening goal and watched Shels slowly inch back up to the summit, panting at every step.
It was a game of two halves but Nigel only remembered this as he got back onto the dual carriageway. Cursing his forgetfulness he returned to the ground to watch Shels playing into the teeth of a hurricane like Captain Birds Eye lashed to the mast for the second half. The minutes dragged by, limping heavily and with their noses in a sling. The tension was unbearable. Deano looked vulnerable. The normally watertight back four were springing leaks everywhere and there was no Carl van der Velden to stick his fingers in the dyke.
But then it was all over and Shels were back on top and it was Dundalk’s turn to camp on the windy ledge high above the sheer cliff face and hope they didn’t roll over in their sleep. For a moment, Nigel forgot Karen. The relief of victory washed over him like relief washing over somebody and he exited the ground whistling “There’s a whole lotta loving going on in my heart,” by The New Seekers.
And then he stopped dead in his tracks.
She was there, leaning lightly against his passenger door, which had buckled alarmingly under the pressure. Panting, as if she had run all the way from St. Mel’s Park, and with rivulets of sweat flowing copiously from her armpits, she idly squeezed the pimples on her chin as she waited for him.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I’m Tosh. Fly me.

Oh Iarnrod Eireann is known through the land,
An option when distances have to be spanned
From the wastelands of Cobh up to bustling Mayo,
But they won’t bring you where the damn train tracks won’t go.

Bus Eireann is great when you’re out in the sticks,
In need of a sharp agricultural fix.
Their tentacles reach out from Malin to Schull,
But the driver won’t stop if your bladder is full.

Oh back in the past, there were times when I drove
Through Cashel and Mallow and on down to Cobh,
But on the road home, I’d regard with dismay
The welcoming pubs that I’d pass on the way.

Oh sometimes I dream of a twenty foot chopper,
Although my wife says this is highly improper.
Away trips to Lim’rick would be quite sublime –
We’d be back up in Dublin before closing time.

Some folk see an offer and hurriedly book it,
Queue up at the station or else Thomas Cook it,
But whenever the Reds have a match out of town,
There’s only one way for the fans to go down.

Tosh Travel! Tosh Travel The ideal approach,
Discovering Ireland by luxury coach.
The craic and the humour have won much acclaim
And sometimes you’ll get there in time for the game.

Oh Tosh is a rare and a wonderful breed,
He knows every hedge that could do with a feed.
Like a wandering minstrel, he’s criss-crossed the land
And knows every route like the back of his hand.

He’s been hiring coaches since 1915,
Is acquainted with every small pub and shebeen.
The young and the old, the deprived and the posh
Are assured of a welcome when travelling with Tosh.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

For the love of Bisto

I thought he didn’t care for me,
I thought my love was just a one-way ride,
For though I’ve watched him lovingly,
The gulf between us always was too wide.
I’ve yearned his body from afar
And marvelled at his rising star,
And got down on my knees and begged the Lord,
And when Bisto ran into my arms
And held me tight in deep embrace,
I knew right then and there that I had scored.

‘Twas only a long punt from Dean,
Defender should have knocked it out the ground.
The header down was quite pristine,
But fortunate my gangly love was found.
He nipped in quick around the back,
So damned incisive in attack,
His narrow-angled shot brought its reward.
And when Bisto ran into my arms
And held me tight in deep embrace,
I knew right then and there that I had scored.

I’ve played it back a thousandfold,
His joyous run to me with arms outstretched.
The way he ran to me to hold –
Upon my mind the imprint’s ever etched.
My rivals all bitch constantly
About the way he ran to me
And showed me where the grapes of joy are stored,
For when Bisto ran into my arms
And held me tight in deep embrace,
I knew right then and there that I had scored.

Since first we lovingly embraced,
There’s never been a setting of the sun.
So now I will make sure I’m placed
At that one point to where I know he’ll run.
I’ll cheer him on in snow and rain
And pray that he will score again,
And run to this one spot where he’s adored,
For when Bisto runs into my arms
And holds me tight in deep embrace,
I know right then and there that I have scored.
From Shelsweb - "So there i am, hanging over the wall, arms outstreched, screaming at the top of my lungs after Bisto has just scored his first and Shels second, when who comes sprinting over and straight into my arms but Bisto himself. He nearly knocked me out as he never even slowed down." - Anto (legendary Shels fan)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tolka Romance by Bill Zunmoon

  1. Chapter 6
  2. .
  3. Lionel discharged himself from the Mater Hospital still suffering from amnesia, although he was sure in his mind that this was a type of rice pudding. Trouble was, he couldn’t remember. Neither could he remember his name or his address or how he had landed in hospital in the first place. The only clue to his former existence was a red and white scarf with the name ‘Shelbourne’ emblazoned across it.
    He hailed a cab. “The Shelbourne,” he said peremptorily and the taxi sped off down Eccles Street, leaving Lionel on the pavement.
    He reached the end of the road on foot and tossed a coin. He caught it in his left hand so he turned left down Dorset Street heading in the direction of Drumcondra. Somewhere Sandie Shaw was singing “Always Something there to Remind me,” though Lionel suspected it was only a recording. Strange how he could not remember his own name but he was still sharply focussed on barefooted singing stars of the sixties.
    On and on he walked as the yellow sun slipped slowly down behind a bunch of poplars and then shot back up again, as though stung on the backside. He passed Fagan’s. “Spare the price of a pint of Bass, pal?” an old man accosted him. Lionel thought he looked familiar and stopped. “What is Shelbourne, old man?” he asked. The man looked quizzically at him and scuttled away, the cord of his deep-pocketed anorak trailing the ground.
    He reached the corner of Richmond Road and tossed another coin, though it might have been the same one as before. This time he caught it in his right hand, so he turned right, down the row of red-bricked terraced houses. Somewhere, Andrea Corr was singing “Forgiven, not forgotten,” though as she was up in Dundalk, Lionel couldn’t hear her.
    As he walked down the street, Lionel’s brow furrowed. Then his elbow furrowed and the little dinge below his ankle followed suit. He came to a large red double gate upon which someone had scrawled the name “Quasimodo.” That rings a bell, thought Lionel and approached with trepidation. Remember, he urged himself. I must remember! Damn this rice pudding.
    The gate was locked and the turnstile beside it was fairly well on itself. He pressed his fingers against the metal sheen, willing his memory to return. Somewhere Elvis Costello was singing “Remember you’re a Womble” but Lionel instinctively knew that the bespectacled crooner could not be trusted. Suddenly the sky seemed to turn black and a large shadow squashed him against the gate. With difficulty he turned around and there facing him was a familiar figure.
    “Karen,” he whispered, and his memory came rushing back like a memory rushing back from somewhere. “Karen, you look lovelier than ever. Darling, I’m sorry for whatever I did. It was wrong of me and I know it. I’ve been a damned fool. Can you ever forgive me, darling? Can you? Can you?”
    The burly policeman stroked his ginger moustache carefully and considered Lionel with a detached air. Years of psychological training led him instinctively to mark Lionel down as a nutter. Somewhere Patsy Cline was singing “Crazy,” though Lionel was sure she was dead.
    “Yes of course I forgive you,” said the policeman and the couple embraced warmly. “However,” he said, disentangling himself, “I fear you may be confusing me with somebody else. This Karen. Can you describe her for me?”
    With a tear in his eye, Lionel described the angel that was Karen while the policeman dutifully jotted down the particulars, interrupting only to enquire if “moustache” had an “o” in it or not. “She sounds quite something,” he said, when Lionel had finished. “I knew a girl with a flatulence problem once. She really blew me away. Well,” he said, laying a kind and compassionate hand on Lionel’s shoulder and an evil and spiteful hand on his head. (Lionel idly wondered how two hands could have completely different personalities.) “I hope you find her.” He turned and walked away, whistling a sad, melancholy air, that sounded like “Mama we’re all crazee now,” by Slade.
    I’ll find her, vowed Lionel under his breath. I was her. She was me. We were one. We were free. If there’s somebody calling me on, she’s the one. He glanced up at a poster adorning the wall of the turnstile. “Next match – Shelbourne vs Kildare County. Friday May 16th,” it said.
    “Good lord!” said Lionel. “A talking poster.”

Idle chat in the workplace

Normally, I think of a witty riposte about a day and a half too late and the moment is lost but for once on Friday, it came to me. I had been waxing lyrical about Shels v Dundalk when a Liverpool supporter asked me which English team I supported. Normally I just give them a withering stare and say, "I'm Irish - why would I be supporting an English team?" but this time I was quick.
"That's like asking which is my favourite member of the Royal family," I said, which drew a fair bit of laughter.

Dundalk 1 Shelbourne 3

Sometimes but only very rare,
There comes a match that sparks a fire,
A match that crackles in cold air
And fans the flames that breed desire,
Exploding in sulphuric glare
That blinds the darkness of despair.

And, when it comes, it’s unexpected,
A lightning bolt quite unforeseen,
A thunderclap by Zeus projected
Through the evening’s balmy sheen,
With unerring aim directed,
Leaving no-one unaffected.

A very early goal conceded.
Eyes awash and teeth clenched tight.
Then as hope like waves receded
Came the flash of blinding light.
Life’s true course trailed off unheeded.
Believe! the banner said, and we did.

Dundalk, pounded and defeated,
Trooped away in deep dismay.
The vicious battering just meted
Clouded o’er their glorious day.
As their title hopes retreated,
Shels grinned wide, the rout completed.

Banner of the Season

"B.D. Girls - Always Ultra"

at the Dundalk v Shels match