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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad?





















Not being able to hear what I’m saying is no great loss, much of the time, in my experience. What’s another excursus between friends, I tell myself, even when I’m talking to myself, on the most picturesque industrial estate in East Yorkshire, why Match of the Day always puts Liverpool games on last, or whether leper’s sore-licking makes Catherine of Siena a better saint than Joseph of Cupertino (levitation). But the sound of deafening chainsaws at work the other day, chainsaws at work at work, got so irritating I looked out the window to find a bunch of ne’er do wells chopping down every tree in sight. Other people had looked too and got sufficiently outraged to send some emails round asking what was going on. The oafs were preparing the way for a new ‘plaza’, it emerged. What interested me though was the list of reasons they gave for cutting down the trees, one of which was ‘Planting of new trees’. They were cutting down the trees in order to plant new ones. I can see how irritating the presence of the already-existing trees must have been to these eco-warriors. How anti-green of these trees to have got there first. What were they thinking? I went straight round to the nearest Waterstone to rip up a few books, as part of my ongoing commitment to writing new ones, before throwing away the lunch I bought in the cafeteria to a loud shout of ‘Time to get lunch!’, and deleting the draft I’d written of this blog post in order to write this blog post.

I am reminded of the Irish tradition of the amhrán na mbréag, the song of lies, a fine English-language example of which occurs in Pearse Hutchinson’s Climbing the Light:


In the middle of the wood I set sail
as the beet and the bat were at anchor just off shore
I found in the sea’s rough shallows a nest of bees
In a field’s ear I saw
a mackerel milking a cow

{Quotation ends}

&c. Eventually, I thought of that great lament for the forests of Ireland, Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad? There’s a good English version of it in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s last book, I remember. I also remember an Irish rugby commentator asking the same question before a Six Nations game when Keith Wood was injured. At least it was only a hamstring or something, rather than one of those nasty chainsaw injuries. Because, whatever about university campuses, chainsaws on the rugby pitch is taking things that little bit too far, and frankly I can’t see efforts to replant Keith Wood afterwards coming to much, either, apologetic email or no apologetic email.


3 comments:

FAKE SHEIKH said...

Liverpool matches are shown last on MOTD to gently lull the nation into the idea of sleep.

Everton for fourth.

puthwuth said...

Z Cars FC for the Intertoto Cup!

FAKE SHEIKH said...

Don't knock the Intertoto Cup. My money's on my favourite Luxembourgian team, Differdange, to take the glory this year. The fact that they got knocked out by five clean goals in the first round will not hinder their campaign, nor dampen my support.

Serious question: steady, good-cup-run mediocrity under Rafa or a risky, could-go-either-way future under someone else?