Monday, August 06, 2007


When I was 19, I had long hair, a tiny waist and absolutely no usable braincells what so ever.

One year myself and my housemates decided to go to the Castlebar music festival. Now in Ireland, prior to Oxygen and The Eclectic Picnic, there was the aforementioned CMF and the Fleadh, and that was our lot as regards music festivals. One as much as the other "featured" just as many dodgy folk acts who learned to play the fiddle (badly) only last week as they featured decent musicians worth listening to.

The thing was, outside of the capital, there was no need to go to these big festivals to hear the big acts as they all played in local pubs which charged £0 on the door locally and £3 for the pricier venues.The £3'ers HAD to be good. FFS, money had been paid to hear them and Corkmen (and women) do not part with money easily.

Anyhow, Paul Brogan (who is incapable of using email) and Claire "Lovelyperson" (cos I can't remember her real name) Manu Nadal and Barbie Curly (don't ask), Paul's brother and I took the green seated rural train to Castlebar to the Fleadh one Summers afternoon in 1997.

And it rained...And we went to a pub...And it kept raining.....And we had a drink... And it kept raining .... And we kept drinking .... And we kept drinking with occasional wanderings into the land of talking shite....

Then we went to the concert where the only acts I remember are The Saw Doctors (excellent) and The Divine Comedy (sublime)

Later on in the evening, I met some Italians, I had previously worked with in Pizza Stop, who were caravanning locally while attending the festival. I sat with them and talked shite for a bit.

Suddleny remembered warnings about last trains to Cork (where I lived), searched for housemates in vain. No housemates to be found anywhere. Realised it was 3am and last train went an hour ago. Went back to look for Italians but no sign of them.

Did a mental juggle:I knew where the train station was. I knew there would be no train until the
milk train (5.30am). The Italians had asked to to stay but I had no idea where they or caravan park were. This was LONG before mobiles and t'internet were commonplace people. Decided to walk to train station. Once there, the kindly signalman took pity on obviously DEMENTED albeit quite sweet female and gave her his coat to sleep under in the signalbox while he slept in the passengers waiting room. The same signalman woke me with the second nicest cup of tea I have ever had in my life 10 mins before the milk train to Cork came the next morning. I think that was the moment that started my love affair with all things trains.

I went to work that day as well. As it was a Sunday, I worked 10 hours in a photocopying shop and 5 hours behind a bar that night. It is shocking how much energy we have to waste when we are young. If only we had the brains to know how to apply it as well

So rush ahead 131 years in my life.

Rup's cousin arranges tickets to a music festival but as we do not have "overnighter babysitters", I committed some emotional blackmail and went there without the husband or small people. Bad Mother. However, I do not pretend to be going for any MOTY awards and as Rups reminded me, it was way back in last September that I last had a night off from Mothering duties. Thanks for that, love.

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Once at the festival, I wandered around in the sunshine and I drank this: (a lot)

and some of this afterwards:

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Now, despite a jolly good (veggie) one of these at 7.20am:

I still feel a bit (a LOT) like this:

The lesson for the day is that I am no longer young enough to go to music festivals, drink a
bit (or a lot) listen to the Saw Doctors under the sun and go to work like nothing had happened. Now even with the comfort of a Holiday Inn to pour my bones into at the end of an evening's entertainment, I am still completely knackered afterwards.

Boo getting old.

Hooray to having a few more usable brain cells though.

Boo horrid Mummy waistline.

Hooray to wonderful husband and fabulous kids.

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ElizaF, picture of a loving caring Mother .... drinking
mineral water as previously stated (ahem...)


Anonymous said...

That's not what you were saying at half twelve last night! I'm not entirely sure what exactly it was that you were saying but it wasn't that...

And if you will drink the scrumpy then its kind of a forgone conclusion (or should that be concussion?)...

ElizaF said...

Alex (and I presume it is you) As far as I am concerned, when 12.30am rolled around, I said goodnight sweetly, finished my mineral water and went to bed. That is my recollection of events and I am sticking to it!


Paul said...

When you told that story about Thurlas, you slept on the floor of the signal box, now you're changing tune, so what's the real story? tell tell tell

Istvanski said...

Nah, she told me it was behind the vending machine on the platform where she kipped.

ElizaF said...

Hi Paul,

The sleeping in the waiting room was at Thurlas (with 30+ other fine well-nourished snoring and farting specimens of Irish adulthood) and the sleeping in the Signal box was alone in Castlebar

Violet said...

This must be why, biologically, women are supposed to have their kids while still in their 20's. So they can have child-free days/nights out and actually enjoy them properly.

Gavin Meikle, Trainer, Speaker & Coach said...

Thanks for the comment you posted on my blog. yes you have a point, time of day does make a difference as does personal taste. Dean Friedman had passion and energy but didn't really fit with the context IMHO. Liza Knapp was technically good but looked bored and so did her backing musicians - an unforgivable sin in my book.

I enjoyed your own blog too - irreverant and fun.

Andrew K said...

It's Thurles you foreigners. Where in Cork did you dwell?