About this time a few days ago, you may be surprised to know, I was standing looking at a field in Ireland.
By any standards, a generous field.
Good grass, but the bulldozer will take care of that.
I was having a bit of an epiphany.
The Irish and their fields.
Did intoxicating Maeve, Queen of Connaught, attack Cuchulainn for dominion of this field?
And neither was it The Field, the one coddled with kelp by that old Hellraiser Harris with Sean Bean his incongruous son.
No, not that one.
And while we’re on the subject, not the one where the playboy of the western world riz the loy in exasperation at his puir fadder.
Perhaps, you ask, it was the one that you enter between dusk and daybreak to make a shortcut but can never find your way out, or maybe a small laughing man with shamrock in his lapel and a green bowler hat on his head lives there guarding his crock?
I doubt it.
Did a lorry load of volunteers crouch in wet anxiety behind the dry stones, waiting for the Tans?
Had Éamon de Valera this green field in mind, when he revealed his dream of hearty free young Irish returning to their homes across the field at sunset, too spent by wholesome labour for fornication?
Perhaps then, it was the field where all those years ago my dear mama and pater camped on their chaste tour of Ireland, to wake finding potatoes and milk in a can left for them beside the tandem?
Like the Irish, we differentiate between poor on the land and poor in the town.
Ground, however meagre, gives status as well as subsistence.
Gramps to Mater: Has he any grun? (ground)
Mater replies: No, but there’s a firm with premises on the South Side specialising in light to medium engineering with a successful motor factors really taking off.
Gramps to Mater again: : Harumph. Has the femly (family) any grun then?
Pater, speaking for himself: Forfeit after Culloden.
Gramps: My Cot! Why did ye no’ say? Ye’ll be off the True Auld Faith then? One o’ us? (Papist)
Pater: Well I wouldn’t say…
Gramps: Come away in Maroon and sit yourself here by the fire. Efter ye’re merritt, ye must name yer third born ‘Achilles’, efter me. Eh, ye’ll have had yer tea but ye‘ll take a dram maybe?
The rest is history.
“You better not be writing about that field.” An unpleasant voice at my side says.
It is the ugly chinless Finance Director. (he really over-achieved finding that wife of his).
“You’re not the boss of me.” I reply, “you wouldn’t understand anyway, to you the world is a series of numbers. Remove some from here, add them to there, and your day’s work is done. I pity you. It’s soulless existence. You never see the world. Never smell the grass. It’s an cruel and unnatural punishment.”
“As it is to you.” He rejoins with an unattractive smirk.
“You are quite wrong. My numbers are the language of the elemental forces that surround us. My numbers do something.” I point out with patient reason.
“So do mine.” He retorts, missing the point. “Mine provide Audi A-Fours with all the trimmings, Tuscan holidays and the like. It’s all numbers too.
Anyway, come on Maroon, leave the blog alone.”
“…‘koff” I mutter in cowardly softness, at his hideous back.