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Jul 23

Grabbing life by the balls

Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012 in Family, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

It was at 9 bells last Saturday night… I had homemade pizza cooked and served. The toddler was in bed, the Laughingboy settled and Puppychild was ready for her bedtime film. I paced in the kitchen. Nervous energy. Wanting. Needing.

The source of my anxiety was the fact that there was a group of people meeting far away, the fact that nestled in the Southwestern part of Ireland there was about to be a kick-ass bonfire of peers that shaped me in my teenage years, people that I hadn’t seen in about twenty years. I needed to be there.

I put this to the husband man who thankfully relieved my anxiety and told me to fuck off.

So off I fucked.

It took three hours to drive there… that’s pretty much the longest time it takes for somebody anywhere in Ireland to drive from one point to another, not counting the Northern Territories. Unless you’re driving from Wexford to Donegal… which is in fairness a very worthwhile waste of four hours. Pittance to Americans and Africans and Europeans, but your diesel is cheaper so shurrup.

I got there at midnight. I wandered along a blackened beach with my torch and found nobody. Just a pile of wood.

I wandered back to the pub, the hub of a very tiny community and found twenty people there. Twenty people who were very surprised to see me. I met a girl with whom I’d shared various schools (far far away from there) for the best part of twelve years. We noted that it was indeed, a very small world. It seemed somehow, meant to be.

The group made its way to the beach, and lit the bonfire with the firelighters I’d brought. We sat around the blaze and re-counted old stories and laughed, and slagged, and when the conversation waned the guitar was brought out.

Problem was, nobody played guitar really, so it was handed to me.

I played them my best Rocky Raccoon, and my Rhiannon, and threw in a Redemption Song for good measure. Come running home again Katie was in the repartoire somewhere, as was Black is the Colour as it usually is in Ireland… Street Spirit made an appearance at some stage, as did Black Boys on Mopeds.

I kept playing, and strumming random things.

They said the sweetest thing.

“K8” they said… “You’ve travelled a long way for no reason, you’ve helped with the fire, and you’re making our music. Already you’ve made this party ten times better.”

I tell you what. That compliment alone made the diesel money and the unreasonable compulsion and the risk seem so much more worth it.

The party went on…

and on…

until 6am.

I pointed out that there was a lot of crap to be cleaned up so we did that. We gathered cans and bottles and bits of plastic and binned them and threw burnable crap on the fire.

That was when I sort of fell in to said fire.

Bonfire casualty, There's always one feckin eejit that falls into the bonfire.


It doesn’t hurt that much now, it’s wrapped, and seen to. The doctor gave me a lollipop for knowing how to treat second degree burns and sent me home to think about what I’d done.

What with a broken wrist, and now minor burnage… I haven’t been able to shake anybody by the hand for over two months.

Is there a psychological reason behind that?

I don’t know.

I don’t care.

It was fun, and it made me feel better about myself and I’m happier having taken that risk. That’s all that matters in life, I think.

Bring on the comments

  1. Nelly says:

    That looks painful. But when you’ve forgotten the blisters and the pain you’ll remember you had a great night. Hope you have many more.

  2. Kirk M says:

    Glad to see you finally got out and about despite the blisters. Also glad that’s all you ended up with after a wonderful night with a 6 hour round trip before and after (although I’m sure you think the blisters) could have been missed).

    You’ve long deserved a break, K8. I’m very happy you got one.

  3. Ouch!
    Ejit. :)

    It must have taken you ages to type that?

  4. Lisa | says:

    Ouch ouch ouch. Oh my god I was not prepared for that photo. Hope it heals up quickly!

  5. Glad you had fun. Keep an eye on that hand. :)

  6. Brianf says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful night with only one small messed up minute. I hope your blisters heal quickly and your fun memories of the night last a long long time.

  7. Jo says:

    Oh, honey. I guess you were Marked by the night. You can gaze on the scar with fondness in years to come! xx

  8. K8 says:

    It’s all good! Pretty much perfectly healed up now bar a few flaky bits. The palm lines have even returned.

    Boy is the human skin good at healing itself. Note to anyone else in the same position… NEVER POP BLISTERS! They’re pretty effective healing devices.

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