This particular story was particularly enjoyable to write.
Growing up in the seventies as I did, I still have memories of an overcrowded car where we alternated our positions on the backseat to kneeling-sitting-kneeling (there were only six of us then), and we still managed to go pick my grandmother up to take us all to the beach.
My brother kept pigeons, and was part of a club. He raced them from various parts of Ireland and Scotland, and like many other ‘fanciers’ of the day, he was obsessed with Belgian pigeons. I cleaned the sheds for pocket money, and would travel with him if he was trying to trace the path of a Belgian race. Cavan was a regular spot for him to send young birds to, and his birds won a few races too.
It was a time of constant ‘troubles’ on the news, bootboys, skinheads, dock-strikes, cod-wars, and the Eurovision dominated the radio waves, and fellas falling over their own trousers when trying to run away filled the streets. The whole look and feel of the time is very mixed up, and has never really been revived. Skinny bodies with huge dandruff riddled mullet heads, trousers with six button waistbands up to the ribs, invisible dick-lines, and then baggy as tents once nearing the knee. Shirts with gliding collars and high ribbed tank-tops … all slightly glam, until the 16 hole high boots were put on, and the whole thing became far more menacing. The walk of the time was a ten-to-two cowboy, and if you could get hold of a crombie, you went up the ranks.
For Mash get Smash was on tv, and in the shops; Angel Delight on every Sunday table; Shoot in every boy’s bag, Jackie in every girl’s; The Beano and Dandy, currency for the week, they could be swapped for a Whizzer and Chips …
Even thinking about the story sets me off back into the seventies …
It made Kevin Barry’s shortlist for a Moth Magazine competition too, so can’t be too bad … try the link if you fancy having a read.