Two women in Dublin by Photographer Lorcan Finnegan from his street series Granny Fashions
Frilly Keane is back.
With some hand me down wisdom.
In case ye haven’t noticed, I’m not a bit afraid of where I’m from, and I don’t cringe when I hear Olé Olé Olé, in fact I join in. I’m a divil for the sing song, and a divil for the dance floor, and I never care who’s looking. And I’m proud to announce that only one generation separates me from The Marsh.
I don’t ever feel the need for Window Dressing since I’m not a bit impressed by addresses or schools, or trappings or who Daddy’s Daddy was. Or Watches …. However I’ve a bitta’ve thing when it comes to accents tho’, I love genuine rootie ones, and break out in a rash at the Mt Anville.
If you ever give yourself a chance, listen to John Evans talk about football, now there’s a lad who has substance, passion, integrity, depth and respect.
Plenty of ye here have accused me of having a terrible dose of the inferiority complexes, and would even insist they could drop a hopper of turf into my chipped shoulder; meh. I’m all Substance over Style. But I’ll do that one another week.
Since there’s been very little middle of the roadie-easy-listening stuff here lately, which is not a complaint since there are some very serious matters before us as a democracy; I’m still going to give ye a 3 minute doss this week.
Recently my teenager (only just mind) was off to Mary’s for a thing called Core – fúcking queuing for tickets weeks in advance n’all. “it’s a social Mother, they’re not called Discos.” Lemme tell ye, if there was a ditch anywhere close, even a daycent pothole,I’d have dived into it and dragged her wi’me.
I don’t blame my baby since most of that “it’s a social” comes from all that High School telly shit. I’d have called it Dancing meself, like “did ye go dancing?”
My Nana Lulu would have said the same, “did ye go to the Dance?” Or sum’ting like “was it that Disco Dancing ye were at up there in the club?” Or she could easily have said “dance hall”
Dance Hall; just saying it puts a smile across ya. So it got me tinking about stuff our Nanas never said, or did.
Chicken Pesto in a Panini please; I think this all started around the late nineties in an’round Mount Street, and that’s not that long ago, so keep yere keyboards steady. I doubt either of my Nanas went beyond Tomato Sangwiches or a Chester Slice in Roches Stores Coffee Bar, where, incidentally coffee was white or with cream, proper cream – out’ve a bowl and not a squirty tin.
As I write this the smell of Roches Stores Coffee Bar has wrapped around me like a steaming bubble bath. And the range of cakes …. that all came in proper bakers trays.
Tis the crowds coming back from Italia ’90 wanting Cappuccinos instead of milky coffee are a much to blame.
What’s the wiffy code? or pin number; our Nanas kept cash in their purses; big brown plasticiky yokes, where they knew exactly how much was in them. And they kept address books. I can recant my own phone number, but nobody else’s, not even the landline at home.
They kept hall tables with a seat that they sat down on when making or taking a call. It was an event, a time out with a cup of real tea. Now we do the ironing or the supermarket shop talking into a phone. We used to talk to people on the bus and train; now we talk into the phone. I prefer their way.
What d’ya mean I can’t smoke here? Ok we’re the better for that one. Back in the day, I had a beauty of a mullet, permed n’all, but the smell off it in the mornings when I put my head under the shower hose; actually, does anyone do that anymore, kneel down beside the bath and wash their hair under a rubber hose?
Anyway, I don’t like to think about how Nana Lulu would react to not being able to have a fag on a plane. I’d say she’d have preferred to walk from Dagenham to Cork rather that put her arse onto the LHR to ORK if there wasn’t a smoking section.
My other Nana, who I never really knew, probably never even entered an airport. I remember distinctly when My mother had to have an emergency appendectomy and her Mam, my Nana, used to bring me into the Mercy to visit, and the first thing she did at the side of the bed was light up a fag. By the way that girl lived to 88.
Unleaded please; or daysel, to be fair, neither of my Nanas ever drove. Then again, neither did my Grandfathers, and one worked in Fords for enough years that got him a Gold watch. I never knew my paternal Grandfather, although I know he left my father and uncles well set up, which didn’t last long. Nothing new there. But if they did drive, they’d tell the lad how much to put in; none of that now, and I miss that, and not just the three pounds’ worth of petrol.
I need to get the man in to look at the dishwasher. Not only was it an uber-luxury item bordering on the ridiculous, like having a private jet in today’s money, Kitchens were smaller and the freezer was a little shelf with a flap in the fridge, and it only held an ice cube tray and a half a block of Neapolitan, and maybe a few fish-fingers.
That’s another thing, Neapolitan ice cream was the fancy stuff; with Jelly and Ice Cream on a Sunday. Maybe I have evolved a bit, since I hate both Jelly and Ice Cream. And Ice Cubes, I hate them too, but why our Nanas needed them I’ll never know as nobody drank at home unless it was a funeral.
I need to floss. They all took their teeth out at night. Did you ever notice old photos taken in larger towns and cities? All the smiles are the same. That’s ‘cause they all had the same factory teeth.
Years ago, when Big Tracey was minding her own Nanny, she brought a lad back from the Felons one night, and when he was in the loo afterwards, he thought the cup at the sink was liquid soap. It’s still funny to think of yer man plucking through his walk of shame in the dark. Although the dentures that nearly bit yer’man weren’t Nana’s there were “mau’Graunnies pur wee teeth.”
I need to get waxed before the holidays. Ha! Imagine that. My Nana Lulu wouldn’t even take off her tights to go paddling in Youghal. No flip-flops, bikinis or tramp stamps. Going to the Sea-side was a day out in the Sunday best. If it wasn’t for Section 23 holiday apartment blocks and Spars, our sea-side towns would be a thing of the past too; how many long for the days when Crowds arrived with flasks and bottles of tay, and knitted togs, and bought sticks of rock home for the neighbour’s kids. Imagine your Nana bringing your Mammy to school in a Pyjama Pants; Christ she’d a’bin taken off her.
A 12” with Pepperoni and Sweet-Corn; delivered please; take-away was the chipper on the way home from Bingo. D’ya know, I’m no one to talk about take-outs, home deliveries and drive-thrus; but wouldn’t we all be better off with if it was just the Chicken Supper on-the-way-home from a night out?
I can already hear yere cribbing about the writing and the maudling reminiscing; but it really is incredible to think how our trappings in life change so fast, from the Hall Phone to Tap n’Pay, from the Dance Hall Slow Set and Ladies Choice to Tindr, and our Integrated Dishwashers that just get replaced rather than repaired, to how we eat and exercise; just ‘cause Discos, Mulletts, Flasks of Tay, Girdles, and The Parish Dance slash Bingo Hall are all things Millennials snort at – just like we did at pals in hand-me-downs, doesn’t mean we should be ashamed of them and pretend we’re any better off.
Hon Cork, and see ye on the 24th
Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane