A QUIET CHRISTMAS.
The goose was quartered expertly. Your man has that ability. Learnt he says in the days before he became a revolutionary. When he had a life he says. In between Fleadh Ceoil and a short stint as a civil servant, he served his time at the butchering. In those days apprenticeships meant something. He says.
Wee Boots was well pleased with the goose. He didn’t pass any remarks on how well it was quartered. Which is just as well, seeing as he got the biggest quarter. As well as a very fine ham. And a goodly chunk of corned beef. And some wonderful soup.
Wee Boots was dressed as a Bedouin. He was holding court – or whatever Bedouins do when the Bedouins receive guests - in the front room. Me and your man let on not to notice his attire. We presented our gifts. Wee boots was delighted with the savouries. He served us a cup of camomile and a forkful of pickled red cabbage.
He and his brother were discussing the merits of thermal wear. Particularly tops. His brother didn’t have bottoms. But he had a new thermal simmet fresh from New York courtesy of Wee Boots’ daughter and her wise man from the west. But no bottoms. Although he is on a promise. Of a new pair for the summer. He didn’t seem to mind. He was more concerned about the situation in Korea.
‘They are all set to have a go at each other’ Wee Boots was saying.
‘The Chinese would be wise not to be sucked into that’ his brother said.
‘They have too much sense for that’ Wee Boots declared.
He was nibbling on the goose leg. Every so often he sneaked a morsel of pickled red cabbage of my fork when he thought I wasn’t looking.
‘Every time capitalism is in trouble somebody starts a war somewhere. No money for hospitals or schools but they don’t be long getting money for missiles.’
‘This year cud be very interesting’ his brother agreed.
Your man and I sipped on our camomiles.
‘We had a great dinner Wee Boots’ this blog said during a break in the conversation.
‘So did we’ Wee Boots replied. ‘every thing was great’.
Your man said nothing. Camomile was grand but he needed the hair of the dog. The morning after the night before the hair of the dog is your only cure. So we didn’t stay long.
Saint Stephens Day – or Lá na Dreoilin – when the boys of Bearna Straide and the late Steve MacDonogh go hunting for the wran, is a day for reflection and spiced beef. Or the last quarter of the goose. Or the cure. So we left.
Wee Boots left us to the door and embraced the two of us gently and solemnly. Your man and this blog still hadn’t mentioned his Bedouin gear.
We bowed Btowards him with a certain formal stiffness. The two of us were overwhelmed by the majesty of his bearing. So we untied our camels and rode off into the thaw. In silence.