Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


So mailed off some loose tobacco yesterday to my favourite uncle Raymond as belated birthday gift. Raymond's one of those well to be honest black sheep relations that you just love. He's a character and sharp wit that still is king of comebacks. He's that rogue that you find hard to hate even though there's always dubious goings on. One of my first memories is Raymond lining all four of us up in a line, me and my sisters and then in unison us showing my Mum our new trick Raymond had taught us - wiping our noses on our sleeves synchronized... There's an Olympic category you probably wont get to see.

His patience for us as kids was just amazing. I remember we had a game where we'd say Raymond and he would say What. We'd then say don't call us What stick your head in a porridge pot and we would do this with him for what seemed hours with him saying what every time to our delight.. He also would let us play knock knock jokes with him forever.

Another time I remember him detailing to me how he was writing to a company saying he found a stone in the pocket of the trousers he had bought but not before it cut him and caused an infection. Company wrote back saying sorry and Raymond jumped on it with zeal expanding to gangrene and a leg nearly lost from the pebble in his said trouser leg. Finally I think they just got sick of all the letters and sent him $50 for new trousers... He is also known by voice now alone by the radio station for competitions as he's always calling in. He wins a lot as he's smart as a whip. I think his local county council has a file cabinet just full of his letters. My Mum was saying what a pain it was having to stop over in Shannon airport coming back from Boston last week when she had paid for a direct flight. I told her to complain to the company and she said what would she say - I reminded her that all she had to do was channel her brother's writing campaigns and probably end up with free tickets if not the company itself.. :-)

He once called me crack of dawn to ask me was I on drugs? Me half awake - no - why you asking that Raymond? Well you must be he said to write that Christmas Letter - I couldn't make head nor tails of it. It was our first Christmas letter myself and yet to be hubbie penned talking about our visit to Hamilton Observatory and where we got engaged. Hubbie had mentioned refractive telescope we got to see through in the letter. Whats a refractive telescope got to do with Christmas he asked. I laughed and explained the engagement story and the Observatory. What you doing watching space from going up a mountain 20 miles he asked. Sure just turn on your telly, I'm watching Star Trek Voyager here right now. He sends me texts in the same vein at all hours as well making me laugh.

I remember my Mum telling me a comeback by Raymond that still makes me laugh. My lived with my Granny God rest her and lets just say my Granny was Queen of getting last word in and if you crossed the street, she crossed a 12 lane highway in bare feet. My cousins were saying they had to cut a salmon head off with a butcher knife because it was so big and my Granny retorted that once she had to take a hacksaw to a cod fish head to get it off as was so tough.. Seriously...

So my Aunt Sharon was saying that it was a great drying day for washing and she had put the boys jeans out and weren't they bone dry not an hour later. My aunt lives about 20 mins walk from my Granny's house. My Granny sniffed, well she said I put out Raymond's jeans hand wrung and they dried in a half an hour. Her wind somehow better and faster by her house.. Raymond jumped in - sure that's nothing he said. I put out my jeans hand washed and they came back 15 minutes later ironed...

Everyone needs some characters in their family history.


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