Thursday, September 25, 2008

In Which I Am Found Lying On The Broad Of My Back On My Father's Grave

Old women. They do my head in. Deaf bints. Always going on about being lonely. Mad obsessions.

Recently Matty has been going on about the "State of Your Daddy's Grave" and rambling on about Cemetary Sundays and the importance of 'keeping the grave nice'.

What is this Cemetary Sunday shit? I never heard any mention of it in the long ago days when I was a regular mass attendant.

Bert (Protestant) hit the nail on the head.

"It's just a ruse to get people to keep graveyards tidy."

"Too true," said I. "If there's anything more cunning than a Catholic priest it's a Catholic bishop. No doubt they'll all have been sitting about discussing the problem of neglected graveyards. 'I know,' says one, 'Why don't we invent something like a special Sunday to celebrate cemetaries and shame the gypes into keeping the graves tidy.'

So, while Matty hasn't been having stress-induced angina attacks she has been giving me big earache about the declining plants on Daddy's grave. So when I went out to her this evening to take her Tesco shopping I was not surprised to see a rather hideous floral tribute sitting on the kitchen table.

I'm not going through a sensible shoe phase at the moment. God knows at 55 and in the throes of the menopause, I do find myself slipping on the heels of a morning thinking, why not put on your comfy flats, and thinking again - damn you woman, enough's enough - do not succumb! Put on those fucking heels. This is a bloody recession we're in! Get a sharp haircut, wear lipstick!

Which is why I was wearing my high heeled boots with my comfy M&S skirt. I may not have mentioned before that Daddy's grave, at the back of the chapel, is on a pretty steep slope. Man's practically standing upright that gradient is so extreme. But I never gave it a thought as I clambered on to place Matty's artificial flowers. Took me by surprise when my kinky boots went from under me and I landed on the broad of my back. Naturally I roared, "Jeeeesus bloody Chriiist!" Naturally Matty implored, "SSSSSHHHH!" before saying, "Are ye alright, are ye hurt?"

Obviously she was dead scared Father Devlin had heard me taking the name of the lord my god in vain. If he did, he didn't come tearing out to see what was going on. Anyway I'm lying there feeling foolish and winded when out of the corner of my eye I see that gype Matty climbing up towards me. I lean up on my grazed elbow and say, "Get down. Get down this minute. Don't you come near me you eedjit!"

It's one thing a fresh young thing of 55 going down on top of her da's grave, quite another an oul wife of 82 falling in a heap on her late husband's resting place. I just don't need the drama.

Matty got down. I got up. I finished watering the real plants on my father's grave. I told my mother I was sorry I shouted at her, I suggested we said a prayer.

I don't know if she did but I didn't. I've never felt so much before that my father's last resting place had anything less to do with who he was, what he was. It's just a hole in the ground. Daddy's not there.

Afterwards Matty said, "Don't tell anybody about that."

I said, "Tell anybody? I'll be putting it on the bloody internet."

20 comments:

evilganome said...

I just discovered your blog via Father Tony. Good God! What have I been missing? I can't wait to start rifling through your posts. Please continue to give them hell.

Nelly said...

Surely not our Father Tony? I knew Catholic priests were cunning.

sageweb said...

I'm here via Fater Tony's recommendation also. Can't wait to read more. I love story's that get put on the bloody internet.

Anonymous said...

I came from Father Tony's blog too, and am glad I did. What a great post. I'll look forward to reading more.

If you and your mom say any more prayers together, maybe pray for us Americans during our effort to get rid of our idiotic President.

Michele said...

I too am a blog traveler from Fr. Tony ... love your blog ...

Last Saturday (after we lost the rugby match) I was standing next to my favorite Irishman, the scrum half Martin Gallagher of Donegal, and he uttered a string of completely appropriate for the moment "fuckin' this fuckin' fooker" that went on for a seething three minutes. Poetry. You have the gift of writing dialogue. Good luck with Pearlie.

Nelly said...

Thanks to you all. I appreciate the encouragement. I'm very intrigued - I'd love to get a link to Father Tony. Please oblige!

ganching said...

"Potty mouth" is what he called you and some other things as well!

I'll join in the prayers to get rid of that eegit y'all have as president. (I've become a bit potty mouthed myself actually now that I am halfway series two of 'The Wire'.)

Nelly said...

Only halfway through! We're three-quarters through Season Two. Have just lent Season One to Zoe and Dave.

fiwa said...

I am NOT here through Father Tony, shockingly, but through my friend Brad who apparently found you out of the blue today. We both giggled over your post, but I think Brad was apparently too shy to leave you a comment.

I enjoyed reading though, and I will be back.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Nelly,
I see you've been introduced to some of our sweetly dysfunctional little family. I hope they'll be pleasing to you, because now that they're in your house, they won't be shy about going to the kitchen for a beer, using the bathroom (do you say "loo" like the Brits do?) and staying around for dinner, the night and breakfast. I'm rather afraid you're saddled with us, and you ain't even met the half. You'll find them an inquisitive and intelligent lot full of laughter, and demanding about only one thing: that you keep on telling stories straight out of the center of your pretty potty-mouthed heart.
Devotedly,
Father Tony

Michael said...

Just another note saying Hello...!

Nelly said...

Hi y'all. Matty was beside herself at all this. Her parish priest is called Father Tony too and she was worried he might be reading my blog. Says she, "Ye weren't putting any oul bad talk in it?" Says I, "Plenty of it."

Doralong said...

Here by way of father Tony as well- you're bloody hysterical! I laughed to the point of tears, and I thank you for that, I look forward to more.

Misssy M said...

I don't often laugh out loud whilst reading- my whole family have just shouted "What, what is it?" at me.

Keep wearing the heels, no matter what.

(not here via any Father Tonys-, no, through Post of the Week- good luck)

SubtleKnife said...

Hi Nelly, another one of Father T.'s flock here, although decidedly not a catholic one, I'm sitting her making myself look very busy so I don't have to write a Unitarian Universalist sermon - the problem is, the only one I'm fooling is myself.

You have a great thing going here, don't give up on blogging!

My grandmother was devoutly catholic, but in a very pragmatic way - we're Dutch, after all... Her priest has a wife and a son in the USA, because he didn't decide on the priesthood until later in life and he's friends with one of the most famous Dutch clergymen, an openly gay priest.

So when it came to her funeral arrangements she opted for cremation and to have her ashes scattered on the little field behind the crematorium. There was no expectation to visit and it's not necessary for me to keep her memory alive.

Also, it decreases the chances of embarrassing accidents. ;-)

bob said...

Hi Nelly,

It's a pleasure to let you know you've won Post of the Week. Congratulations!

yellowdog granny said...

i came her via sageweb, and im so glad..now i have to go find out who the fuck father tony is...

Greg said...

Brilliant story. You've a natural gift at storytelling.

By the way, I believe that I'm one of the few not here due to Father Tony. Not that it's important. At least, I don't think it is.

Anyway, wonderful blog.

Nelly said...

Thanks y'all...

Musings of Mel said...

Post of the week - how excellent! This made me laugh out loud - hopr you didn't get a backache from takin a tumble!
see you in a few weeks for Halloween - yippee.