Leaning on a lamp post

I spent some of last weekend hanging posters for the Green Party. That is how I first got political: in 1989 myself and the Prairie volunteered, and we went out with John Gormley putting up posters that said something like “Others promise the moon . . . only we can save the earth”.


This time I was putting up the likeness of Senator Déirdre de Búrca, who is standing for the European Parliament. I put up 30 around Marlborough Road, Sandford Road, Eglinton Road, Donnybrook Road and Ranelagh. I felt great afterwards; it’s a pleasant challenge calmly wrestling with plastic boards and cable ties, and every lamp post has its peculiarities.

As I sized up a location in Ranelagh, the following started singing itself inside my head to the tune of Old Smokey; other verses followed over time:

On top of Eoghan Murphy

On top of Eoghan Murphy
Or maybe below?
On top of Eoghan Murphy
Is where we will go

Now Tubridy’s spotty
And McCartan is smooth
Half way up a lamp post
You’ve intimate views

On top of my ladder
I’m holding on tight
I’m not really on for
Hang gliding tonight

When the wind takes my posters
They fly round the town
I’ll try again later
When the breeze has died down

O Déirdre de Búrca
If only you knew
The lengths people go to
To publicise you

21 Responses to “Leaning on a lamp post”

  1. Aoife Says:

    Ha! The Prairie! I remember it being bluer. AZG 423.

    Hope you go around after the elections and take them all down again! And come up with inovative ways to recycle them.

  2. recumbentman Says:

    But of course; Malachy gave me just the knife for the job, a flick-Stanley demon that goes nicely in my pocket and can be opened and closed with one hand.

    That’s not our Prairie, it’s from Wiki. Notice the red phone box.

    The posters were late being delivered as the original suppliers let them down; I think they were to have been degradable but these were not. Still, plastic can be recycled. Dave Robbins has more cardboardy looking ones — he’s our Green candidate for Dublin City Council.

  3. willy Says:

    Ugh. Their record in government is not so hot at all, especially their total disregard for all things fiscal and budgetty. Mike devotes a good entry to them here http://www.realreview.ie/2009/04/greenery.htm with an embedded video of Pat Rabitte landing some hefty blows (in between cheap shots).

    And for all the recyclability of plastic, I’ve heard that all of our green bins end up on the same landfill – that we chose not to build any recycling plants ourselves, and we produce low quality waste that China is not interested in buying from us.

    I’d vote green, but not for them.

  4. recumbentman Says:

    I have recently changed to Panda for bin collection: they gave me a black bin, a brown bin (garden stuff and heavy cardboard) and a green bin (plastic, paper, tins). They told me they have a tunnel recycling plant in Louth

  5. malo Says:

    yep, the Prairie was my jammer as a young bass for hire. actually quite a poor fit for the bass, as are all those high cars (Yaris too). But happy memories of driving out to DYO etc, car full of other kids, heating on full blast to prevent the engine from overheating…. Did some shows for a guy called Ray with Declan Supple, where he would cycle there and I would give him a lift home, bike in the back with the bass.

  6. samwell Says:

    that was one state of the art car! i remember it being taller than that but what i remember most are the rattles.

    i’ll stay out of the politics.

  7. willy Says:

    There once was a blue and grey prarie,
    slidey doors, beady seats, bright and airy,
    da da da da da
    da da da da da
    …the end o’ the road off-road in kerry

    (The editing in this blog is so top-notch that half-baked limericks like this will be kicked into shape in no time at all. Plus, the mystery of what happens in between – names changed to protect the innocent – leaves all the careless driving and fally-aparty Nissan technology to the imagination)

  8. recumbentman Says:

    Come on Wil. Da da da won’t do. Try harder.

  9. willy Says:

    There once was a blue and grey prarie,
    slidey doors, beady seats, bright and airy,
    which – though fondly remembered –
    was bent, broke and dismembered
    long before it was buggered in kerry!

  10. recumbentman Says:

    Nice one. Can’t remember the details of its dismemberment. I sold it in Clare, and later saw it driving towards Scarriff with the back door held down by a rope . . . ah wait, yes, I remember now driving into a wall on the way to Sneem. Dear me. We used to call it the hedghog; definitely not a road hog.

  11. willy Says:

    One of many decent motors that the Robbos held onto till the death, including Michael’s Scirocco that couldn’t make it through a decent puddle in its final days. Add to that a beat up green Saab 900 with chewed piping, a knackered gearbox and all the rust you could ever want or need. Then there’s Bobby’s mossy volvo 343, not to mention a fleet of Seat/Fiat pandas belonging to the Boss and more recently Aoife that refused to start, and then refused to behave.

    I can hardly believe there was anything left to sell, but maybe that says something about county Clare in the early 90s…

  12. samwell Says:

    is it my imagination or was there a post removed?

  13. recumbentman Says:

    Yes, I removed a post listing my ‘Top ten philosophical works’, as I revised my opinion of St Augustine after a re-read (of the shortened version). His Confessions remain a fascinating insight into the change-over from the ancient to the medieval world, and a gripping personal story, but they are not influential in my life the way Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance or Guns, germs & steel are. Or Clive Ponting’s Green history of the world, or Pinker’s How the mind works and Blank slate for that matter. Not to mention George Monbiot’s Heat or T. Colin Campbell’s China study.

    I also thought that the top ten list really belongs in Boofcake where it originated as post 24 in this discussion.

    My remark on Dennett’s Freedom evolves, that Dennett answered the conundrum of determinism, elicited a request from one Jeff Klooger for a clarification, which led to a discussion which can be followed from there, if you really want. I can’t find a direct url, it seems you have to go here and scroll down to find the Dan Dennett thread, and then wade back through that to the post Jeff put in on the 17th of May 2009. Don’t bother, this is posted here for my own reference.

    Along the way someone posted a very characteristic video clip of Dennett. I wrote to him once, to thank him for solving the conundrum, in the spirit of Wagner writing to Schopenhauer, and he graciously replied, thanking me for a little verse I had included.

  14. willy Says:


    Eek! the last paragraph appears to show only a very tiny support among greens for their own party. Which goes to show they’re a bright bunch who hold their elected representatives to a high standard, but still, the party could be wiped out if they’ve lost their own base so thoroughly

  15. recumbentman Says:

    The party may be wiped out but the movement won’t. I was alarmed to hear Eamon Ryan has signed a bill banning eel fishing until 2012, which not all members agree with; Mary White spoke against it in the Dáil (Text of speech and Irish Times comment)

  16. Aoife Says:

    I did a cool bump in the Prarie in Kerry! I started the car and it lurched forward and classically I put my foot on the accelerator instead of the brake and ended up down in the hollow in front of the cotttage, narrowly missing a tree! Nice one Eeph.
    I fondly remember driving out to my cello lesson in it when I was 17 and stopping regularly on the way to top up the leaky radiator with water.
    I’ve got my confidence back at last driving. I loved our Panda but you had to brake an hour before you needed to which is not fun on hilly twisty welsh roads! And now I have to drive to the shops so I drive more often than ever before. Not if I can help it though. I still prefer the old bike. Cyclists YAY!

  17. recumbentman Says:

    It’s just that I mistake
    The throttle for the brake
    And everyone knows I’m a
    Learner Driver . . .

  18. recumbentman Says:

    All over now. As soon as the wind and rain subside I’ll go out and take the posters down again.

  19. Aoife Says:

    THROTTLE! I was trying to sing that to Heath the other day and I couldn’t remember the word. Thanks.

  20. recumbentman Says:

    A real 1950s word, more used on motorbikes than cars even then.

  21. samwell Says:

    i hear the greens didn’t do too well. throttled.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: