February Whist Results
John Maguire won Top Score at the Aughawillan February Whist. 1st Gent was Anselm Reynolds, 2nd was Margaret Nellis and 3rd was Margaret Johnston. 1st Lady was Doreen Woods, 2nd Una McLoughlin and 3rd Iris Bennett. Best half time score prize was won by Myrtle Neill. Other winners were Kathleen McCabe, Margaret Nelisagain, Carol Johnston and John Maguire. Lucky for the second time in the ensuring raffle.
The recent spell of dry weather reminded one of the days of our boyhood in the 1950s and early 60s when there used to come a “Black East Wind” as it was then called in the month of March every year.
They called it “Black” because the sun never shone for its duration but despite that, the “plasticene” which passes for the subsoil we have in dauby Corraleehan and Aughawillan dried to such an extent that even two-wheel drive tractors could be driven on it with “impunity” so as to draw the solid byre manure of those days to meadows for grass growing or to be arranged in rows for potato ridges.
A “four-pronged attack” was always launched due to it having to be spread by graipes. Oddly enough, despite the existence of tractors, there were farmers who continued with the old tradition of conveying such bovine exrement to fields via an ass and “pordogues”.
These pordogues were creels with hinged bottoms and on reaching their destinations had to be levered open like the hangman’s trapdoor.
To put paid to all the “graipes of wrath”, some inventor came up with the idea of a tractor three-point linkcage ferried manure spreader driven by the P.T.O. shaft which could be lowered to ground level so that it would be easily filled with a graipe but spread mechanically negating the need to use the four-pronged weapon.
That was in the early 1960s, and its creator made a “solid fortune” using the patent process.
But then what happened in the interim?
The invention of the hydrauclic front-end loader shovels meant that such spreaders could be mounted on wheels and have four times the carrying capacity of their mounted counterparts.
These also became extinct due to the advent of the slatted shed in which solids became liquids, and due to “climate changes”, solid land became liquid as well.
Then the “pipe system” was invented using hoses a mile or so long on tractors with 30-inch wide wheels, but even these “took off” downhill on hilly fields. What next, you ask yourself, apart from “carpet bombing” from the air using helicopters or whatever – and even the P.F.F.T in West Cavan could hardly fund such forays.
What’s New Pussycat?
Since the slump of mid 2008 arrived, the so-called “Joys of Motoring” have turned to great grief due to steep rises in fuel costs plus the increases in the cost of “decorating the windscreen” with the little round discs imposed by Ministers for Local Government.
You have to feel a certain amount of sympathy for someone who has to cough up the guts of €800 to tax a two-litre car and also have the two-oblong discs on view, insurance and N.C.T., expensive pieces of paper so as not to be accused of “transparency and openness” where the windscreen is concerned on encountering a Garda checkpoint.
On the other hand, one thinks of the subsidsed holiday we spent in Rome in July 2006 when at evening rush hour, those returning from work in that affluent city, there was nothing to be seen apart from ancient cars and motor bikes “born” in the 1950s, 60s and 1970s.
Yours truly saw for the first time since the early 1960s a “Puch Fifty” (c.c.’s) scooter which a fellow Aughawillan man bought second hand and she was going like clockwork and buzzing like a bee in a jam jar, despite her heroic age.
Back here in Ireland, the competition to “Show the Neighbours A Tip” by outpowering them engine-wise beggars belief.
Begrudgingly, we must admit that the female of our species tend to plump for much less plumper cars like the one-litre Nissan Micra etc.
There is the saying, “big ego, big car” and in the case of the wimmin mentioned above it could be a case of small ego, small car on account of their normally inferior stature, body wise. Maybe it’s time to learn a lesson from them for financial purposes.
Finally, in last week’s Observer’s G.F.C, notes, we read about how Pat Joe McNiffe celebrated his fiftieth anniversary. God, it only looks like the blink of an eye since the same Pat Joe was playing senior football with Aughawillan in his early 20s in the mid 1980s. “Tempus fairly fugits” as the Latin phrase a sort of goes and be warned, P.J. that the second 50 elapses a lot faster than the first, like the roll of toilet paper in the lav. But don’t forget that you have a long way to go to emulate the feat of your Clogher Carty neighbour who reached the world record age of 117 years. Good luck Pat Joe on reaching the first half at least, and the subsequent knees-up with neighbours and friends in Bobby Joe’s in Ballinamore!