Category Archives: Anecdotes

A true tale illustrates a point.

A dream of Jerusalem

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I had a dream which haad many episodes. In one of those I was in Dubai. I saw it from the sea. Thre were many people driving about. It seemed to be a public holiday. I spoke to Guy. II was in a car myself. Itw as not so sweltering. I have been reflecting onn where I was a year ago. Where shall I be a twelvemonth hence? Captial would be the best or perhaps Market

Then I was in Jerusalem. I saw the Wailing Wall. People milled about – blac frock coated Hasidim. I spoke to a small, elderly white man. He had think grey tousled hair and wore shorts and a pale shirt. He spoke wit a Caledonian accent. He told me he was a minister in Charlotte Coountry Georgia. He was her eon a trip with his grand niece. He was an amiable gent

I recall saying smething aboyt having faith in someoine. I would like t visit Al Quds Al Arabi some time.

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Both sides of the story on travellers.

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I was speaking to a fellow Irishmen a few nights ago. This chap told me a tale that went something like this:

” Some tinker came down to our town. He had the hiace van like they all do. You know tinkers are all thieves. It is in the DNA. If there are ever people who have been given every chance it is the tinkers. ANyway there is this fella and he is going round the houses of old people saying in his Midlands accent, ”Do you have any second hand furniture for sale like? I will give yiz a good price for it and all. ” and he is casing the joint. He is looking behind them to see if they have laptops or televisions to steal. Anyway Colm confronted him with an iron bar and smashed every fucking window in the tinker’s van and said the next lash of this iron bar is for your head unless to get the fuck out of town. We do not want you or any other fucking knacker coming here and burgling people. So the tinker turned tale and drove out of there. They are pure filth. Theyy get this and they get that. They get halting sites. ALl paid for by the taxpayer and it is never good enough for them. They want to be called a racial minority. They have ten children each and they never wash. Their children are stinking and covered in abcesses/.”

What might the Travelling gentleman concerned have to say about it?

”I am a Traveller and I work as a trader in second hand furniture. I deal door to door. Because of ignorance and anti Traveller prejudice people sometimes call me a thief. I went around trying to do my business. I was looking at furniture but some people suspected me of planning to steal it. I was not and I never have. I have no criminal record. A man came up to me and subjected me to a racist tirade. He vandalised my car. He threatened me with an iron bar. He told me to get the hell out of town or he would hit me on the head with the iron bar. I could tell he meant business. So I drove out of town. I was the victim of a racist attack. There would be no point in going to the Gards. The Gardai are never Travellers and some of them are very against the Travelling people. ”

This was a racist screed. This man was assuming that all Travellers are felons. He used the opprobrious terms tinker and knacker. Tinker might be acceptable for members of that community to call themselves but coming from the mouth of someone who is a non-Traveller it cannot but be an insult. I remember the 1980s when it was still a word that did not necessarily carry an offensive imputation.

This man is overtly prejudiced against Travellers. He is tarring them all with the same brush. It is true that Travellers have a higher than average incarceration right. Criminous activities are in no wise restricted solely to Travellers. Some of the settled Irish community like to scapegoat the Travellers.

Why are Travellers more likely to commit crime? It is not in their DNA. They have fewer economic opportunities. This is partly because of their itinerant lifestyle. Until recently many attended school only spasmodically. They were often bullied. In bygone decades teachers sometimes led the bullying. Many people were bigoted against Travellers. It was hard to get a job. They were assumed to be criminals. This led to a vicious cycle. They more they were regarded as thieves the more likely they were to become thieves because they could not secure gainful employment. The more they were associated with unlawful activity the harder it became to get a job. These two factors were mutually reinforcing. Because they were penurious they were more likely to have ragged clothes and little access to washing facilities. This made it even more difficult to land a job.

The man who said all this is a Catholic of a nationalist outlook. He often excoriated the Unionist government in Northern Ireland. He accused it of being discriminatory against Roman Catholics. There is some veracity in what he said. He did not perceive the irony in launching into vitriol against Travellers. Such hate speech used to be widespread in Ireland.

If a crime is committed people often assume a Travellers has done it even when there is no evidence of this. A criminal is sometimes assumed to be a Traveller even when this is not the case. Crimes are pinned on innocent Travellers.

A dream of Russian and the boss’ car

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There was something about doing an exam in Russian. But someone told me I was not good enough at the subject. I felt a trifle hurt and put down.

Then last night  I was deep in Kaz with the boss’ family. It was in a country house – somewhere cool and forested. Not unlike Burabay. The boss himself was there. In fact he is reutrning today.

Then I was due to depart. The family ad been having dinner at a woden table in the middle of a large room full of wooden furtnute.

I walked around outside. The n bizarrely I was in a god facotry. There was a conveyr belt. Along it came all the elements of a cooked brakfast — baed beans, black pudding and the like. Facoty workers sorted these into piles.

Later I was in the car with Kaiant ready for a long journey, Twould be dull

A dream of rows and a hariicut

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I was iin a far off land. I boarded a train. I skirted outside the small city. The land was fairly flat. There was scarcely anyone abord. Then it seemed it was not going where it should doo. I was annoyed and disoriented. Outside the buildings were low rise and in poor condition.

there was a man of about my age on the choo choo to whom I spoke.

Later I was in bed trying to get t o sleep. i had great difficult fallling aksip eysertsnught  .N was there too. Ther eeas nother bed in the room. He sat my the bed and would not stop droning on. i GREW irritated with his lamentations. Then aunt Judy came in and courteously old him to get to bed . so he did. Then he was under hus duvet. he was flashing a toruch at me to irriatte me. ThIS was mauube becuase of the sun,it waking me in the morn.

Later I was walking with Nono. She told me I could have to get a ahricyu. I bristlated at this. She then want on about boks that needed to be bought for children to attend certains chool.

dreams of the past 2 nights.

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I dreamt that andrei was gay. He blatantly is not. He was not behaving like that in the revery. He and his boyfriend were going to have a baby – I presume this meant adopt. I did not see this other man. In reality he has one child. what a bizarre notion.

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I dreamt that I has a splendid singing voice. I canticled operatic arias. This was much appreciated by my hearers.