Dumbo made us burn the Banker’s lawn

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

A few whiskies by the fire has nurtured in me a yearning desire for the company of my lifetime friends. A doorway opens into the glittery mists of Christmas Past.       Decades before anyone had heard of burning bondholders, we managed to burn the banker’s lawn on Christmas morning.

I blame Dumbo.

A bunch of friends clinging to the tatty shreds of youthful hedonism, we’d have two too many, because we could, and then someone might find a bottle of Tequila, and we’d do that too.

Peter’s dad was a bigwig banker with a friend who had a timeshare cottage in Somerset. We booked it and all headed off to a picturesque village, to do Christmas in a Merchant Banker’s holiday home.

Far from the Tudor-beamed thatch of our dreams, the cottage turned out to be a crushingly unremarkable house, at the end of a cookie cutter cul-de-sac.

Bland and taste-free, it was decorated in white this, grey wall-to-wall that; nothing of character, history or colour.

When we arrived Daddy’s Little Gal met us and oh boy, she made sure we knew we’d been warned.

“Look, right, this place has to be respected. Nothing bad must happen, okay? Rilly, now, because it’s just not on for one to damage other people’s homes, yah? And that goes for the garden too, okay? Daddy loves his lawn, yah? Super!”

She handed over the keys.

Loaded with drink and probably, in those days, a wide range of nefarious recreationals, we crossed the threshold.

By Christmas morning domestic bliss had descended on the non-cottage.

All of us, save for Sarah, were draped over chairs, sofas and each other, every eye sucked into the TV screen, where Dumbo’s mother was locked up in a cage.

The baddies claimed she was a mad dangerous animal. We knew she was a pure sweetheart of an elephant.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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