Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Double Vision

Online gambling doesn’t compare to the bookies!

Avatar

Published

on

According to Charlie, online gambling doesn't compare to the experience of the bookie's shop

About a mile from my childhood home there was a cluster of shops and a bookies around a crossroads that served the local council estate.

To this middle class boy, they looked strange and mysterious, inevitably tempting. Side by side stood the transport cafe and the bookies.

The concepts they represented were not strange to me. I had eaten in restaurants and both my father and my grandmother liked to place a bet on the horses every now and then.

They lifted their phones and called their bookmakers. It was all very efficient, but somehow rather cold and distant.

My first job was milkman’s boy, jumping on and off the float to pick up the empties. Jim showed me how to make sixpences dance around his fingers, blatantly lying to me that it made the housewives laugh.

I knew well he was doing it to short-change them but I didn’t care because I was seven years old, unable to discern such adult rights from wrong.

After we finished the round, Jim took me to the transport cafe. I loved it, made a complete fool of myself and actually enjoyed all the men laughing at me when they heard my clipped accent. In there I felt no pressure, no expectation and more, enjoyed an acceptance of some kind, powerful enough to change my life in later years.

After several mugs of steaming strong sweet tea and snarfing down a fried egg sandwich (two slices of toasted white slathered in butter and ketchup, dripping yolk and dropping white as you ate it), Jim would lean back in his chair and belch incredibly loudly. His burp sounded like mix of someone being sick and an opera singer tuning up, which all seemed to me a bit behaviourally extravagant, seeing as how we were in public. To my bourgeois mannered amazement nobody twitched an eyebrow.

“Right, Charles me boy! On your toes son! Just got to pop next door and then I’ll return you safe to your mum.”

Fantastic! We were going to visit the bookies next door. The not-very-swishy strips of filthy dirty plastic hanging over the bookmaker’s doorway acted as a portal to another universe. Being in the bookies was like watching telly, which was black and white in those days.

There was little daring to declare itself beyond monochrome in the scene before me. Men in flat caps talked to others in boiler suits, rollies permanently stuck to bottom lips, staying lit, being drawn on every now and then.

There was a long queue of men trying to put money on a race that had already started and a very short queue of men (rarely more than two) who were trying to pick up their winnings from the last race so they could put a bet on this other race, the one that the other men wanted to bet on, even though it had already started. It used to make me giggle.

These grown men doing the same silly thing every day. They knew that the bloke behind the counter would tell them they couldn’t place their bets on a race that had started and everyone knew well that everyone else knew that was the case and every day everybody ignored it.

 

For an extended version of this column see this week’s Connacht or Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Bereft and brown breadless in the city!

Avatar

Published

on

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

In my tiny freezer I’ve a large brown pan and a sourdough loaf from Griffin’s Bakery, which closed its doors for the last time a few weeks ago. The longer the loaves sit there, the drier and less bouncy they become, but driven by a sad desire for delayed gratification, they sit there still. My reaction is not so much about the bread, but my attachment to Griffin’s. Fans of David Chase’s masterpiece, The Sopranos, will understand when I say I’m coming over all Bobby Baccalieri.

Created by actor Steve Schirripa, Robert Baccalieri Jr., was a shy, comparatively gentle mobster, who was at his happiest playing with model trains.

Bobby had several nicknames, (’Baccalà’, ’Calzone on Legs’ and ’Burger Boy), all celebrating the way his waistline crossed several time zones.

When his wife Karen died in a car crash, Bobby focused on looking after his two young children, Sophia and Bobby III.

Unfortunately, Karen’s death caught the attention of Mob Boss Tony Soprano’s Machiavellian sister, Janice, who used all her malign talents to inveigle her way into Bobby’s home.

Karen’s last baked ziti sat like a holy relic in Bobby’s freezer. He saw it as a vital final sensory link to his wife. Driven demented by Bobby’s refusal to embrace her as his new saviour, Janice cooked up a vile scheme, which involved abusing Bobby’s kids’ grief with an ouija board.

Bobby arrived home to find his children terrified, while Janice played a manipulative blinder, telling Bobby that she’d heard them talk about Karen’s ghost earlier, but worried she’d be overstepping her bounds if she intervened.

Faced with his freaked out kids, Bobby finally caved in to Janice’s pleas to move on from Karen, allowing her to cook his wife’s last ziti.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

What’s next after mental and physical health?

Avatar

Published

on

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

I’m meant to be in England today, but I’m here at home, writing this.  I’m meant to be in my lovely mum’s living room, enjoying the company of the astounding, energetic, astute and lucid 90-year-old who made me.

Instead I’m staring out of my office window, waiting for hours of rain to arrive, and much as I’d love to have been there, given my health at the moment, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than here.

Two days ago I was in great form. The house was hoovered, laundry done, suitcase packed.

This was going to be a tiny trip, just two nights to see family, because back in August I’d cancelled a much longer trip at the last moment.

That was going to be my holiday. Family and friends in London, but I couldn’t do it.

The tiniest sniff of conflict was setting me off. After I’d cried three times in public in six days, I pulled out of the trip.

Back in July this colyoom told of the arrival of a depression. It has been fierce, intense, long-lasting and extremely useful, because the foundations of my life have fundamentally altered.

Being a control freak, I find it hard to let go, yet I desperately needed to grieve. Within a depression I have no defence against my emotions, so I’ve engaged each as they presented themselves, took the hit, took it again, marvelled at how ridiculous life is when this 59-year-old can still feel pure naïve pain, and tried to simply accept the different losses and conflicts that have dominated my life over the last year.

That sounds good, that ‘over the last year’. Hopefully I’m now emerging, and soon will be able to enjoy looking forward, without carrying the past on my back.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

My loo library can’t derail my cleaning

Avatar

Published

on

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

My eyes are dazzled by the sunshine flooding through my bedroom window.  This isn’t right.                                          No, not right at all.  Today I was meant to wake up and see lashing rain falling sideways from dark skies. The trees were supposed to be bending over in a gale, leaves green and brown ripped off branches, erupting up, tumbling down.

That’s what the weather app said, and the BBC, RTE and ah well, who cares?

Maybe today’s not going to be the day I finally clean my bathroom.

The outside world was going to look so menacing that I’d ripple a body shiver of comfort, turn on my bedside light and read my book eating a banana, luxuriating in the lack of rush.

Instead I’m now thinking of getting up, doing my stretches and going for a bike ride. Blue skies, fresh air and staying alive. That sort of thing.

No. This is neither about the weather nor my cardiovascular system. This about the state of my bathroom, and the months I’ve managed to ignore its deterioration.

Truth is ‘Bathroom’ might be too grand a term for it, as it has no bath and does not really qualify as a room.

If I stretch out my legs while sitting on the loo, my feet are in the shower.

If I bend forward, my head is in the washbasin.

Should I ever suffer the grave gastric indignity of ‘both ends burning’, I’ll be grateful that the lack of space in this house has inadvertently created a handy design feature.

Don’t be guilt-tripping me with all that ’What more could a man want?’

I’ve everything I’ll ever need, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss a bath.

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

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending