I arose one fine Spring morning to a beautiful sunrise that streamed through my window. The shafts of light danced through the branches of the trees in the churchyard and I was at peace with the world.

“Ger, get your lazy arse down here NOW” boomed the ould lad

My peaceful reverie shattered I got dressed and slumped down the stairs.

“Yes Da” says I
“We have work to do” says he - Feck
“What work Da” says I
“I know you think Manual Labour is a Spanish musician but we have to clear the river” says he
“What river ?” says I dreading the answer
“The one at the back of the shop” says he

That fecking river had a curse on me, I had fallen out of a tree into it, I had learned to swim in it (by being chucked into it) and the last time we had cleaned it was 3 years ago and then it was a ball breaking job. We had breakfast and wondered down the field to the river. The portion that was passing our land was nothing but a slow steady flow and I remember it being a whole lot faster and it hadn’t been dry (this was Ireland after all).

“It must be blocked further up” says he
“No Shite” says I, nearly getting a cuff round the ear for my trouble.
“Off you go” says he FML

I descended into the river and started to trudge towards the low bridge and sure enough the river at the bridge was clogged with leaves and branches and looked a solid job. I clambered up the bank and looked at the other side. The whole of Paddy Gleesons field looked like a lake and the river on the other side was not discernable under the mass of water.

Why hadn’t Paddy done something about the blockage as it was ruining his field, I thought. The ould lad had caught up.

“Why the feck hasn’t Paddy sorted this” says he.
Sigh you can guess the next command.
“Clear the blockage NOW” says the ould lad.

Feck it, I climbed down into the river bed and began clearing the debris. Looking back I must have still been asleep as there I was in a river bed about 5 feet below the bank level clearing a blockage that had Lake Geneva behind it. I continued cursing under my breath as the ould lad lit his pipe and sat contented and serene on the bank. I had reached the edge of the brickwork when a particularly stubborn branch would not budge under my efforts.

“For Fecks Sake” said the ould lad clambering down to join me.

We pulled, it came dragging a power of leaves and debris behind, it kind of gave a popping sound and the contents of Lake Geneva surged through the small gap under the bridge. I was sent flying arse over tit down the river bed. The ould lads hobnails passed through on their way over me as we were dragged for about 20 metres until the initial surge abated.

The ould lad couldn’t swim and was splashing around like a demented hippo. At this stage the water was only about 4 feet deep and the surge had gone, so I dragged him to his feet.

“It’s not deep Da” says I

“I know that you eejit I was only trying to find me pipe” says he. Said pipe being clamped between his teeth as strong as any vice. Well I just started to laugh and laugh and couldn’t stop as he glowered at me and scrambled up the bank.

I paid for that over the next couple of weeks but it was well worth it.