Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Full-service banking

"Good day, sir. How may we help you?"

"I'd like to cash a check, please. A Christmas present from my wife's grandparents."

"Do you have an account here, sir?"

"I don't, actually, but as you can see, the check is drawn on this bank."

"I'm sorry, sir, but we can't cash the check if you don't have an account here."

"You're joking."

"No, sir."

"Why ever not?"

"Well, sir, if the account had insufficient funds, for example...and we'd already handed over the cash..."

"I naturally assume, being a wunch of bankers and all, that you'd go after dear old grandpa. [Brightening.] Throw his arse in debtor's prison or something."

"I'm sorry, sir. Debtor's prisons don't really exist anymore."

"Right, I'm sure you people led the charge for reform."

"There's really no need for sarcasm, sir. We're open to all sorts of solutions."

"Except for cashing checks drawn on your own bloody bank if I don't happen to bank here."

"Yes, except for that, sir."

"Ah, well, don't worry about it, and please don't take my frustration personally."

"Thank you, sir."

"I understand, rules are rules, and after all, illegitimate children need to make a living as well."

"Um, yes, well...have a nice day, sir."

The man turns to go, but at the door he stops, turns back and intones the word "Bastards!" A shocked quiet reigns for a moment. "You know, just in case you were still trying to decipher my last remark," he adds helpfully. And he steps out into the snow to seek a more accommodating financial establishment.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Robins: an Irish Christmas card

Possibly the most charming birds ever...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Glengarriff (Gleann Garbh), on Bantry Bay in west County Cork.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rounding out Kerry

Atlantic view near Waterville.

Deenish (Duínis) and Scariff (An Scairbh) Islands.

More coastal scenery.

Uplands between Whitestrand and Sneem.

On the way up to Caha Gap.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Allaghee Beg and St. Finian's Bay

Allaghee Beg (Alachaí Beag), on the Skellig Ring.

Skellig Islands, as seen from the little harbour at Allaghee Beg.

Views around the harbour, which is hardly more than a boat slip.

For all I know, this tiny creek has sea-run browns and Atlantic salmon in it as well.

Another beach, a bit further along at St. Finian's Bay.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rossbeigh Strand

I never thought I'd see a beach to rival my beloved Assateague, much less proclaim it publicly. But Rossbeigh...Rossbeigh (Ros Beithe) has mountains. And if I stand atop those mountains, on tiptoe, and look to the southwest, and squint hard enough...well, I can imagine Assateague, anyway. So now I have two favourite beaches.