So long ago when I was but a young ‘un, I would go to my friend Peter’s house. Acquainted since we were merely 1 week old, Peter and I grew up living in each others houses. He lived on the side of the mountain, which provided us with ample adventure territory. I have mentioned my love of Enid Blyton books. Suffice it to say that I full on believed in fairies and other magical creaturefolk. Peter did not help this matter as he tended to tell me that there were fairies in the trees but I couldn’t see them because I had glasses.
Oh, the glasses. You know what made it worse? They were the free, health board approved glasses. Think… seethrough plastic frames with a brownish pinkish tinge. Think of saucers. Think of magnifying glasses in manner of comic book nerdy characters. I was that kid. Yep. I hated them with a passion. I would think ‘Who needs to see’, and off they’d come. And I would abruptly bump into whatever the hardest, sharpest most cornerful item in the room was. And it would hurt. So I would give up and slam the offending giant magnifying glasses back on and survey the beginnings of a yellowish bluish greenish massive bruise that was forming with vigour.
Well at least I wasn’t that kid with the runny nose.
So I never got to see my beloved fairies. But I was informed that they were sitting there, up in the trees overhead. This concept never scared me, though in retrospect it could have. Grinning fairies sitting in the boughs of tall trees, snickering and casting fairy dust down on me, the clumsy kid with the glasses. Especially the types of ‘faeries’ from the poetry – see Yeats: The Stolen Child. Changlings and echoes of evil faeries all over the place. But then Blyton’s fairies were wispy little happy things. Like Tinkerbell without the attitude.
Well back to the mountain. We would generally spend our days scrambling up and down the place. There used to be a little path-like trail we would climb, beating the extra brambles out of the way with good big stick (torn off one of the fallen trees) if memory serves me. I do believe we’d meet some of the neighbour children every once in a while, and we’d stop for the formalities of the 6 or 7 year olds:‘Hello there, Lovely day isn’t it?’ ‘Well it is indeed, only 2 foot of rain in the last hour, fantastic fantastic’ ‘That’s a great stick you have there!’ ‘It is surely, got it off the old chestnut up by the cow field’ ‘Ah I know the one, I might head up later myself, this auld thing is desperate for the splinters’ ‘Do, do, theres plenty left on it. Oh would ya c’mere, did you see teenage mutant hero turtles yesterday?’ ‘Ah, I missed it actually, was it a good one?’ ‘Oh it was mad altogether, there was a huge big fight, and by golly it was close, but the turtles sealed the deal. It was a close one tho, I had to go out and get a glass of milk after it, my nerves were in tatters’ ‘Oh you’ll have that. Well I’ll be off anyway, I hear there are leprechauns above in the cave’ ‘I heard that myself alright but I’m headed down to the weeping willow to make sure that it’s not the faraway tree. I’ll see you Monday at school’ ‘You will indeed. Good Luck!’
Or something to that effect anyhow. And off we’d go, taking on leprechauns or fairies or wild goats or whatever came our way, and then head back for some of his mammy’s glorious chocolate cake and a bit of telly. Good times I say, good times.