Barry’s taking another one of his ‘Thirty minute Time-outs’. He says it’s either that or he’ll be found running and screaming into the arms of the nearest straightjacket.
The ‘who, what, how, why and when’ have been discussed, argued, contrasted and compared until the cows were brought home and put to pasture time and again. Trying to get one’s head in and around the several bidders’ information, or lack of, presents us with more twists and turns than the River Trent. We’ve read items that are nothing short of flights of fancy, or border on outlandish myth. Most, of course, are very, very real. Although there have been moments of the surreal turning our dreams into nightmares.
Right now we’re in emotional overload. Right now we’re emotionally weighed down. But in the midst of all the doom and gloom all true blue Valiants – men, women and children – are standing shoulder to shoulder to defy those forces that would seek to separate Port Vale from Burslem, and Burslem from Port Vale.
And right now I’m taking one of my ‘thirty minute time-outs’. And in doing so on this occasion my thanks go to Burslem Babe.
Now, I make no apologies whatsoever that the following verse is not directly related to our beloved Port Vale. However, there may be the slightest of hints that it is indirectly relevant. There may even be touches of irony and wit (gosh, I hope Cardiff City’s Bluebird One doesn’t read this). Anyway, back to what I was saying. Burslem Babe is going to Dublin. Vayurl has been to Dublin. And on the ovf message board Vayurl has been sharing his travelogue with BB in particular, and ovf in general.
Our eldest granddaughter has lived, worked and travelled in the UK and Europe. She has spent time in Ireland including, of course, Dublin and most of her letters, e-mails and postcards sent home to Western Australia have been converted into verse by yours truly. BB’s mention of her forthcoming trip to the Emerald Isle prompted me to flick back the pages of Junior’s travelogue to the time she visited a castle near her paternal great-great grandfather’s home of Cork.
OK, it’s wisp, rather than hint related. But it’s better than a blasted straightjacket.
Dermot McCarthy a Castle did fix
On an huge outcrop of solid limestone,
A place he could call his very own home.
Of being invaded by a marauding stranger
With men at arms ready to plunder,
Destroying all and scattering asunder.
To prevent being caught asleep in his bed
Thus facing the prospect of losing his head,
And to secure his Castle and his Keep
Built a staircase so spiral, narrow and steep.
The reason for this will now become known
For helping King Dermot keep his throne,
For the invaders problem when in full flight
Was they had to queue before they could fight.
The parapet walls and windows so narrow
Were designed to prevent the incoming arrow
From hitting its target in the heat of the battle,
And for the people of Munster to keep their Castle.
Now Ireland is my ancestral home,
So do I need to kiss this ‘Stone
To receive that ‘something’ I already have,
The so-called blessed ‘gift of the gab’?
Is the power of the ‘Stone really true?
A question I muse as Druid’s Cave I view.
Is it ancient myth, witchcraft or cure?
Whatever it is, I was drawn to the lure.
So of I went and joined the fun
To do the same as everyone
By bending backwards and upside down
And kissed the famous Blarney Stone.
Samantha Ann’s Travelogue
See you later…
Perth, Western Australia
February 3, 2002