A laptop saved and the weight of mackerel

So ten days later the laptop has been restored and the cat is still alive.

I am not sure what the nice people in The Computer Clinic on London Road did for the £300 cash. For all I know they stuck it on a radiator for a few days and switched back the clock and left it that. But the screen is cleaner and it actually lights up when I turn it on so I should probably not ask too many questions. In the meantime I am keeping my glass of beer a respectful distance away and the kids are not being allowed anywhere near it.

On food I have been nibbling the ox’s heart and it is delicious.Having cooked it slowly for about five hours over Sunday afternoon I left it to cool down and then sliced it up and put it into a container in the fridge downstairs. I think that the quiet 24 hours did it good and now tastes like a good bit of cold roast beef (I had to pause there to nip downstairs to the basement for another small taste). I have a long journey on a train tomorrow with various work colleagues so I look forward to the expressions of horror that will no doubt follow when I produce my sandwiches.


I am sure that my friend with a black beard would enjoy them. Standing next to him he has finished telling me how a mackerel gets its black stripes. We have refilled our pints and it is quiet in the pub. Mary has gone through the doors into the kitchen and we are by ourselves. Without the presence of Mary it feels quieter and there is an unusual awkwardness about the room.

He breaks the quiet ‘ How many fish do you think are out there. Feck look at all that water it cannot be empty now. We do our bit of fishing now and then but you know we only itch, itch at them. We may get a few hundred or so but there are thousands down there Christ there must be millions to fill out all that water.’

‘As I have said if you fall amongst them they will eat you. I have heard of them pulling all the flesh and muscle from a man before his friends could pull him from the water and he was nothing but bones. But that was a long way from here.’

‘But you look on those men on the pier and you look at their boots. There was a time a fisherman would put some lead in his boots and couldn’t swim the quicker to be taken down to the bottom.’


‘But there was a man once. It may have Frank Hegarty’s uncle they say he got saved by the mackerel. They were so thick in the water and were churning it so that when he fell in they carried him back up again until he could be plucked in back into his boat. Now I can remember Frank’s uncle and he was a big feckin’ man but no amount of mackerel would keep him out of the sea. It was a night out in the pub that saved him and not the feckin’ fish.’

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