Sunday in September

It was 1960 something and myself and the Da went for a walk down the Grand Canal At Inchicore. Da had the transistor radio blaring out the All Ireland and passers-by hovered to catch the latest score. I on the other hand was not interested in the match I was fishing. I had a stick I found on the ground and stood on the canal bank mimicking the fishermen. Roach, Perch and even a Jack Pike swam in front of me and I shouted with excitement interrupting the Da and his match and annoying the fishermen who glowered in my direction. I don’t know if the Da knew my antics were annoying the fishermen but he shouted out Go on Ya Boy Ya as somebody scored a goal for his team. I saw this as a vote of solidarity. Now the match was nearing half time and like other six year olds I was getting bored just letting on to fish so I started moaning that my legs were sore and I wanted to go home but the Da wasn’t having any of that he wanted to listen to the end of the match. During the half time break as the Artane Boys Band played the Da put the radio down on the seat and pulled out the Newspaper from his pocket. Drawing out a page from the middle of the paper with an ad for a building Society and another for a Ladies Dress Suit for 4 guineas. He began to fold the paper into shape and made me a Boat. He placed the boat in the Canal and it floated. I ran along beside it as the gentle September wind blew it along, it bobbed up and down but it slowed as the paper became wet and heavy and it steered into the reeds that lined the banks of the Canal and came to a stop. Da was intent on listening to Michael O Heir articulate every movement of the sliotar from the sixty to just inside the parallelogram and another wide. I had more important things to take care of. I needed to find some stones to bomb the paper boat and sink it. I picked stones from the tarmac road that ran along the Canal and aimed them at the paper ship but had more misses than hits a bit like the lads playing in Croker. Eventually I like to think because of my good aiming but more likely the paper got saturated and the boat sank among the reeds. The Game ended and the Da and myself walked up the Canal towards home. I complained again that me legs were sore and the Da happy with the result of the match hoisted me up onto his shoulders and we headed home. Then the Da stopped and pointed out a Swans nest on the far bank of the Canal and we watched as White and Grey baby Swans swam by. I’m a Granda now and I sometime bring the Grandkids for a walk along the same stretch of the Grand Canal between Golden Bridge and Black Horse. They seem to be more excited watching the LUAS go speeding by than looking for fish or swans. Last time we went for a walk on the Canal my granddaughter said to the Grandad are you tired why don’t you sit down on that seat and rest while I throw some stones in the water. I remember that seat from when I was young.