Tag Archives: my brother

Bumps and Bruises

A suggestion on WordPress is to write about your first broken bone, or stitches. With many people this will be an exciting post, full of derring-do, the word “aaarggh” will appear regularly and long drops from trees will feature towards the end.

In my case, not so much. My first stitches came from having my appendix out, a procedure which seldom forms the central story of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. My first broken bone (my thumb) I got playing football. My second (ring finger, right hand) I got playing cricket, my third (little finger, right hand) I got playing cricket, and the fourth and final one to date (same thumb as before) I got playing cricket. There’s a repetitiveness about it all that doesn’t make for riveting reading.

I will therefore tell you the tale of my first scar. When I was young babies’ bottles were made of glass, and when I was two and my brother was six months old he smashed me across the face with his, leaving me with a scar on the bridge of my nose and him holding the remnants by the neck like a cowboy in a bar brawl.

I will now take my revenge (51 years later, now there’s a dish served cold) by relating the story of his first scar.

I know that I am about to sound like the old guy in your local who says “I remember when this town was all fields”, but when we were kids there was lots of open space in Dalkey, where we grew up, and loads of places where we would climb.

One such place was an area by the sea called White Rock, and when we were finished swimming for the day we would ignore the steps back up to the road and instead climb a steep grass-and-rock covered bank beside it, presumably on the basis that it took twice as long.

One day when I was ten and he was eight we were climbing this. He grabbed a rock to pull himself higher. It came out in his hand and he tumbled down the bank. He wasn’t hurt at all, he sat straight up.

And the rock, which had followed him down, hit him smack on the top of the head.

I am convinced that the guy who invented Wile E Coyote was watching.

He Ain’t Heavy

My one and only sibling is 50 today.

I’ve just rung him, and he’s fine about it, and thankfully this time so am I. When I hit 40 it didn’t bother me at all, but I was horrified when he got to 40 18 months later. I felt that if my baby brother was 40 then I must be really ancient. Now I suppose I already know that I’m really ancient, so how much older can I feel.

The Tinbro doesn’t feature too often in these annals, because we don’t see each other all that often. It’s not that we don’t get on, because we do, but his job takes him all over the country, and at the weekends he plays golf, with a lack of ability which takes him all over the countryside.

He’s a terrific bloke, so much better than me in every way. And yet because I’m the eldest he has always looked up to me, and I am both proud and humbled by this.

He has his own business which, thanks to the gobshites who ruined this country, is struggling at the moment, and he’s had to let some of his staff go. This hurt him deeply, as one of the most amazing things about him has always been the way he could manage staff and still have them as friends. Two of his three kids work with him, and I fear for all of them sometimes unless things improve.

But today’s not the day for all that. Today’s just the day to say Happy Birthday. As I said, I’ve only the one sibling, and I’ve been extremely lucky in the one that I got.