13 Highlights from a Walk Around the Dublin Suburbs

  1. A Vauxhall Nova parked on Orchard Road had steamed-up windows and a ghostly handprint on the windscreen.
  2. I’d walk by James Joyce’s birthplace trying to spot his ghost.
  3. Cracked open horse chestnuts litter the ground on Winton Road.
  4. The River Poddle forks at Mount Argus where my father went to daily Mass for many years.
  5. Shannon O’Brien lived on Frankfort Avenue, and I’d use the phone box in Rathgar Village to call her sometimes so my brothers couldn’t hear my attempts at chatting her up her.
  6. I made my confession in the Church of the Three Patrons on Friday afternoons and on Friday nights sinned against the light.
  7. Love-struck cats sang their songs perched on the back wall of our house.
  8. My grandmother wandered up to the butcher’s shop on the Rathgar Road in her nightgown.
  9. The old tramline ran along the Dodder River and I’d often go bird watching along its overgrown tracks.
  10. The GemGem sold all sorts of sweets and the inside of the shop smelled like the passing away of old ladies.
  11. A candle burned in a window on Dartry Park.
  12. Some nights we walked hand-in-hand through Orwell Park in the fog.
  13. I could smell my mother’s carnations long before I made it to our front door.


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