Friday, February 27, 2009

The mountain and Mohammed

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve dug this government out of a hole. In previous issues of this esteemed newspaper, I have solved the problem of our parlous transport problem in Dublin 15, argued for the creation of a blue flag beach at Abbotstown, proposed the notion of adopting the leaf as our national currency and pushed for the reintroduction of hedge schools. My suggestions, sadly, have not been taken up by those in power, which leads me to think that the time to break away and form an autonomous enclave here in Dublin 15 is getting ever closer.
However, I am nothing if not a fair man, and I will give the powers that be one final opportunity to redeem themselves before we launch our glorious revolution.
The proposed M3 Motorway. The Navanites are pushing for it because they want to get down to Blanchardstown and spend their money here as quickly as possible. The environmentalists are against it because its route scythes through, or at least near, the one defining symbol of our ancient royal heritage – the Hill of Tara.
Personally I’m surprised John Gormley can’t see the obvious solution. I’ll be looking for a higher calibre of minister when we finally form an autonomous government.
We move the Hill of Tara down to Kellystown.
Yes, I know it’s a brilliant suggestion and solves everybody’s problems but I’m not looking for plaudits or even a free holiday to the Bahamas from two grateful Councils. (Though if the subject came up, I do believe the people ought to be allowed to express their gratitude.)
Let’s get down to brass tacks. There is a huge big mound of earth – technically known as “a hill” – which, with complete lack of foresight, the ancients located on the route between Dublin and Navan. There are diggers and bulldozers standing idly by, waiting to spring into action and start building the brand spanking new M3 super highway that will enable folk from Navan, Kells and beyond (yes, apparently there is a “beyond”) to access the City Centre gridlock much faster.
The only people standing in the way of progress are the environmentalists, who claim that the Hill of Tara is such an important part of Irish history that to build a road anywhere near it is tantamount to blasphemy. This is particularly true, they claim, when a much less destructive route to the capital could be had by going through Athlone.
So, here it is in a nutshell. Would it not solve everybody’s problem, if we just loaded the Hill of Tara onto a fleet of dump trucks and transported the whole lot en masse to Kellystown? The commuters would be happy as the motorway could go ahead. The environmentalists would be happy because the Hill of Tara would be saved for future generations. And the archaeologists would be pretty thrilled too as the JCBs would throw up remnants of Niall of the Nine Sausages for them to drool over.
Of course we don’t want to make the same mistake as an American millionaire in 1968 who bought London Bridge, believing it to be Tower Bridge. We will need to have a team of stock-checkers both in county Meath and at Kellystown to make absolutely sure that we are getting the genuine article and are not being fobbed off with any old hill by our neighbours.
During the excavation, we would also need to have a team of spotters around the area, keeping a vigilant eye out in case Tony Robinson and his pals from Time Team try to gatecrash the party.
When the Hill is completely re-located, we can then start to maximise its full potential. Frankly, Meath County Council’s idea of leaving it to go to seed and putting a bit of a souvenir shop at the foot of it goes along away to demonstrating why the Royal County will never be a beacon for holidaymakers from around the globe. Who’s going to want to fly ten thousand miles just to be blown to bits on top of some hill?
In my vision, the Hill of Tara Theme Park would attract tourists in their millions. Roller coaster rides up and down the Mound of the Hostages; an artificial ski slope down the Rath of the Synods; the Banqueting Hall turned very appropriately into a Burger Arcade; the House of Cormac turned into a huge underground aquarium; scary characters dressed up in Brian Boru costumes having their photographs taken with frightened children for €20 a shot; the Tuatha Dé Danann selling ice-cream and candy-floss; musical entertainment nightly by Queen Medbh and The Druids – what a cash cow we would have on our hands!
It would also be a picturesque place for the family to go on a Sunday afternoon. In fact, a signposted track around the site could be labelled a High King Trail. Stalls could sell High King Boots, weddings could be arranged in special Hitch High King ceremonies – the possibilities are endless.
Of course, legend has it that Tara was the dwelling place of the gods and the gateway to the Otherworld. It is an exciting possibility that during the transportation of the Hill, we may in fact discover this gateway and thus gain free and easy access to the Otherworld as a major holiday destination. Dublin 15 would be the hub for millions of tourists wanting to try a holiday with a difference and of course being outside the EU, a whole duty free industry could be set up around this portal.
As well as that, the opening of the gateway could also attract holidaymakers coming the other way, many of whom would have been buried with lots of lovely gold sovereigns. This would further boost the economy of the local area as hordes of excited, if long-dead, spirits swarm out of the Otherworld on ethereal coach tours.
Of course there may be some up in county Meath who might object to the loss of their national heritage site, however underdeveloped. While one might sympathise with them for their Council’s lack of business acumen, it must be said that they would now have a brand spanking new motorway by which they could come and visit their beloved hill whenever they wanted – for a modest admission charge, of course.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Whether to stand...

The local Council elections are just around the corner, veering from kerb to kerb like a bad dream on wheels and I’ve still not decided if I should stand or not. Time is not only running out, it is turning around as it does so and sticking out its tongue.
Most of the other prospective candidates have already thrown their hats into the ring, which I secretly consider a waste of good headgear. It may be that I am too late already and that lost ground, like that in Kellystown, cannot be made up. On the other hand, I could always say that natural modesty debarred me from standing but that I have reluctantly agreed to go forward following strong representations from those in the community.
The problem with the local council elections is that most people tend to vote on national issues. If you stopped somebody in the street and asked them to name our eight local councillors, they’d probably ask you if they could get to the footpath first before answering.
I would of course be standing for the Independence for Dublin 15 Party. This will give me the perfect opportunity to lambast the Government for their mismanagement of the area over the past number of years and also condemn everybody else for their weak and ineffectual opposition. Independents will also get short shrift as without a party machine behind them they will merely be a lone voice crying in the wilderness.
The candidate who gets his name out there in the community stands a great chance when polling time comes around. If you only recognise one name out of a list of twelve, it has to be an advantage. If I do decide to stand, therefore, I will have to join the other candidates in letting the constituency know that I exist.
The first thing to do will be to produce a newsletter and get it distributed. I will call it The Goulding Report, as this will imply a regular communication from myself to the community that I profess to hold so dear, even though I have only latterly shown an interest in events beyond my hall door. If I also call it Volume 2 Issue 27, people will think my commitment to local issues has been ongoing for a number of years.
In the newsletter, I will select various issues from around the constituency (having of course scoured the Community Voice first) and give my two hundred word view on each of them. It is important that I do not concentrate on one particular area as this will restrict my vote-getting.
My views on each topic of debate will of course not depend on the rights and wrongs of the issue. Such an attitude may be praiseworthy but it will not get me elected. I will naturally side with the residents as they are the ones who will put their X on the ballot paper, not the issue itself.
Where the residents are up in arms, I will naturally launch a “scathing attack” on the authorities. Scathing attacks are always good for votes as they demonstrate real commitment. During this scathing attack, I will “call upon” the Council / the Government / the Gardaí to act swiftly to put an end to this “lamentable situation.” Again, calling upon people is a winner, even if those in authority have no idea who I am.
Where a resolution has been reached, I will “applaud the decision,” whatever it may be, despite the fact that nobody has asked me for my approval. I will also “monitor the situation” very carefully and “liaise closely” with the residents, if I can find out who’s in charge.
I will also dress up in a suit and tie and travel around to different areas and have my photograph taken there. This will show how hard I am working for all the residents in the constituency. I will not make the mistake of one previous PD candidate who simply superimposed his photograph onto the platform of Coolmine Railway Station, making him appear taller than the train beside him.
It is also vital that I organise at least one local meeting for people in my local community on whatever issue is most likely to be uppermost in people’s minds. Transport is always a good one. This will allow the riff-raff to come along and tell lurid tales of having to get up at 5am in order to be at their office by 8am. It is important though that I bar other candidates from attending the meeting, in case they muscle in on this nice little group of potential voters that I have assembled for myself.
At the meeting, I will stand up and launch a scathing attack on Dublin Bus and the local authorities, calling upon both of them to put an end to this lamentable situation. I will promise the residents that I will monitor the situation very carefully and will liaise closely with residents on the issue.
It is also advisable to shake as many people’s hands as I can, as this conveys trust, and when I am approached at the end, I should cradle my chin in one hand and nod my head vigorously, thus indicating empathy with whatever they are waffling on about.
After the meeting I should write a letter to Dublin Bus, calling upon them to immediately allocate another 25 buses to the area. When the inevitable apology comes back, I will then distribute both epistles to the community, thus demonstrating how hard I am working on their behalf.
Sometimes an issue might be so contentious that I might not be sure what the view of the majority of the residents is. In this case, it is a good idea to hold a rough straw poll of those entering the meeting. A quick tot up of the figures will easily show me where my sympathies should lie and I will come down unequivocally on the side of the majority, even when they are wrong.
Writing letters to the local paper is also a good way of raising the profile. I simply need to find an issue and then launch another scathing attack on the powers-that-be. Editors will be reluctant to withhold the letter in case they might be accused of political bias, so it’s a sure-fire advertising coup and if the letter is long enough, he might feel obliged to add my photo too.
Sadly, I would also need to spend a lot of money on election posters. It is a widely known fact that the more posters a candidate puts up, the better equipped he is for the job. “Oh, he must be a great man – he has a poster on every lamppost” is a comment widely heard at election time.
I probably will not go as far as one candidate in the last elections who flew a huge hot air balloon over the locality advertising his candidature. Not only did it create a hazard for bemused pilots making their final approach to the airport, but it also demonstrated to the community that some people have more money than sense and it failed to garner him enough votes to get him elected.
Between you and me, though, the thought of spending a lot of money is one of the main reasons why I am unsure about standing. True my commitment is deep and whole-hearted but I need to think about this year’s holiday to the Algarve too.
So if there is a local benefactor out there in the community who would be willing to sponsor my candidature, I would feel duty bound to consider acceptance, for the good of the community. The sum of €50,000 would go a long way to delivering a real voice for the people but of course I would not be able to entertain any rezoning requests my benefactor might make.
God forbid!
This was written for issue 131 but my wife didn't like it. She felt I was getting at too many people, she felt the article was disjointed and lacked structure and that without local councillors, the political system would fall asunder. As her views on my writing are of necessity more objective than mine, I didn't submit it.
PS. Three months later, Fergus asked me to do an extra political musings for Issue 137. I am ashamed to say I took the easy way out and submitted this piece, which appeared in issue 137.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The terror of 2/2

Photo by the inimitable Vincent Cahill

Three days that shook the world!
Many of us who lived through the terrifying ordeal that began on February 2nd 2009 (or 2/2 as it has come to be known) will be impatient for our offspring to beget further offspring, so we can sit our grandchildren on our laps and tell them the blood-curdling stories of the Terrible Snow.
It began on the Monday morning as a terrified populace awoke to a world that was completely shrouded in white, except for the bits that weren’t. As is the wont in times of crises, the peasantry turned to religion, and rosary beads were clutched and Hail Marys recited in response to the world turned upside down during the hours of darkness.
Slowly, fearfully, people began to appear from their houses like survivors of an apocalyptic attack, wondering if it was safe to go outside. You immediately sensed something was wrong when teenage girls, well-used to venturing out in the harshest of weather wearing but a string top and a mini skirt came teetering back in on their high heels “to put on another belly-top,” hoping to goodness that nobody would see them.
Radios were tuned to RTE and every item of information was gleefully relayed to other family members hugging each other in fright. “Tailbacks on the Navan Road inbound.” “Truck has hit a hedgehog on the M50.” “Food parcels being dropped by the army on parts of Corduff.”
In our estate, hundreds of cars were coughed into life and left idling on drives and grass verges in an attempt to clear windscreens of the strangely cold white stuff that was obliterating the view. An enterprising joy-rider could have had his pick of Toyota, Nissan or Hyundai, had he chanced down our street that first morning. It is a good job they mainly work evenings.
But despite the traumatic events, a spirit of the blitz still prevailed. Grown men nodded knowingly to each other as they tiptoed down their drives with kettles of water. Schoolgirls’ spirits were raised considerably by the fondness of their male counterparts for throwing snowballs and they laughed joyously as they ran the gauntlet. And everyone did their best to stifle laughter when somebody slipped on a particularly treacherous bit of ice.
Reliable estimates put the thickness of the snow at between four inches and several miles. Apparently it was at its worst in the estate of whoever you were talking to at the time. “You should have seen it around our way...” began a thousand conversations in workplaces all around the Dublin 15 area.
Lurid tales of hardship began to emerge. Grown men had walked nearly a mile in freezing conditions to get into work, dressed only in thick woolly clothing, five pairs of socks, a hat and scarf. Shackleton’s Heart of Antarctica was made to seem like a stroll in the Phoenix Park in mid-July as red noses became “the first stages of frostbite.”
Motorists spoke of dices with death, relating how their wheels had skidded on the ungritted road surfaces and only their quick thinking in righting the steering wheel had prevented a nasty accident. Women spoke in horror at how their shoes had been destroyed by the slush. For the first time in history, children actually asked their mothers for a carrot, before dashing back out to the garden, yelling the puzzling words “I’ve got his nose!”
Of course, there were some who struggled into the workplace on those three calamitous days who weren’t impressed. Depending on their age, it wasn’t half as bad as the snow of 1982 / 1963 / 1947 (delete as appropriate), all coincidentally times of recession. In those days, they averred, people were tough and had walked sixty miles in bare feet through snow of ice-age proportions, done a 22 hour day and then walked back.
Motorists, advised by AA Roadwatch only to make journeys that were absolutely necessary, decided that it was absolutely necessary to venture out on the treacherous surfaces so they could relate how bad it was. The Navan Road became totally blocked, reminiscent of the Terrible Floods of 2002 or the Terrible Earthquake of 1984 or the Terrible Bit of Cloudy Weather of 1996. Traffic and travel helicopters buzzed overhead, relating in joyous terms that people should turn around at Scott’s Roundabout unless they wanted to freeze to death.
And still the snow kept falling.
On the second day, people started to build arks and shelters, worried that the Day of Atonement was at hand. With the exception of the East Europeans, who strolled breezily into work in shirt sleeves wondering what all the fuss was about, very few people actually made it into their place of employment, and those that did arrive, some time in the mid-morning, stared gloomily out of the window for an hour before declaring that they’d better head off or they’d never get home.
Grief counsellors were called in by distraught mothers, as schoolboys wept bitterly at the news that school was out and they’d have to go and play in the snow instead. Many had to be physically restrained from donning their school uniforms and heading out in the raging blizzard, determined to get their daily fix of Irish and sums.
It wasn’t only the humans that suffered. A fat little robin, completely perplexed by the alien environment, chirped merrily on our washing line for an hour until he realised his feet were stuck fast. Not wishing to waste the opportunity, my daughter did some quick sketches that she intends to send off to Hallmark in time for next Christmas, before de-icing him with some flat Coca-Cola.
At night time, temperatures dipped to -40, according to my five year old neighbour. Planes bound for Arrecife and Sharm el Sheikh were left sitting at Gates 78 and 80, as panicked airport officials debated over endless cups of coffee how best to tackle the unprecedented white stuff that covered the runway. Matters worsened when nobody could find the key to the shed where the broom was kept. Fine Gael blamed the Government. IBEC blamed greedy workers. The Greens blamed The Whites.
And then, on the third day, it began to clear. As we peered forth from our bedroom windows, we scarcely dared hope that the worst was behind us. In the morning, we threw our canary out of the window. He came back five minutes later, giving out about the cold.
At midday, we threw him out again. This time he stayed out for a half an hour before returning empty-beaked.
And then, when we released him a third time, he came back with an empty bag of Tayto. And we knew that we were saved.
And we hugged and vowed to be good to one another for evermore.

Improving your home

The housing market, they tell us, is depressed. Rumour has it that it has been seen bawling its eyes out in the bar of the Clonsilla Inn whenever a Dean Martin song comes on the jukebox.
As a result, people are understandably wary of committing large sums of money to property, in case they get into something called “negative equity,” which, according to my online dictionary is a black treacly substance akin to molasses. Unspent SSIA money lies in banks, earning anything up to 50c in interest every six months, and people naturally believe it should be working harder. As moving house or upgrading may represent a dodgy option, many people are looking to improving their existing home, figuring that any type of improvement will count towards increasing the price of the house, when the upswing comes skipping gaily around the corner.
In our house, this topic of conversation has come up more than once, though I have always tried to discourage it, as it combines my two pet hates – spending money and work. However, my wife’s determination to do something with our home is increasing daily and my attempts at prevarication are correspondingly weakening.
My cause has not been helped by the plethora of house hunting programmes on the television, all demonstrating what wonderful things can be done with a jack hammer and a bit of plasterboard. On every channel, enthusiastic amateurs are sawing and plastering their way to beautiful homes for very little outlay. My argument that these reality programmes are in fact, scripted soap operas performed by actors, lacking any basis in reality, is falling on deaf ears.
Many people, it seems from these frankly unbelievable programmes, have opted for converting their attics and my wife seems keen on this idea. I have argued that religious beliefs, even those of attics, should be respected and we should not approach the subject in an evangelical frame of mind but my wife merely gives me a withering stare. The fact that our attic contains a web of cross-beams like the security lasers used to protect the bank vault in Oceans Eleven does not lead me to believe that this is a job that can be completed before lunch. But I have to grudgingly admit that it could earn extra rental income for her when she finally kicks me out.
The subject of a conservatory is also one that is rearing its ugly head with increasing frequency. It would be a lovely place, I am told, to sit in on warm summer’s evenings and read. I have countered that anyone waiting on a warm summer’s evening in Dublin 15 would need the patience of a saint and she has reluctantly admitted there is some truth in this.
I have always maintained there are two types of people in this world – those that like to split the world up into two types of people and those that don’t. Or those that like conservatories and those that don’t. Personally I am in the latter camp. I think this stems from a traumatic occasion in my childhood when I was informed that a sinister figure called Colonel Mustard had once strangled somebody in a conservatory with an elastic band (we believe the rope ended up in the Hoover.) Besides I have always been doubtful that a wicker chair would be able to support my bulky frame.
How about decking, she asks? To be honest, I’ve never really understood decking. What is it supposed to do? Does it protect your concrete patio area in case you wear it out? Why do we need something perfectly flat to walk on? I think the thing that puzzles me the most is why anyone would feel the urge to woodstain it every summer, given the proviso that they found a dry day. If I got a fine day, I’d want to sit in the middle of my lawn in a patio chair with a crate of Stella Artois, not toil over a never-ending decking system with a brown brush.
With the new energy rating certificate for second hand homes coming in very shortly, it would be a good idea, in theory, to make our home more energy efficient. Solar panels in the roof would probably be a good investment, though I’d have to see figures to prove that the amount of sunlight we get in a year would be enough to boil a kettle of water. The addition of a porch would certainly stop the draught coming under the hall door but, to me, an old jacket, is a much cheaper, if slightly more awkward alternative. Trying to follow my wife’s example, I have tried to make the colour of the jacket match the colour of the walls of our hall.
But of course, the whole area of home improvements does not necessarily mean gangs of workmen in hard hats pointing to architects’ drawings and shaking their heads sadly. It can be simply redecorating or adding little accessories that can transform a room. And the easier and cheaper they are to do, I argue, the more satisfaction you derive from them.
It is a fact of life that zeal for doing home improvements declines in direct relation to the length of time you have occupied the house. When we moved into our house with millennial excitement all those years ago, I was up and down ladders, painting walls like a kangaroo on a trampoline. Nine years on and I grudgingly admit that it is time the walls were all done again but my enthusiasm for the task has waned ever so slightly. The fact that my wife keeps bringing home colour charts and asking me whether I think concubine honey would look good in the hall, stairs and landing does not give me any great hope that the work can be put off for much longer. Spraining an ankle or feeling a twinge in my back would really only be putting off the inevitable, so I suppose I’d better bite the bullet and get on with it.
I’ll start with the window sill in the downstairs toilet.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Still traumatised after all these years

There are pivotal points in every person’s life when you know that things will never be the same again. For some, it is the birth of a child or the death of a loved one or the release of a new Lionel Ritchie album. For some people, and my wife was probably one of them, it was the day they walked into the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre and saw that the name Debenhams had replaced their beloved Roches Stores.
To paraphrase The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, well I remember that terrible day when the tears drowned the seats round the fountain. Women sobbed uncontrollably and fumbled in their handbags for tissues, while helpless husbands, uncertain how to act in the face of such a cataclysmic trauma, murmured “There, there” and patted them ineffectually on the shoulder.
It was not as if we spent a lot of money in Roches. Being staunch green followers of St. Bernard, we never shopped for groceries there, although they saved my brother-in-law’s life one time, when they still had two jars of brandy butter on the shelves at 5pm on a Christmas Eve.
Rather it was a store where “the discerning shopper,” as my wife likes to describe herself, could browse happily for hours. “I’m just popping into Roches. See you on Friday,” she would call to me. There was a rumour that one enthusiastic shopper actually collapsed in a Roches one time through starvation and had to be weaned back to health on liquid foods, though this may be just an old discerning shopper’s tale.
Roches, you see, was pitched at just the right level for a department store. It wasn’t cheap and cheerful but it wasn’t exorbitantly expensive like some other shops where you need to take out a loan from the credit union to buy a colander. It was the best place for lampshades and gift items and vied with the also-now-departed All Rooms for household utensils. It had curtains and picture frames and vases and bathroom scales and toasters and whatever you’re having yourself.
Basically it was great for gifts that you didn’t want to spend a fortune on but wanted to make it look as though you had. “A little bit of luxury at affordable prices” is how I would have described it if I had been charged with coming up with an advertising slogan.
And when they had a Sale, my wife often asserted, (and who am I to argue?) it was a Real Sale. None of your €10.00 jumpers imported as a job lot from Indochina. They reduced everything in the store and brought nothing in on special. This was a genuine, no-holds barred, everything in the store sale.
The staff were obviously chosen for their customer skills, rather than for their ability to work a check-out. They didn’t tend to employ eighteen year old young wans who chewed gum and discussed last night’s sexual activity with their fellow members of staff as they served you. Granted, they weren’t always the quickest at taking the order and wrapping up your bathroom scales but you didn’t really mind because the salesperson was personable and attentive.
It was the kind of store where they called you Sir or Madame, the staff obviously undergoing training to differentiate between the two. And you felt that if you accidentally smashed a vase, the manager would apologise to you for displaying the item in such a position where you had no choice but to knock it over.
Roches was always the store that you looked in if they didn’t have it in Dunnes. I often think my wife was secretly glad when she couldn’t find a suitable winter jacket or potato peeler or pair of curtains in Dunnes because then she’d have to go into her belovéd Roches and spend blissful hours sauntering through the departments.
I have to admit I didn’t quite share her enthusiasm for Roches but then again I have an antipathy to most retail outlets. I go into a shop knowing what I want; I buy it and then leave. I don’t do ‘browsing,’ believing that shopping is a purely functional exercise like driving to work or brushing your teeth and is therefore a chore to be completed with as little fuss as possible. Nobody brings the wheelie bin out and meanders with it up and down the drive for an hour or more, I argue, to little avail.
Thus on that fateful day when the Roches sign was seen no more, I sat with her and made earnestly sympathetic, if totally insincere, noises of commiseration. It would have made little difference if I’d recited the Koran – she was inconsolable.
“Come on,” I said. “We’ll have a look around – it mightn’t be too bad.”
Now if Debenhams had opened in some other part of the centre, it’s entirely possible that my wife might have liked it. To my untrained eye, it had similar sorts of things, if slightly more expensive than Roches, and might have served as a reasonable alternative. But the fact that it occupied the same unit as Roches – as of course, it had to, as it bought them out – meant that poor old Debenhams never stood a chance.
It was like your favourite football team going out of existence and another side coming in and playing on the same ground. She didn’t like the lay out, the uniforms, the stock, the tannoy – nothing was right, she said. Why couldn’t it just go back to the way it was?
I believe a lot of people feel the same way. The very sight of the Debenhams name conjures up memories of Roches. It is as if they are resentful towards the new for the demise of the old, as if the evil Mr. Debenham ousted the old and genial Mr. Roche in a vicious coup d’etat and they can’t find it in their heart to forgive him.
A major part of the problem is that there is nowhere for the grieving shopper to come and mourn. There is no headstone saying ‘Here lies Roches Stores – RIP,’ where one can come and lay flowers and say a decade of the rosary. There is no plaque on the wall or a shrine or a garden of remembrance. Shoppers like my wife received no counselling and have had to learn to live with the loss alone.
Feeling strongly that these poor forgotten members of society need a focal point for their grief, I wrote a letter to Cork County Council, asking them if it was in their estimates for 2009 to provide an interpretive centre where pilgrims could go and relive the halcyon days of Roches Stores. They could have video presentations and the girls could dress in that stripy green and navy uniform. I even went as far to suggest that the best place to stage this would be at Roches Point, next to the lighthouse.
I am still awaiting their reply.