Sunday, 23 February 2014
Always for others
data and calculations here. I've re-engineered our lane over the years by scratching up little transverse berms so that any falling rain gets diverted off the lane before it starts to travel. And many years ago I persuaded one of our farming neighbours to deliver a couple of tractor-buckets of roadstone up the mountain in a couple of key places to divert the mountain-water (of which there can be a helluva lot) off the roadway and into drains. A little of this maintenance keeps the lane car-accessible to us and the postman. It also makes a difference to the surface under foot and means that hill-walkers can do the first part of their trek without twisting an ankle. Every year I take an azada (see right) and repair and rebuild these berms and shovel out the accumulated debris. It has made sense to go further and further up the lane to turn off running-water problems before they start.
A couple of years ago, I met Paddy as he came down off the mountain. Instead of carrying a Mars-bar or a compass, he was toting a shovel. He had spent the previous few weekends on his own up the mountain tricking about with the drains so that the water didn't destroy the lane. You can still benefit from the results of his care today. I can see why I might do that, partly for my own good and partly from a sense of proprietorship. But it's not so clear why Paddy who lived 40km away should make a special trip to make life easier and more enjoyable for other people. Except if you knew Paddy!: because his open heart and generous hand were clear to all when you were in his presence. I say "if you knew Paddy" because he died last Sunday - by all accounts of a heart-attack while clearing drains after the Darwinday storms. I hardly knew the man but I still feel that a light has gone out in our lives.
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Lovely tribute to Paddy, served with him in Collins Barracks and he certainly was a true gentleman and colleague. R.I.PReplyDelete
God bless him.ReplyDelete
God bless him.ReplyDelete
Great thoughts Mick . . . nice to meet you on Wednesday, if only in passing.ReplyDelete
Hello Andrew. That was a lovely tribute for a really lovely gentleman. I had a similar experience of Paddy - I often used to meet him walking down College Street with his two dogs and of course at the Carlow Walking Festival each year. I never came away from meeting him without feeling better - he had an infectious sunny personality.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a real gent. Lovely tributeReplyDelete
He was a real unsung hero of the people. The people that Paddy met along the way will never forget him. He would help one and all, I don't think I have ever met anyone like him or ever will again.ReplyDelete
As a neighbour of Pat (as we called him) I can assure you, we have lost a true gentleman from a lovely familyReplyDelete