because an iconic maple Acer macrophylum in the Front Square of Trinity College Dublin had coming crashing to the earth at 0400hrs. When I caught up with the news at tea-time, I cried out "My tree is dead" and The Beloved came in to commiserate. We went on a hunt for the picture that evidenced the connexion between me and the mighty tree.
Back in 1973, like The Ginger Man 25 years earlier, I came from foreign parts to be a student in Trinity College. I left my natal home and country with what I considered essential gear for studenting. This included:
- a moustache, which would have had the gays all over me if I'd been enrolled in UCSF rather than TCD.
- a ratty musk-rat Ondatra zibethicus fur coat
- a box of books, some banned in Ireland
- long ratty rarely washed hair (eeeeeuw it was the 70s)
- a slide rule
- a pair of sea-boots (yachtie's wellingtons really)
- a pair of loons [as R, £1,80?? my first wage packet in 1970 was £6.50]
I met The Beloved about three weeks later and the following Spring, she lent me a white galabeya [as L: not me!] which I think she looted from her father Pat the Salt, an old Africa Hand. Come Rag Week or ?Trinity Week? in 1974, I decided that wearing the galabeya and a white cotton headband would be the height of fashion for a young buckeroo about College; check out the love-beads as well. And it was so. To gild the Wildean lily, I climbed into the maple tree and struck a leafy pose about 3 m off the ground. A photographer from the Irish Times snapped this epitome of youthful dinkitude and my photo appeared in the paper the following day. All I have is a crap xerox of a xerox of the original pixellated picture. I don't know what I was thinking at the time climbing a tree in a long skirt but it probably wasn't notably profound. It was of course against all ideas of Health & Safety in the Workplace even back in those free-wheeling times.
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