Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian

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Obscure words explained 102 – ban sidhe

BAN SIDHE (Banshee)

Old Irish, Fairy

Vengeful if one offends them

Clodhna their Queen


Unusual U.K. place names 74. – Stuggadhoo

STUGGADHOO, Isle of Mann

on he Isle of mann

many nations have ruled here

Famous for Manx cats




The Man with the Rowan Rod


This is another piece from the box of stuff I found waiting to be unpacked in my garage.

The Man with the Rowan Rod


He came to visit me today,

He brought his Rowan rod.

Hereabouts it’s called a fé.

When asked if that was Irish? All he did was nod.

He took my measure top to toe.

He had a grim and solemn take

He did this twice before he could go

To find the wood with which to make

My suit of fir which I would wear

With other souls who’d gone before

To the space beneath the turf I’d share.

So now I sit and wait for God,

I‘ve seen the man with the Rowan rod.

I even looked him in the eye.

He wished to speak, I could see.

At which he let out one long sigh.

He asked a question what shall I do

When my time comes, who do you

think with measure me?

Don’t worry about length or breadth I said

Upon this earth we made our bed

The time will come for us to answer

For all the stuff that we have done to others and alone

Sins for which we must atone.

I’ve confessed my sins to God

So I’ll be fine beneath the sod.

Go now and confess at least

What you remember to a priest

And he’ll have some words to say

He’ll even tell you what to pray,

As penance for forgiveness of your faults.

And when you reach the Pearly gates,

Just reach up and ring the bell.

Peter will check you in his book and the gates will open wide

Peter then will ask of you, why don’t you come inside?

On earth you measured souls and you did measure well

So much so my friend you saved them all from hell.

Your solemn look and words you spoke

Had great effect on all the folk

You met before my angel called on them to say

Before your maker you will go today.

It caused them in their last moments to give some thought

To the life that they had led.

But what really saved them

were the words that you said.

Repent the end is nigh!

Today you’ll meet your lord and God

In his kingdom up on high.


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THE FOX FUR HAT and a simple misunderstanding


Prince Charles attended the grand opening of the new Garda Siochana barracks in Tinahely, County Wicklow in Ireland wearing a dark blue pin-stripe three piece suit and a fox fur hat.

After some speeches and various pieces of music played by a Garda brass band and a ribbon cutting, Prince Charles found himself sitting at lunch with Gwinnon Vaughan,the mayor of Tinahely and a few other local dignitaries. after the entrée and just before the dessert was about to be served the mayor coughed discretely and said ” your Highness thank you again for coming to our small off the beaten track town, but please forgive me, I must ask about the fox fur hat you are wearing”.

Prince Charles responded somewhat matter-of-factly.

“Oh yes”. “Well I was getting ready for my trip yesterday and my father, Prince Philip wanted to know if I could go sailing today I told him no as I had a grand opening at a Garda Siochana barracks in Tinahely.” “He simply said  Oh!- wear the fox hat”