WEARING my Liam Gallagher inspired penny glasses, I was dressed head to toe in stonewashed Levi’s, a ribbed top and brown Kickers.  I thought I was the bees knees.  We walked on the beach eating chips, bought tat from the Lamas Fair by day and were enticed by the culchie bai’s at the bandstand by night.

The bandstand was actually a boarded up frame.  The mellow sounds of the brass instruments were now replaced with a tape recording of the Clubdance Chart on BCR.  That ‘thump thump’ as my ma would call it.

Holidaying in a small town with little adult supervision has its benefits.  For instance, you can sneak out and come home anytime you want providing you do it right.

We frequented a sweet shop that also sold alcoholic beverages.  The nice old lady behind the counter was very helpful and we appreciated her lax views on identification.  Pumped up on yellow man, pickled onion Space Raiders and Olde English, we enjoyed all manner of high jinks.

After one particular evening, we changed into pyjamas and prepared to settle in for the night.  I changed inside my sleeping bag.  Not because my underwear was unfit for public viewing but because I’m the only girl in a family of boys and getting undressed under cover comes naturally to me.

As we debated the important matters of which bai was the soundest, we heard a man snoring and farting for Ireland.  Every snore and fart from his tent was matched with a snigger and cackle from ours.

The farter didn’t take kindly to a squad of Belfast girls waking him at four in the morning.  He grunted angrily and the shadow of his burly figure moved closer and closer to us.  Our tent zip whizzed up and Farty Arty stuck his top half in.


I studied him from my position at the very end of the tent.  He had a mop of curly hair, was very large and shirtless.   I stuffed the sleeping bag into my mouth and pinched my nose to stop myself from breathing. I could feel air escaping out my eyeballs.  I knew if I breathed I would laugh again.  He told us to shut the fuck up and retreated back to his own tent.  Or so we thought.

As we lay like a bunch of worms in our sleeping bags, we went quiet with fear and assessed our escape route.  The next thing I remember was seeing a large heavy rectangle hitting the support bar and sliding down the canvas behind my head.  Again there was silence but then even louder laughing from us.   The big fat hairy man had only tried to knock our tent down with a breeze block.

It was the era of girl power so we did what any female would do in that situation – we sent our mate in to get her da for him.