Saturday, February 27, 2010



Polished Granite - Brazil
White Granite - Ireland
Marble - Italy
Limestone - Ireland

Private Collection

0.61m x 0.40m x 2.15m high Registered & Protected

Saturday, February 20, 2010


He was expecting more traffic for this time of the day but it was relatively quiet, if he was to tell anybody about it they would find it hard to believe him, it was always traffic jam at this time of the day in this part of the city, and so he thought luck was with him. They drove in silence, his mother, a hard woman at the best of times, not even made any comment on how free-flow the traffic was and so it was that they drove in silence for the best part of the hour and a half journey. It wasn't exactly a cold day, the winter had been mild for this time of the year and Christmas was not that far off, but his mother was dressed expecting the worst and in spite of the heater on in the car kept her leather gloves on, one hand on top of the other in a tight grip as if she was trying to stop her hand from running away from her body.  Her woolen coat, creamy colour with black and dark blue specks buttoned to the neck and brown sensible leather shoes  gave the women the appearance of somebody who had not the time of day to stand and gossip with friend or stranger. The expression on her face had that determined look about it, it was already giving out the definitive message that it did not want to talk nor did she look left or right but straight ahead. She had a mission, or was it that she was arranging her thoughts in her head, no matter, he thought at least she would be happy or say some words for this was the day her husband, and his father was been let home from the hospital in nice time to be with his family for Christmas.
Eric parked his old but still good car at the side of the road opposite to the place where he was buying a second hand compressor to help him in his work. He already put a cash deposit down as a down payment for the compressor which was been serviced before he handed over the final amount. What luck he thought to himself, to find a parking space right opposite the tool shop as he was parking the car. The last time he was here he had to park some distance away and on top of that he got a parking ticket for five minutes over the time, he was remembering as he turned off the engine. Turning to his mother with the stone face look, he told her he will be a couple of minutes that he wanted to check on a compressor he was buying. She did not answer him, just sat there looking ahead. This kind of 'game' she played was not new to him and he called it the 'poor me game'. Eric got out of the car, no point in wasting time for some response he thought as he was entering the tool shop. He was pleased with the way the compressor was been serviced, this is money well spent even though cash was tight for him now he was thinking to himself as he was getting back into the car. ' You were fifteen minutes', she was not asking, but in that tone of voice she was telling. ' Sorry.... we will still be on time, don't worry'. No she was not worried, she knew they would be on time, but still it was her way of reminding Eric that she still had some authority over him, she never had anything good to say to him at anytime in his life. There never was a mother son relationship between them and Eric tried not to let it bother him even though it did. It always did.
'Look ... there's the hospital now and we are still on time', Eric said as he was pulling into a parking space not too far from the main door. 'You were fifteen minutes', she said as she got out of the car and not bothering to close the door after her, now it started to rain, 'She will have something to say about that too', he thought as he was locking up the car, and sure enough as he was thinking about it out it came like spitting venom from a cobra, 'If you were not fifteen minutes we would not be caught in this rain now'..... Eric gave up, better not to answer, instinct was telling him as they walked up the granite steps to the main door. She in front with a stride that showed military like determination, and that was the body language she was sending out for all to see. It was one of those doors that opened on the pressure of your foot but for some reason it did not respond to her presence, like it was blocking her way, and it was only when Eric got to the door did the sensors do their job as if they recognized Eric, just like the doorman on posh hotels. If looks could kill Eric was a dead man, ten times over. 
Hospital smells took over their senses as they entered, a blind man could tell were he was if he found himself there for no reason. Eric was sharp on body language, honed at an early age from watching his mother for signs that would have some effect on him. He would joke to friends later on in life that it was body language he learned first before he could speak. He was doing it now, as it was his habit always to survey the surroundings and people in any situation, but it came automatically to him, and right now it was in top form for he noticed a small group of doctors huddled together to one side of the reception desk that when they entered they look directly at them as if they were standing naked in a church. His mother had not noticed them even though the doctors were now walking towards them as if trying to stop them from entering the hospital. It wasn't until they were marching in formation, as was the way to show unity as the group and blocking their way did Eric's mother notice them ....... 'We are sorry to inform you that your husband died fifteen minutes ago ..... we did all we could for him, but' .....
Eric turned to his left and walked towards the lifts, his mind going into a muddle of thoughts, he wanted to be with his father, while his mother collapsed onto the floor like a rag doll losing all control of herself and her emotions. 'Fifteen minutes' he kept saying to himself over and over as the lift climbed it's way up, 'Fifteen minutes' he said out loud as he held his father's cold hand as death was now claiming the body, pulling him further and further away from Eric. Eric stood there riveted to the floor feeling the life drain from his own body and waiting for some response that will never, ever  come ........ 'Fifteen minutes' .........

The caterpillar's end is the butterfly's beginning. Registered & Protected

Friday, February 12, 2010


Standing at the railings smoking with the fresh smell of whisky on his breath and looking out at the port was like having a knife stabbed into his back, he hadn't been home for twenty two years. It was a cold night, cold outside and cold inside, in spite of the couple of shots of whisky he had taken before going on deck. The ship had been in port for two days now waiting to be unloaded with it's forty foot containers but they were on hold, the weather had slowed things down in the port to slow motion and everything was running behind time. He was uneasy and getting more disturbed in his mind the longer they were in port, he wanted to go to sea and the sooner the better. Things here had not changed much here in all of these years, in fact the dock was the same dock he stood on twenty two years ago. He was feeling more sick and disturbed inside the head the longer they stayed in port, crazy thoughts were taking over and memories running inside his mind like a badly made film that he has seen far too many times.              

Flicking his cigarette over board watching it disappear into the darkness he turned quickly to move down below when he heard the captain's voice calling him, 'Luciferro, I want a word with you on the bridge'. The captain was an old 'sea dog', one of those captains that would go down with his ship. He was now standing beside the captain and in spite of being on the bridge out of the cold, he was still shivering, 'Luciferro we know each other for a long time now, what fifteen years now'. Luciferro moves from one foot to another, short of doing an Irish Jig on the spot in his steel toed boots trying to keep warm and looking to port-side answers , ' yes captain'. 'This is your home port is it not', the captain now looking at his face knowing and knowing the answers to his intended questions but decided to back off and changed the subject. Luciferro looking lost in thought did not answer the captain, there was no answer, but the captain took no offence by it, they all knew Luciferro kept to himself in the engine rooms and had not much to say to anybody at the best of times. Took his meals on his own and would watch a football game in the evenings with his mates but never got excited like them over a game, he was not a 'team player' in life, he was a loner and liked it that way. The captain respected Luciferro, good at his job and made no trouble for him, if all the crew were like him he would say  'he would be the captain of a ghost ship'. Nobody knew his real name, 'Luciferro' was a 'nick name' given to him many years ago because he liked to work in the engine rooms of the ships. He took pride in his 'nick name' and would think about it with a smile on his face. The engine rooms were hot and noisy, maybe just like hell, and all that metal around him, well , he felt he was in control of a powerful beast moving across the seas. He was well named. 

Luciferro went to his cabin with the excuse to the captain he was not feeling well. The captain was uneasy with his feelings but let it go ...... for now. When a man spends twenty two years at sea, speaks of no family and keeps to himself you tend to give him wide 'berth', as they would say at sea. Six in the morning and Luciferro was not to be found, he did not turn up for breakfast and his bunk was not slept in, he was not in the engine room. The captain's 'feelings' were becoming a reality, Luciferro had 'jumped ship', and they had started to unload and going to sea in three days time, weather permitting. He could not wait for Luciferro if he did not turn up, jumping ship was an offence, but he decided not to write it up in the log, he will give Luciferro time and the benefit of the doubt, and besides he had his 'feelings', as to where Luciferro might be going.

Luciferro was on the road now well out of the port. He was making his way home, if there was anything left of it and the mother that rejected him while he was still in her womb ..... if she was still alive. He wanted to know did she still feel the same way about him and could a mother really reject her own flesh and blood. She had her own problems too, never married in life, he ran off to sea when she told him she was pregnant with his child. She would take to the bed for days on end with fits of depression and leave the boy to defend for himself. It all became too much for him when she would stand over him and beat him black and blue in the corner for no reason at all, but the 'reason' was because he was born, he had put an end to her life and the plans she had for it. She tried to abort him but was not brave enough to do it, to much guilt was already killing her, but she did it in her mind and did a good job of it too. He was born with the deep rooted feelings that stayed with him till this day.

Luciferro was standing on the other side of the street, cold in mind, body and spirit and lighting up again. The front door of the house was the same colour blue though it could well do with a new coat of paint and the bad memories came back to him, that 'knife' was turning in his back now. In a daze, he could hear his knocking on the door, his legs were weak and his heartbeat was racing far to fast, he felt he was going to get sick. He so much wanted to walk away but his legs would not carry him, he wanted to be back in his engine room with it's smell of diesel and the noise, he wanted to be anywhere but here. After what seemed eternity he was moving away from the door when it opened, 'yes' said the woman standing there in her house coat. Luciferro turned slowly but the words would not come out, she stood looking at him as lost as he was and was about to close the door when he said chocking from inside, 'why, why'? .....  Searching her mind looking for some recognition of the man standing at her door and then she asked, 'are you Luciferro'? 

He was in total shock when he found himself sitting in the small kitchen smelling of fish from last nights cooking, whisky in hand and the woman sitting opposite looking a lot older for her years, smoking. The old clock was still in it's same place on the wall with it's brass pendulum swinging from left to right, it was the only thing he was sure of doing anything within the next second, not even his brain could react that fast now. No words were spoken between them for some time, he was trying hard to get his thoughts  together, when he asked, 'how come you know my name'? .... she looked at him with the tears welling up in her eyes, stubbing out her cigarette and reaching for another for the sake of doing something ....
'the captain on your ship ..... he's your father'     

Why should it be that the three most difficult admissions are ......
'I am sorry',  'I was wrong',  'I love you' Registered & Protected

Tuesday, February 09, 2010



Limestone - Ireland
White Marble - Carrara, Italy           

1.31m High x 0.36m x 0.2m

Private Collection                 


The Story

This piece of Carrara marble made it's long journey from Italy in 1912 by ship to Ireland along with the artisans and craftsmen who spent many weeks installing the main alter into a church. This piece was part of that same alter that I was asked to do some restoration work on which I replaced with a new piece of marble. The damaged piece of marble steeped in it's own history I kept and carved 'PHAROAH' from it. When you know the history of a stone you treat it special and hope you can do it justice in it's new life and form. Registered & Protected

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Angela stood trance like at the kitchen sink staring out of the window and lost in memories that only she knew she would bring to her grave to stand in shame or so she felt, before her Maker. The water was now ice cold in the sink and the china cup in her hand, a permanent fixture for the last hour or more, the same cup she has washed for twenty eight years would not let go let alone it's own memories. Turning her gaze from the window and looking down at the cup she thought that the pattern, some far of oriental seine would have washed away by now, but it was his cup, the cup he used for breakfast in all of these years .... and she was angry, angry and alone. She was here by chance and not by choice.
She came to the Big House as it was known by the locals as a young and innocent woman, fair in complexion and fair by nature in spite of her upbringing, from the west of the island.  Straight from school to the Big House { from one institution into another }, her first true life experience away from home and into another world that was like moving from night into day, a world totally different than the one she had left. Her childhood home, if you could call it that, was not a happy one for the father had no time for the daughters, just for the sons who could help him work the farm but he was not a father to the sons, keeping the farm going and out of the reach of the banks, providing food on the table, all of this was good enough for him, he felt he was doing his part and what he did outside of the house was his business and nobody else could say different.
Her mother, older than her age and pretty when she was younger, now timid and shy lived in fear of her husband who was always angry with the world and his lot in it thought his daughters as a burden, 'only good for feeding hens' he would always say given the opportunity and reminded them of their weakness as women and the temptation that went with them. Angela could see herself taking on the personality of her mother and this was always her fear that she would end up like the mother, seen and not heard, but her brothers, maybe unknown to themselves but it was unlikely, were moulding themselves in the likeness, attitude and mannerisms of the father. So the women in the house had no chance unless they could marry into a better situation or move to the big town in the hope of a better life .... times were hard and they made hard people and affection was not to be found, unless you had a miracle in life.
Two days before she was to leave school and finish with that part of her life the Bishop came to the school to interview the girls for the housekeeper job in the Big House in the far off town that seemed to be in another world all together, older women were hard to come by who would take on the job of being a live-in house -keeper to a priest and besides they had their own families to try to care for. As the excitement went around the school like mass hysteria that one of the girls was going to be the lucky one to go to the Big House Angela seemed not to be affected by it all, she didn't think that she would be the one that was going to go and gave it no attention, all her expectations of what life should be were put down by her father, a bitter man from his own childhood and a father that left his mark on him.  When her time came to be interviewed by the Bishop she was calm in herself and answered his questions as if she was talking to her one and only best friend which she had none, 'no time for friends' her father would keep reminding her. The Bishop was impressed with her calmness and sincerity that she was given the job there and then, he did not want to see any more girls who were over egotistic and trying to please, if she wanted to go to the Big House as a live-in housekeeper the job was hers.  Of course she wanted it, to be on her own and away from the grip of her father ..... but she also knew she would miss the mother who tried to protect her daughters from her husband and knew that her mother would die in her own loneliness.
Twenty eight years in the Big House she thought to herself as she sat down in his chair as she would often do when he was not there, and now she could still sense his energy as if she was sitting on his knee. A lot different from life on the farm that was now a faded memory but now and then when life likes to play it's guilt game the emotional scares could rise up through her body as if reaching up from hell and through the foundations of the Big House and grip her by the ankles and pull her down, in did so in her mind, as if she was still there but now she was keeper of the Big House and protector of the man in it.
He was a young priest of twenty seven, not very tall with reddish hair that when the sun was behind him it looked like golden fleece. He had a happy nature that stayed with him through out his life, came from a good family, not well off in material things but had more of their fair share of family love and was given the freedom to do with his life what he wanted and he could have been anything he wanted to be for he had a good mind and quite a good head for business but the priesthood is what he always wanted and his parents supported and stood by him even in the times when he was feeling lost in his decision but that never lasted for long and it would pass without notice. He moved into the Big House twenty eight years ago and given his first parish to take charge of and care for the people's spiritual needs,  in fact they moved into the Big House on the same day, like a newly married couple, if only they knew what the future held for them.
It was still early in the morning for Angela had the habit of getting up at five thirty, it came from living on the farm because there was chores to be done before she went to school, staying in bed was a luxury she did not allow herself even at this stage of her life. She got up now from the comfort of his chair and realising she still had the cup in her hand let it drop, breaking into a thousand pieces across the wooden floor like stars in the heavens. Not bothering, and not like her to pick up the pieces she moved about the Big House as if she was looking for something but did not know what it was she was expecting to find, she was angry and alone, and then it came to her, she realised for the first time in twenty eight years that she was a prisoner to the Big House but a prisoner of her own making for she felt safe there and very rarely would she leave it for any length of time, but she would never admit to herself that she did not like to be away from from him. He would have made a wonderful father to some lucky daughter , she often thought to herself but was more than happy he had chosen the priesthood, she had him to herself in the Big House.
She was now standing at the foot of the double bed with it's  'Sacred Heart' picture and little red cross light, on all day and night, and  never seemed to need replacing in all of these years, seemed to be floating on the wall behind the bed.  His weekday coat, he could be doing with a new one, on the back of the chair where he would sit and read his Bible before breakfast, 'courage for the day' he would tell her, she could almost hear the words now as if he was standing beside her. Turning her back to the bed she started to leave but stops before reaching the door and fell to the floor on her knees, she had no control over her actions or emotions and started to cry at first and then calling out his name twisting her hands around till they were blood red fell face to the floor and lay there with no attempt to pick her self up. How long she was lying on the floor she does not know nor did it matter to her for there was nobody in the Big House, nobody to comfort or share her pain for these walls were like the confession box, they see and hear but could not tell.
It was dark now when she started to pick herself up from the floor, looking around her as if nothing had happened and walking towards the window to pull the curtain's before making the bed ready for the night she remembered she had a funeral to go to in the morning.  She wasn't too pleased with his behaviour in leaving her alone .

We cannot predict the future but we can invent it ..... Registered & Protected