When they first came to Ireland (jayzus, back in 1974*…), my parents were intrigued by a lot of things.
Ireland was a constant source of wonder for them.
One thing that they were never able to figure out on their own were the yellow lines painted on the road, parallel to the footpath.
After a few years of serious head scratching (they had been observing council workers pondering the depth and width of a pothole for a few weeks before attempting to fill it in), they asked their friend Buddy Valkenburg what could these yellow lines painted on the streets of the big city (Ballina) could possibly mean.
Buddy was categorical, a yellow line meant no parking.
But what about when there were two yellow lines painted on the road, asked the equally perplexed and enthused French tourists.
Buddy had to thing a bit longer about that one. And then declared that when there were two yellow lines, it meant no parking at all at all.
* when what you could buy in the local shop in Portumna was (exhaustive list): tea, Chivers marmalade or strawberry jam, Galtee cheese (or Calvita), black pudding and breakfast sausages, bread, the Irish Independent, apples, oranges, corn flakes, Cara matches, Carolls or Major cigarettes, Batchelor’s bean and eggs. No fancy things like pasta, yogurts or toilet paper (see Irish Independent above, cut in square, and hanging from a safety pin on a piece of bailing string)
Game. The odd one out.
(yep, it’s the one wrapped in a life-saving 3mm layer of neoprene)