Urban Sketching in Enniskerry Village: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Urban Sketching in Enniskerry Village: A Trip Down Memory Lane












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Thirty five years ago, I spent far too many cold winter nights standing at the Clocktower in the village of Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, waiting for a lift home. The Powerscourt Arms Hotel is just inside the village proper, and it had a payphone in the foyer. If I had change for it, I could make a call home to ask for a lift, and although my parents usually dropped everything to come and get me, a lift was often unforthcoming. Perhaps no one was available, or not for a long while. I never arranged things in advance as I wanted the illusion of being my own boss (!) so I had a choice either to wait in the dark, deserted village in the cold (it never occurred to me to wait indoors somewhere), or walk those three dark miles home. We’re talking the Wicklow Mountains, and that means lots of huge trees lining the narrow, twisting roads, making for pitch-black walking. Unfortunately, I have always been afraid of the dark. My father would try to allay my fears with a joke. “Do you really think some man is going to spend hours crouching in the dark, freezing his backside off, bored to death, on the off-chance you might pass?” he’d say. It wasn’t the crouching men I was worried about, but silent eyes, running hooves, evil…I had imagination issues. Sometimes it was so dark on that road I would have to run my hand along the wall next to the ditch to keep going in the right direction. Sometimes I fell into the ditch. Once I decided to wear my new Sony Walkman headphones to make it less scary, but it was much creepier with them on. Sometimes I hitched a lift, which was usually fine, but occasionally resulted in being in a confined space with a weirdo. When I turned eighteen I left home and those long walks home, and I have not spent more than a minute in Enniskerry in thirty years.

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6 Comments

  1. hyacinth

    June 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    What a trip down memory lane, Roisin! Enniskerry in those days had no street lights and was it DARK! the worst of the scariness on those country roads was the sudden,hoarse cough of a cow hidden behind the hedgerows …a very human sound , like a true bogeyman! Judging by your sketching and writing, your imagination got well developed. A bit late for apologies for the missed lifts? Glad you like the bonnetless car! As for teengers….parents are SO embarrassing! Cinnie ( Mum)

    • Róisín Curé

      June 10, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Mum! SO glad to have wheels… if it wasn’t the lack of bonnet it would be something else! It’s without doubt that the country living stimulated the imagination… all to the good!

  2. Sam Grumont

    May 26, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    You tell a great story to go with your sketches. I did identify with the dark walk – I wad frightened of the boogeyman who we thought came out st night in the back lane.

    • Róisín Curé

      May 26, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Sam. I’m still not great with the dark, not in wooded areas anyway – where I live in Co. Galway it’s not scary at all, nor are there many trees! So silly!!

  3. Melissa Elliott

    May 26, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Great story, great sketches! You said something in the narrative about a photo of a few of you, but no photo ever manifested. ???

    • Róisín Curé

      May 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Thank you for pointing that out Melissa. That’s what you get for rushing. I will rectify it as soon as I get a chance!

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