Completely out of his Christmas tree
• There's no time like Christmas for hope and the magic of possibility. The father and I were never great. So long as I needed nothing from him, he could put up with me.
We lived in a sniffy part of Cork on a hill, and looking down came naturally. The old fella was moonlighting for the holidays, taking a bit of leave from his job as a 'senior clerk'.
He was bootlegging Christmas trees in a car park with a friend far enough from the mighty metropolis of Cork not to be seen by a neighbour.