The rain came down

holy-cross-abbey

Back in 1993 the days of the week were one day off where they are this year, with the 11th of June on Friday and Saturday being the 12th. On Thursday morning I got up very early to go to the flower market in Dublin. It started to rain at about 6am on the 10th.

I bought a huge number of flowers and put them in the boot of my clapped out Renault 4, the beige one with the sunroof.

That is still my favourite car. We had so many good times in that rusty heap of garbage, driving on rainy days with plastic bags on our feet, there were so many holes in the floor. That was the car I drove in college, bringing a third of the rugby team to matches. It’s the car we went to Donegal in when we finished our exams in 1990. On sailing holidays I had no problem slinging an inflatable dinghy on the roof, what was another scratch on the paintwork? And as for that boot, you could get a washing machine or a fridge into the Renault 4 without any hassle. Legend!

So there is me with a car full of flowers and it’s raining. I go home and pick up Louise and all the luggage, and off we go to Tipperary. The rain just kept coming down all day on the 10th.

On the 11th of June, 22 years ago, we spent the morning turning the flowers into floral displays and little wreaths. Myself, Louise, Mrs H and Jim Hourihane in the kitchen in Turtulla Rd, chatting away as we cut stems and arranged flowers. Mrs. H was boiling hams to make sandwiches for the next day. The two boys, Liam and Vincent, were in and out all day on little jobs. Delivering bread, drinks and other food. Leaving out shirts to be ironed by the mother. Taking cars off to wash them. It was still raining. It rained all day on the 11th.

In the afternoon we brought all the flowers over to Holy Cross Abbey to place them on the Altar. We laughed so much. The flower arrangements that looked huge in the kitchen were lost in the church. They were a joke. Ecclesiastical floral displays are enormous. But luck was on our side. There was a mission in the church that morning and they brought proper huge installations. Our efforts provided a little extra garnish on the side.

Still it kept raining. Dublin was flooded, as were large sections of the N7. Friday June 11th 1993 was a day of chaos for Dublin traffic. All those grumpy commuters stuck in their cars, windscreen wipers keeping time to the tracks on the radio. Ace of Base on top of the charts with “All that she wants”, with UB40 in number 2 slot “I can’t help falling in love with you”. House of Pain were in the charts with “Jump Around”, a song that never seems to get old. “Everybody Hurts” from R.E.M. was probably more appropriate to the weather. “What is Love” by Haddaway was also in the charts, another old song that still sounds fresh.

We took a spin out to Dundrum, to the Rectory, to deliver out our bags and our music for the reception. The Rhododendrons were in full bloom and looked fantastic. Shame about the rain, but what can you do. We lived in hope that it would clear off by morning.

That night I went to bed for the last time as a single man.

Have You Ever Seen The Rain? ; by John Cameron Fogerty
as performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm,
I know; it’s been comin’ for some time.
When it’s over, so they say,
It’ll rain a sunny day,
I know; shinin’ down like water.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

Yesterday, and days before,
Sun is cold and rain is hard,
I know; been that way for all my time.
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know; it can’t stop, I wonder.

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

I want to know, have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know, have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?

 

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