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Brows and backroads


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

MY dear home town of Ballinrobe is going through a change at the moment.
Like a Hollywood wife trying to defy the laws of gravity, it’s ‘having a little work done’. Over the past few weeks it’s got an impressive facelift thanks to local company John Madden & Sons. Their workers have been flat out ensuring the least amount of chaos is caused to people and businesses. I can confirm that they go over and above when it comes to accommodating people.
Recently, I found myself stranded on Main Street in the town. I had very important business to tend to. Okay, it was a beautician appointment to get my eyebrows done, but ask any female these days and they’ll tell you that brave is the man who gets between any woman and her brow appointment.
I parked in Cummins’s car park and took a shortcut towards Main Street to get to Chrysalis, and the ‘brow queen’ that is Steph. And there I was, stranded, surrounded by more red tape than the The Fennelly Commission, staring blankly up and down the street like a lone ranger without a gun.
I was so close, but yet so far from my brow Mecca; it was literally a stone’s throw away, but freshly rolled tarmacadam separated us. I hadn’t been faced with a dilemma like this since I played ‘the floor is lava’ game as a kid, hopping from couch to couch.
Fair play to the Maddens’ workers. They could sense my confusion, and my untamed brows probably gave away my desired destination!
Former neighbour and friend Brian Madden suggested I hop on the back of the actual rolling machine to cross the road. I laughed, assuming I was now on a hidden camera show. After my fears were allayed, I hopped on the back of road roller and made my crossing. With a thanks to the lads I was on my way, and soon relaying my adventurous ‘journey’ while getting said brows groomed. The things we do in the name of beauty, eh?
Last week my journey across the town was once again just as eventful, due to ongoing roadworks.
Hitting the Castlebar road at lunchtime I was faced with a kilometre of a tailback. After a few minutes in traffic I made the same decision as many others, and picked an alternative route. Like the Robert Frost poem, I chose the road less travelled (and less known). I hit for Knockgloss, hoping it would get me to the town and bypass the traffic.
A van ahead of me had the same idea, but at a fork in the road on a quiet boreen the van went left and I went right. One of us had to be right. Turns out, neither of us were.
I ended up in the back of someone’s yard with a sign informing me trespassers would be prosecuted. Retracing my steps I met Mr Van Driver who laughed and threw his eyes to heaven.
Google maps was futile, informing me that I was 26 minutes from Ballinrobe, which was within viewing distance.
I took another route through Creagh for my second attempt – a narrow road, that although in incredibly close proximity to my home, I hadn’t been on in years. And, in typical tourist fashion I just had to stop the car to take a picture of the impressive canopy of trees that created a picturesque archway above. I may have indulged myself a little, taking plenty of time to get the perfect pic, because, as I lowered my phone I was met with a van-load of men in the middle of the road, staring at me. Oops.
But hey, life’s about the journey, not the destination.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.