(Translation: “Feeling like I’m thinking on my feet”).
I was striding along the Dublin streets today watching two little lasses flicking their feet about, when I was suddenly struck with a memory of primary school Pop. See, I had this bizarre habit of breaking out in dance whenever I found myself standing idle in public. Not just any dance in fact, but Irish dance.
(I feel I need to insert here that I never ever took Irish dancing lessons. Nor had ever really observed anyone that did).
More often than not it was the case of getting jiggy when on the netball court; being GA, whenever the ball was down in the opponents’ circle end I would utilise my time of stand still by pretending I could do the jounce of the Liffeysiders. For those of you unaware of what the

traditional bop about looks like, it is step dancing where the dancer busts out some rapid foot and leg movements while the torso and arms stand stationary and rather rigid. It is more often than not accompanied by an impassive, expressionless face, dresses that for some reason have always reminded me of playing cards and a mop of ringlets bouncing about like a youngin on a pogo stick.
I can’t half imagine what a tit I looked prancing about the third line, keeping an eye on the court going ons while hoping my defender would compliment me on my mad “skills”. When asked, I used to say I was of Irish ancestry and had been doing the capriole for nigh on nine years or so. No one ever questioned me (out loud), until one day my opposing GD informed me she had in fact been undergoing lessons since she was a mere tyke.

“You aren’t good at all, that’s not even a move,” she (bitchily) insisted, as I did some sort of brisk ankle to knee hop.
“Was that meant to be an entrechat?” She shrieked as I did a sharp sideways skip. “And you call that a batter?” She cajoled as I jumped and clicked my heels (upper body unyielding to movement). “You’re terrible! Let me show you how it’s meant to be done.”

So as her team’s GS continued to miss the shot and my team’s defence remained a failure in securing the ball, me and this jumped up madam had an Irish dance off across from each other at the centre circle (well, she was Irish dancing; I don’t know what you’d call what I was up to). There were furious feet and agressive expressions as I determinedly tried to prove my prowess and she endeavoured to (and admittedly did) flaunt her finesse. The game was forgotten as we eyed each other out, both stubborn shits who wanted to be right.
I look back now and cringe at the thought of what I must have looked like. I honestly, honestly thought I was nailing the moves. But after the game, when we’d shaken hands (discreetly spat into before, well, hand), I heard the girl’s mother asking her what on earth had been happening.
“I was trying to show her how Irish dancing is really done,” the girl whined. “She” (as in me) “told me she was in the national Irish dancing team” (perhaps a slightly far reaching claim on my part, I concede) “and she couldn’t even treble, reel or horn pipe!”

“Sweetie, I think she was pulling your leg,” her mother said. “She wasn’t doing the dance at all; she looked awful. I’m pretty sure she was just trying to take you for a fool my love.”
Until today, I’d completely forgotten that incident. But seeing these girls cuverting for the crowds brought it all back and had me in stitches. (Insert: just had a sudden flashback to me attempting to do the Riverdance in a pub last night. Must have appeared as a right eejit. Especially when insisting I was on the New Zealand National Irish Dance Team). (That latter part was a joke; I’d never dare declare such tosh to a table teeming with well versed Irishmen).
So to come are a fair few posts about my beguiling few days darting about Dublin and gadding about Belfast. I must have the luck of the Irish with me, as I’ve been wallopingly successful at thinking on my feet. (Just not jigging them about).

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