A sign of the times

Many years ago, I played in a band. The hair was long, and the craic was good. Well, that’s a sort of nod towards the old ‘Sally O’Brien’ Harp ad, and if you don’t know it, then check it out here

We used to drink in a local pub called the Ryevale Tavern, and then head on up some Saturdays to Shadows Niteclub in the Hitching Post. As I recall, they did actually spell it the American way but my memory isn’t what it used to be, in fairness.

I spied a fine lookin’ girl there one night and I plucked up the courage to ask for a dance. And by courage, I mean beer. That was twenty-seven years ago. Fast-forward on, and S* and I are still in Leixlip, married, with two kids; well, if 22 and 18 count as kids. Which, believe me, it does.

So here’s the Hitcher, as we called it back then…

The Hitching Post pub, Leixlip (1972)

and here it is today…


So where once we cavorted on the dance floor to Bryan Adams ‘Summer of ’69’, we now push trollies, looking for bargains. Roughly where we first met is now where the frozen foods section is. But that’s okay, because I was always a lousy dancer, and my gigging days are (mostly) over. And it’s handy having a Lidl in the town. I shop there most weeks. In fact, we were in there today. And whilst I’m at it, you must watch this one, if you haven’t seen it. The Lidl/Aldi phenomenon is quite an experience, and that song sums it up perfectly, so I won’t try and top it. Suffice to say that I knew I was a Lidl junkie when I bought a plastic box of fishing tackle home and went into the shed to put in on the shelf, and there was the same one I had bought last year…

Well, the German multiples, as they call them, are taking over the town. Now the Ryevale Tavern has gone. All this week, the demolition crew have been in and flattened most of the new pub and nightclub.


This is the Ryevale, and bar the old 18th century building fronting the road, the rest of it has gone. And within a few months, we will be skimming the aisles and filling our baskets with salami and socket sets.

So in essence, when I was young and needed beer, craic and women, these were my haunts. Now that I am married with a family, I need supermarkets (and occasionally, yes, I do need sets of chisels and running socks…)

It’s progress, I suppose.


In other news, a good week’s training. Some Pilates, some football, and a few decent runs. No races planned as of yet; the trauma of the Donadea 50k is still fresh in my mind 😉 Hope to get a few parkruns in; would be good to see where the times are at.

Be good. Be safe.

* For the purposes of accuracy, S would like to remind readers that she is in fact from Dublin, and is not, nor ever will be a redneck bogger from Kildare. Crossing the border all those years ago was quite a fearsome experience… 😉

3 thoughts on “A sign of the times

    1. I’d equate the spread of the German multiple in the same way invasive weeds have taken over many of our natural habitats (though with a very large proviso that any sentence with the word ‘invasive’ in it can land you in trouble, not least when it’s preceded with a nationality…). In other words, they probably have a natural place in the German shopper’s world, but over here there is no competition for what they do (which is to do a mash-up of Dunnes and a Pound Shop). Having said that, my wife and I have enough Lidl running gear to last a lifetime, and it’s not bad stuff either. And any time they do the box of gels, we throw one in the trolley. The downside to any multiple is the homogenisation of retail, so if you can spread the largesse to include your local butcher and baker as well, then all is good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As I am getting most of my food from an organic farm in Galway, at least I am not supporting their spread atm 😁 I do remember my double layered lidl running socks with fondness though …

        Liked by 1 person

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