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Sunday, 15 September 2019


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 
CV of published material available on request. & @JoeCushnan

I saw this blurry photo of McErlean's bakery vans and it reminded me of an incident in the late 1960s.....

Frank Rooney was driving a McErlean’s van from the bakery in Arizona Street 
To the shop on the Springfield Road, Belfast. I was riding shotgun, so to speak, 
Saturday assistant. The van was two-thirds full, trays of cream buns, snowballs,
Jam puffs and other goodies, first delivery on the roster, busiest day of the week.

At the crossroads, vehicles travelling from left to right and right to left gave way,
Except the driver of an Austin-Healey, I think, who zoomed out of nowhere,
Causing Frank to slam on the anchors, skid and screech to halt. The van lurched 
Like a bendy cartoon wagon. No contact. Austin-Healey was quick to disappear.

We got out and Frank opened the back doors. “Fuck me,” he gasped, staring
At what looked like a mountain of goo - jam, cream, coconut, pastry, a work 
In progress for a Turner Prize art award, a huge blob of white and red slime.
The busiest day of the week screwed by a Stirling Moss/Mr Magoo hybrid jerk.

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