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19/09/2021

20 things we all heard during a day on the bog growing up

20 things we all heard during a day on the bog growing up

20 things we all heard during a day on the bog growing up

Back in the day, two back breaking weeks on the bogs, getting eaten by insects, burnt by the sun, eating ham sandwiches and drinking lukewarm tea or little bottles of Cadet lemonade was a rite of passage for Irish children. With the world now going greener, convoys of tractors and trailers full of turf with children precariously perched on top are a less common sight on the roads. 

For those of us who 'enjoyed' days out on the bog, we heard the below every summer when the time came to 'bring in the turf'. Have more to add.... email us at news@offalyexpress.ie or leave your comment on our Facebook page!

Jazus, it's swimming, lads...
The turf is in a swamp and you know you are going to have your work cut out. Did anyone bring a boat? 

Jazus the hopper must have been in bits that day...
Some sods are foot-length and others are the length of the car. 'Break them lads, sure they wouldn't fit in the trailer the way they have them there.' More back breaking work ahead!!!

It's not too bad in the middle...
After finding the plot basically underwater, the decision is taken to carry on regardless.... And you thought you might be getting out of it for at least one day!!!

Be the lord Jazus, that turf is no more ready!
But wait! There's hope of a day off yet... No one is impressed with the condition of the turf after being reliably informed that it was ready to foot. 'Sure, Jazus, you'd have to peel that out of the ground, the state it's in.' You might be going home yet!

The midges, Jazus to hell! They'd ate ya!
The end of a long evening on the bog and you're getting eaten alive by the midges. It's time to go when the father is slapping his own head and cursing under his breath. 

It'd nearly turn itself for ya...
Another comment about just how dry the turf is and in stark contrast to the above. It's cut lovely, sitting on top of a hill away from any sitting water, and everyone is absolutely delighted. Let the fun begin!!!! 

Keep away from the Jazus bog holes...
As young children, the lure of jumping bog holes is all too much, but when the ones responsible for your health and safety spot you trying to rescue your sinking brother from a ditch, you're in trouble. But isn't it there own fault for letting us loose in the first place!!!

Be the lord Jazus, he's useless...
Your towny cousin has been dragged along for the day to help and to show him how the country folk do it. But he's up and down the whole time stretching his back, complaining about blisters on his hands and couldn't foot his way out a paper bag. Your father and uncle spend half their day shaking their head in utter disgust at his appalling technique. 

It won't kill ya, lads! (A bit of hard work)...
While your towny cousin gets away with it, the first sight of you standing up straight and you are called out.

We'll have it done by lunchtime, sure!
Everyone on the bog is overly optimistic about how long it will take. Two days later and the end is still not in sight!

He's some man to foot turf...
There's always some old man is there horsing into a plot like a demon and putting the younger ones to shame. 'Sure look at him, boys, he hasn't straightened his back all day.' 

You won't be complaining in the winter when it's warming your arse...
When the inevitable whinging starts about wanting to go home and watch the match, you're getting zero hop. You've no comeback - and if you did you'd be dodging sods for the day. 

There'll be some burning in that turf, boys...
It's a good year, the turf is dry and Jazus it would nearly go without the firelighters. 

Don't be stacking the footings so high!
A challenge to you, an absolute nuisance to your father. You manage to engineer a 20-storey high footing, but when you hear it crumple to the ground and your Da sees it lying in water, good luck to ya!

It'd nearly walk itself home, it's that dry...
Standard compliment for the state of the turf. It didn't walk itself home, though - didn't throw itself into the shed either! At least you get to ride high on the back of the trailer on the way home!!!

Great day for it all the same...
Your aul lad's attempt at a pep talk to get you buoyed up for the challenge of a full plot on a sunny summer Saturday. It's a grand day for lots of things, says you. Anything but the Jazus bog! 

Back in my day...
Everyone was class at footing turf back in the day apparently, and your father's not behind the door about telling ya. Everyone spent the three months of the summer on the bog footing turf for sport.  

It's not as good as last year...
No matter how many years you were dragged to the bog to foot turf, your father always thought last year's turf was better. Either the plots did get progressively worse or your father just morphed into a bigger whinger every year. 

He wouldn't foot it out of his way...
Another insult for your weak friend who wouldn't pull the stray bits of straw hanging off the sods as they dried on the bog. 'He hasn't hands to bless himself, that lad. He hardly makes the team, does he?'

It's a pain in the arse all the same...
After all his bull and bluster, your father finally throws in the towel and agrees that the bog is an absolute trek of a day. 'Come on, we'll leave it, that end bit is dry enough as it is.' 

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