Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A girl called Sombrero

Over the past few weeks in Dublin, these are a few exchanges I have heard between people, reminding me how important dialogue is in our writing and how much it tells us so quickly about the characters.


A train inspector among a group of us trying to placate a little lost girl:

Have you lost your mammy, sweetheart? Do you know your name? (She was lost, not an amnesiac, I thought to myself)

Girl: My name is Sombrero.

Train Inspector: Sombrero, but that's a hat........

Girl: That's me name..

Screeching woman across the road, a bean sidhe (Irish evil fairy) crossed with Jordan the page three model:


Mother and child are reunited but not quite in the Hollywood ending we onlookers hoped for.


At a newsagent counter, two elderly women buying newspapers:

Slightly older looking elderly woman to younger looking elderly woman:

I think I'll get you some flowers, they're lovely, what do you think?

Slightly younger looking elderly woman:

Don't bother, Ma, (she was the daughter, she must have been at least 70)
Sure you just put them in a vase and in a few days they'll be dead...... and then I'll just have to throw them out.............and clean the vase again and everything.

Stunned silence from the older looking elderly woman (and the rest of us).


Myself and my kids were in a very busy street in Dublin, renowned worldwide for it's friendliness, I might add.
We had just got off the bus and were organising bags, jackets etc so we got in an old lady's way:

Old lady:

The next time you come into Dublin, can yous learn how not to walk crooked, Jesus.....

Stunned silence from us, well, in fairness, we were not walking in an orderly way but really, we weren't expecting to be berated for it.

All these lines will be appearing in a short story by me soon and anyone looking for a slightly different leading female character's name, 'Sombrero' is all yours.