Birds, Burgers and Banter – My Day As A Butcher Part 3

29 Nov

Banter and micro-blogging: Owner Michael McCormick gives me a twitter demo, with a few jokes thrown in for good measure.

In my first post in this thread, I said that Murphy’s Butchers is one of the last bastions of a Belfast of a bygone era. Seeing as I only published that statement earlier today, I obviously still stand by it. However, what Murphy’s has managed to do, where many others have failed, is to make their business relevant to a modern clientele.

For those of you that follow me on twitter (I’m @SineadDoyle if you don’t), you may already know that this challenge was negotiated on twitter. At a sprightly 60, Murphy’s owner, Michael McCormick  has thrown himself full-force into the world of micro-blogging and when I put out a call for a butcher, baker and  candlestick maker, he replied almost instantly. A quick follow-up phone call later, I was all set with the second of my 29 Lives.

I was impressed, even at that stage, with his aptitude for twitter and knew, from the tone of the tweets in his timeline, that I was in for a fun day.

Enter Murphy’s and find yourself behind the counter and you may be forgiven for feeling like you’re living in a real-life @MurphysButchers twitter timeline. Gentle joshing with the boys  is mixed with lively chat with regular customers; Ulster Rugby players pop in for fillet steak; recipes and cooking advice is offered as standard and there are jokes and banter aplenty.

The Murphy’s team work hard, but they know how to have fun too. Three hours into my shift, Robert, the  youngest of the Murphy’s team, asked me what time I thought it was. I thought I had been there an hour. His reply: “The day goes in quick, doesn’t it?”  It does, when you’re having fun.

Me and the Murphy’s Butchers Boys – a Great Bunch of Lads!

As I outlined in my first post, the purpose of this 29 Lives challenge is to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. Whilst I had never made burgers, or manhandled turkeys before, my experience of life as a butcher at Murphy’s wasn’t out of my comfort zone – it was highly enjoyable and that’s down to the people who make Murphy’s special – Michael and his team. I’ll most certainly be back but maybe as a customer next time- to buy me some of those legendary steak burgers, perhaps.  Thank you boys.

Thanks also to my fantastic friend, Alice Woods who was snap happy all afternoon documenting my day at Murphy’s. You can find Alice on twitter at @Oohlalalice (she’s very funny and worth a follow). Ever creative, Alice has also recently launched a new blog, where she’s embarking on her own personal challenge – to write and illustrate a children’s book for her niece and nephew – check it out, here:

I’ll be back with news on the next of my 29 Lives soon – watch this space!

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