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Fog, Party Line, Siesta, Dives and Lazarus

Wednesday 19 January 2011.

Did not exercise this morning. Turned around on Ballymac Roundabout at 09.10 and aborted my trip to Ardee for Louth County Childcare Committee meeting. Fog. “I was glad to have an excuse not to go!” I told Kevin McGeough when I met him at 11.00 in The Terrace Bar at Ballymac, “That Frank O’Brien gets under my skin!” At first I ate with a serrated knife (I tried a spoon but the confection was hard brittle and it jumped) and fork a confection with “pouring” cream. Then Kevin bought me a cup of coffee. Much to his amusement I told him the story of Matt, Pat; and the “party line.” “Why is there no party line in this house?” I had asked Rosanna. “It’s not possible,” she replied, “Because you are a fucking nut-case!” I was feeling brittle and at risk because of lack of sleep and my composure was not what it usually is. I tried to remedy things by taking a siesta. But Jo Malone rang the doorbell just as I had changed into my pyjamas. I put on my flip-flops to answer the door. I am confident that I looked respectable in my night gear. Gave Jo a yearbook and she gave me €10. Later someone scratched at the door and put in an envelope. €10 from “Kenneth Treanor.” Pauline O’Hanlon rang on my mobile as I awoke from my siesta. She could not source a speaker for the workshop on obesity. Anyway my siesta was less than a complete success but it did some good. Somehow the money and the phone call calmed my nerves to some extent and I felt a bit happier. Whatever the reason I had found yesterday to be a bruising day. Dessie called at 18.50 and ferried me in his white Caddy van in to Ard Easmuinn to Hamill’s class. Sr. Dolores there. Ate scones and a lot of chocolate sweets. Drank tea. “Blessed are the poor, in spirit.” Hamill was very friendly and man-to-man to me treating me with more equality than he usually does and he seemed to be in good form. “It was a happy coincidence,” I remarked about our chance encounter in The Windsor. My guts talked audibly during the silent meditation. A bit of a slow procession/dance early on. I broke in to speech on a few occasions. “And gathered all above, while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.” The camel and the eye of the needle. Lazarus and the Rich Man. Hamill did not attempt to restrain me. Alice McCann, too, broke in to a long recitation from Cardinal Newman. Dessie remarked on the way home that he too enjoyed the “class.” “It was better than usual,” he concluded. Yvonne Donnelly seemed tense and stressed. I gather she missed a flight and had to overnight in London. She was over there with her son for an audition which did not go well? The tall composed woman heard me on the radio yesterday. “I recognised the voice,” she said. Whatever happened I think I went to bed without washing my 5 ½ remaining teeth. Rosanna (17) scored 17 points over 11 holes playing with Pat Cluskey.

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