Sean's Space

Just another site

Category Archives: Health and wellness

Pension; Strawberry Jam; Pyjamas; Plied

Monday 5 December 2011.

Robert Giles told me yesterday morning that Rory McIlroy holed a bunker shot at the last for birdie to win the Hong Kong Open by 2 from his playing partner who parred the last. Last night I opened the PGA site just in time to see Tiger record 2 birdies on the last 2 holes in The Chevron World Challenge for a 1 shot victory over his playing partner Zach Johnston who parred the final 2. Got 25 mg Risperdal Consta injection in the right “side” from Áine who told me she is to retire soon. Her wages reduced by €150 p.w. in the recent cuts. If she retires now her pension will be calculated on the basis of her 2009 salary. A little snow and ice on my windscreen at the front of the house a.m. Icy roads and car parks. Drove from The Louth to GreenLife driving range. “They will be here at 10.00,” the accountant opening the front door from the outside told me. Paid €4 for a scone with butter and strawberry jam and a pot of coffee which I relished in The Fairways while I was waiting. Returned to GreenLife and struck 50 balls (€4) mostly with the 3 metal; some with the 8-iron. Bought milk in Tesco. Chat with Marie Duffy in the car-park of Dundalk Shopping Centre before I went in. Spotted her father Paul making his way out of the shopping centre. Bought a pair of pyjamas for Eamonn. Tom Brennan called me over and said he read in the paper that I was doing something “on the internet.” He does not own a computer and declared he does not know anything about them. Called in to Sinn Féin. Jane took down the details about the winter workshop. Mahla has left Jane told me. Davina in SOSAD across the street resolved my difficulty about Gareth Phelan’s number. Walked to Leavy’s with my glasses. Piddled in the bar beside Ulster Bank on the way. Refurbishment of The Square in the final stages. Got my white Toyota iQ 2010 washed out the Lisdoo road. €6. Met Brian McSloy twice earlier on Clanbrassil Street. Sporting a neat Trilby shaded red he asked with a touch of mockery in his voice, “Are you just walking about for exercise?” “No,” I replied, “I’m busy. I’m doing things!” Returned from Lisdoo and parked at Bank of Ireland, Clanbrassil Street. Collected my glasses from Leavy’s. €4. Piddled in McKeown’s across the street. Did a U-turn and drove home in the cold sunlight. Had parked first opposite The Adelphi and then at BOI using the same ticket. €0.80 total. Concession. On-street parking half price for Christmas shopping season. Tea, Vienna bread, butter, honey: for lunch. Rosanna gone in to turn the heat on in No. 13 Oaklawns. She took the pyjamas in for Eamonn. I took a siesta. Denise Belton rang this morning, Rosanna said, to confirm that the grant for the winter workshop had been approved. Fried potato, boiled bacon cold, cold roast chicken, brown sauce, a little salad; when I got up. Followed that with some baked beans from a bowl which had languished in the microwave for a few days; a glass of milk and a banana. Journalled. E-mailed Gareth Phelan. I discovered a day or two later that the e-mail “bounced.” Gabriela Tanasan invited me to Budapest 20 – 23 January. Rosanna assembled a new 6’ Christmas tree she bought for €50, half-price, in Tesco. I left out both bins in my pyjamas, slippers, black robe, navy Rival monkey cap. Rosanna plied me with a glass of Pinot Grigio. She went to bed before 23.00. I stayed up to scribble these notes (23.00). Brushed my dentures and 5 ½ remaining teeth in the late evening. Never even washed my face today. Muesli, milk, sliced banana; for breakfast. Weetabix, milk, sliced banana; for supper. Peeled and ate 2 Mandarin oranges after lunch before my siesta. Noticed the gap in Michael Farrelly’s bottom teeth the same as me when he was walking in around the front corner of The Louth as I was driving out this morning. Michael and I have age and medical history in common too? Gum sore in the gap front bottom. 13.07 on Áine’s scales in my shirt sleeves this morning. Wore red gansy, brown Robbie woollen small-check slacks, black FootJoy socks, tan 2-tone zipped leather boots, grey Lacrosse zipped jacket, glasses, green Greenore “woollen” cap, cream shirt, no tie, vest, T-shirt, white boxers.

The Strand; Smudges; Armour; Pot of White

Sunday 6 November 2011.

Up 8.00. Breakfast in The Strand at 10.00 with Dessie and a subdued Dermot Mooney who chaired the meeting of Cooley Environmental and Health Group. Sorley sitting outside when I arrived talking to Dessie. I snapped them and took some shots on my way to and from Omeath. Later published 10 of them on Facebook. Most of the rest blemished by smudges or shadows. Dirt on the lens or the internal mirror? Played in the 14 hole voucher competition and winter league. Scored 21. Len Hennebry, Val O’Farrell and I continued on from the 14th and played 17 and 18. Pat McParland did not continue after the 14th. Mary was waiting for him and he is saving his left hip where he has a touch of bursitis at the moment. Pat and Len played well but my golf was execrable worse even than Val who has not played recently having been away in the Canaries. Bought a black armour shirt by Mizuno from Robert Giles and donned it before setting out to golf under my t-shirt and black Mizuno golf gansy. Also wore black Ping golf trousers and grey braces with white Icon golf shoes, black FootJoy golf socks, glasses, green woollen Greenore golf cap which I took off at the 5th tee. The armour cost €29 which I paid from my account which is in credit still and I have two vouchers, €100 + €40. Did not shower. Drank a pot of white coffee and Len drank a pot of black. Val did not come “up.” He was driving a buggy today. “Do you want to cause trouble at the AGM?” Nobby asked me. “Do you see that grey beard and bald head?” I said making a motion with my hand, “I am too old!” “You are fucked like myself,” Nobby concluded in good humour. Mash, peppered cabbage, fried rashers of bacon; for dinner. Ate a large SA orange. Spent most of the evening on the Acer looking in dismay at some of the results I got today with the Canon. Went out for coal some time before 22.00. Paid €20 for the three breakfasts in The Strand. We had a chat with Jim Halligan, Belfast, who will be 70 soon.

Pullover; Young Frank; Last Agony; Disappointed

Thursday 13 October 2011.

Exercised and showered. Donned the blue striped Pierre Cardin shirt I have been wearing since Monday, vest, blue Lahinch golf pullover, navy slacks, black socks, black patent Clarks. Ate 2 boiled eggs and an orange. Starting at 13.00 played 18 off the green tees with “K” a chap form Carlingford and Francis Murphy. Did not mark my card. Francis scored 36 points he claimed at the end. I struck a PW arrow-straight out of the right cross bunker onto the 17th green to 9’ and 2 putted for an easy 5. Drew a low 8-iron from the left fairway across the right greenside bunker to a point 15’ behind the flag on 18. Left my approach putt very short but holed out for 4. Drank water and white coffee and chatted with Francis and K. Young Frank is in Australia married to an Australian girl. Over a year now. Ate white loaf bread and cheese for my tea. Fidelis Rice called after 19.30 mass. Her sister in her last agony in England. I gave Fidelis my card to enable her to look up my photos on the web. Listened to the Late Debate on RTE 1 radio. Martin McGuinness approached Miriam O’Callaghan after last night’s Prime Time program and accused her of bias and treating him unfairly in the “debate” featuring himself and the 6 other presidential candidates. I think I got to bed before 00.00 having eaten corn flakes, milk, sliced banana; without washing my teeth. Lovely day on the golf course. Hitting it well. Took off my pullover around the 4th or 5th. Bought 5 new Nike distance balls off Ian Brennan in the pro shop for €10 around 12.30. Lost one. Played the two holes described above with an old Titleist Pro V which a visitor found and “willed” to me on the 17th as we played 16. Disappointed to read on the sheet that Kevin Gallagher and Dermot Philips defeated Brian and Shane Farrell in the final of the Club Fourball competition. Surprised to read on the notice board that Len Hennebry and I came 2nd on Sunday in the 2-man scramble competition. I drove in to Oaklawns at 21.25 with a bag of clean washing for Eamonn. House deserted. I left the bag at the foot of the stairs.

Seniors’; Knob; Blue Anchor; Mackerel



Monday 27 June 2011.

Typing now at 15.52 on Wednesday. Played 18 in seniors’ competition starting at 11.40 with Kevin McVeigh, Warrenpoint; Neil Tate, do.; Noel Guinane. I marked Kevin’s card and he marked mine. I think Kevin scored 34 points; all I did was 24 or 26 but I putted reasonably and generally struck the ball quite well. “The best striker in the club!” Noel effused as I faded one down along the trees off the 16th tee. I had only had a chip onto 15 after a big one drawn off the 15th tee. Anyway I took no shower and drank a pint of water chatting with Noel as he consumed a pint of Guinness Light which he purchased for himself. Fried 2 boneless pork chops; 4 small potatoes sliced longitudinally, on a different pan, the small one, with a copious amount of Cookeen. Reheated mashed turnip to which I added a large knob of butter. Boiled a small pot of small potatoes. Ate all except two small boiled potatoes. Used copious amounts of butter with the small potatoes which I consumed last and salt. Extracted some brown sauce from the bottle with difficulty for the fried potatoes. Eric Hynes bought me a mug of coffee, which Elaine prepared, in The Blue Anchor. I proposed that the Greenore Cooley Fisherman’s meeting should be adjourned as a mark of respect to Sheila McCrystal who died this morning. Took a few snaps outside and inside. I thought my effort was sub-standard but on inspection later the photos proved passable. I sent a “slide-show” of them to Dessie who told me on Wednesday that he deleted them in error. As well as Dessie and Eric, Eric Cuthbert looking well rolled up to the Blue Anchor for the meeting which was adjourned in line with my proposal. Cuthbert was delighted to get away early to go to Greenore. He had already been there at 08.00 and caught a mackerel today at 10.15. None of the Finegan’s showed up for the meeting. I think I exercised this morning.

Joe Finegan’s 85th Birthday Celebrations. St. Patrick’s Clubrooms, Lordship. 10 July 2011.

DSCF3321DSCF3322DSCF3323DSCF3324DSCF3325DSCF3326DSCF3327DSCF3328DSCF3329DSCF3330DSCF3331DSCF3332DSCF3335DSCF3336DSCF3337DSCF3338DSCF3339DSCF3340DSCF3341DSCF3342DSCF3343DSCF3344DSCF3345DSCF3346DSCF3347DSCF3348DSCF3349DSCF3353DSCF3354DSCF3355DSCF3356DSCF3357DSCF3358DSCF3352DSCF3359DSCF3360DSCF3362DSCF3363DSCF3364DSCF3365DSCF3366DSCF3369DSCF3367DSCF3370DSCF3368Gerry McDonald, SiobhánJimmy Gorman, Muriel, Sadhbh

A Lot of Butter; Outclassed; Employment; Duvet; Captain’s Prize

Sunday 3 July 2011.

Attended breakfast and meeting in The Strand starting at 10.00. Ate a lot of butter with my toast and marmalade and thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast. Dermot Mooney and Dessie the others. Nuala joined in to the discussion and Jim Halligan sat down for a while and talked. We were batting the breeze about suicide prevention. I carried on down to Greenore golf club where I played in The President’s Prize (Scobie, senator) with Brian Farrell and Joe Finegan. I was totally outclassed scoring 99 – 14 = 85. Joe; 88 – 12 = 76. Brian; 83 – 8 = 75. Drank a pint of iced water in the bar. Joe was drinking a pint of beer, or was it cider? Brian was having a sandwich and he complained eloquently to me about the price. He was charged much less at a Dublin golf club earlier in the week. I took a shower and had a chat with Jack Burns in the showers. Before we went out to play (Tee-time; 12.49, for me) Jack approached me about DkIT. His daughter is interested in employment there. I did my usual thing, “The front door; not the side door or the back door.” And I more or less indicated that my opinion is that DkIT is a dump in the absolute sense. Changed out of my silver Robbie slacks, white short sleeved T-shirt, into long-sleeved Ralph Lauren semi-polo white golf shirt, black “legal” freshly laundered slacks, black FootJoy golf socks. I forget what shoes I was wearing. It may have been black HushPuppies brogues. A summery day. My upper arms were red from sun. House empty when I got home. Rosanna invited over for coffee by Eleanor. Assembled a plate of cold mash, baked beans, boiled ham, sliced tomato; and scoffed it. Also ate an orange if not two. Well my energy was low despite drinking plenty of water this evening. I could stick it no longer and retired to bed at 20.30. Woke after mid-night sweaty under my duvet. Ate weetabix, sliced banana, milk. Journalled in my robe and pyjamas. I may have washed my teeth at this stage. Took the duvet off my bed and replaced it with an old plain woollen blanket and the coloured Spanish blanket. Lay on in a state between consciousness and dream for the rest of the night and into the morning. Cherry red sky over Dundalk Bay at 05.00. Depressed in the evening my mood mellowed when I got some sleep and I was happy from 12.00 until 03.00. Joe birdied 9 and 13 playing perfect golf. But he added up my score wrong. Chat with Pat McParland before I went out about Richard Boyle. “Gentlemen, may I propose a 10 ball.” Pat sitting at the paralysed computer when I was going in to the shower room. “I broke it,” he exclaimed, “the numbers were too big!” I think he scored 90? I used a variation of Richard’s dictum about weather for the beach rather than golf. “It’s a day for your deck-chair at the beach rather than golf.” To a few different people. My conscience is no longer bothered about repetition. Jack told me a 79 year old over two rounds won the captain’s prize in St. Anne’s this year.

Photos from The Strand



Black Van; The Cardinal; Incomplete; Scribbled; Coal

Friday 10 June 2011.

Exercised. Dressed in black “legal” 42” slacks, Argyle grey/black/pink socks, black patent Clarks, white FootJoy golf T-shirt, navy old Stena fleece, sky blue Nike golf cap with on orange ball marker pinned to the peak, glasses. Paul McNeill parked his black van behind my iQ in Main Street, Dunleer. Joined in singing, “Abide with Me,” in the parish church at 12.00. Fr. Murphy’s brother spoke at the lectern. The Cardinal (Seán Brady) was the principal celebrant at mass and he preached extremely well on Fr. John Murphy’s life and person. Bishop Clifford performed the obsequies in Mosstown graveyard where I took out ostentatiously my one decade rosary beads, which were given to me as a gift in Italy. I also tried to sing along with the Salve Regina intoned by all the priests at the end of the burial ceremony. I was delighted to meet Nikki Mackin both before and after the burial ceremony in the graveyard. Shook hands with Fr. John McKeever who looked at me disapprovingly; and with Fr. Pádraig Murphy: at the top of the sloped field where my car was parked. Lovely morning and Fr. Pádraig seemed in the best of humour. I said I was going to see if my brother was up out of bed and that I would try to annoy him. Anyway Teddy gave me tea and chocolate cake. I was not wearing dentures and my left upper gum was sore so I could not masticate anything hard or tough. Played ball with the shitzu. John Byrne showed me round the GAA centre in Darver. Unfinished driveway. Gym, showers, meeting rooms, kitchen, toilets; state of the art: assembly room; incomplete. 6 pitches. The main pitch exactly the same dimensions as Croke Park. A few pitches with artificial surfaces. At home ate salad including ham, cheese, balsamic vinegar; three slices of buttered brown topped with pâté; one slice of buttered brown topped with marmalade; a mug of tea. Fire lit. Rosanna gone to be sub in Greenore for Miele 4xball match v Dundalk. Surprisingly Greenore won I found out when Rosanna returned home near mid-night. Read e-mail. Long phone call from Dessie who wanted to know about the funeral. Ate an orange. Later I came up from the sitting room and prepared sardines-on-toast and put marmalade on a slice of buttered brown. Demolished all with a mug of tea. Scribbled journal for the past two days into my reporter’s notebook. Mentioned Greenore Golf Club to Fr. John Murphy’s brother after the burial and had, by chance, a bit of a conversation with Anthony Murphy, a nephew of Fr. John’s, who is editor of The Dundalk Democrat. Put on my pyjamas and washed my teeth before getting in to bed at 23.45 preparing to rise early for golf tomorrow with Con Rice, Niall and Aidan Mulvanney. Left the ventilator open. Charged the fire in the White Elephant Lounge with coal twice this evening.

Mobile; Man-to-Man; Living Lawns; Toledo

Tuesday 31 May 2011.

Made my bed, washed my teeth (did not wash them last night), exercised (with some difficulty), ablutions. Dressed the same as yesterday. Seán Óg rang on my mobile as I drove towards Ravensdale around 09.40 and I missed the turn down to the dispensary. Óg in good form booking a slot for golf on Monday. He is walking 2 miles a day he told me and swinging a club out the back on the mat. Dr. Rolf administered an injection of 1000 units of hydroxocobaloamine into my left flank. Yesterday’s injection was painless but this morning’s was sore and congested. “That’s an efficient doctor!” I remarked to Alice Roddy paying her the €10 she settled for. Rolf talked a little condescendingly in classic doctor/patient mode but his attitude was man-to-man and non-judgemental. “I know them all up there!” he remarked when I asked him if he knew Monica Doyle. Good chat with Vincie Tuite in the waiting area beforehand. Also made the acquaintance of Hilda Woods ex-postmistress, 74, of Ravensdale PO, a small talkative friendly human woman who now lives “in town.” Rosanna brought me out to Finnegan’s Nursery, Silverbridge. After lunch. Bought a red erect Begonia, £1.75, paid in cash. 5 seed trays, £3.49; 2 packs of prick out pots, 2 x £1.99: total £7.47 = €8.69, paid with MBNA Visa credit card. Picked up a booklet Living Lawns. “That’s free,” the woman at checkout informed me. It seemed to me to be more valuable than the pieces of black plastic I paid for. Concocted a salad; for lunch. Washed: lettuce, 7 cherry tomatoes, celery. White cheddar; 2 slices of package ham; a sliced cold hard-boiled egg; 8 pickled onions; chopped 2 big scallions; vinaigrette; light mayonnaise; 4 slices of brown buttered; mug of tea. Scoffed all in my red apron. “If I had a camera?” Rosanna remarked derisively as she passed me tucking in at the table in the living room. Watered plants. Dead-headed violets, red daisies, and a small compact plant sprouting white flowers. Scalped the latter using the gold Toledo scissors I purchased and carried home from Madrid years ago. Used the small green watering can I bought in Boyd’s yesterday to dampen the Alyssum seedlings. Worked a treat. Got the tip of using the rosette upside down from a picture in Living Lawns. Cleaned out and lit the fire in the White Elephant Lounge after 21.00. Earlier sent out by e-mail notice of the IMPERO meeting on 12 June in The Strand. Error in the agenda I discovered to my chagrin later. Date of the ENUSP/MHE conference wrong. 2010 instead of 2011. Listened to the debate 22.00 to 23.00 on RTE 1 Radio. Politics. 2nd bailout? Corn flakes, sliced banana, milk; for breakfast. Coffee, banana sandwich; for tea. Malt wheat, milk, sliced banana; for supper. 23.55 (note of time in my reporter’s notebook). Going to put on pyjamas and wash 5 ½ remaining teeth and brush my dentures. Did all that and got to bed. My energy much better today than yesterday? I just wanted to tell my journal that I sent a commentary to Mary Nettle yesterday on the terminology, “people with psycho-social problems.” Used extensively in Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report which is in preparation. No reply from Mary.

Toyota iQ

Twilight in Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland

Brussels; ENUSP/MHE Capacity Building Conference


Wednesday 18 May 2011.

Marion Jordan picked up Rosanna at Ballymascanlon before 14.00 to go and play in The Miele 4xball competition in Nuremore. They were beaten on the 13thand Rosanna was livid with Marion’s “attitude” on the course. “You’d think she was playing against me not the others,” Rosanna fumed. I lit the fire in the WEL early and got a few blow-downs. I think I did not shower or exercise a.m. Trimmed around the big tree and one or two other shaggy spots left over from yesterday around the lawn. Called on Mary McGeough by arrangement at 11.15 and collected the adaptor for the mobile phone charger for use on the continent. Bought one as well in Boyd’s for €2.49. Bought in Tesco; tomato and lentil soup, egg fried rice. Long Walk Shopping Centre. Purchased bananas in the vegetable shop. The groceries cost a little over €5 in total. Put the soup in the microwave. Then ate it cold (the microwave did not work?) with 3 richly buttered old slices of Hovis. For tea I consumed; sardines in tomato sauce on toast, a sliced tomato salted, 8 pickled onions, 2 flat pieces of red cheddar, a mug of tea. I went to bed at 20.00 but did not sleep. Got up and ate Bixies, sliced banana, milk. Listened to Rosanna ranting about the golf. Slept when I went back to bed c 22.30 and woke at 03.00 having had a few neuroleptic dreams about white VW beetles. Bixies, banana, milk; for breakfast this morning. I did a thorough washing up including the small rubbish bin after tea: swept the kitchen. Peeled and ate a small Valencia orange from the fridge after tea. Dressed the same as yesterday except that I wore tan John Evan boots today. Pissed in a field inside an open gate on the way “back” from McGeough’s.

Thursday 19 May 2011.

Left Jenkinstown at 04.15. Piddled at the fence and then beside my car in the darkened service centre at Lusk. Departed the Carlton Hotel at 6.15. Departed Dublin airport 10.50. Paid €22 for a return shuttle bus ticket from Charlerois to Rue de France, Brussels. €2.75 for 100g of smoked cashew nuts in Dublin airport. Double Snickers + Pepsi cost €3.30 on the Ryanair plane. €1.80 for a subway ticket from Gare du Midi to De Brouckère. 26c left in my purse which came to my rescue at every point along the journey; My Rosary purse. Paranoia about a noise in my 2010 white Toyota iQ on the way to Dublin. A fit of sneezing in Dublin airport; on the plane; and again on the coach from Charlerois. Lost my cool searching for WC in Central Station, Brussels. 50c (gratias to my purse!). Reached Astrid Hotel at 13.00. Text’d Rosanna. Is she dead? Paranoia. All my goods intact, I think. Lunch of dark vegetable soup, roast beef, crepes suzette, coffee; in Restaurant La Petrus opposite the hotel. Glass of white. €21.50 total + €2 tip. Paid cash. The lady of the house a formidable and astute waiter would not accept a credit card for “€14” menu. Wandered lonely as a cloud lost after dinner where I sat opposite Mary Van Dievel and Gabriela Tanasan. An MHE sponsored event. Starter, lamb chops, sweet apricot tart, 2 glasses of red. Sleep deprived I babbled on until Mary led me into a few catty remarks about John McCarthy. “I should not be talking like that about a man from my own country!” I blurted spontaneously and clammed up for the rest of the evening. Enquired my way at an hotel from a negro concierge who treated me kindly. Talked to a few down and outs asking directions. Despaired. Asked a bus driver who consulted a map. He pointed out a general direction. It transpired Astrid Hotel was < 100m away. Used €1.50 in coin to buy a bottle of cold water from the machine in the foyer. Got to bed exhausted and disorientated at 22.00. Nightmares about the metro, De Brouckère, Central Station; and making the connection in Rue de France on Sunday morning at 07.30 for the return to Charlerois. My composure had returned somewhat by morning.


Friday 20 May 2010.

Up 07.45. Showered without difficulty. Nice tame shower. Same underwear as yesterday. Tricot Marine plum and blue striped long sleeved shirt, silver Robbie slacks, black/red/green braces, black/grey/pink Argyle Tesco socks (Debra Shulkes liked them), brown Loake brogues, glasses. Yesterday I had worn a white FootJoy golf jacket with a handy inside breast pocket for my passport and a zipped left-hand pocket for my car keys, over a white short-sleeved golf T-shirt. Wore black FootJoy golf socks yesterday. I facilitated a 5 person discussion before lunch. Me, Jo (an English social worker, an assessor), José́e Van Remoortel (senior policy advisor MHE), Gabriela Tanasan (chairperson of ENUSP), and an English woman of Polish origin who chaired MHE for many years. I was the last to “report” before lunch and I felt I acquitted myself well although I may have come across as cocksure and smug? Mary Maddock spoke too and again in the afternoon. Lunch where we had dinner last night. Starter, fish (salmon?) on a bed of mashed pea/potato mixture. I went out after waiting a long time for dessert. Mary Van Dievel prompted me to go back in. The desert eventually materialised, a light pink and white sweet creamy confection. The capacity building joint ENUSP/MHE seminar continued in the afternoon on CRPD and the UN. Maths facilitated the debate at the end from 16.00 to 17.00. I made a few half-hearted attempts to get in but failed. Quite a few ENUSP members spoke. A lady from Finland opposite me at lunch, Anna a young girl from Bulgaria on my right, Gambor Gombos to the NE. He does not drive, he confessed. Walked as far as De Brouckère and looked at the ticket machine. Emilija Borchers helpfully suggested that she would look on-line when she got home to confirm that the metro runs early on Sunday. She remembered and told me tomorrow, “It starts at 05.30.” Dinner solo in Restaurant “La Petrus.” Goose liver paté starter, chicken and prawns, ice-cream cream chocolate, coffee, ¼ litre white wine. €41 paid to the formal, exact, correct, stylish, slightly owlish waiter, the lady of the house; with my MBNA credit card. No servility, no disdain. Excellent transactional analysis. “Where are you from?” “Czech Republic.” “Where are you from?” “Ireland.” Talked to Erveda Sansi, her partner and Debra before dinner. Text’d Rosanna after dinner c 20.30. Aisling there. Seán Óg coming. Good day today but by no means tropical. Community services. Quality?

Saturday 21 May 2011.

I am writing without notes at 10.18 on Monday 23 May. I was in good form this morning although I flooded the floor of the bathroom when I was having my shower. I must have made some kind of error with the shower concentrating as I was on opening and using both a sachet of body gel and a sachet of shampoo. Anyway I mopped it up fairly well. I washed and flossed my teeth and brushed my dentures last night. Trimmed around my upper lip with the Remington beard trimmer which I brought with me from Ireland. I put on clean underwear, a white Ralph Lauren semi-polo long-sleeved shirt, my silver Robbie slacks, fawn cotton non-elasticised socks, chocolate Loake brogues, glasses. Felt ship-shape and optimistic. Brought my Fuji FinePix 9500 S down to breakfast with malice aforethought. Drank coffee; masticated 2 beautiful croissants; consumed 4 slices of salami and a generous helping of pitted green olives: the same menu for breakfast as the one I concocted yesterday. Brought systematically all the diners I knew to their feet, snapped them in pairs mostly – under the roof window at the top of the dining room where a lot of the food for breakfast was laid out. Collected the autograph of every individual I photographed. Some of them were truly organised and gave me their cards as well. Anyway I was in great humour and enjoyed the crack. I continued to take photographs during the day but more informally without lining people up. Fortunately the room where ENUSP were working all day had glass down one side and enough soft light to work the camera fine on a natural light setting. The rectangular open space outside was shady with an umbrella and soft light which was very suitable for photography. The energy of the day dipped seriously in my opinion and the mood darkened when Mary Van Dievel came into the room before lunch proposing, almost as a fait accompli, an alliance between MHE and ENUSP and a sort of fairly formal coalition between that alliance and some members of the European Parliament in some kind of “interest” group. I was sitting opposite her and felt there was legerdemain going on so I cut fairly harshly into her almost immediately. However I did not pursue my line to the bitter end. Neither did I apologise. Elizabeth Winder decried the argumentative tone and Mary petered out pleading her voice was getting weak. My voice was strong but I did not want to continue the argument. Later during lunch Eric approached me. He is a senior man and he has reservations, too, I think. I suggested to him that it might be a good idea to slow things down. Actually I like Mary Van Dievel. I think she is a pro and I am not afraid of her. But I am not going to tell her that. The lunch in the deep pink walled restaurant MHE has been using for us with a beautiful mahogany female nude statue was a slow-motion affair. Starter, chicken and small potatoes casseroled in a plastic bag, chocolaty desert, glass of white wine. “Mary Van Dievel is not all bad,” I remarked to Eric during our short discussion, “She is paying for that,” I said pointing to the half full glass of white wine in front of me. Stefan stuck to me at lunch and later back at the hotel telling me very witty soviet jokes. I was grateful. He is a supportive person and he boosted my spirits which were low after the encounter with Mary Van Dievel. Anyway the air seemed to have leaked out of the ENUSP balloon and the energy of the morning evaporated. Then a strange thing happened. Berthold Koësel who was a little tense and keyed up beforehand ran a workshop under an umbrella in the quadrangle outside. Him; me; another Stefan, chairperson of Uilenspiegel. A Lithuanian woman who was there at the start deserted after 20 minutes or so dissatisfied with the lack of detail in Berthold’s proposal. “Peers in Progress.” I suggested contacts in Thessaloniki, Bavaria (where Berthold’s 76 year old father was a pedagogy professor), Maynooth. Get mental health services out of a medical context and into the area of education and personal development. Mentors: assistants. 2 ½ days x 12 training over 12 months. Anyway I found the workshop very stimulating, requested the honour of reporting back to the assembly in the room. Although none of the markers worked totally satisfactorily on the flip chart I enjoyed making a presentation and explaining the scheme. “You have very good teaching skills!” Debra remarked to me in the pancake house where Raphael brought us to celebrate the 20thbirthday of ENUSP. “I was a teacher,” I replied rather tersely to Debra. But I was grateful for her remark. I had finished my presentation with a reference to John Carty RIP. I ate crepes de patron, a pancake filled with a mess of prawns and creamy sauce. Drank a glass of white wine as well as a little sweet cider. Good chat with Jan Verhaegh who was sitting beside me. Biology and mental illness. But my stomach was acid and when Mats was giving his historical talk I was restless and worried wanting to get back to bed in the hotel in preparation for an early start in the morning. I put on my black Calvin Klein golf pullover outside but took it off again. It was still warm and it had been a warm sultry day. I took a chance and left with the eastern European man who has very little English, wears glasses, nice stature, serious mien, smokes. I trusted he knew the way; I certainly didn’t. Elizabeth Winder joined us in cheerful mood. We made our way hesitantly to Hotel Astrid without going astray. Elizabeth, who has time to sleep in the morning, went off for a walk on her own. I did not pack. Donned my short black and white pyjamas. Brushed and flossed my 5 ½ remaining teeth. Got in to bed 11.10 and slept till 02.00.

Sunday 22 May 2011.

I lay awake until 04.00 and then got up. I felt reasonably composed and fairly confident. Washed my face. Dressed the same as yesterday except I put on black FootJoy golf socks that I had worn on Thursday, my white FootJoy golf jacket and sky blue Nike golf cap. Packed everything. A little difficulty getting my camera into the Belkin lap-top case. I sat for a while chilling out. Then a thunderstorm struck with a deluge of rain. I dithered then changed my plan. Instead of walking to the metro station De Brouckère I agreed with the young man at check-out for him to call a taxi. The taxi arrived promptly and I left the hotel with my Belkin case and Rosanna’s navy “leather” carrier bag around 06.00. Rocketed in the rain through the dark streets many of which were cobbled to Rue de France. “Ryanair,” the thin speedy taxi driver murmured knowingly. I had watched the meter in true paranoid fashion and was relieved to see it come up slightly short of €20. I gave him a note. “Ticket?” he enquired. “S’il vous plait,” I responded and he quickly scribbled out a receipt. “I have a ticket for 07.30?” I told the stout girl driving the coach. “That’s alright,” she reassured me, “It’s raining.” So I got into the front seat behind the driver. An African man helped me to squeeze my bags into the luggage rack overhead. Sitting beside me was a young clean cut sleepy chap from Mexico. The trip to Charlerois seemed to be over in an instant. No problem with my bladder. I had drunk only a glass of tap water this morning very early. The man at information told me Ryanair check-in for the 10.50 flight to Dublin had not begun. I sat down on a steel seat opposite, people watched, nodded off now and then. I should say that when I arrived at departures I drank a cappuccino and ate two semi-circular croissants. €5.30. My stomach a little acid. Passed a large and copious motion in Charlerois the only motion I passed in Belgium. Anyway I was in a dreamy state in front of information and hardly noticed the man from information approaching me from behind his desk. “Check-in for your flight has started,” he informed me helpfully. Bought a box of Guylian Belgian chocolates. Sea-shell selection. For Rosanna. In duty free. €8.50. Sat at gate 12 for over an hour watching a succession of blue and yellow decorated Ryanair planes land. Took a few snaps. Ate a double Snickers bar on the plane and drank a Pepsi. €3.30. Two attractive young hostesses. I was one of the last to board but found a seat in the second port row from the front. The Belkin case containing the white box of Guylian under my seat. Seán Óg rang as I was walking down the tunnel going to collect my bag. He was not keen and more or less advised to go straight home rather than drive towards the city to visit him. I agree because I was feeling sleepy. Bright and windy. Caught the Carlton bus no problem. Paid the receptionist in The Carlton €20 cash parking fee and she formatted my ticket which I produced from my wallet. A pile of broken glass beside my white 2010 Toyota iQ. A small mark on my offside door. I decided not to bother going back to reception about it but thought vaguely about ringing up during the week. Anyway I followed the old Swords road past Dublin airport, got out onto the M1 and sped home in the wind. The girl in The Carlton had given me €10 coin in my change so I had no trouble paying the €1.80 toll at Boyne Bridge. I nodded off at one or two points on the road home and woke with a start. So I was glad when I reached home because I was losing conscious control of my sleep function. Aisling there. I gave Rosanna the box of chocolates. “I would have got you something, Aisling,” I remarked, “If I knew you were here.” Aisling gave me her EOS Canon 350. She had no disc. I uploaded the programs for the new Canon she got in America on my Acer and I was registering her old camera in my name on the Canon web-site when she abruptly pulled the disc out of the computer and interrupted rudely what I was doing. “Fuck you anyway!” I roared, “You’re a fucking eejit. Fuck you and fuck all belonging to you!” She packed both of her cameras into their cases and the next thing I remember is walking towards the gate signalling to her with my hand to come towards me. I wanted to tell her I had completed the registration of the camera. Anyway she ignored me continued in reverse out the gate in her white 1999 hatchback Toyota Corolla luna and pulled out for Dublin. No-one explained anything to me and I never asked. Rosanna seemed, unusually, to take my side muttering something about Aisling being “impossible.” Rosanna gave me a ham salad to eat around 14.00 and two microwaved Roosters with salt and butter soon after I arrived home at 13.00. “Sorry, Aisling. I was on a short fuse. Did not mean what i said. Love. Dad.” I text’d Aisling before I retired to bed around 18.00. “Forget about it.” I read her reply when I got up around 22.00 in my black robe, slippers, pyjamas. Ate corn flakes, milk, sliced banana. Looked at the photos from Brussels. Chuffed. Looked at soccer results. Chelsea lost and Manchester United won. They are winners pulling up of the premier league. I opened the ventilator in my bedroom window. Washed my teeth, flossed, brushed my dentures. Wide awake going back to bed I contemplated the work facing me tomorrow and did not get off to sleep until the wee small hours. A phone call from Dessie late in the afternoon.