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Misshapen Thieves: Chat: Scoffed: Stephenson’s Pond

Horse and Jockey 1

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Up 06:20 after a slight nightmare featuring misshapen thieves and my watch. Played 6 starting at 07:50. 5, 4, 5, 5, 6, 5 = 30. Never struck a decent approach putt. Took 3 from the edge of 13, 14, 17. 3-putted 15. Pitched with a lob wedge on 16 and 18 and 2-putted both greens. Took a shower and changed everything. 20° at 08:00. Drank a 500ml bottle of Coke sitting at the bench outside the pro shop. Chat there with Alan Dempsey who has recently retired from An Gárda and rejoined the club. Dessie rolled up. Good chat between the three of us. Laddie bore the mark where the growth on his right back thigh has been removed. I think I ate a ham sandwich for breakfast and drank 2 mugs of Barry’s Tea. Consumed corn flakes and milk for lunch. Printed on my new Dell laser printer my journal for June and mounted it in the shocking pink ring backed folder. Fried several slices of baked ham on the Tefal pan in butter. Also fried boiled turnips left over from yesterday and some of yesterday’s mash. Scoffed the lot. Washed up thoroughly. Swept the kitchen floor. Had taken a short siesta. Re-made my bed. Washed teeth and face. Donned clean white shirt sans vest, Greenore cufflinks, grey underpants, grey small-check Robbie slacks, blue suspenders, dark grey Kartel 42” jacket, dark grey socks, black Hush Puppie brogues. Wore a silver and blue biro in my shirt pocket and a silver and gold watch on my left wrist. Dessie pulled up outside the gate at 19:20 and ferried me in his small Fiat to Stephenson’s Pond. Tea and a scone with raspberry jam. Municipal Area meeting of the PPN (public participation network). Larry Magnier elected to the secretariat. He was one of 4 who stood for election: an African lady, a woman called Thompson from Omeath, John Morgan. Rosanna played 12 holes with the sisterhood. Grumpy.

Apricot; Armed; Dividend; Motto

Tuesday 30 October 2012.

Up 09.00 +. 2 different kinds of brown bread + butter with marmalade and also apricot jam (the last of it) for breakfast; with a mug of tea. Brushed teeth: made bed: dressed in black “legal” slacks freshly laundered, black FootJoy socks, patent black Clarks, vest, Corrupt T-shirt, Everlast fleece. No exercise: washed but no shower. Paid 40c to park in Crowe Street. Armed soldiers guarding Ulster Bank in Clanbrassil Street. I could not get in. Bypass blocked. Drove by St. Alphonsus Road to the Retail Park. Hedge in Oaklawns did not need to be trimmed. Bought size 12 soccer boots in Elvery’s. Green with blue and red trim. ~ €13. Parked in Long Walk Shopping Centre. Walked to Ulster Bank. Placed in box a fast lodgement envelope containing 2 small Fyffes’ dividend cheques. Shopped in Lidl. Bread, milk, frikadellen, bananas, apples, tea. On my way from UB to LWSC car-park I had purchased 2 haddock fillets in Johnnie Morgan’s. 2 x 1.50 = €2.50. Chuffed. Rashers, 2 boneless pork chops, 1 ½ microwaved Roosters peeled + butter, an apple; for lunch. Brought in bin. Brought in coal. The Wolfgang Holzmair CD’s came in the post (x4). Listened to Die Schone Mullerin. Drank a mug of tea and ate a Tuscan roll in the afternoon with butter and mature white cheddar. Later fried 2 fillets of haddock and 2 longitudinally halved cold microwaved Roosters; the fish on the big pan in margarine, the potatoes in the small pan in butter. Ate all with salt and lemon juice; drank a generous glass of vin de pays, white wine, the last remnant from the bottle in the fridge. Cleaned up the kitchen and washed up. The first item I dried, the wine glass, crashed in smithereens on the flags of the kitchen floor when I was attempting to put it in the lower shelf of the press. Checked e-mail, stumbled, etc., on the Dell in the sitting room. Deposited €100 in the Cooley Environmental and Health Group account in the PO in Jenkinstown this morning on my way in to town. Conversation in the shop with John Finnegan who told me that the mega storm had already claimed 17 lives in New Jersey and thereabouts. New York affected too. 23.55. Going to eat weetabix, sliced banana, milk: wash 5 ½ remaining teeth: retire. Rosanna who lay on the couch in the White Elephant Lounge for a few hours under a blanket opposite the fire roused herself around 23.00 and went to bed. “To what extent?” was my motto this morning, “Am I going to be annoyed today?” Ironed 1 pair of fawn Robbie cotton stretch trousers, 1 blue Pierre Cardin cotton shirt with thin red stripe, 1 burgundy and navy striped 100% cotton Melka shirt; in the early evening after dark. Rosanna sewed on 2 buttons on my Robbie trousers and another on a pair of black Bruhl slacks; for me.

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.

Photos from The Strand



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.

Labyrinth, Swiss-rolls, Lamb, Eye-contact

Saturday 3 October 2009

Dessie called for me at 8.30 and we were in time for morning prayer at the RE Congress in The Fairways. It involved a lot of singing. Peter McVerry SJ lectured a Jeremiad on economics. Anti-Capital? Round table at lunch on the connection between parish and RE in the school. Tall dark-haired woman from Cork with a happy face facilitated. There was a woman from Ballinhassig in the group at our table. She knew who I was talking about when I mentioned Liam P Deasy. I consumed soup and sandwiches and drank coffee and a glass of red for which I paid all the change in my purse ~ €5.40. Attended Tom Hamill’s workshop after lunch. Tom managed to annoy Dessie who was totally dismissive of Hamill throughout the day afterwards. Hamill had made a speech and a presentation to Cardinal Daly before lunch. The Cardinal’s 92nd birthday. Hamill headlined the year 2012 for some reason but his workshop from an ideological point of view was a sort of biblical rehash of Peter McVerry’s testimony. A very happy and uplifting workshop followed on classroom strategy. Faith and Food: Recipes for the RE Classroom. Given by Patricia Kieran and Catherine McNally. One tall dark and very Irish, the other the very stereotype of an English milkmaid. We spread a cloth on the floor and put out a spread. I ate delicious purple seedless grapes, nuts, cheese and drank a little grape juice. I also proclaimed the grace and read from the Acts the passage about sharing everything in common in the early church. Paddy Whyte’s brother led the song "This Is the Day the Lord Has Made." Dessie and I had a chat with Brother Whyte in the corridor later. He too was enthusiastic about the workshop. They made a Swiss roll St. Brigid’s cross, butter icing, Christmas log, chocolate icing. Small "coconut" marshmallows in paper "cups." Sweetness = Love of God. Hamill conducted the Passover meal after a 2 hour break. It was long – he was a bit ill-tempered – but the food was lovely especially the mashed potato and the lamb. I took a second helping of lamb and my system struggled to cope later in the night and morning. I drank a few ceremonial glasses of red. During the break before this meal I took off my shoes and walked the labyrinth in the sacred space talking all the while to Dessie. We overlooked the fact that there was supposed to be silence. I also wove my two threads into the hessian cloth with a big-eyed needle. On impulse I bought a crib with my credit card off the Veritas stand. It was marked €150 but the assistant accepted my bid of €130. A Christmas pressie for Lisa (& Og). Wrote too in the "Journal." I sat for the meal at the very end of the table nearest the door. Sr. Rosita opposite proved an excellent conversationalist. The waitresses were friendly and they looked well, made eye-contact and smiled quite often. The manageress said "Goodnight" to me as I exited the hotel. I read through some of the texts for tomorrow’s liturgy when the conversation flagged at the table.

An Eclair, Texts, Tee-time, Community Elections

Wednesday 10 June 2009
Exercised in the morning after making my bed.  Washed.  Applied 1 Million and dressed in navy Le Coq Sportif T-shirt, Ever-Last top, navy golf slacks, grey Argyle socks, burgundy brogues.  Met at 11.00 Kevin McGeough in Ballymascanlon House Hotel.  I bought Kevin a coffee and myself an eclair.  I did not drink coffee – or anything else.  Discussed the upcoming IMPERO meeting.  Kevin said Mary liked the photo I took of him last week.  Rang CREATE about grants for community arts projects – I was thinking of the proposed IMPERO film?  The receptionist gave me a hard time but said she would get "Catherine" to ring me.  The call never came.  Took a siesta.  Sent a few texts from the computer.  Aisling replied "I’m workin" to my request to her to take photos at Saturday’s IMPERO meeting.  Anne did not reply.  I got a phone-call from Og in reply tomorrow evening – he was out then "having a pint."  Received a text from Teresa B tomorrow evening in reply to mine of today about "the procession."  Put €20 credit on my phone – got €22.  Took a siesta.  Dressed as this morning.  Rosanna came in from the 16th due to rain having played 4 holes with Jane Savage.  Heavy showers in the evening in Jenkinstown and a clap of thunder.  I got wet running out to Dessie’s van at 18.25 to go in to the Town Hall for the election of community representatives onto the new Joint Policing Committee for Dundalk.  In the event we had no vote and were acknowledged publicly by Paddy Donnelly as members of the "outgoing" county community forum and as observers.  Ellen O’Hanlon had met us at the door and handed over two small boxes of smoke alarms.  Dessie gave me the one for myself and another for Dom Gallagher and a third for Majella.  I shook Vera Brown’s hand after the election.  "Better luck next time!" I commiserated, "If it had been up to me you would have been the one elected.  You spoke well."  I queried to her whether the 12 – 4 vote in her section "Residents" was "organised."  There was strong representation from "The House" in Cox’s and I suspected a Sinn Fein coup.  Vera was defeated by a hawk-nosed, closely cropped, lithe, slightly authoritarian, young gentleman from Bay Estate who spoke into the microphone hiding his mouth behind his folded hands.  Jim Cousins was elected 16 – 1 or something like that – his opponent (Marie Hayes?) did not appear.  The person elected representing youth was from "The House" and more or less of the ilk of the gentleman I have already described.  He defeated Lucy Rafferty 12 – 4.  Although their tonsure was like mine they wore shirts with collars whereas I wore a T-shirt.  I had a chat with a refined young man who had an outdoor look (i.e. a sun-tan) beside me.  He was also a worker with "The House."  He was as careful with his conversation as a senior diplomat but he was fluent.  He concentrated a bit on "Dr Connolly" the ex-CEO of the VEC.  I had a coffee in the small room off the council chamber before the meeting and two small packets of bourbon creams.  Paddy Donnelly acted as "returning officer" and Paula Gribben and Ellen assisted him.  In the evening I entered on the computer my name and Rosanna’s onto the timesheet for 14.00 tomorrow to play golf.  I (24) was not last on Tuesday – there were 20 or 30 behind me.  The best score was 38 so John Ward’s (37) 6 on the 16th made a big difference but, anyway, he lost shots off his handicap and that was his main objective.  CSS was 72, I think.  I washed my six remaining teeth before going to bed, forgot to floss.  Brushed dentures but did no exercise.

Fr. Luddy, Barack Obama, Painful Head

Sleeping half-moon

Saturday 31 January 2009

Depression in bed gradually lifted when I got up around 10.15 a.m.  Made my bed, exercised, washed, dressed as yesterday except that I put on a red gansy instead of the green pullover.  Listened to George Hamilton on Lyric FM in my black robe before I dressed.  Wrote two comments on indymedia, one on last night’s Avalon concert and another on the workshop "Superstition!" including a photo of Dermot Mooney (and Anne M.).  Rosanna told me that Greenore GC is closed today.  Dark and wet.  Depressing weather.  Noodles, cooked cheddar, sliced ham, for lunch.  Later ate three slices of fruit loaf and some Wensleydale cheese.  Head very painful around 4.30 p.m.  I dozed in my Parker Knoll and my head improved.  Walked over to mass.  Fr Dennis Luddy, Redemptorist, assisted by Fr Padraig Murphy.  I gave €5 "to the priest" and the small dregs of change in my purse to St. Vincent de Paul – Sheila Reynolds was collecting at the front door of the church.  Children’s choir.  I joined in on the chorus of "I Watched the Sunrise" at communion.  Gerry Woods who was beside me in my usual seat sang along too – but we did not "rise it."  Listened in the afternoon to two Mozart concertos from the Oistrakh recordings.  Emptied a bag of doubles into the bin around noon and used most of it during the day.  Aisling out in Wicklow with some of her NCAD classmates.  A hen party?  Her friend who owns the Bad Art Gallery is getting married.  Luddy in his sermon compared Jesus to Barack Obama.  "Are you committed to me?"  Soaked my dentures in Steradent and washed my six remaining teeth before bed.  Left the radio on sleep mode until 12.20 a.m.


Prompting Pride in Our Rural Villages

Celebration Event

Wednesday 4 June 2008 at 11.00 a.m.

Rathfriland Bowling Pavilion


11.00 a.m.  Registration, Refreshments, Traditional Music Entertainment

11.30  a.m.  Introduction, Ms Pamela Arthurs, Chief Executive, East Border Region Committee.  Welcome, Cllr John Hanna, Chairperson Banbridge District Council, Vice Chair East Border Region Committee

11.35  a.m. Overview of "Promoting Pride in Our Rural Villages," Ms Pamela Arthurs, chief executive, East Border Region Committee.  Viewing of DVD about how the scheme progressed.

11.55  a.m.  Tallanstown "An Example of Tidy Towns Best Practice," Mr Richard Barry, chairman, Louth Tidy Town Committee

12.05 p.m.  "Village Planning and Development Challenges," Dr Michael Murray, QUB Planning Department.

12.20  p.m.  Saintfield "A Rural Village Experience" Mr Gerry Lowe, Chairman of Saintfield Regeneration Ltd.

12.30  p.m.  "Overview of Future Funding Opportunities," Mrs Dette Hughes, Development Officer, East Border Region INTERREG IIIA Partnership

12.40  p.m.  Keynote Address, Minister for Social Development, Ms Margaret Ritchie, MLA

12.50  p.m.  Close, Cllr Terry Brennan, Louth County Council, Chairman, East Border Region Committee.

1.0  p.m.  Lunch

The agenda was followed assiduously.  Lunch was consumed within the pavilion but the speakers were all listened to by the audience of around 100 souls seated in a fully equipped tent in the grounds outside.  There is a wonderful view of the Mournes from the grounds of Rathfriland Bowling Club but weather conditions yesterday were not as good as they have been in recent weeks so the view was restricted. 

The project involved 8 councils and 48 villages on either side of the border. 

Highlight of the project was an adult education course organised by Southern Regional College, Newry Campus (Quayside), in planting pots and window boxes and in the construction of hanging baskets.  The course also involved a bus trip to Scarva and to Knockbridge.  Both of these villages have been considerably enhanced and beautified as a result of the concerted voluntary effort of residents.

The celebration event was a great success, informative and enjoyable.  The DVD was great even if some of the stars in it were old men. 

A fitting end to a marvellous and meticulously organised and realised project.