The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

My Photo
Name:
Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Thursday, November 30, 2006

flight of the iguana

Midnight at the old chateau.
Behold the mighty Heelers.
He is flumped in front of his computer.
In six hours he is due on a plane to the United States of America.
No point in being a genius if you don't spread it around a little, thinks he.
But look at him.
He does not look happy.
He looks like a Heelers who must somehow magic up a page of newspaper stories before the night is out along with a page of photos or else he cannot go on his transatlantic odyssey.
He looks like a Heelers who has not the least chance of doing so.
He looks like a Heelers, in short, who is on the brink of despair.
And lo!
At his shoulder appears Petal.
Petal is the artist formerly known as my Yogic sister Marie.
Petal says: "Could you put a few of these photos in the paper this week?"
She spreads an array of photos from the recent Kilkea fashion show on the table.
"And I have a few stories about the golf club I want you to write for me," she adds. "They're typed out here," nonchalantly producing a sheaf of papers.
She pauses.
Pause finished.
Petal produces an envelope.
"I know you're going to America in the morning," she says. "I want you to have this."
The envelope contains a fat wodge of American dollars.
A fat wodge.
My favourite sort of wodge.
For a moment Heelers is too moved to talk.
It's a Christmas miracle.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

keeel bont

Sitting in the front room at the old chateau with the Mammy and Paddy Pup.
A James Bond film has just started on the television.
It features an oddly zestfully politically incorrect opening scene.
James Bond, played by Roger Moore is leaving flowers in a graveyard.
We see that the grave is that of his wife, the one played by Diana Rigg in the oddly good 1969 pre Rodge movie where Bond was played by the Australian George Lazenby.
Rodge stands at his wife's grave a moment.
A Padre approaches and tells him that Bond's office has phoned that they are sending a helicopter to collect him.
A helicopter arrives and picks up Rodge.
Rodge glances out the window and sees the Padre blessing him solemnly.
It seems the Padre has a premonition that trouble is ahead.
The pilot of the helicopter is then electrocuted by remote control.
The electrocutor is Bond's old nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld who we see sitting in a wheelchair on top of a London factory building nearby, with a spectacular silver grey furry white cat on his knee, now controlling the helicopter using the aforementioned remote,
Blofeld is controlling the helicopter, I mean, not the cat.
The cat by the way is a damn fine actor.
(Really. I liked the cat.)
So Blofeld is controlling the helicopter via remote
He is also mocking Rodge through some sort of radio system.
Rodge gets out of the rear seat of the helicopter, exits onto a helicopter strut, and gains entry to the front seat having first slung out the dead pilot.
He does this as Blofeld cackling madly all the while, sends the helicopter up, down, all over the sky, and careening precariously among industrial buildings.
Rodge shorts out the circuit board on the helicopter control panel thus rather improbably regaining control of the aircraft which has been directed by Blofeld into the interior of a factory and is about to hit a wall.
Blofeld's cat delivers a great line as Rodge regains control of the aircraft.
The cat goes: "Reeargh."
Now Rodge flies it back to the roof where he's seen Blofeld and his cat.
He flies towards Blofeld and scoops him up still in his wheelchair on the helicopter strut.
The cat escapes and may return in a later movie.
As the helicopter flies high, Blofeld is panicking.
He offers to make a deal.
Rodge leans out the window and slaps his bald head.
Rodge says: "Keep your hair on." (And somewhere the ghost of Benny Hill is smiling.)
Then he flies the helicopter over a huge industrial chimney stack and tips it downwards so that wheelchair and Blofeld are deposited into the blackness.
Blofeld's last words are: "Meeesthair Bontttttttttttttttttt..."

The Mammy and I watch this scene in an odd admixture of horror and fascination.
Paddy Pup meanwhile noses a handkerchief from the Mammy's lap and departs into the hall.
"You're an anarchist dog," I call after him.
And ain't it the truth!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

dublin street art

Sunday, November 26, 2006

JAMES BONG AND THE VILLAINS


NOT THE THEME TUNE TO CASINO ROYALE
lyrics James Healy
studio producer Sean Corcoran
art Medbh Gillard

bleak heart

a boy stands in a field above the town
he does not know what the years will bring
dark night touches him and the rain
his spirit leaps in his imagining

a man writes at table in the dark
he wonders of all things what we are
spirits creatures objects worse
pitched forth comets about a dying star

tell me if all time is one time
and what is was and will be
was the boy already corrupt as he looked upon the town
am i already dead as i write

Saturday, November 25, 2006

a slice of the pie


This is an auspicious day! For the first time ever the number of people logging on to the blog from around the world has exceeded the number logging on from Ireland. The USA leads the charge with twenty percent. (Scrapper the Rover and Genevieve, hello!) Canada, once neck and neck with the US, has dropped back into third. (Oh Canada. Oh Schneewittchen. Oh Kimmers.) Andrea in Germany still appreciates fine writing obviously. While my favourite four percent in the world comes from India. Laure in Belgium wrote that she finds it interesting seeing my bitter side on the blog. Mr Sean Landers in Taiwan occasionally ends up on this page by mistake and gets off it again quickly. Our UK correspondent is Jill Don't Call Me Professor Allaway. From Greece an accomplished musician and poet by the name of Alan Massie is our regular guest.
You people are the icing on the cake.
Thank you one and all.

Friday, November 24, 2006

iambic bastameter

Phone call from Rowena Hampton who writes the Entertainments Section.
She is the only member of staff that I hold in high regard.
Someday she will edit the Lootheramawn.
Or perhaps a real newspaper.
She said: "James I've received a press release about your new song. But the editor saw it and he said a lot of it is to be cut, and then I'm to resubmit it to him before we publish it."
There was a moment's silence.
"James," she said. "Why is he doing this?"
My answer wasn't long in coming.
"Sneeran's got nothing left," I told her. "He's tried to run me out of the place for eight years. And I haven't gone. Now this is his best shot. Messing with a press release. It's all he's got."
Rowena sighed.
"But why James?" she persisted. "Why is he bothered?"
"Because he's spent eight years covering up what he and Pieface did in that office," I told her. "For eight years he thought he could make me walk away. He promoted her to Assistant Editor. He was sure I'd be gone. But no. It didn't quite work out. Everybody else left. Everybody Rowena. Not one journalist based in head office over the past eight years has lasted more than one year. Sneeran is left there with Pieface. No one else will work with them."
"You're right about that anyway," Rowena murmured. "No one will work with them."
"So that's where it's at," I continued. "A dozen journos have left in eight years but the one he wanted to leave wouldn't play ball. You know what to do with the press release for my song, don't you Rowena?"
"What will I do with it?"
"Throw it in the bin."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

upping the ante

Coffee with Baldy Mangan the tame trade unionist in Yum Yums of Naas.
The journos are ballotting on strike action at the Lootheramawn.
He wants my advice.
Today our talk touches on all the issues.
The union man explains to me that the assistant editor Serena Pitchfork has suggested we shouldn't strike in the weeks coming up to Christmas.
Well she would, wouldn't she.
I give the union man the benefit of my expertise.
"Listen," sez I. "The editor and assistant editor are management. If you're letting Pitchfork sit in on union meetings you are allowing a management spy to report on your activities."
"She's in favour of the strike," replied the union man.
I nodded grimly.
"She's a management spy," I told him again. "She's not going to hold up a sign saying: I am a management spy. But that's what she is. She'll be in favour of the strike alright. But always a couple of months down the line. Never now."
Our conversation turned to the forthcoming clash.
Once more I stooped from on high to share the benefit of my sublime analysis.
"There's only one way to go about it if push comes to shove," I averred. "We don't strike as a gesture. We don't strike for an honorable draw. We strike to win. It's a dirty business. Don't think it's going to be civilised. We've got to fight dirty. We've got to get mean."
My voice was raised. People at the surrounding tables looked up curiously. I wasn't too worried.
If it's to be now, let it be now.
"What are you suggesting we do?" said the union man.
"Whatever it takes," I answered. "There are too many nice people in this union hoping for a quiet way out. You've got to think of it as a war. Because that's the way management are thinking of it. If we go on strike we've got to stop that paper appearing, one way or the other."
This last one liner had definitely drawn an audience.
"One other thing," I said leaning forward. "Lose Pitchfork. She's working for the bad guys. She's spent eight years with Sneeran running journalists off the payroll. She's not on our side and neither is he."
Our conversation ended soon after that.
When the union man had gone, the beautiful Polish waitress refilled my coffee, and I sat alone at the window watching main street fill up with the dusk.
An oddly ridiculous, faintly romantic figure.
The Arthur Scargill of the coffee shop.
Each man must be a legend to himself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

the long and rocky road to fame

"Will I make you really gorgeous?"
The words were those of Medbh Gillard the artist currently designing a cover for Not The Theme Tune To Casino Royale, the new song from James Bong And The Villains.
"Just do me as I am Medbh," sez I.
"So not gorgeous then," sez she with the air of a woman rather enjoying herself.
Truly bold readers, I suffer for my art.
Later the same day I had lunch in the Chat And Chew with the Mammy.
The Mammy was mighty curious about the forthcoming CD cover artwork.
"What way is she drawing you?" quoth the Lildebeest.
"Like I am," explaineth me.
"Ah God," quoth the Lilt.
"What's wrong?" wondereth me.
"I'd prefer if she made you good looking, gave you a few muscles and all that, you know, for the public image," quoth she.
Words failed me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard and James Healy)


"When you've finished doing nothing, for God's sake do something!"

on the avenue

Strolling on the avenue at midnight with Paddy Pup. A million stars glittering above us. Orion himself standing on the topmost branch of the Dad's chestnut tree. Gospel shiver in the hedges. Freezing wind. The coldness of the truth. Destiny. Let it be now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

meeting of minds

A pretty African lady put her hand on my arm as I strolled through the Whitewater Centre this afternoon.
"Excuse me," she said, "are you..."
My little heart thrilled.
"Doctor Healy's brother?"
I stared at her with the look of a man who is staring and not quite able to stop staring.
It would have been too easy to cry out:
"I am not Doctor Healy's brother. I am the poet James Healy. I am the finest mind of a generation."
Modesty prevented me from doing this.
Instead I nodded and smiled.
"He's a great doctor," said she.
"Try living with him," said I.
We parted having understood each other.

Friday, November 17, 2006

sun twitty studios, newbridge, county kildare, thursday november 16th 2006, a legend is born





(Elvis has left the building. He was running.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

fighting for our lives

Meeting MC Corks in the morning to record the Bond skit.
It's a song featuring imaginary movie villains singing about killing imaginary secret agent James Bond.
Very droll indeed.
I will be releasing it under the artistic pseudonym Heeler The Peeler And The Villains.
Ah yes folks.
At least one get rich quick scheme per month or my name's not James Hieronymous Fortescue Snurdlingham Healy the third. (Heelers means get poor quick scheme. - Ed note.)
Onward to fresh fields and pastures new.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

tenderness

Sunday, November 12, 2006

marcus and friends

The Mammy and James driving to Newbridge.
"How's Marcus," quoth I patting her on the back of the hand.
The Mammy shoots me a dirty look.
"Stop referring to my wart as Marcus," she intones with mild venom.
She's had a wart on her hand for a week now bold readers. I feel I've gotten to know it quite well and so have given it a name.
In fact the name comes from an old evil henchman who appeared in the Doctor Who television series way back in the dulcet Summer of 1972. Southern England was being invaded by Egyptian Mummies. After one particularly gruesome piece of business, the villain of the piece a reincarnated demon called Sutek, addressed the aforementioned henchman with the classic line: "Remove the carcas Marcus."
Anyhoo.
Lil and James driving.
A thought strikes the greatest mind of a generation. Certain family members believe I can heal illnesses through touch.
"Would you not let me do the healing touch on the wart?" sez I to the Mammy.
Quoth the Lildebeest: "Nevermore."
(And somewhere the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe is smiling.)
I persist with my entreaties but the aged parent is having none of it.
"I'm going to see a faith healer tomorrow," she muses.
"What will he do?" sez me a tad bitterly.
"He'll touch the wart with a straw that he's blessed," she explains. "Then he'll pray over me. Then I've to take the straw and bury it in the garden. As the straw rots away in the ground, the wart will disappear off my hand."
Our car swerves briefly.
For a moment I've lost control of my senses.
"So this is how it ends Lil," groans I. "You'll trust Black Jack Mack Lunatick and his bloody voodoo straw Druid religion superstitious nonsense. But you won't trust me to do the healing touch on you."
"Exactly," sez the Mammy.
And there our story ends.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

mary said

on the harristown road
i saw the leaves dance like people
the wind flung them high
in a waltzing of chance
i wished you were there
you'd have had the words
for the romance
of their dancing and colour
it took my eye
all along the mile
and then
i wish i'd joined them
they seemed so happy

loose ends

Colonel Howard Berney arrived at the chateau tonight with a compass. He took a bearing in the garden. He informed us that the Lights Of June had appeared from the direction of the army shooting range at the Glen of Imaal on the Wicklow mountains.
Comandant John Martin has informed me that an army night shooting exercise was taking place at the Glen of Imaal on June 23rd when we first saw the lights.
My father TN Healy now accepts the lights were indeed army parachute flares.
My own conclusion is as follows.
I believe there is a 90 percent probability the lights we saw were army parachute flares.
I allow for a ten percent possibility they were something else.
I am still keeping my mind open to the possibility of another explanation because:
1. Colonel Berney was certain the lights were flares but he recognised that army shooters would normally aim to fire the flares high in the sky and have them burn out close to the ground. None of these lights behave in that way.
2. Commandant Martin said he was certain the lights were flares but that he would not bet his house on it.
3. There were other minor inconsistencies in the analysis of the army experts.
4. A framed photograph fell off the piano as I passed it shortly after the first sighting. (A coincidence. But still part of the reason I am not willing to state conclusively that the lights were flares.)
5. Some books and kitchen utenils fell off a shelf in Giovanna Rampazzo's apartment as we watched the DVD of the June sighting. (Another coincidence.)
6. The night after we saw the Lights Of July we saw another quite different phenomena. A luminous block of light apparently stretching for miles in the same patch of sky. My father believes this was a weather phenomenon. It might also have been some sort of laser light, the sort used for advertising promotions or to create visual effects outside nightclubs. Perhaps a nightclub over towards the mountains was shining a laser upwards and produced the effect.
7. There was an early morning sighting of something unexplained in June. My father filmed it. It may be a cloud.
8. There was an early morning sighting of a light in the sky above Colonel Berney's house. This is printed above. It is probably an aeroplane.
9. The Lights Of June were seen in the towns of Naas, Kilcullen, Athy and Carlow. We might expect army parachute flares to be causing similar sightings all the time if they had indeed caused this one.

The sightings of June and July were most probably army parachute flares. I will not be surprised if they prove to be something else.

Friday, November 10, 2006

what lies beyond

Barnies Cafe, Westmoreland Street, Dublin.
Car lights swirling by the window towards O'Connell Street bridge.
The litterati, the glitterati and the teenage-scenti chattering at the surrounding tables.
I reached for a newspaper.
Suddenly my world dissolved into a sea of pain.
I was still sitting. Nothing had happened. I hadn't fallen. No one had hit me. But all I was conscious of was pain.
I didn't feel fear.
At once I knew what it was.
Last week some one from my former employers in the west of Ireland, rang to say one of the bosses was dying.
I had reacted with indifference.
In fact I had turned to God and said: "I can't pray for him. I don't care at all what happens to him."
And now in the cafe by an ordinance of heaven, I'd been given a moment to know just what he was going through.
The pain radiated from my chest and engulfed the rest of me.
Still I was unafraid. Still calm. God wasn't terrorising me. He hadn't threatened me. I do not even believe my earlier prayer had displeased him. But he had answered me by showing me something of what was at stake.
It wasn't nice though. I've never felt anything like it.
I sat amid the evening crowd unnoticed by them and in agony. Once more I addressed the creator of the universe.
"Alright I understand," I said. "I couldn't wish this on anyone."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

sic transit gloria humour columns

Lunch with the Mammy and my brother Doctor Barn in Puccino's at the Whitewater Centre. Food awful, coffee good, twirly chairs sublime, staff mmmm.
Honey from Monaghan. Ay yi yi.
Seriously though.
But I digress.
The seating area serves about six different cafes so there's a great swirl of humanity drifting past our table.
Not all of it swirls past. Some of it stops to pay homage.
Homage to...
... to the doctor.
Great suffering saurkraut what is the world coming to?
Little old ladies keep coming up to my brother and telling him how wonderful he is.
The noble Heelers looks sick as a parrot.
He has known the two days.
Now the cup has passed to another.
After about the fifth thank-you-doctor-you-saved-my-life, I can take no more.
"Look at these ould ones," I proclaim bitterly. "They wouldn't know a humour column if it came up and bit them on the arse."
"What's wrong with you?" sez the brother mildly.
"He's upset because now you're the public figure," explained the Mammy.
She was right too.
"Well what did you expect when you stopped writing the column?" wondered the brother.
I stared into the middle distance.
"I sort of expected the world to end," I murmured. "I didn't seriously think life could go on without me."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

meditatio

Light mist of midnight rain in the garden of my father. Paddy Pup snuffling among the fallen leaves of Autumn. A great stillness in my spirit.
Earlier today in the Stephens Green Centre cafe I opened a newspaper and beheld another bunch of terrorists up in court for planning mass murder.
The man who planned the murders in Madrid got ten years.
For a moment I felt the old useless anger. Briefly it threatened to consume me.
Then la belle Arabe appeared like an angel of light, sat at an adjoining table and favoured me with a mischievous smile. I was very grateful to see her. Because my afternoon immediately became about her and nothing else.
She had rescued me from something unworthy of myself.
But an hour later she was gone and I was alone again.
The newspaper on the table was once more calling for my attention.
Futile lunatic rage was not too far away.
I hesitated to pick up the paper.
My mind was a sea of questions.
Why do I still get angry about these things?
Why do I care about soft sentencing for murderers?
Why do I worry about the media trying to discredit the American President and the British Prime Minister?
What on earth has any of it got to do with me?
There is a reason bold readers.
A reason why I dare to dissent from the quisling consensus of the BBC, ITV, RTE, NBC, Time magazine, Newsweek, the Daily Mirror, the Washington Post and all their fellow travellers in appeasement.
Unlike them... I know we can still lose this war.

Monday, November 06, 2006

greatest hits

(To fully appreciate the following please imagine it is being spoken by Mr Casey Casem esquire who has a coolo American voice. He presented a pop music chart show for years on one of the US channels. Much earlier in his career he provided the voice for Scott in the British science fiction puppets television series Thunderbirds. Science fiction puppets. I kid you not.)

Hellooo there chart fans. You're welcome to the show. I'm your host Casey Casem and tonight we're counting down the Hoddlebun Top Five. Yes it's Hoddlebun's greatest hits. The moments that make her one of the most popular characters to ever grace God's sublimely surprising creation.
5. Our chart begins with the first ever appearance of that big haired girl in Heelers' life back in the dulcet Autumn of 2001. Yes in at number five, is the chance meeting in Bewleys Cafe (since then boycotted by Heelers) when our hero found himself at an adjoining table with more Hod than you could shake a stick at. A newspaper had been left at another table by a departing diner. Heelers leaned over to Hod and asked did she mind if he took the newspaper. She replied "Welllll," and that is the moment he always remembers. At that moment he could have simply run away. He'd never met her before. She wasn't reading the newspaper. It wasn't hers. But when he asked her did she mind him reading it, she suddenly decided she wanted it.
4. And at number four it's the flight of the bumble Bambis. Heelers and Hod were driving through the Phoenix Park on the north side of Dublin. Hod cautioned the mighty one to be careful in case any deer might run onto the road. "There are road signs with pictures of deer on them," she warned. She was told in no uncertain terms that the "Beware Of Deer Crossing" signs were put up by the Irish simply to impress the tourists. Next moment a veritable herd of Bambis galloped onto the road. Magic moments indeed.
3. In at number three it's the famous luggage shuffle that has been ongoing for years and shows no sign of running out of steam. Fully four years ago the unquiet American first asked Heelers if she could store some stuff at his house. Since then every time she changes apartments or goes back to the US on holiday, or simply gets a wandering urge, the stuff gets moved around once more. Sometimes to the new apartment. Sometimes back to the chateau de Healy. Sometimes to the airport. It's like a game of Musical Stuff, the Hoddlebun version of Musical Chairs. The Mammy has summed up the situation best. "You realise," she told her favourite son during a frank moment, "you're going to be driving around with her stuff for the rest of your life."
2. At number two it's the most flattering thing Hoddlebun has ever said to Ireland's greatest living poet. He asked her: "What do you like about me best?" She replied: "Your nose."
1. And at number one. Yes it's that perennial favourite. Christmas with Hoddlebun. Mild mannered genius James Healy is sitting at home on Christmas Eve. He gets a phonecall. It is of course the one and only Hodnuts. She tells him she is in the casualty department of a Dublin hospital waiting for tests. She has swallowed a chicken bone and there are fears it may be doing some damage internally. Heelers hot foots it (hot cars it really) to the hospital. He finds Hoddlebun in casualty. She is surrounded by about a dozen of her friends. They all seem fairly content with life in general. Except Heelers who has just driven 30 miles to be there. For some reason he just assumed she was alone in the hospital. Maybe because when he had asked her on the phone was she okay she replied: "I'm lonely and scared," and omitted to mention the fact that she was surrounded by friends and loved ones. History records that on arrival in casualty, Heelers' handsome features briefly contorted to the consistency and contours of a werewolf...

badlands

Sunday, November 05, 2006

out takes from the colers wedding

My old pal Colers, a pharmacist at Berney's Chemists in Kilcullen, got married last week.
He is the pharmacist who asks for details when customers murmur discretely: "Something for the weekend."
Interestingly enough, the same Colers started his professional career, not as a pharmacist, but on stage as an actor in my play Vampires Of Dublin.
Now he has found a more profitable calling.
Truly he is the meek who has inherited.
Anyhoo.
Sundry residents of the town of Kilcullen decamped on Thursday to the west of Ireland to partake in the wedding ceremony.
The night before the wedding Colers, my cousin John and a priest from Mayo called Father Fortescue Smythe were sitting in the members bar at the Flying Phoenix hotel.
An inebriate approached their table, anxious to challenge the priest on the existence of the Deity.
"I'm an agnostic," proclaimed the inebriate proudly before staggering away.
My cousin John turned to Father Fortescue Smythe.
"What's an agnostic?" enquired the cousin.
The Padre's eyes narrowed.
"It's a bollox," he said, "who sits on the fence."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

a challenge to poets

what are we who immortalise
steel and concrete vanities
of three words given
we are one word
poets artists mathematicians

we have lost the courage
to feel without thinking
to think without gauging cost
come my lords
rally round the cross
with keats kavanagh and old cervantes
mystical romantic or heartbroken
we'll shake the pillars of this concrete heaven

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard and James Healy)

"Is urgies a word?"

the eagle has landed

Mags Masefield exits the bedroom, arms piled high with items of my clothing.
She meets me in the hall.
I resist the urge to salute.
She favours me with a look that is positively devilish.
"Are you letting your dog sleep on all the beds now?" she enquires briskly as she disappears up the stairs.
I am for a moment too moved to answer.
Later the Mammy finds me engaged in the time honoured practice of grinding my teeth in the kitchen.
"I see you're still full of working class solidarity for the cleaning lady," chuckles the aged parent.
My face is a study.
"Liller old pal," I reply, "she's starting to seriously annoy the young master of the house."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

moments

Up at six am to do a bit of arteekling. (The process of writing newspaper articles.)
Few hours sleep and then quick skite to South Kildare for coffees with German Andrea.
Return to the Chateau de Healy for tug of love with Yogic sister Marie over the Mammy. The Mammy settles tug of love by opting to have lunch with the Yoganaut instead of me. No accounting.
My nephews arrive over and give me a hug.
On to Dublin.
La belle Arabe in Stephen's Green Cafe looking very belle indeed. Me reading a newspaper and doodling. On one of the advertising pages there is a large pic of a baby on a white background. I give the baby a speech balloon containing the slogan in big black letters "As Salaam," which is Arabic for howya.
I then pretend to read the paper with the baby page facing LBA.
When I glance over the top she is laughing fit to burst a gasket.
Truly I am a man of simple pleasures.
Lu Yi arrives. She asks what I am doing for Halloween. Somewhat self pityingly I tell her I have no plans.
Quaff coffees.
I text my cousin Annie (the artist formerly known as Sculpticus) in Spain. I want her to translate a piece of Spanish for me. A charming Spanish person has recently introduced me to this particular phrase. Annie texts back that the phrase is a vulgarism akin to the demotic Anglo Saxon f word so beloved of English speakers.
It is indeed a rum world.
Ring the Brezzer. She is singing at a charity event next week. There's talk that I might read poems. I might if they pay me 500 squid.
Charity begins at the chateau, as we do say in the trade.
Arf, arf.
An hour in the library on Henry Street, putting finishing touches to the great Irish novel.
Soon European literature will be complete.
Collect my car about 8pm and get ready for home.
Fireworks are going off all over the city.
A thought strikes me.
I drive my car to the top level of the carpark which is actually on the roof of the Stephen's Green centre.
I am alone there. No one else has thought of this.
On four sides I can see the fireworks rising and bursting in the heavens all around Dublin.
Down towards the river, the pyramid shaped Ulster Bank building is outlined in red. A burst of green shimmers behind the trade union owned Liberty Hall tower. From the social housing blocks close on my left a veritable storm of incandescent light erupts. Over my shoulder a series of cannonades cascade coloured flame from a dozen different locations in the suburbs. The shimmering airbursts seem to stretch all the way to the Wicklow mountains which ring this city. The cacophony is tremendous. Fireworks of every hue are blurring in the skies all around.
At this moment the bells of Christchurch ring out pure and clear and valorous, gilding the din with glory.
And I give thanks to God for the gift of life.