The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Looking around the chateau I became enamoured of the idea of throwing out some of the books which have accumlated there over the decades.
"This is not Bohemian creativity," I muttered with a shock of realisation, "this is just clutter."
Still it seemed a bit wrong to throw out books.
They are books after all.
A tad reluctantly I reached towards a shelf and plucked out a tome.
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, by Marian Keyes, published 1996, in a plain blue binding, nothing on the cover but the title and the author's name.
Easy decision.
In the bin without further investigation or thought.
That was easy.
And No Bird Sang, by Mary McCarthy, this edition 1998, the cover featuring a photo of a rather fetching young woman sprawled amid flowers with her eyes closed and her reddening lips parted in an attempt to convey sensuality.
I turned it over to read the blurb on the back cover.
It said:
"Eleanor Ross a successful career woman, decides to take a much needed rest from her overburdened work schedule. She chooses the quiet fishing village of Coill as her rural retreat. But no previous experience has prepared Eleanor for what she is about to encounter in this new world. A world of gossip, rumour, innuendo. Eleanor uncovers a strange tale of love, betrayal, revenge and murder. Ultimately she learns a harsh personal truth."
Presumably the harsh personal truth she learned is that lip gloss sticks to flowers, I thought, gingerly opening the cover to see what the newspaper critics of the day might have thought.
Their comments were on the inside fly leaf.
A now bankrupt newspaper styling itself The Examiner had remarked:
"(Her previous book) Remember Me reveals the inherent hypocrisy of the Irish family but also its great capacity for love and support amid hardship."
The good old bankrupt Examiner.
Pretentious and presumptuous in equal measure eh.
So these great fraudulent arbiters of bankrupt truth had pronounced the Irish family wanting.
You can't beat Ireland's ever more bankrupt newspapers.
Pretentious and presumptuous and gone.
The book too.
Gone, gone, gone.
I plucked a tome.
This one felt a little warm to the touch.
Wild Concerto by Anne Mather, 1970's vintage, with a cover showing a dark gypsy like male clutching at a big haired woman, who had gone a bit heavy on the make up and had forgotten to secure her dress properly as evidenced by it having slipped well down on one shoulder.
Here's larks, thinks I, a genuine bodice ripper.
I peeped inside the cover.
A brief extract greeted me.
" 'Lani,' Jake said thickly, releasing her mouth to take a laboured breath and then with a supreme effort he put his hand on the bole of the tree and pushed himself away from her..."
Releasing her mouth.
Ha, ha, ha.
What the heck had he been doing with it?
And now he's grabbing a tree by the boles.
This is like something I might write myself.
I read on.
" 'I did not mean this to happen,' he said at last and Lani lifted her shoulders as if his words had confirmed her expectations. 'I wanted to see you but that is all. I did not intend to touch you. But you looked so indignant and comforting. You seemed such an innocent thing to do.' "
You seemed such an innocent thing to do.
What an intriguing choice of words by Anne Mather. Or misprint as the case may be.
But hush.
It goes on.
" 'Innocent!' he repeated the word savagely. 'I must have been out of my mind.' "
I closed the book meditatively.
I was finding it difficult to let this one go.
Time to check the back cover.
The blurb informed:
"Fate forced Lani Saint John to an impossible choice when her adolescent dreams became a wrenching reality. For Jake Pendragon the brilliant concert pianist she had loved from afar for years, reentered her life with his undeniable devastating attraction. But desire was both a delight and a torment for the beautiful rival he was rumoured to be involved with, was none other than Lani's own mother. A searing story of love and heartbreak, revenge and searing passion."
Well folks.
Bit repetitious on the searing.
But I don't care what any of you say.
Anne Mather stays in the chateau.
With just one little tweak.
I took out my pen and changed the last sentence on the back cover to read:
"A searing story of love and heartbreak, revenge and searing passion, and pure bollocksology."
Back into the book case it went.
Our first reprieve. 
Now my hands alighted on Francoise Sagan's Aimez Vous Brahms.
This one I'd read.
I found it had a whiff of something I didn't like.
Evil perhaps.
But every word of it was art.
I weighed it in the balance.
Thoroughly obnoxious but effortlessly perfect.
Mauriac, my alter ego in France, (ie a successful French writer who has absolutely nothing to do with me) had called Francois Sagan "a brilliant little monster."
Reluctantly I replaced it.
I had learned a great lesson.
No matter how much I disapproved of her, I could never throw out Francoise Sagan.

Friday, September 14, 2018

waiting for the hurricane

Amara Walker: "This is CNN. The biggest hurricane ever is approaching the east coast. Experts say that when measured by the histrionics of our reporters this storm is absolutely unprecedented in size, scale, and dramatic effect. It could be Category Four by the time it makes landfall. At the moment it's Category Three. So we're giving our imaginary notion of Wind Speeds in kilometres per hour instead of miles per hour to make things seem a bit more exciting. The thing is actually blowing at about 60 miles an hour but don't tell anyone I told you. Ooops. It's dropped to CategoryTwo. But there's lotsa rain. More rain than at any time in history. Better make that centimetres per hour for the wind. Oh. Now it's a lousy Category One. Switching to milimetres. The wind speed is a dramatic 5000 milimetres per hour. So in real terms it should be renamed Hurricane A Bit Windy. This just coming in. Wolf Blitzer has been hit by lightning and we're going to mark him down as 3000 deaths right away rather than waiting six months to mendaciously hoist the death toll as we did in Puerto Rico last year. Wolf is worth 3000 ordinary people I think you'll all agree. CNN weather forecasters are blaming Donald Trump for calling down lightning on Wolf. We have live footage of massive inundations. Look at all that water when we point the camera out to sea or along the shoreline without making clear that we're actually standing on the shoreline. On the spot reporter Miguel De Cervantes, what's it like out there."

Miguel: "Ees raining Amara, the storm has dropped to Category A Half, and I love you."

Amara: "Join the queue."

Miguel: "Aw shucks."

Amara: "Reporter Ita Pizzola is on the spot in North Charleston."

Ita: "The rain is flooding the bits of land near the sea and the river. It's like any house beside a major waterway could get wet. It's absolute unprecedented carnage Amara."

Amara: "Those poor houses."

Ita: "Also the Australian guy who usually co presents with you has been picked up by Wind Shear and dumped in the Azores."

Amara: (Brightening suddenly) "Well it's an ill  wind that blows nobody any good."

the heelers enquiry into the wrongful diagnosis of 200 people with cervical cancer in ireland which informed them they didn't have the disease when in fact they did

The only question that needs to be asked and answered is the question as to the identity of the individual or individuals who signed off on each test slide reading, falsely informing each of the  200 women that they did not have cancer.
Identifying the laboratory alone which carried out the tests, merely facilitates the usual evasions standard to Irish medical scandals and their resultant enquiries, ie: "Oh we outsourced the test to another laboratory which has since gone out of business," or "We don't do business with that laboratory anymore," or "This is a systems failure."
The individual who signed off on each wrongly diagnosed test slide must be identified whether in America or Ireland.
This must be done in order to establish whether the individual gave an incorrect reading of the slide because slides can easily be misinterpreted, or because he is incompetent, or because he is a murderer.
This should be a criminal enquiry.
That is all.

Monday, September 10, 2018

in the dark and distant dawn of years

people of the book
you are mine to the harrow
your dying will make the desert bloom
where is your god now

these words
mark them well
as the stars fell

Sunday, September 09, 2018


An Irish magazine publisher called John Mulcahy has died.
I worked for him writing advertisements at the Phoenix Magazine way back when.
I lasted about a month in the job which wasn't bad by my standards.
I must have quite liked him.
The one thing I always wanted to ask him was whether the financing for his pro IRA newspaper and magazine which both survived nearly three decades without ever generating significant revenue, came in fact from funds provided by the drug dealing, people trafficking, child abusing, terrorist, mafia IRA.