Morning at the Chateau de Healy. Woke with the room spinning. The same symptoms the Dad experienced last week. The sensation seemed quite funny at first. I lay back and thought of England. My amusement faded just a tad when the spinning room was augmented by a feeling of tightness in my chest. I fumbled for the mobile phone and rang Hoddlebun to cancel our afternoon appointment in Dublin. As soon as that was done, the symptoms lifted. No recurrence. Coincidence? I think not.
Afternoon coffee with the Lildebeest in the Whitewater Centre. Ron Wood the guitarist with a most longevitous music combo called The Rolling Stones, sauntered into the cafe and sat at an adjoining table. He had a girly girl on his shoulder. Blonde and leggy. I think she was his daughter.
I said to Lil: "There's no way he's going to be let drink his coffee. The kids are going to mob him."
Sure enough over the next half hour a steady procession of feral teens beat a path to Ron Wood's table.
Along with feral twenty year olds.
And feral thirty somethings.
They passed the table of Ireland's greatest living poet and his Mammy without appearing to notice anything worthy of their attention.
Ron Wood received them all with easy good humour. Posing for photographs, signing books, and somewhere along the way drinking his coffee while the whole cafe watched him fascinatedly.
It was a most remarkable insight into the nature of celebrity.
Back home for a walk in the fields with Paddy Pup. The June sun beckoned us through the trees. Hedgerows burgeoning with white thorn, gardens glinting with roses, a faint odour of honeysuckle scenting the air. The pulse of life filled the universe with praise.
Late in the evening I headed to businessman Tom's house for a prayer service. Padre Peter celebrated mass. Brian Clarke, a neighbour, did the reading. No showmanship. Just sincerity. It was the reading about "a time to mourn and a time to dance." Brian's voice was perfect for it. The Bible is at its most beautiful when read with sincerity.
I made a mental note to learn to fake sincerity at the earliest opportunity.
There was a party after the prayers. My brother Doctor Barn was there and I showed him a photo of Sicilian Gabriella.
"She's nice," approved the Doc.
"You never said Hodders was nice," I shot back accusingly.
"No," said the Doc.
"But you really think this one is nice?" wondered I.
"I do," said he.
"Why do I care what you think?" muttered I.
"You shouldn't," said he.
He then spoiled his original compliment to the Sicilian by asking me what part of Japan she was from.
The party went on till midnight.
At which point it was a great relief to me, to return to the relative sanity of the chateau and the secure precincts of my gently spinning bedroom.