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May 2006

Rector II

Not so bad. No tricky questions. The JB and I had a flutter of childish panic when we had to write down our address. Should we pretend we had separate ones? We decided to be adult and admit the (sinful?) reality. We live in the same apartment. Gasp. Shocking but true.
'Tis best to brazen it out.
The JB ( RC, pretty good too) was a bit amused to note the Rector's rolex. On the other hand, he was a bit surprised we didn't have to cross his palm with silver in the RC way. No, in the Church of Ireland, they already have the money, or so it would seem.
Next, we have to catch up with the circuit court (I didn't know that it moved, like a circus, every month. Had no idea) in somewhere like Navan or Trim or wherever it'll be and in 2 mins at 10 am, talk a judge into allowing us, by court order, to shave a few weeks off the obligatory 3 months it is meant to take to get a marriage licence. (Sound like one of those contrived TV games to you too?) We only have the frivolous reason of wanting to have plenty of time to take a nice long honeymoon, but apparently this is quite usual.
Time will tell.
It always does.

Elizabeth Magill

I discovered a new artist in the Hugh Lane on Saturday. Elizabeth Magill. There were two big canvases, one of a bend in the road, in monochrome purple and the other of a tree branch against a sky. Glimpses of life, so beautiful and so quiet.
I was impressed by the revamped Hugh Lane. It was neither over- nor under-whelming. Just the right amount of whelm. There are some huge Sean Scully's I liked too, but it's worth going just to see those Magills.


Must remember to say Protestant, when asked what religion am. Must remember to say Protestant, Protestant (not my real religion, which is Spiritual Being Evolving in Time and Space). Protestant. Protestant.

some watercolours

I am being co-opted to be in a Art Show because apparently they have a woeful amount of entries. Here are my efforts.
They might be a bit wishy-washy now I look at them. Like someone might have knocked them out while 90% of their attention was on Michael Gallant coming back from Iraq and spending the night with Neela. That kind of thing.

Little Richard

The meeting with my potential supervisor went well, I thought. By way of a greeting, (bear in mind I have never clapped eyes on the man in my life before) he observes: Ceili dancing, it's like heroin. You know Little Richard?
I admit I do.
It's like Little Richard on speed!
(I think: Wasn't he on speed anyway? So ceili-dancing is like Little Richard on twice as much speed. I am getting the picture.)
The potential supervisor rummages in his room finding shoes and clothes. I discreetly read the noticeboards outside, fearing that catching a flash of supervisor flesh would push our tender new-born supervisor/postgrad student relationship over the line into lunacy. He emerges in a few minutes. We go to the canteen in the circuitous way engineered by the demented person who designed DCU campus.
Over coffee, it turns out he is a person with many interests, part-poet, part-psychologist, part-Flash expert. It seems there's plenty of scope there for me to make a web-based project on interactive narrative. (inneracteef narra-eef, as Ceili Addict pronounces it. He must be from the Southern US.)
Someone is writing a novel for his PhD up there, which I find a great idea. I was left with the impression you can make what you want of your project, it's really up to you - and that is really appealing.

I will just have to resist being sucked into the dark treacherous world of The Ceili.


Yesterday I was coming out of the Recycling Centre. There was a pungent sulphurous smell coming off the docks. A young boy walking by asked his mother in scandalised (but delighted) tones:
Mammy, did you F-A-R-T-H?

Stowmarket and beyond

My Italian friends Willy and Orlando have been living in Stowmarket for a year nearly. I was really happy to see them getting on so well there, having struggled with my own different perception of how that might be. They lack for nothing though, and are delighted with their house and garden, and the cat that has adopted them. (Orlando has given her the name of Due Palline (Two Little Balls) in reference to the shape of her nose. She is aka Zara. Depends on your world view I suppose.) A beautiful polite black cat with a sharp silhouette, she cries courteously at the door as if she hates to annoy you and butts your hand with her head gently to ask to be stroked.
All is cosy and nice.

We drove a bit around the environs. I really liked Bury St Edmonds. We went in to a neatly packed wooden health food shop. It was run by a charming middle-aged couple. The husband referred to his wife as My All-Knowing Wife. Indeed she knew all about the properties of Cranberries. Turning back to the husband (presumably the lesser-knowing) I found him disappearing Two-Ronnies-sketch-like, into the floor. Steps going into a cellar! A marvel! He entertained me further by answering me half-way down so his chest was at the level of the counter. I really didn't want to leave.


What a visually rich and stimulating place it was to be in. We walked for miles around the British Museum, affecting a museum shuffle in The Drawings of Michelangelo (worth seeing of course. He drew a million torsos, so perfectly convincingly 3D, smoke and steel twisting, so beautifully. Very often though, he left off the head. Why was that?) and picking up the pace to a rainsodden  scuttle in  the  Short Tour of Town. My cousin and her partner were tremendously entertaining and charming. We had a coffee in an Italian pasticceria with a hundred types of biscuits and pastries lying invitingly under the glass counter. We went to the Tate Modern, which is a vast converted power station looking over the river to St Paul's. We saw some Rothkos, some (disturbing and visceral) surrealists including Bacon's reactions to the war,  and  a show about the Bauhaus (Albers experiments in colour temperature). Wowsa. It was great. Tottered home on lame feet.

rotation of head etc

(Is it correct to say Jameseses for James' the way they do in Dublin? And, who am I talking to anyway? I know noone reads my demented musings. Which is good and proper.)

I waited for an hour and a half today in St James Outpatients Dept to be told that the mildly suspicious growth on my arm was an age spot. An age spot! AN AGE SPOT, I said. Apparently I am in fact a bit young to have them, but the thing is my body has seen fit to cultivate little warty lumps. It obviously feels it's That Age. It wants to settle down and have some mutated cells.
What a strange job to be a dermatologist. It really does represent a sublime to ridiculous spectrum of things. Most of the patients are only to be reassured and sent on their way, I would imagine. Except the occasional one, who life is seriously threatened.

Obviously I am grateful to be in the ridiculous rather than sublime dermatogical grouping. Thank you, age spot, for being benign. Thank you very much.

I was in the supermarket one day, standing in front of an impressive array of brightly packaged products. A woman passed behind me.
You wouldn't know what to be getting, would you? she asked, without breaking stride. And then, over her shoulder:
Your head'd be twisted.

I love people sometimes.

JB, (PhD), boastfully:

See, I'm like a camel, I remember everything.