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November 10, 2018

Not a single comment or even a like on the sneak preview of my new play? I have to say that’s a bit disappointing. Is there anyone out there? Hello? Hello? Well, maybe not. Okay.

So, my birthday…

I confess (because there is no point in denying it) that Catherine and I had rather a lot to drink the night she arrived whilst we were watching the US midterms. It was a joyful thing watching all those blue women beating those red men. (Why is the US the only place where the right wing party’s colour is red? Very confusing.) Not so joyful was the news that O’Rourke, Abrams and Gillum had lost their races. And then, of course, was the world-gone-mad moment when Catherine and I found ourselves clapping because Mitt Romney was going to be the next senator from Utah. (What strange times these are.)

At some point, she wisely switched to Pepsi. It was gone two in the morning when we went to bed. About five o’clock in the morning I woke up and realised I had a pounding headache. The only thing for it was to get up, go to the bathroom and pop a couple of aspirins. When, around ten, Catherine very kindly brought me a cappuccino in bed for my birthday (and the news that Stacey Abrams was still in the Georgia governor’s race) ,  I told her about this. Then I sat up and realised, damn, I’d only dreamt about getting up and taking those aspirins. My head was still pounding. Aspirins belatedly popped.

After my cousin rang from England and after Catherine and I had some breakfast, we headed down to Drumbeg. No photos to share, as I didn’t take my camera and when Catherine went to snap a photo with her phone it turned out there wasn’t enough memory available. Here’s a generic photo.


And, yes that is my shadow you see. (Photo taken on New Year’s Day, so the sun was pretty low.)

The party at the pub was supposed to run from 5 to 9pm. The only reason for the early bird start was to accommodate three friends who had commitments later in the evening and would not otherwise have been able to attend. I really wasn’t expecting most people to turn up at five, but when Catherine and I walked in at quarter past, the place was packed. (At least I got to make a big entrance.) The down side to this was that pretty much everyone was ready to leave by 7:30. Never mind. I came home with a nice haul of prosecco and sauvignon blanc. And I came home with a painting.


It’s a painting by an island friend whose name is also Catherine. You probably can’t make it out, but it is a very simple painting of Finsbury Park done from memory from the days she taught school there as a young woman. Of course it bears no resemblance to Finsbury Park today, but that’s not the point. When she showed it at a gallery earlier this year, there was just something about it (possibly the old double decker buses) that I just loved and I told her so. The painting had been marked “not for sale”, which was probably just as well, given that I couldn’t have afforded it. I was absolutely gobsmacked when she gave it to me for my birthday. I must remember to remind myself more often that I really am quite blessed.

As previously noted, thanks to my friend Irmani, Ian Rankin turned up in the post box the day after my birthday. As sad as I was to see Catherine leave yesterday morning (and as much as I was missing her before her car drove away), being able to curl up in a chair with Rebus certainly helped.

I probably would have stayed in the chair until I finished the book, but I had to go out last night. Another present, this from my friend Jean, was a ticket to the launch party of Gabriola Songs, a double CD of songs by 40 of our very talented musicians. Almost as good as the concert, was the fact that everyone attending got a copy of the CD.

Gabriola Songs

So, all things considered, a pretty damn fine birthday week.

Now, back to those panto lines.

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