Tuesday, September 4th, 12.30pm: I’ve just completed a 500-word prologue to a book which I hope a publisher might take a gamble on. It just so happens that this short piece has carried me over the 50,000-word mark for the would-be tome and that fills me with a sense of self-satisfaction. Working on this project has filled many an hour over the past nine and a half months and even if it never sees the light of day, it’s been a wholly worthwhile endeavour. Whether it ever sees a book shelf will be someone else’s call, but, come what may, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process. Fingers crossed it will see the light of day some time soon.
1.30pm: Fresh from my ‘prologuing’ and having caught up on some weekend reading, it’s time for a phone interview with Dungarvan-born actor Moe Dunford to discuss his latest release, ‘Black 47’ (See Encore 1 and 2). Moe’s off to the Toronto Film Festival this weekend where no less than three movies in which he features are being screened. A six-month stint in Belfast where he’ll shoot a BBC detective drama has just got underway and it’s clear that Moe is happy with his lot. Good guys can still finish first, thankfully, and I think a great many more of us will be aware and appreciative of Moe’s acting chops over the next couple of years.
3.15pm: Home to Portlaw to bring our 14-year-old Labrador, a kind soul named Jake, out for his constitutional prior to a trip to Suirside Vets in Carrick-on-Suir just to see how life as an OAP is treating him. We’re pretty sure he’s almost entirely deaf by now as he seems to bark without too much reason to do so nowadays, but once any of us come into view, the barking ceases and his demeanour suggests he’s very content, so too his 10-year-old neighbour, a dynamic lady ‘lab’ named Dizzy. We’re also a bit iffy about Jake’s eyesight, so the spin to Carrick will certainly prove worthwhile. While walking Jake, a people carrier heading in the direction of Clonea Power gently brakes alongside me, as the rear passenger window rolls down, I assume, for a directions query. But it would appear that the man who handed me a 12-page leaflet from the vehicle sensed that I was the one who required direction of an apparently God-given kind. Introducing himself as New Zealander, he tells me he’s written this pamphlet himself and that I should give it some thought.
The leaflet’s front page was titled ‘A Spiritual Check-up!’ and asks the reader: “Have you done the good person test yet? Have a read and give it a go. All of these people (in a graphic to the left of the text) pictured would have considered themselves to be ‘good people’?”
The image mostly features fictitious characters from the Marvel Comic book/Movie universe – Nick Fury, Iron Man/Tony Stark– both in and out of the suit, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor along with Agent Phil Coulson and Bruce Banner, both in human and Incredible Hulk form. Across the base of the image are Queen Elizabeth II, former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama Bin Laden, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, a man I didn’t recognise (I later establish it’s ex-New Zealand Prime Minster John Key) and Moneygall’s most famous great-great-great maternal grandson, Barack Obama.
The fact that seven of the 13 people in the image exist only in paper and celluloid immediately has me struggling to accept the bona fides of this handout – but on I intriguingly read.
Page six of the leaflet features an image of a middle aged, bespectacled man who appears to looking directly at the bosom of American socialite Paris Hilton (remember her?).
The accompanying text tells me: “These two are married but not to each other. Have you ever cheated on your partner?” Now I’m not the biggest E! viewer in the world and I couldn’t tell you if Ms Hilton still has a designer dog peeking out of the corner of whatever $100,000 handbag she’s currently brandishing but I’m pretty sure she isn’t married.
A quick web search confirmed as much: she’s engaged to actor Chris Zylka, who slipped a ring apparently worth $2 million onto Ms Hilton’s finger during a ski trip in Colorado last January. I wonder are they looking for a wedding singer?
4.40pm: Fresh from wondering just how grievous a sinner I am, Jake welcomingly receives the all-clear from the vet, who also confirms that our eldest lab’s sight remains thankfully intact. I quickly nip out to my own house to grab some casual gear for a spot of gardening I’ll do once I’ve got himself back in his kennel at the homestead. Jake gently leans his snout into the side of my neck for most of our drive home. It’s difficult to explain unconditional love to anyone who has never had the good fortune of caring for a dog. We’ve had at least one in our family for 80 years. I’ll turn 40 next year and I am more fascinated than ever by the hold they have over me. My Dad and Grandad would both be pleased to read such an admission. Proud even.
6.30pm: I get Dizzy out for a walk (full of beans as always), mow one lawn and trim a roadside hedge. Outdoor work is tremendously satisfying, all the more so on a sunny evening such as this. There really is no place like home. Bless every inch of it.