Wednesday, September 1, 2010


‘And now the end is near.

And so I face the final curtain


Your man is always the one for the dramatic outbursts.

‘It’s only the end of the holidays’. I cut into his Sinatra impersonation.

‘I did what I had to do ….

‘What was the best part of this sos, this r and r, this vacation ?’ I
asked. ‘for you?’

‘What was your best bit?’ he responded.

‘There were lots of best bits. Being away. Not reading newspapers for a

‘I saw you reading newspapers!’ he butted in.

‘You saw me reading the Andytown News once. Cos I cud only get it once.

But when I am on holidays I don’t listen to radio news or television news
and I don’t get the newspapers except for Andytown News which is very hard to get in these parts and on a Saturday I get the Irish Times but that’s more for the review section and the magazine. So from Saturday to Saturday I don’t know what is happening in the world.’

‘But you can’t say you don’t get newspapers!! You may not get as many
newspapers as you do at home but you do get some.’

He looked at me in a contrary sot of a way.

‘Maith go leor’ I conceded. ‘Okay. But that’s one of the things I like.
Not knowing what is happening in the rest of the world. Or here for that
matter. At least for the duration of the holiday.’

‘You said activists don’t take holidays. We just regroup.’

‘Are you in bad form?’ I asked.

‘No!’ he lied emphatically.

‘Well you’re grumpier than usual’.

‘Aye… I suppose I am a wee bit cranky’ He reflected.

‘I liked everything about the last few weeks’. he went on ‘Walking every
day. The abundance of red wine. Swimming, boating, cycling. Good food. Climbing them two mountains. The spells of glorious sunshine….

‘ Between the rain’.

‘Well this IS Ireland!! So you expect rain. But look at you. You’re as
brown as a berry. People will think you were away in Spain or …Portugal or some place warm like that.’

‘So why are you in bad form?’ I queried.

‘I nivver said I was in bad form.’

‘Okay. But you did say you were cranky.’

‘A wee bit cranky’.

‘So why?’ I hissed between clenched teeth.’ ‘Why? Before you drive me mad!’

‘Its youse in bad form’ he shot back. ‘and I know why. And it’s nothing to
do with me. It’s because the holidays is over and its back to porridge for

‘Its back to porridge for you too.’ I reminded him.

‘Aye but I don’t have to deal with all the crackpots and looney bins like
you do’.

‘Tell me about it’, I said.

But my irony was lost on him. Your man doesn’t recognise irony. If it’s
directed at himself.

‘Know what I mean?’ he continued. ‘Don’t you think I don’t care. I know
what you put up with . That is why I am behaving the way I am today. This is the last day of our break. We can’t have you going from here straight into Stormont without a wee bit of preparation. After all the bliss and harmony of recent days. God knows what you might do if you weren’t prepared. This is what I’m at. I am trying to get you ready. It’s an act of friendship.’

He sighed and stopped to gather his breath.

I sighed with him. An act of friendship indeed! He was cranky because the break is over.

Blast it! So it bloody well is.

‘And now the end is near’ I broke into song.

‘And so I face the final curtain.’

Your man ignored me. Just like a DUP backbencher.

Back to porridge indeed.


Timothy Dougherty said...

I enjoy you self inter views of people Gerry. Having read a few of your books,on the politcal side of life, you could be a good , or say better than just good fiction writer. Would love to see a Gerry Adam's novel, you do have resourse about you and experience of a person ,that would give you good background for the job. As Ernest Hemingway said: When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
I myself have been writing a screenplay , and it just may be made into a film. I do have another film in mind, one that you could be of help in the background information. Maybe the best why to see things is as Francis Ford Coppola view of things" When I do a novel, I don't really use the script, I use the book; when I did Apocalypse Now, I used Heart of Darkness. Novels usually have so much rich material."
I would be sure that you have a sourse of rich material ,about you.
thanks-once again Gerry,

James and Linda said...

Gerry, several years ago, I read one of your articles where you wrote about your summer holiday, about how you don't read newspapers or watch TV news. Around the same time, I read a book by Dr. Andrew Weil, who recommends taking "news fasts" every now and then. So I started trying it on vacations with my extended family. I was amazed to find that when I fill up time with recreation and conversation with family members, I'm not interested to know every little detail about what goes on in the world. Besides, all that stuff will still be there when I get back to watching news.

But now, I have a laptop with wifi. On this year's vacation, I spent some time every day checking the news on the internet! I still had fun, but it doesn't feel like I got a real vacation.

Next vacation, I'm following yours and Dr. Weil's advice again, leaving the laptop at home, and going on a real "news fast."

Have a good time back at work, and don't let the crackpots & looney bins get you down!

Micheal said...

He's got some strange ideas about friendship. Lot's of people have of strange ideas about all sorts of things. It makes you wonder how the world goes 'round.

That was a good example of irony. It may have been a good example of sarcasm too. Satire is my favorite form of prosaic comedy because it's wonderfully subversive. I'm thinking, in particular, of the brilliant author, Kurt Vonnegut.

Well I'm glad to hear you had a beautiful holiday, and in Ireland too. What's good for you is good for me too buddy. Slan abhaile.