The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, October 28, 2006

a cunning twist in the plot

Friday morning.
Late morning.
The noble Heelers emerges from his lair in the east wing of the old chateau, and ambles towards the stairs.
He is well rested and rather content with life in general.
Words drift to his ears. Mags Masefield is on the phone in the hall.
Halfway down the stairs Heelers suddenly freezes.
A clammy hand fastens around his heart.
This is what he hears.
"No James isn't available. No, he's still in bed. Who shall I say called? Tell him the editor called? Okay. I've got that. No, he normally stays in bed till about 2 o'clock. You should get him any time after that. Thank you. Not at all. Goodbye."
I stand on the stairs for long moments after she has hung up.
Slowly all my doubts crystallise into certainty.
The cleaning lady is trying to kill me.

Friday, October 27, 2006

out for a spin

Lunch with my brother Doctor Barn and the Mammy in the Whitewater Centre, Newbridge.
We are at a cafe called Puccinos which has very friendly staff and really good coffee.
Also it has twirly chairs.
Yes, twirly chairs.
That is you can sit in the chairs and spin. They turn right around on some sort of axle. Very nifty.
Swivel chairs I think is the technical term.
Barn and Heelers are at the counter.
The Mammy has gone to secure a table.
"Look," sez the Doc suddenly nudging our hero.
Heelers looks.
There are four teenage girls from the Holy Faith convent school sitting at one table. They are spinning their chairs merrily and chaotically.
They are all spinning. Some clockwise. Some anticlockwise.
At an adjoining table the Mammy is installed and is equally merrily and chaotically spinning her chair.
It is a most charming scene.
"That woman," I murmur, "really knows how to live."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

close encounters of the fourth kind

Met Mags Masefield marching up the hall of the old chateau.
Her arms were piled high with items of my clothing.
"I'm taking these James," she said. "I'll have them back to you in a week."
I thanked her more profusely than was strictly speaking dignified.
I've been having difficulty adjusting to the whole notion of a cleaning lady.
I don't want to be rude.
I don't want to condescend.
Somehow I'm managing to do and be both.
As she headed out the front door she called back: "I'd better keep these designer tee shirts away from my son Bart. He might be tempted to wear them."
Her words had a ring of death about them.
It was a somewhat rueful Heelers who rendezvoused in the kitchen with his Mammy moments later.
"What's wrong?" quoth the venerable Lil. "You look a bit shook."
The mighty Heelers released a long sigh.
"Little Bart Masefield is going to be wearing designer tee shirts for the next week," I said. "I'm just coming to terms with it."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

seven days of the cleaning lady

"What would you think if we got a cleaning lady?"
The words were those of the lady known as Lil.
Around us the Whitewater Centre Cafe cacaphoned pleasantly with school kids, matrons, suits and pseuds.
I digested the aged parent's question and replied forthwith.
"I wouldn't like it."
"Why not?"
"Only snobs have cleaning ladies."
The Mammy eyed me coldly.
"Are you going to do the cleaning?" she enquired with a rhetorical flourish.
Words failed me.
"Right so," sez she. "We're getting a cleaning lady."
The noble Heelers goggled helplessly.
"Liller," sez me, "I just don't understand why you even asked my opinion."
There was a moment's delicious silence.
"Ah you'd be entitled to be asked," shot back the Mammy. "And anyway I couldn't have you meeting her be chance in the hall or the bedroom. The shock might have killed you."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

the waiting

grey light upon sleeping fields
the stillness i have come to love
time and tide cease surcease
peace sits like a glove
shadow sifts like memory

the dog stirs at his chain
and whines and lifts his eyes
for the walk he knows we'll take
though storm clouds steal the skies
and grey light curtains into rain

so waits the world tonight
in darkness and in pain

the world waits for christ

Monday, October 23, 2006

into the great wide open

Coffee with Hoddlebun in the McDonalds on Grafton Street.
Sparse night time crowd at tables around us.
Three street thugs just inside the door watching for a chance to lift wallets.
An Arab security guard scowling cheerily at all and sundry.
Let me put it this way.
Tonight in McDonalds, except for the sexy Russian waitress, Hodders and me are the classiest people around.
Scary, no?
Well it scares me.
I'm unburdening my worries on Big Hair.
"I'm going to leave the Leinster Lootheramawn," sez I.
"You're going to do what?" quoth she.
At this I break into song.
"I'll walk out the door.
I'll say you horrendous gits, I'm not taking it anymore.
I've got all my life to live and you're just a bunch of spivs.
I won't crumble.
I won't lay down and die.
No, no, not I..."
Hodders listened to all this with the patience of a sage. (Asparagus probably.) When I'd finished she fixed me with a level stare.
"Then you'll have no job," she said pleasantly.