Ah, back from a little holiday, in Oirlund, staying four nights just outside of Dublin, and I've taken the opportunity to catch up on some old friends. I did, it is true, get quite a cold, even hard, reception here,
but on the other hand I made up for it with a couple of cocktails at the delightful Westbury Hotel there in the background - beautiful chandeliers - and then onto the International for a quick half before watching its comedy offering upstairs, and then drank some more with some of said comedy offering as one of its purveyors is one of the aforementioned old friends.
I didn't plan on getting into a conversation that resulted in a discussion of the 80% test, the late Bill Hicks and Messrs. Dawkins, Jones and Chomsky. I did however make the point that the thing with ol' Garden Noam is that when you read his books you read the introduction/initial premise, are so depressed by the clarity of his case, left feeling so hopeless, that you don't bother with the rest of the book. In sixty pages he's made you totally convinced that US and most European foreign policy stinks, we're all busy living the life of Riley while the poor of the world cower beneath a shower of shit and shells; why do I want to read another four hundred pages of it? I'm not a complete masochist.
Dublin offers many many things, famously pubs and good cheer (unless you're the cabbie we had on Sunday morning who was a right miserable grunting bastard) but I'm afraid their Indian takeaways leave a lot to be desired. A lot of lot.
However, at the moment, Dublin offers this, and this is excellent. Beyond a comedy, played as outright farce, and with a few bolt-ons, highly entertaining, and very cleverly staged. Cracking.
Coming home, apart from not what I really wanted to be doing because I was having a good time with good company, was an interesting experience. For starters, I had the company of (and this is her real name) Cassandra. Prophetess of Doom. She sat next to me, because we were friends - I'd helped her with the automatic check-in machine, after all - and then came forth with a continuous stream of foreboding. The plane was late arriving, ooh, is there a security alert? It's going to be very late when we get on board...Whose are those unattended bags? Are they one of those men's (indicating three black men who were speaking in a language other than English)? I suggest that it is, and that one of their number has probably gone to the bar or, dare I say, for a crap. Hmmm, I suppose so....Look at how dark the clouds are, we're in for a thunderstorm, a real bumpy ride home I expect....and then a collection of references to the plane crash at the weekend. I pointed out that such an accident is unlikely at Dublin as they only use one runway. I toyed with the idea of getting out a book about the rise of Islamism, but that would have been unfair to the other passengers.
When we got onto the plane, the music being played was 'Heroes', and was followed by 'Waterfall'. Curiously, I had heard this exact combo in the same order two days earlier in a cafe in Dublin town centre. I like that kind of weirdness, gentle; could have been weirder, could have followed with 'Silver Machine' or better still, 'Brainbox Pollution' (that would have been the last straw for the Princess of Troy). Actually, I hope that was genuine gentle weirdness and coincidence, not one of those compilation albums that are "Great for Fathers' Day, only £8.99 at Tesdabury's."
Back to earth with bump on Monday morning, with the meeting with the GP to discuss the liver test business. He gave me a good grilling about my drinking. "Do you prefer Bacardi or Havana Club, Mr. The Baker? Are you a brown ale man, or do you tend toward the Pilsner glass? Burgundy or Bordeaux with your roast beef?" Or something to that effect.
Following further consultation with my sister, who knows about these things, I don't have anything to worry about, although it is understandable that I might take umbrage at the fairly aggressive manner in which he interrogated me regarding my consumption of alcohol, and particularly the implication that I might be denying any problem with drink. Anyway, he wants me to have a scan, probably lay off the pop for a while - the alternative is to lay of the LPS, and that isn't an option, as was made clear last year - so I'm a bit cheesed, but more by the interrogation than the possible outcomes.
I'm waiting for the day when he suggests that I give up pop music as it is having a detrimental effect on my toes, too much tapping is bad for you. He's barred tea, 'erb (well, to be fair he didn't), and he's done away with silver top, butter and cheese.
Today, a touch of the Little Flo's, oh Jesus Christ Almighty, Sparkly Eyes was in town. I could barely contain my excitement, and for once I really mean that. Apparently I am becoming increasingly obvious, do I care? She is just sooo sexy. It's all I can do to drag my eyes from her and try and concentrate on the business in hand. Which is not the business in hand I would choose to have in hand.
The Challenge? To quote the Greek Genius Socrates, "You don't shit on your doorstep." But really, she's gorgeous, bubbly, fun, intelligent. Ah, well, there we are.