Wednesday 10 October 2012


I have had such a weekend. And I knew I had it to look forward to even while the Blue Eyed surgeon was drawing pictures of the tube in my eye... the last thing I flung at him was the news that a certain delicious Irish author had promised to swing by for a cup of tea while in the general neighbourhood of England, and that I would tell her all about his failure to sing Long Way to Tipperary (which he himself admitted was why the last operation didn't 'take') - "Ah, she'll understand!" he flung back. "She's Irish!" I had my comeuppance in the conservatory on a misty autumn morning, when my father plagued Marian Keyes for a song...
I had baked Marian a cake the night before, which that morning refused to politely unstick itself from the cake tin.... who bakes a cake for a cake expert?? Someone convinced of the cake expert's kindness, compassion and humanity, that's who. So I plagued M to sort it out... before she'd even been offered a cuppa tay!!
It was magical to wander round the village and pop into the Telephone Box like a pair of excited tourists and take photos of each other - and this within the first ten minutes of her arrival - which gives you some indication of the exquisite human being she is; a kindred spirit from the tips of her sparkling heels to the veriest eyelash above her green green eyes.

There's a tear in your eye,
And I'm wondering why,
For it never should be there at all.
With such pow'r in your smile,
You should laugh all the while,
And all other times smile,
And now, smile a smile for me...

I whisked M around the house and into the garden and pretended she was a magic wand - I wanted her faerie dust everywhere. When my mother asked a consultant in the first bitter trauma of my illness, "Will my daughter ever get better?" she crumpled when, with casual cruelty, he replied, "Well I don't have a crystal ball, do I?" Marian's kindness is the other kind of crystal ball. The one my mother prayed for and kept faith for - that healing would come, that her daughter would not only live, but be happy.
I spent a wonderful afternoon at the theatre by myself the day before M's arrival, fascinated and compelled by Sean O'Casey's play 'The Plough and the Stars', entranced by the poetry, in awe of the energy - and now, this autumn, I am once again immersed in studying Joyce, Munro, Carver and O'Connor's short stories as the Masters continues apace. Pain in my left eye prowls and gathers gears; I am constantly aware of the heaviness in my eye, the damaged optic nerve chews away like billyo, but here I am, alive and seeing joy.
And if you look closely you can see a few wee strands of purple in my hair :)
Mind you, these help. A lot. Nine cupcakes from Marian. I practically inhaled the first (lavender flavour, naturally missing from photo) and am steadily wolfing the rest. Will you remind me of this weekend, cupcakes and all, on the morning of the next surgery? I suppose Ol' Blue Eyes will... he says I am a good healer, too good a healer - I keep healing over the holes he makes in my eye for drainage! Is it any wonder with such gifts of love?


Teresa M said...

Oh Shai, the joy that flows from every word is just glorious!! I love the pictures of you both - you can feel the happiness. And again, your Mum is divine :) A wonderful, beautiful post xxx

Anandi said...

Beautiful post and pictures. I can almost taste the cupcakes.

Ruth said...

I'm grateful for the joy M joy brought you. There is no joy particularly like that of the Irish. And I am grateful for the joy you've brought me.

Cait O'Connor said...

What a great post, yes, I too could taste the cupcakes and the joy seeping out from your words...

I love the phone box library - I am thinking of starting one of those.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Lovely times.......tea and cupcakes! Love the idea of books in the telephone booth!!!!!

Megan O'Connor said...

Oh my! You were BOTH so lucky! Happiness does pour off this meeting blog posting! You're both beautiful, happy and kind. I aspire. Thanks for letting me see all the wonderfully glittering pics!!!!

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

Not sure who is the luckier lovely lady!
But what wonderful day...and dear Dad looks pleased!

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