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For Guinness sake

October 2, 2012

A last breakfast in Ireland, (non vegetarian this time, as I took the precaution or ordering it myself, rather than allow that nice lady decorator to select for me a vegetarian breakfast as happened yesterday) was taken at a charming bakery cafe the Griffin in the centre of Galway. Tucked behind a bakery, it comprises a series of small rooms lit up by peat fires to ward of the damp and cold sweeping in from an autumnal Atlantic whilst I was warding off the hangover from hell. It has been there since 1918, about as long as my hangover.

We said our goodbyes to our fellow travelers whilst running back over the events of the last few days; the Guinness, the oyster festival, the impromptu street performances, the rescue of one of our party from an “adult” emporium, his subsequent attempts to retrieve the unfortunate DVD (he claims not to recall purchasing) from the fire where his long-suffering wife had dumped in disgust once his guilty secret was revealed, and laughing at a number of events not yet reported in this column.

With a few hours to spare between this wonderful late full Irish and needing to be at Knock airport for the trip back to Gatwick, we headed off for some exploration of the west coast of Ireland where, in normal circumstances, I would have looked forward to a pint of Guinness in a classic Irish country pub. I found this sign on a pub in one such village but am not entirely certain that it’s sentiments are correct, especially for me yesterday.

Guinness is good for you, but not necessarily true all the time

Not necessarily true all the time

So we left the wind and the rain of Ireland for a softer, more caring wind and warmer rain in Gatwick, at least it seemed warmer and drier perhaps due to several large Bloody Mary’s at Knock airport, not a bargain at 21.60 euros a go, that’s over £16 at today’s very favourable Currencies Direct exchange rates.

Back to the grindstone today and a few days of abstinence and quiet contemplation replacing the mad last week of social mayhem. A book to finish writing, a record company to relaunch, both time-consuming projects are best undertaken with a clear head. A week of quiet solitude, recovery and recuperation is my goal with only the potential aberration of a lunch on Thursday before Otway weekend turns my head.

John Otway is one of my oldest friends and the main reason I have spent 40 years trying not to have to get a proper job. I met him when I was a dustman at 17 and paid for his first record in 1972, 40 years ago this year. After that I never looked forward. I have been involved with most of his madcap schemes in that time culminating in Otway The Movie which premieres at midday this coming Sunday in London, followed by his 60th birthday party. This will culminate with a presentation of “The Otways” his take on an Oscar and I have reason to believe I am nominated in a section rumoured to be “personal banker and loan shark” which is how he libellously described me in his book “Rock And Rolls Greatest Failure” which paradoxically was quite successful.

One blot on the landscape of life is the impending return from dog kennel prison into my life of the headstrong hound unaccountably admired by that nice lady decorator, Banjo. I have not missed his regular forays into the waste bin, his artistic ability of being able to redistribute used wrappers and old foodstuffs in the kitchen, his thievery and his ability to defecate almost at demand in the most inappropriate places at the least appropriate times. It seems he will be released today. If I were on the parole board I would be wearing a black cap if a hanging judge. Of course I will be delighted to see the old family retained Max, the real dog who wickedly is sent to keep the deranged Banjo “company” when he is on remand.

Chris France


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 9:33 am

    For the sake of correctness, Mr Otway has two books available carrying the tag “Rock And Rolls Greatest Failure”. Cor Baby, That’s Really Me and I Did It Otway. I once had a signed copy of Cor Baby and can recommend it


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