Two anecdotes

I see it is more than three months since I posted here. I distracted myself by standing for the local elections in May, but afterwards found myself thrown back to a deep grief that was inconsolable. That has eased a bit now. In this post I’m going to just recall two anecdotes from before we were married as these have been going through my mind recently.

When we were together first, I was still living in Drogheda but I was spending more and more time with Anne, staying over in her flat in Rathmines. One evening we got into a terrible argument. I don’t remember what it was about, but I’m fairly sure it was our first real row. We went on and on at one another. It was exhausting and devastating. There seemed no way back, no way for either of us to concede, no solution in sight.

I said I’d go home to Drogheda and Anne agreed. We both realised that if this happened it would probably be impossible to repair our relationship, but still we couldn’t draw back from the brink. It was a standoff and I began to gather my stuff to leave for the train. I didn’t have a watch and asked Anne for the time. She showed me her clock and it turned out I was already too late for the last train. “I suppose you’ll have to stay here”, she said, and I did. Over the next few hours we did sort out our problem and we reconciled. I figured it was lucky that I’d been too late for the train. It was several months before she revealed that she had put the clock forward an hour to make it seem like I’d missed the train, to give us the extra time we needed.

The second anecdote concerns the first time Anne brought me down to Glandore to meet her family. We arrived in Cork city too late to hitch the last leg of the journey from the city to West Cork so we checked into the Metropole hotel. From our room that night we could hear the laughter and shouts of late night drinkers as they left the hotel. There was a bit of boozy singing, and then from directly under our window a sweet baritone voice started to sing “If ever I would leave you” from Camelot. It was, to our ears, a glorious rendition, sung specially for us, and the final words were like a pledge, “No, never could I leave you at all!”

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