Almost Perfekt

“Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
Problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
It’s such fun”

  • Lou Reed

When I was in sixth class in primary school I had an epic birthday party. It was a beautiful day, the sun splitting the trees, Mam baked a cake and buns, I had 10 friends over and they all bought me Airfix kits. We played along the Blackwater opposite our house, clambering through the old watermill and weir, and had a mammoth game of football with Dad when he came home from work.

No one wanted to go home.

I’ve had wonderful birthdays since then but that one always stood out. I think it was eclipsed yesterday.

I had breakfast in bed, opening cards and presents from my family, then I had a wee snooze. Jake and I went into town at 10 to do a few messages and pick up supplies for later…beer. We brought home gourmet sausages for Elliott’s Elevenses, to aid his studying.

I met my brothers , John and Stephen, for lunch , I had French toast with maple syrup and three Americanos. After lunch Stephen and I went to view the contents of the Convent chapel and St.Louis House which are being auctioned on Saturday. We spent an hour pottering about looking at the ephemera gathered over the St.Louis Sisters  163 years in Monaghan. They were fond of mirrors, judging by the number of them for sale.

One in particular, in the main hall in St.Louis House, was huge. It’s over three metres tall and two metres wide. I looked at it and then the door, beside it, and asked Stephen how would you get it out. “Well they got it in.” he answered. Curiousity got the better of me and I found the auctioneer with his measuring tape, to see if it would fit out the door. There was about 2 centimetres spare room. But , since the doorway was first built, a wheel chair ramp, with wrought iron railings had been built at a 90 degree angle to the door, and a veranda with sloping roof attached.

Can’t wait to see what happens !

I left Stephen back to work and went home to collect Jake and we visited Rossmore Park and went for a walk.

On our way home we called to Mum and Dad’s and had a cup of tea with them. Dad had a new Dundalk history book which had a photo of Jake’s Great Great Grandfather in it, standing outside the Century Bar, which is now MoChara, and Robyn’s summer residence.

When we got home Damian arrived with a giant cream cake for us.

We had steak and chips for tea , accompanied by Rioja and beer. Our neighbours, Chrissy and Shauna, called over with a gift of wine and chocolate.

My Soulmate, Jake, Elliott and I  sat at the kitchen table , chatting, laughing, and setting the world to rights until after midnight.

None of us wanted the night to end.

It could only have been improved if Robyn had been with us.

I was overwhelmed throughout the day with cards, presents, and birthday wishes from around the world. It was truly humbling.

And to cap it all off I received an email from the Cork Nature Network , addressed ‘Dear Author’ !

Me ? A swan ? Go on !

I’d entered a short story competition about otters, and I’d won !

The last time I won a short story writing competition  with a story titled ‘I Knew Her As…’ it was published in a collection of short stories…and then the publisher went bust. I hope nothing untoward awaits the fortunes of the Cork Nature Network.

If you signed up to my blog and are reading this on email that story follows in the P.S.s.

I left Jake back to Galway today. When we arrived, I gave him a hug to say goodbye and thanked him for visiting. He said that yesterday had been the best day in a long time. He was right.

I got quite tired on the way home, and stopped at a garage in Ballymahon, to shut my eyes for a minute…and woke up an hour later.

I feel incredibly fortunate and loved.

If I haven’t told you lately, I love you !



P.S. This is ‘Without You’ by David Bowie.

Author: paul

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