The Editor has decided to extend my contract – this, despite the fact that I was out three days last month with shame induced flu, and informed the people of Barrystown in their weekly notes section that there would be a sheep-shagging (as opposed to sheap-shearing) fund-raiser taking place in Barry’s Field.
I think I am pleased . . . at least I’ll be able to eat for the next six months.
Dómhnall’s mother slid a letter under the door this evening. Since the shame inducing, toe-curling incident of last month I have received a stream of anonymous gifts, (not really anonymous at all, because I know exactly who has left them). First of all there was the Organic Gardener book. Then there was the guilt-free easter egg. Then there were the broad bean plants – and somewhere in between was the incredible gift of having the jungle of a back garden returned to a measure of its former glory by Dómhnall and his friends Seanie Beag and Fitzie.
And now there is this letter, which, as Dómhnall’s mother explains in her opening paragraph, is written on 100 per cent recycled paper and made with the support of the Republic of Langoustine’s government in climate controlled, uva and uvb screened conditions by workers who are paid rates that have been negotiated under the International Fair Trade Act of the Workers Union of the Republic of Langoustine.
That took up nearly a whole sheet. Written on the other side in the tiniest writing I have ever seen outside of those teeny tiny dictionaries you sometimes find in novelty shops, was an apology, and an explanation which goes some way towards making sense of why exactly the eccentrically dressed red-haired lady, who it turns out is also Dómhnall’s mother, threw tomatoes and shouted things at me.
It was a very odd, heart-wrenching letter. It also explains why Dómhnall’s father acted so strangely when I called.
And now she wants to meet me and apologise personally. The only trouble is, I’m not sure I want to meet her.