It is necessary to believe that most experiences happen for a reason. Of course this is not always the case. A veil must be drawn over the recent experience mentioned above. But one thing is sure, I returned thinking how marvellous my life was warts and all. I also learned that the Portuguese are the most delightful nation and are an example of racial harmony all peoples should emulate. This is because they have such an incredible history. Of course we all know they were the cruellest of colonisers, but this is not evident in their modern history. The naval museum in Lisbon is the finest in the world and illustrates perfectly the seafaring skills that gave these great navigators and sailors a window on the world, which left them a rich and varied tapestry of history and a legacy of fine living and culture which is a joy to see. I saw many bad examples of the British at their most ugly when in holiday mode. I was not surprised when the educated and delightful driver I had, told me how much Portuguese men were in “herloffe” with their wives. The strange pronunciation is intentional. This gentleman took me to see the most western point in Europe and I thought a lot about these great galleons returning around this point loaded with gold and luxurious spices and a fair sprinkling of the DNA which makes this race so remarkable. He showed me pictures of his beautiful family and spoke caringly of his sense of responsibility to his mother and mother in law. I liked this. All this gave me a great deal of valuable material for the book I am writing, which is predominantly a drama set among the families of the Georgian navy.
The week before I left Paddy the Painter, who is an artist, finished the stair well in our house. I talk to him a lot, because he has a kind of elementary wisdom about life with all its slings and arrows. He confided in me that all he ever dreams of is owning a house with a front door a staircase and a garden. He was raised in a children’s home. When he left he confided that he lived on Saint Margaret’s Station for quite a while. “ Not many people know that “ he added. All these things are humbling actually, and what is five days out of a life, if it makes you value even more what you have actually been given?
My son in law asked me if I had a mask I could lend him ( for fancy dress of course), I could not oblige but . It turned out that the Sainted One had a drawer full of things I have never seen, amongst them was a black mask. I did not know he had a mask drawer, but you never really know people do you? Anyway the son in law borrowed the mask and announced last night, that he had lost it in a bush. I was the only person in the room who thought this was very funny. Of course you are all intelligent, and will be laughing your heads off. However the damn thing was, I gather retrieved from the bush; this was also a serious piece of information. Naturally I made a rather obvious remark, but it seemed to escape them all and they went on about the mask in a rather dull way. Perhaps they were bluffing, I would rather not know. But I am giving that drawer a wide birth I can tell you.
The SO remarked in a disapproving way last night, on the amount of books that are delivered here. He asked me what on earth I did with them all? I replied monosyllabically that I read them. There was some further remark which I did not catch, because there is a tendency to mumble or deliver stern ultimatums from half way up the stairs. There was a time when I would fawningly follow the disappearing voice to listen attentively. Not now, I think my dogs have selective hearing down to a fine art. They always get what they want.
“Tread softly because you tread on my dreams,” are the immortal words of Yeats of course; they are profound and something to remember at all times. Yesterday I received a most beautiful letter from a young relative. This lovely young woman has all the makings of a great writer, and is at the moment living herself through a life experience which has the makings of a very great and true story. It is one any writer would dream of, and she must… I tell you she must, tell it as it is, with all its truth and perception. It is a saga of many generations, crossing oceans and the great journey of a family. There are roots, here which are beyond imagination, she holds them all in the palm of her hand. In this letter she was generous enough to say that I had been an inspiration to her and described my humble contribution to her young life in a most moving way. I shall write back to her very slowly, because she has a star and she must follow it. But my goodness what a privilege it is to be told of a dream that you know must become reality, and to think you might have had a small part in that. I have been having a problem with my latest book, but her words sent me back to my laptop.