Celtic Illumination, part 313, Put your hand in the hand
It’s been some time since I have used this platform to directly address you, The Illuminati, mainly because I haven’t had the time, as I have been so busy with a legal firm on the Isle of Man who are trying to impose a super injunction on me. Every day I get messages and e-mails informing me that we have new followers for the blog, swelling the ranks of The Illuminati, but yesterday I got a request to add a specific person. This was a request to add Christine Bowler, from Southend-On-Sea, in British England, who wants to read the blog from the beginning. I’ve been doing that recently as I’m completely re-writing the beginning of the blog and hopefully turning the whole thing into a couple of books. So, if you would all like to turn towards Southend-On-Sea, London is close enough, and wave hello and welcome to our newest member of The Illuminati, Christine Bowler. And let’s wish her luck as we passed through the four hundred thousand word mark a few days ago, so she has a bit of catching up to do. Give it another week or two and we will be on par with War and Peace.
Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. I was having a beer with an old IRA gunman friend of mine in Bennetts. I was quite disappointed with Brendan as I asked him if we could get together during my visit so that I could talk to him about his experiences. Brendan told me that he refused to talk about his time in jail and in the IRA and under no circumstances would he talk about the incident that saw him convicted of murder. I knew all about the incident anyway as another old school friend, and IRA man, had already written about it in a book; I was more interested in the motive than the crime. Brendan seemed to be trying to ingratiate himself with the, ‘in crowd’ in Warrenpoint. Within our group there were people who enjoyed the simple ‘good ol boy’ lifestyle. Hard drinking, fast cars and chasing women, yee har! Not to mention the jiving. But there was a group who thought themselves better than everyone else, even themselves, these were known as the, ‘golf club crowd.’
The golf club crowd would refer to our old school as ’the college’ whereas I would call it Violent Hell. If they wanted to play their little class games, then who was I to comment, but it’s embarrassing to see Irishmen try to be English, it doesn’t work. The following morning I went over to Pats house, my old girlfriend. I had to introduce Charles to my friends. I found myself about to type ‘introduce Charles to my extended family’ but changed it to ‘my friends’ as I really did spend more time in Pat’s house than my own. Pat’s mother was a well-known and respected head teacher of a primary school in Warrenpoint. She was a great friend and confident and always said that Carol, my sister, and myself were trophy children, that we should never have been adopted by the Morris family. I think if Pat’s mother knew about the double top secret cabal; preparing me to take the throne of Ireland, she would have understood the reasoning behind our adoptions. We were chatting away and I explained that I had met Brendan the previous evening and that I was disappointed that he wouldn’t speak to me about his experiences. Pats mother then began to explain to me why Brendan wouldn’t speak to anyone, never mind me.
Where we used to live, in Warrenpoint, was known as The Bridle Loanan but the locals would call it ‘Snob Hill’ as the houses were all brand new and at the time quite expensive. So I was surprised to learn that Brendan had a house up the Bridle Loanan, plus two flats in Dublin, that he rented out to students at Trinity and all bought and paid for in cash. It seems that as Brendan did not break under interrogation, from the British army and their secret services, on the day of his release from prison, the IRA robbed a bank and gave Brendan all the money. Yes; I agree, it does make you think. I’m still not sure what to think about it, however, as I have said to you before, it is the easiest thing in the world to hold a gun to someone’s head and pull the trigger. It’s living with the memory of the incident that causes most people to go to pieces, so no amount of houses, or flats, or sacks of money would be worth those nightmares.
Pat drove Charles and myself up to Newry where I picked up a small hire car for a few days. Charles and I had a lunch appointment that afternoon with a nun in the Republic. I was of course nipping over the border to visit my Aunt Billy who was at Mount Oliver, a huge convent outside Dundalk. As a child, every time I went there, the mother superior would take me into the main foyer. On either side on the foyer were two long, huge, glass cabinets full of handmade items from Africa. I would be asked to choose whatever I wanted, the cabinet would be opened and I would be given whatever I had chosen, which of course would be very nice if it were true. I always pointed at the spears and asked for one of them but was always convinced to have a giraffe or a Zulu warrior. I wondered if they would do the same for Charles.
As always I received the warmest of welcomes and was invited in to the convent. Billy was looking frail but still smiling, and happy, and chatty, as she had always been. We were shown to a private sitting room where we were served tea and where we talked. First of all Billy filled me in with all the news about the family and who had married who, and where, and when. I joked about the fact that our careers had a sort of similarity to them as when she became a nun, she would have undergone a trial where she was known as a postulant, for mine I was known as a trialist. Then she became a novice as did I, although I doubt if she was tied up as often as I was and thrown in rivers or left tied, naked, to a mountain top, but then you never know about some of these holy orders. Just look at the battle hardened snatch squad of Carmelite nuns who took me when I was born; I bet you’ve got to be pretty tough to join their ranks.
Eventually it was lunch time and we wandered off to the refectory. I thought it would just be the three of us sitting down for lunch but I was wrong. I was sitting down for lunch with every nun in the convent. There must have been one hundred nuns seated in the refectory. When many people think of nuns they tend to think of elderly ladies, crinkled and quiet. As we approached the refectory I noticed one nun standing, as if on duty, welcoming everyone to lunch. It was as I drew up beside her that it happened. She looked at me and I looked at her, mind you it could have been the other way around, but there the pair of us stood standing looking at each other. Ever get one of those ‘moments’ where you are struck with someone’s beauty. Where, in your mind, you have married, undressed and made the poor girl pregnant, before you have even asked her name? There was such electricity between us, and I knew that she felt it too, for she looked away as did I. I was quite used to meeting beautiful women and having that most basic urge flush through my body. With people like Princess Diana or Carol Vorderman you accept it, I know, I never told you about the times I met Diana, but I promised her I would never speak about them. I felt awful that I had compromised a nun but as Churchill once said, ‘shit happens.’
Charles and I took our places alongside Aunt Billy and lunch was served. I’ll say one thing for nuns; they surely know how to eat. There must have been about five courses of the finest food. Charles was in a small push chair and at eighteen months of age wasn’t exactly a big eater. He had a little plastic ball with him which he dropped and I promise you one hundred nuns went after the ball to return it to Charles, I’ve never seen a scrum like it before. This was the excuse they needed to get him away from me and so Billy and I were left to enjoy our meal while the remainder of the nuns in the convent played catch with Charles. Charles really enjoyed himself, which I could tell from his laughter, but I still felt awful as I wondered how the nun I had met at the door to the refectory would deal with what had happened. I could tell from her eyes that she had felt the same, all I could think of was that I was glad that it was not mid-summer where I might have been wearing shorts. The sight of the loveliest legs in Ireland may have put her over the edge. She wouldn’t have been able to contain herself, and as all Catholic nuns are married to Jesus, I wasn’t looking forward to having to deal with her husband if he ever found out about it; all I could hope for is that he wasn’t the jealous type.