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Never look a Bird Crap in the Mouth

Writing.ie | Member Blog

Deirdre Conroy

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One day last week I was walking my dog on the way to visit a friend and bring some medicine, so far so Florence Nightingale. Neither I nor the dog get much in the way of exercise these days so we were killing two birds so to speak. Next thing, I feel this wet plop on my nose, as there was no sign of rain, it could only be an aforementioned feathered effluent discharger. I gave out to the dog as the cost centres weren’t about, wiped it with my hand and carried on. There is a certain wanton liberty leaving the house without tissues, something you’d never do while you’re children are under eighteen. 

I carried on and wondered what a scientist would make of it, two objects travelling in different directions at different speeds, one poos and manages to land it on the nose of the other.

I arrived at Racquel’s door with the medicine, she looked at me more pityingly than I thought the occasion demanded, her being the sick one and me taking the air.

‘Oh it must’ve been a bird,’ she exclaimed.

‘How did you know?’

I looked down and saw the remainder of its bowel contents sprayed down my jacket. I couldn’t tarry for coffee or the like, as I had an interview to think about it.

‘You know what this means, don’t you?’ said the non-believer.

I thought of it, but didn’t dare pin any hope on it.

‘Good Luck’ when a bird craps on you. 

So I walked home, hurriedly of course, keeping my chin in the air and avoiding eye contact with the passersby who clearly thought I’d been in a gutter and vomited down my front. The dog lent an air of respectability.

I might add that the rest of my life depended on the success of this interview.

In between keeping landlady house intact, banks at bay, cost centres fed and schooled, I am lucky to have been given the chance to write occasionally for a newspaper, some of this involves reading books I don’t like and some I love. Some ‘opinion’ writing addresses very hard news. Recently, it has been pleasant, a biography of a great man, a novel on a historic figure, it’s sporadic but therapeutic and pays the ESB. The alarming thing I’ve discovered since going back to school is the cost of law books. Crikey. I mean, they only a few pages every year to bring out a new edition and still charge 158 euro. The teachers say second copies are useless, new judgment makes new law (note I’ve even learned to spell judgment their way.

I cleaned off the bird crap and went to the interview; as usual everybody else was younger and looked infinitely more qualified. It didn’t last very long, I put my life on pause and went to class.

There is one thing you can do, or at least I can do expertly, that has the effect of a two-day anti-depressant, it’s called a blow-dry. I can make it last three days if the tribulations demand it. So it was I returned to my stalwart confidante on Friday morning for an infusion of feel-good.

Hope ‘Penny Dreadful’ will be Penny Wonderful

My phone rattled in my bag while the suds were rinsed. I recognised the number and went outside hair dripping. ‘We thought we’d get you out of your suspense’. I wanted to tell the woman I’d kiss her, though that wouldn’t do. Suffice to say now I can buy my books. And hang out with my new classmates. 

This week we’re having classes in a film set, a mini-series called Penny Dreadful with Timothy Dalton (dashing), Eva Green (smokes between takes), Billie Piper and Josh Hartnett (haven’t seem them yet), I hope it’s good, because they are going to incredible trouble and expense transforming Henrietta Street and the King’s Inns. Either way, it’s a fantastic production for Ireland, the biggest in years.

After our first class outing last week at the very cool House on Leeson Street, I ended up in The George with another student, not the yacht club, the other one. I even got in with my new *freelance* press pass, I said I was writing a piece. So this is it: The George was, like, totally strange, but like, fun.

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