Friday 19 October 2018

'We end up in a gay bar, clearly a man's gay bar, because there were no lesbians, and I realise that now that women are allowed into the golf clubs, these places are e last bastiobastions of masculinity'

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

THURSDAY THE eagle-eyed among you will notice that I seem to be doing a Log every second week now. I've certainly noticed it myself. No sooner is one printed than I'm out frantically trying to live a little for the next one.

THURSDAY THE eagle-eyed among you will notice that I seem to be doing a Log every second week now. I've certainly noticed it myself. No sooner is one printed than I'm out frantically trying to live a little for the next one.

It makes me wonder how Leonard managed one a week up to relatively recently. He must have been, as Shaw put it, "like a man fighting a windmill, hardly time to stagger to my feet from the knockdown blow of one sail, when the next strikes me down".

My worry is that on his most recent retirement, Leonard seemed to half anoint me as someone to continue this on for a bit. And I am beginning to suspect that when he passed on the curse to me some of his spirit also passed into me. Because recently I've been turning into an awful curmudgeon. Maybe it's just the winter tuning up, and a period of adjustment.

FRIDAY I LEAVE from work to get the seven o'clock to Cork: it's the new train, and very nice and we splash out the ?11 each on the new Citygold, and that's all very comfortable with a Russian woman who walks up and down the carriage collecting rubbish as soon as you accumulate it, and chairs that rise up and down pneumatically - which are entertaining for five minutes.

And then you arrive in Cork station, where presumably they are aware that there is a train coming in, as the same train arrives in and about the same time every Friday night. But somehow there's no sign of even a bus into town. And we wait ages for a taxi. You try to be good and not take the car, but they make it so hard. Anyway, we get out to Bishopstown, to the parents, who seem to get saner the older I get.

SATURDAY OPTIONS for eating out in Cork are severely limited. We have been trying to figure out all week where we might get decent food in a buzzy environment for mid price. Between the overrated and the overpriced, we end up at the Boqueria tapas bar again. It's the kind of place where you get good grub but you can also have pints and scream at each other about Bertie and whatnot.

SUNDAY IF you think Cork is disappointing on the culinary side of things, try going to Kinsale on Sunday lunchtime. I still haven't made it to Fishy Fishy and have become somewhat obsessed with going there, so the family patiently gathers in Kinsale the odd Sunday to humour me.

This time, we amble up to be told fairly casually that there's an hour wait. They seem to be fairly sure we'll wait, apparently on wet benches outside. People I know in the trade tell me that taking bookings is a pain in the ass for restaurants. I normally counter that so is giving strangers their dinner, but that's the effing business they're in. (That'd be my inner Leonard rearing his head again. Retired, my arse. He's just doing it the easy way by moving into the back of my mind.) On principle, I won't wait at Fishy Fishy, and also tell the family that I have now given up that particular mission.

Anyone I'm giving my money to in future can suit me, and not themselves, and take a booking. I'm the customer, not them. When I'm going out for a meal, it's all about me, I'm afraid. I don't really care what suits the trader.

So we end up in a nice hotel in Kinsale where we peruse the bar food menu, only to be told by the young one that they are not serving that menu until 3.30 but we can have soup and sandwiches. But of course, why would they be serving lunch at lunchtime, on a Sunday, in Kinsale?

Can't really go into this in detail, but just let me use the phrases: friend's wife showing us pictures of wedding they were at; flicking through them on the computer; forgets about one picture over which there was much embarrassment. We try and make up for it the next day by sending them a topless picture of me.

The train home seems to be proceeding apace, and on time so we take the chance a half an hour from Dublin on ordering Chinese food delivery. Our local usually takes an hour to deliver, so we should be fairly safe. But then, because of something called "crew changes" I think, the train stops outside Heuston for 20 minutes. Again, you'd have to ask, does this train not arrive at the same time every Sunday night? Were they not expecting it? Why schedule a "crew change", whatever that is? And why did they not tell us about it until everyone was standing out by the door waiting to get off, after they'd made an announcement to say we are now arriving in Dublin?

This is all exacerbated by Chinese anxiety. I decide I will tell the taxi-driver we are racing a Chinese deliveryman and tell him not to spare the horses. Luckily, I have a look at him when I get in and notice that he is himself Chinese. I don't know why I felt it would be wrong to tell him we are racing another Chinese guy but it just does. Ironic, though. One Chinese man delivering me across town involved in a race against time and against another Chinese guy delivering food. It's quite dramatic. Maybe Jackie Chan could star in the movie. We make it OK in the end, but I think there's scope for a sequel.

MONDAY Winter definitely here, and I don't want to get out of bed.

TUESDAY WE go to a screening of the Borat film. It's probably not as funny as I thought it would be, but it's still one of the better comedies I've seen recently. I can't enjoy Sacha Baron Cohen's success without it slightly niggling at me, however. You see, his success led directly to a near miss with fame and fortune for me. We used to do little candid camera inserts on a long-forgotten TV show called Don't Feed the Gondolas. One day, a guy called Dan Mazer rang me and told me he was doing something similar in Britain with something called Ali G (we were first, of course) and wanted to work with us. No sooner had we started a little bit of showbiz flirting than Ali G went nuclear, got his own show, which went on to become a movie, etc. And suddenly we stopped hearing from Dan.

WEDNESDAY BECAUSE winter seems to be definitely here, and because I could easily give into the temptation to stay in bed all day listening to the radio, I am very deliberately trying to say yes to life (a direct U-Turn on my usual policy of saying no to life). So when someone is stuck for a date for the Leonard Cohen tribute in the Point, I say yes - (and my date doesn't expect sex: he is a man) - even though I have arranged to go to the very same thing with the wife the following night. The one problem with the evening is that some people are at a gig and others are at the theatre, so any kind of whispering comments to your neighbour is frowned upon by some people. As the crowd I'm with had to slip out early, this joyless old bag in front of us tells them, "Ah ye're not going are ye? What will we do without your commentary? I know, you'll have to phone us."

I should feel sorry for

her because clearly she has been carrying this with her all night. Instead of enjoying the fantastic concert, she has been coming up with this killer line. I'm the last out of the aisle and so I take it upon myself to ask her what the the f**k her problem is. I'm really going to have to start controlling Leonard's ghost better. Hugh's, not Cohen's.

THURSDAY The Leonard Cohen thing is even better tonight, perhaps thanks to a few glasses of wine before hand. Am I an alcoholic?

SATURDAY WE end up in a gay bar tonight, for reasons I don't need to get into. It was clearly a man's gay bar, because there were no lesbians in evidence, and I realise that now that women are allowed into the golf clubs, these places are the last bastions of masculinity. There are no women to act as a civilising influence, so it's just men being men untrammelled.

Who would have thought it? The gays are the last

real men, while the rest

of us are just pussywhipped.

SUNDAY IN keeping with trying to say yes to life for winter, I go on a little junket down to Lyons Demesne, which is Dr Tony Ryan's new labour of love at the bottom of his garden. In truth, I would have said no but the Hourican girls (Emily and Bridget) are going, as is another favourite colleague, so I figure it might be fun. Last night, we had a major panic when my colleague texted me to ask me if Lucinda O'Sullivan's review of the Mill, which is Richard Corrigan's restaurant at the Demesne, is appearing in our magazine today. Because it is two weeks since we sent it to the printers, she doesn't remember if the review was positive, and is in a panic. I don't remember the specifics, but I do remember that after reading the proof page I decided I wanted to go there for Sunday lunch soon, so it must have been OK. I bought the paper on the way home last night and read it again and it was positive enough, but I started worrying that it wasn't effusive enough - and Corrigan would kick us out. As a rule, I tend to never go anywhere again if Lucinda gives a bad review. First, she's normally right, and second, I'd have difficulty looking the people in the eye, even though it's not me who actually wrote the review. To appear somewhere new like the Mill on the very day the first review comes out in your publication is reckless, to say the least.

It's OK, though. Corrigan is happy. The place is fantastic - though I'd say I'll be giving more of my business to the Cafe La Serre part, where loads of locals and families are enjoying great Sunday lunch with nothing costing more than ?20. A great afternoon finishes up with us getting cajoled by Mary Harney into joining in surprising someone for their birthday. She seems to be in good form. And why wouldn't she be, says you.

Top Stories

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News