'Darcy and O'Mara' is a novel by Arthur Cronin.
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Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Summer's here at last, or nearly here. The rain has stopped anyway. We just need the wind to die down and the clouds to clear and we're in business.

My cousin Jane sometimes pretends to play the banjo by singing words that end in 'ing' in a really annoying voice. She tends to do that when she's had too much coffee. She hangs the clothes on the line very, very slowly when she's had too little, or none at all. She once called her Budgie 'Gravy' when she had too much coffee. His real name is 'Coffee', but he seemed to like 'Gravy', so the name stuck.

When she's had too much brandy she stands next to Gravy's cage and says, "I'm only going to say this once, so listen very carefully..." She makes perfect sense then, or she would do if she finished her sentences. It makes no difference to Gravy, although he does listen very carefully.

There was only one occasion when she had too much gravy, and then she pointed at a dog and said, "He's like... I don't know. What's wrong with him?" That just happened once. And then she said, "Y' see, the reason I did that was..." If she'd finished that sentence she'd have said 'because I had too much gravy'. She had too much brandy too.

Her best friend, Claudia, wrote a play called 'I am not a Basketball'. The final line was 'no one ever said you were', and it was supposed to be delivered by Jane, but she got her timing wrong and she said it ten seconds into the first scene, completely ruining the effect of the play.

"I've been drinking milk," she said afterwards. "Much too much milk."

The failure of the play caused a rift in her frienship with Claudia. They didn't talk for weeks, until some friends of theirs arranged for them to 'accidentally' meet each other outside a shop.

Jane didn't know what to say. The only thing she could think of saying was 'I've got this blue pen', but that didn't seem like enough, so she said it with loads of 'n's.

"I've got this blue pennnnnnnnnnnnnnn."

She thought of something else to say during the 'n's:

"You can have it, if you want. You could write another play with it. The basketball play would have been brilliant if I hadn't messed it up."

"Thanks," Claudia said. "I was thinking of writing a play about these shepherds who..."

Jane started laughing. She tends to do that when she's been out in the sun for too long.

The moose's head over the fireplace looks a bit like Einstein when you look at him through half-closed eyes and think of Einstein. It works with Bette Davis too. He likes to think he looks like Bjorn Borg, and there's no harm in letting him think that anyway.