I am still here, I swear it

Although I am recovering from a weekend trip to Sligo to see Leonard Cohen play in the grounds of Lissadell house. It was a trip in honour of my best friend’s birthday (a significant one) and so we went all out. We flew to Sligo (my first ever domestic Irish flight). Sligo is the dinkiest airport I’ve ever been too (yes, even dinkier than Plymouth!) It has a range of amenites including a bar, toilets and a bar but only before the departure “gate”. It also has the opening hours on the front door. It is AWESOME!

The trip was phenomenal, as was the concert. He’s such a showman who performs every song with intimate grace and humility. The setting was astounding. So very beautiful. When he quoted Yeats and then sang Anthem (my favourite of his songs), I almost cried.

The gig would probably have been perfect but for the gaggle of girls behind us who talked incessently, throughout songs and got loudly huffy when anyone looked at them or shhhed them. We were in the nosebleed seats, not somewhere I’d chose to get giddily drunk in any case but that didn’t stop them. Blessed as I am with the ability to filter out annoying chatter, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed them “too” much (although yelling “I know this one!” throughout the performance of Suzanne got my goat), but my friend was nearer and doesn’t have small children to innure her against such things. So it upset her a bit.Eventually we spotted some free seats elsewhere and moved.

We weren’t alone. Before we left, most of the seats for several rows in front of them were empty, which led one, with all the self awareness of a potato to exclaim “everyone around us must be lightweights! Look, they’ve all gone.” *sigh* You know, if that was you or anyone you know, you might want to take a little reality check. But then of course, no one I know would do that. Especially not at a Leonard Cohen conert.

I’m almost finished Graffiti Angel – wrote a portion of it while I was away – and it has been taking up a huge amount of my time.  Absorbing is the word. I’ve finally got out of the “oh my god this is all rubbish” stage and on to the “I can’t wait to find out what happens next.” The road map has pretty much been scrunched up and tossed out the window. We’re free wheeling downhill from here.

Here’s a last, panoramic view of the concert at Lissadell, to prove to you all that I was doing something truly worthwhile when I should have been finishing this book. So many of the songs are important to me, speak to my soul and to my writing. I even have a character called Marianne. So I think this counts as research. (But what doesn’t).

Oh and for those fans of Leonard’s velvet voice, and of W. B. Yeats, here’s a magic moment which combines the two and also speaks about the path of a writer through life.

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