According to Colm our painter whom I met in the shop this morning, ‘You couldn’t give a pub away at present.’ I was, of course, looking [in vain] for fresh croissants at the time, forgetting that this was Donegal not Dordogne. But we did ponder the remarkable success of the new Deli up the street – anchovies and all. Welcome again to the new Ireland. Maybe it will stop the Northern Ireland middle classes doing all their shopping in M&S before they come.
My other treat on this rapid trip to Donegal – to view the newly rebuilt boiler house – a veritable cathedral of thermal engineering – pity we didn’t have a key to get into it – was my usual random read from the pile of Arthur Ransome. This time it was Swallowdale – the time that Swallow gybed, broke her mast and was holed on the Pike Rock. Titty carried the telescope ashore above her head. Fortunately Captain Flint [Uncle Jim] hove into sight with nails, hammer and tarpaulin – ‘haven’t done this since I ran a gig ashore off the coast of Java’. So Captain John’s wounded pride was assuaged and Mate Susan was, as always, suitably calm, sensible and motherly. Yes indeed.