Ah – the mind-stretching benefits of travel.  We visited the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok today – American architect who came to Bangkok and built a house in 1959 using traditional Thai materials and art.  He developed an entire industry in the craft of Thai hand-woven silk.  Sadly he took a walk in Malaysia in 1967 and was never seen again.  So I listened to the charming Thai guide – how can they be as delightful as that? – and found myself transported back to Glebe House in Donegal listening to a guide every bit as charming talking about the painter Derek Hill.  He was a noted portrait painter who came to Donegal and stimulated an entire school of primitive artists on ToryIsland.  How often it takes the outsider to appreciate and encourage what is precious.

My watch declared a holiday as I stepped off the plane.  I have replaced it with a fake, fake Casio.  I am now looking for the Bangkok branch of McMahons of Portadown.  I know it’s here somewhere.