The spaces seem to get a bit longer – must try harder.  We arrived back from a sleepy week in Donegal at 11 pm Sunday and I left for a day in London at 4.30 am.  Diary management, where are you?

Anyway, Ireland is its usual extraordinary self.  We sat in the little pub in Glen – perched by the bar because there are only about five seats.  You think chat in an Irish pub is all effervescent stuff?  This was laconic, taciturn by contrast.  Silence.  Half formed sentences wandered off looking for answers – but didn’t seem bothered about whether an answer came this week or next.  Another round?  A silent raising of a 5 euro note.  Wonderful.  And as we left, the phrase which links Donegal and Scotland -‘See you later’

Out for Sunday lunch with the uncle in Belfast in a much posher establishment with chandeliers and white table cloths.  Belfast is wonderful in its own way.  The waitress was probably trained to murmur, ‘Your coffee Sir’  What she actually said was, ‘If-yous-ud-like-a-wee-top-up-for-your-coffees-just-give-me-a-wee-shout’  Unbeatable.

Oh – and they also said ‘See you later’