It’s not everyday that a famous Hollywood Movie Director pops into your house for tea. Last Thursday that very thing happened to me. Apparently my eccentric husband and the equally eccentric Mr. Jim Sheridan met in a toilet at Mel’s Diner on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles over the Oscar Weekend. A bit of a George Michael moment perhaps (?) or a meeting of great minds as they like to put it. They’re now working on some Movie or YouTube thing together, you know how I glaze over when it comes to the Internet.
Aren’t men great the way they land things on you. Picture this. Thursday morning 7am, getting the kids up for school while trying to finish off some bits for a job. “Oh by the way, Jim and his wife, Fran are coming by later and we’re going for dinner”. WHAT…. coming by here?! I love my home, I really do.. it’s beautiful, but having 2 kids running through it daily with lots of hectic schedules takes its toll. You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m not a yummy mummy with home help to wash the dishes and the like so… the only thing for it was all hands on deck to get the place somewhat presentable .. Ahhh, nervous breakdown time…nothing like a visitor to get the place straightened out!
I’m not the type of girl that gets nervous about meeting people but as the list of Jim’s work ran through my head and I realised the gravity of how his work has influenced me I started to get a few jitters. Pushing it aside I got my best guna on and headed for dinner at Rinuccini’s Restaurant. The food was amazing, as always, but not as amazing as the stories. I love meeting creative people like this, it’s what life is worth living for. I couldn’t get enough. I try to always think BIG but some people even transcend what I can only imagine. Stories of ‘My Left Foot’, ‘In the Name of the Father’, ‘The Field’, ‘Into the West’, ‘In America’.. 50 Cent, Daniel Craig.. Wowza.. A wonderful inspiring evening..
After dinner we joined friends and in-laws at Tynan’s Bar for pints. That’s when my favourite moment of the evening happened. My hubby brought Jim over to meet Liam (one of our oldest friends). Liam proceeded to put Jim into a friendly headlock saying “Hey, I’ve met you before!”. Brendan, “Eh, no you haven’t Liam”. Liam, “I have!”. Jim, “No, I don’t think we have actually”. Liam, “Was it Crimeline?”. Brendan, “No Liam, you just know Jim, he’s a familiar face”. .... I nearly choked laughing at the comical scene .. Only in Kilkenny. Mr Phelan... you legend!
After a few vinos our next haunt was Kilkenny’s most eccentric venue ‘The Hole in the Wall’. The colourful owner, Dr. Michael Conway is someone close to my heart. A few years back he literally saved my husband’s life when he had a bacterial virus in his heart that nearly killed him. Michael cured him so I have a special fondness for the Hole in the Wall. We spent a few hours there drinking wine, singing rebel songs and songs of Castlecomer coalminers .. We were lucky enough to be serenaded by young Kilkenny singer/songwriter Colm Gray. A great new talent with a vast catalogue of songs that we were all impressed with. I look forward to catching some of his shows over the summer.
After lots of banter and lively conversation it was time to get these party folk to their leaba. The fabulous Richard in Butler House went beyond the call of duty as he made sure they were safely in, even though it was the wee hours of the morning. You don’t get service like that everywhere for sure!
A tremendous evening was had by all. I hope we did Kilkenny proud.
Next morning after a Kilkenny Design breakfast we took our sore heads on a private tour of the Castle. Curator of the Castle, Frank Kavanagh, was his usual enthusiastic self as he rattled off stories of all the movies that had scenes filmed in the Castle over the years. I suggested that they include that in every tour as I, for one was fascinated.
He organised for John Walsh to take us around. And, I have to say I learned more in that one hour about the history of Kilkenny than I did in a lifetime of living here. He had wonderful stories of the Butler family and their misadventures. The stories were so vivid that you could picture the scenes in each room as if it was the set of ‘The Tudors’.
I walked around feeling very proud of the fact that I’m lucky enough to live in this amazing city steeped in such history. Jim seemed fascinated by it all and even left with a book under his arm. Who knows a movie might even come out of it, now wouldn’t that be something ..
As one of my great friends always says, “And on we go”...