Wednesday

Morning:
The number of dogs to be walked today is growing. Cousin’s Son D and his wife have gone to Liverpool with her brother for the day, leaving their two dogs at home. I shan’t walk them all together, so I shall probably get three walks myself, meaning my step counter should be recording a good number by nightfall. The main road has become so much busier it rules out any walks that take in even a small stretch of it, so the only down side is the repetitive nature of these walks. However, at this time of year there are always new plants coming into flower, calves in the fields, neighbours on the road.

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In a moment we are off to Bellaghy to collect our tickets for Friday (Van Morrison) and Sunday (Alan Johnson). Two very different ‘acts’ at the same venue, the Seamus Heaney Homeplace. In preparation for listening to Alan Johnson, I caught up on his memoirs. He has written four volumes, and until a month or so ago I had only read the first one. The fourth has recently come out in paperback, so I am guessing this round of talks and interviews he is doing is to promote sales. It’s a musical memoir. I was nearly at the end when I realised The was no mention of Van the Man. A quick glance at the index confirmed the Belfast Cowboy’s omission. On the spur of the moment I sent Alan Johnson an email. Somewhat to my surprise I received a reply within forty-eight hours. He explained he loved Astral Weeks, but there were other musicians whose music he preferred to Morrison’s. It was a pleasant friendly email, as one would expect from this Johnson.

Evening:
Well we got them, and suddenly I am in a state of anticipation about the weekend, a grand finale to my stay.

Tickets

But first family things. I have walked four dogs; Westie Boy and Poppy before lunch, Toots and Pip after lunch.

Pip

Toots

I saw Westie Pup, but she arrived while I was out and left shortly after I returned.

Westie Pup

When I finish this I shall take Westie Boy and Poppy out again. The evening is too good to stay indoors. Then to do some ironing and mend a hole in my pyjamas. Tomorrow I’ll be back on the bus to Belfast, then another bus to Saintfield where my cousin Alec will meet me o take me to his house and Uncle Bill. I have been told to expect changes.

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