I have sat up in the other sitting room with Bert and Brendan and Howard and the craic, as they say, was mighty. It always is when Brendan's in the room for he could talk for Ireland, and often does.
Conversations ranged from politics to box barrows with the windmill at Knockloughrim somewhere in the middle.
I asked everyone who was the first politician you became aware of as a child. Howard said Shirley Williams, Bert admitted to Georges Pompidou (because he had a funny name), my picks were Nixon and Kennedy and Brendan claimed that his first memory of a politician was Bernadette Devlin. That struck me as odd as Brendan is around the same age as she was when she was elected to Westminster. I recalled that the day after the election the Daily Mirror had a front page picture of her sitting on a swing and I thought it was extremely patronising of the paper.
Anyway, Brendan admitted that he remembered the news coming through about the Kennedy assassination. He was at a dance listening to the Grafton Showband when the band was asked to stop playing and the announcement was made from the stage. The show was pronounced over and everyone went home.
Other politicians and advisors discussed and dissected were Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Ahern, Adams, O'Neill, Poots, Trump, Foster, McGuinness, McCausland, Bannon, Campbell, Givan, Nesbitt, May, Brokenshire, McGuinness and Kenny. Few were spoken of admiringly, perhaps three or four.
We moved on to dead comedians. Brendan confessed a liking for Tommy Cooper, Howard said he always enjoyed Dave Allen, I spoke up for Groucho Marx and Bert said he still liked Benny Hill. I lit on him for this and said he needn't think he was going to trick me into divorcing him as I intended to stay married to him until the day he died.
One thing led to another and someone mentioned Knockloughrim. Howard said the windmill there was falling to pieces. The structure has experienced a fair bit of wear and tear since it was first built in the latter part of the 19th century. It lost its sails and roof in a storm. The current roof is a replacement and although some say that the original was also onion shaped, there is no proof. The windmill has had many uses one of which was a meeting place for the local Orange Order.
When Brendan got on to the box barrows that his granda used to make in his blacksmith's shop I made my excuses and left. I had heard the tale before but I left happy in the knowledge that Howard hadn't. And I had a blog to write. And stewed fruit and plain yoghurt to eat.
If anyone knows what a box barrow actually is I'd be pleased to know. I really should have listened to Brendan. Maybe Bert will know.