Nicholas Quirke was remembering Sundays had a tradition of being long slow, uneventful, dull times and he was amused to note that he could not attach any of those appellations to the day he was having. He had experienced a couple of weeks of Zen since he had focused on ridding himself of the anxiety he was experiencing regarding his finances during the mesmerizing Sound Bath he had experienced at his friend Simons.  He had reached a state of almost calm during the meditation and had not seemed to have emerged from that state since,  His Sunday began with him reviewing the past couple of weeks which had been full of action and incident which to his dismay he had failed to blog. He was frustrated that his energy had waned when it came to diarising the days which came vividly to life as he collated the photographs. From soundbaths, Private Views, buying socks, visiting Bramber, Visiting his Mother convalescing in Godalming, to theatre trips, cinema, dance, reading Dickens as a Victorian and seeing family and friends.  And how could he miss recording the drive to Sadlers Wells in London with Julian who after 90 minutes of holding in his pee could bear it no longer and as they drove through Waterloo pissed into a bottle, ‘Don’t look at me’! he cried, as if the indignity could be in someway any worse than it was; however, Nicholas did avert his eyes as the sound of the never ending stream echoed around the car. He was just going to have to let the photographs speak and get on with recording his days from now. It was now a year since Nicholas had left his full time 20 year employment with American Express and felt his time was slipping away from him at a rapid pace and was no closer to pulling together the strings and finding answers to the questions raised in the Odyssey; he was phenomenally busy, yet nothing was getting him closer to resolving what he was searching for. And his Sunday was certainly not going to give him the time to discover solutions as once he had got up to date with his various social network projects, the podcast, Shelf of Shame and ShowShoppers, it was time to go and meet Cole, Harvey and Grace for Brunch in the Green kitchen. It was good to have the family together for the first time in Months. It was seriously Autumn, a carpet of leaves littered the pathways of Preston Park and the brown golden tints gave him a strange sense of excitement. He was also looking forward to the meeting of the Book Club he had been flattered into joining, though it was only himself and the founder Noel there to discuss the book they had read, Susan Hill’s ‘The Bird of the Night’. Though it was a short novel, he had found the themes of madness and genius not to his liking. It was a good conversation and he felt inspired by the time he got home. He walked to to the Duke’s at Komedia where he met Aaron. They had supper in GBK, but it was not an experience Nicholas particularly enjoyed as despite the good company and chat, he found the service and meal itself wanting. He had no such feelings about the film they saw, ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ a stylish, witty, crime caper, with some high octane thrills that had Aaron yelping in shock. As they left the cinema it was pouring with rain. He got a lift part of the way home and in the short walk from the Level, he got soaked through, something he had not experienced for a long time. There were no adverse effects as he woke on the morning of Monday 15th October morning to an early start with his Client. The work was not onerous, some washing up, some admin and some shopping. It gave him just enough time to walk into town to meet Audrey. It was, as ever, a loud raucous and funny time, though Audrey was bemoaning her current situation. Nicholas had an evening in Chichester and on the drive there, through Storrington and Amberly, to avoid the appalling traffic, witnessed low hanging mists clinging eerily to the earth and so compelling was the sight that he eventually had to stop the car and take some photographs, the best of the sights however, behind him. Stopping his journey did cause him to be 2 minutes late for the performance which started at the unusually early time of ,  but as a result, he ended up in a prime seat for his £10 ticket to see ‘The Midnight Gang’. It was a  musical based on a children’s book by David Walliams and though he enjoyed its whimsy he found it too sentimental and corny, ell it was for children and if he had read the blurb in the brochure properly he would have known that. Its early start meat an early finish so he got home and to his bed in a reasonably early hour.

 

 

Ncholas Quirke was still digesting the discovery’s, the truths that had been penetrated at his Men’s therapy group the night before, when he woke at 6 on the morning of 28th September. The sunshine that greeted him as he woke, his mornings work and his trip to the Duke of York’s Cinema, to see The Little Stranger, an intriguing ghost story, had left him feeling positive and when he arrived at the meeting had expected to deliver a more cheerful aspect than he had at the 2 previous gatherings. When the group leader asked them to think about what they wanted to present as a Male, and what role their fathers or Male role models played on forming their ideas of masculinity, maleness, his spirits immediately sank. He hadn’t expected to dive into himself quite so deeply, dwell on his fathers early demise, the lack of an identifiable role model from the age of 17 and his friends deeply personal and painful stories of their relationships with their fathers and experience of fatherhood left him moved and troubled but also inspired. These feelings  definitely coloured his Breakfast in The Green Kitchen with Cole whom he probed for any evidence of failures, of damage and misgivings regarding his own parenting efforts and as Cole could not or did not want to uncover any trauma, any mental wounds or scabs that had been left by his upbringing he decided to leave that alone. It interested him though that he was a Role Model for his boys and he would continue to try and do the best he could for and by his sons and if there was any rage to be unleashed it would come later and would deal with it then. Despite it being Penny Parker’s birthday they still met and produced the latest episode of QUIRKE;  https://wordpress.com/post/nicholasquirkewas.com/3150.  He then drove straight to Chichester to the theatre. He was enjoying telling everyone that he was in Chichester for ‘Cock’  the startling title of the play he was seeing that evening. It was a really tremendous play, a wonderfully written script that tackled gender issues and identity with humour, integrity and power. 4 truly compelling performances . Bernie and Campbell were at the theatre too and it was nice for Nicholas to have company on the drive home for once.

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Nicholas Quirke was not used to feeling weary. He prided himself on his energy and when he reached 16.30 on 25th September and he was sat outside Al Campo lounge waiting to meet Cathie for a tea, the will to continue had overwhelmed him. He had always managed his Fybro-Myalgia well but of late, certainly since his brush with Sciatica, he had felt a pain in his feet and a draining of life from his muscles that reminded him of his chronic fatigue when he was first diagnosed. He would have to be more careful and balance his activity better, and eat better. Reviewing his week since Sunday and the heavy, endless rain, which kept him and his visitor Amanda, who had made it all the way from Bedford, indoors, it wasn’t surprising his energy was waning to such a degree. He had not seen her since before the Odyssey and this meant they were locked into non stop intense conversation for 5 hours on travel, corporate life and memory. Nicholas reminded her of a time they went for afternoon tea with Howard Baker. She had absolutely no recollection of this ever happening, she could not put Nicholas in Howard’s house, how is this? And if there is no memory for one person, does it make it a fake memory? Thank goodness for his journals and diary keeping; evidence that he experienced something. Monday morning he woke early and immediately got to start on social networking for ShowShoppers and The Nightingale. He posted on FB, Instagram and Twitter and then followed up contacts on Shelf of Shame. The outlook on Monday was better and the sun was shining for his trip out with Terry to Marmalade. The cafe were rather stingy with the hot water, and Nicholas had to ask them to top up his teapot. His drive to Chichester to the Festival theatre was fraught with traffic incident but it was good to be back as it was now a year since he had last been. ‘Flowers for Mrs Harris’, was based on a book by Paul Gallico, one that had been recommended by his Grandmother Quirke and it had a sentimental appeal for him. It was a charming story and beautifully told. He repeated his morning ritual of updating Social Network and then began a day of PA work. He was delighted to spend time on Hove Seafront, which looked wonderful in the late summer sun. He had started to get into audio books again when driving and called into the Patcham library to find another P D James to listen to but they had nothing. It was then straight on to his next client for his last visit as he had resigned from that particular role, unable to cope with the chain smoking. His final job of the day was quite tiring as he was on his hands and knees cleaning her carpet. This final stop was close to his Mother’s home, which meant that he could call in and see her for a Green tea and chat. Her hip operation is looming and she took Nicholas around the garden to show him what needed to be done during her recovery period. By the time he got to Al Campo to meet Cathie he really was fading,though as ever, he found the resources within himself to converse and have a pleasant hour. On his walk back home in the glorious Sunshine he encountered a traffic incident, a crash maybe, on Beaconsfield Villas with police swarming the area. Nicholas was stopped by a van driver who ashed what was happening, then said ‘we are working on your street, if you need your guttering done we can do it for you’ Nicholas was momentarily taken aback and before he could ask how they knew where he lived he had been given a card and they drove off. Interesting sales tactic he thought. It was a relief to be home and he immediately made supper then took to his bed to watch the rest of Killing Eve and before he knew it, he was waking to another day and another frenzy of social networking. His brother had suggested a guest appearance on Shelf of shame and had provided Nicholas with an image he had painted that was a cause for creative shame. He liked the idea of guest appearances and Michael’s painting worked its way into his collection. He met With Rory for Tea at Marwoods for a very deep conversation about life and love, and experienced the first attack of cramp in a public place for years. He hobbled in pain out of the cafe and walked home through more blue, uplifting skies. he purchased some snacks for that evenings Freevening screening. He was pleased to entertain Noel for The Grandmaster which on the surface was an action packed Kung Fu movie but at its core was a deep and almost impenetrable love story. He subsequently had a long chat with Terry in Denver who was able to enlighten him on some of the more culturally obscure references; also sharing that one of the key scenes, of a young girl training in the snow, took 2 years to film! It was on a positive note that Nicholas took to his bed.