Nicholas Quirke was questioning the purpose and value of life after a day feeding the Beggars Opera and lighting up the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre, giving his creativity much needed depth.
Nicholas Quirke was breathing a sigh of relief on the morning of 12th March 2019 as he woke to the realisation that he actually had nothing, nothing. No Thing in his calendar for the day. No work, no socialising, no tea, dinner, lunch date. No Cinema trip, no theatre. A Day that was to drift emptily ahead of him. Not that this was particularly unusual but he seemed to have moved through the last few weeks at a furious pace, with little time to focus on the more urgent and pressing needs, such as sorting out Irish Citizenship for himself, that a pause of any kind hit like an electric shock. It was however a miserable day; windy, raining, and staying in to catch up on tasks and to reflect on his adventures over the weekend seemed both relaxing and necessary. He had gone to bed exhausted and early on Friday evening but the downside of this was that he woke at 3 AM and found it difficult to get back to sleep. Nicholas resorted to surfing online chatrooms which led to an unusual, rare and indiscreet encounter in his car with a stranger. Despite his compromising and absurdly early start he found the energy to get the week’s podcast episode launched before heading into town to meet Cathy for their traditional Saturday morning tea. Peta had invited him to lunch in Newhaven and after collecting a Sea captains jacket from Gladrags for the evenings Murder Mystery he headed off, but not before realising he had left his trousers at home and turned back. This raised a highly questionable image but they were the trousers for his costume and he had not, as Peta envisioned left home in his underwear. They enjoyed a curry and when Stephen arrived they set off for a walk on the cliffs. It was damp and Nicholas took a tumble in the hillside and ended up covered in mud. He enjoyed the sight of slag heaps at the docks, a gun store and the various decayed sea defenses that littered the escarpment He was portraying Captain Bob Upanddown with Debbie at the evenings performance which went extremely well. He was feeling in fine improvisational mode and the guests seemed to enjoy his largess. It had been a long day, but he managed to enjoy a long conversation with his friend Simon in Leeds before sleeping. Sunday was all about work. He was up early to get ready for work at Phileas Foggs world of Adventure. He wasn’t keen on spending all day in reception but the experience was immensely entertaining. Playing with the guests suited him perfectly. It felt like a long day and though Nicholas was tired he couldn’t face sitting at home watching TV or on the computer so he booked himself a ticket to see Everybody Knows, at the Duke of Yorks, an intense Spanish thriller which was not what he would describe as easy viewing and its disturbing kidnap story line preyed on his mind as he went to sleep and populated his dreams. It was with an astonishing burst of energy that he entered the day on Monday. The sun was up and he believed he had never felt the power of the it’s life force more powerfully than he did that morning. He was meeting Vivienne an actress from LA, who was a friend of Nate and Josh, with whom he had spent Christmas feeding the homeless on Venice beach the previous year. They had a wonderful time taking a walk along the seafront and coming across a fabulous photography exhibition on the beach in which a friend, Colleen was exhibiting some wonderfully atmospheric images of Brighton’s coast. They wandered through to the North Laines, and Nicholas was reminded as they past one of Brighton’s historic buildings that the early Cinematographer Frieze-Greene had lived and worked there. They enjoyed a lunch at Infinity Kitchen and then parted the best of friends with promises of keeping in touch. Nicholas called in to see Cole and discuss their upcoming travels and was happy to see MoJo and George were there. He made it a brief visit as it was getting late and he had to drive to Hampstead Theatre in London to see Eden an engrossing and interesting play loosely based on the story of Donald Trump buying protected land in Scotland to build a golf course. He found himself getting tetchy with the impatient and reckless drivers had to endure on his journey home and when he got in the energy, which had reached its zenith that day, deserted him and he collapsed exhausted into bed relived that he would be waking into a day f nothing.
Nicholas Quirke was in a queue, in the rain, hungry, waiting around and not even the treasures of the National Galleries could alleviate his impatience. He was, however, able to end the day feeling smug and self satisfied
Nicholas Quirke was felling as energised at 1 am as he had at 7 am when he had woken on the day of 4th March 2019. He had chatted on social network the night before with his friend Simon in Leeds which had helped clear his mind and with this new found clarity he began his day with some housekeeping and mopped the floors. He spoke with Dee and with Jaz and then set off to meet Cole. There had been a misunderstanding regarding a carpet so he had to clear up the confusion with Cole and Eileen. Then an early Lunch in the wonderful Loving Hut with his offspring. He had a full evening in London ahead of him which required an early start. It was a very easy drive and he had been able to find a very convenient parking space. He met Peta, who had invited him to the Private View of a major exhibition celebrating the work of Martin Parr outside the Portrait Gallery and they enjoyed a swift drink at the Lime Tree before immersing themselves in the colorful and bold work of Martin Parr. Nicholas was delighted by the camp, quirky work of this photographer whose self portraits in photo booths around the world echoed his own interest in exploring the presentation of self. The exhibition created a portrait of humanity which was dazzling and fun, capturing a spirit of optimism in its irony. He was delighted to bump into Cole’s tutor Ewa and was dissapointed that he had to leave to get to the Theatre. He arrived in time to take his seat for Admissions at Trafalgar Studios, an extremely provocative, funny play about Racism, political correctness and hypocrisy. He was delighted that not only was his old friend, Alex Kingston in it but it featured Margot Leicester whose light touch as an actress never failed to astonish and please him. After the show he ventured backstage to see Alex and was horrified to find a collection of crazes waiting outside the stage door to greet her. He was given access and was able to have a brief and heartfelt reunion before she faced the throng of fans. He discovered that Kate was meeting her flate mates from 30 years ago in Waterloo and as it was on his route home he joined them. Another fun fueled reunion. It did mean that he didn’t set off for home till after 11 pm and he was not going to get back to Brighton in time to go to the staff party for Phileas Foggs world of Adventure. But it was still with a happy and heart that Nicholas got home and retired to bed.
Nicholas Quirke was fasting and adhering to an Ash Wednesday custom of the catholic church, he was writing a novel and reading and absorbing the lives of others. It was a difficult day.
Nicholas Quirke was learning some simple life lessons on 26th February 1980; Had he outstayed his welcome? Was familiarity breeding contempt? Could his fragile, youthful ego withstand the knowledge that not everyone liked him.
Nicholas Quirke was acting on a whim and found he was stretching himself and doing some some hard work for college, which made him feel positive and creative.