Tuesday 16 September 2014

Salve Arian

I've mentioned the über-talented singer-song writer Feibhár B-W before in passing.  She's just 20 now and I'm happy to report that she is not pregnant . . . any more, because on her own birthday this last Sunday she delivered herself (with a bit of help from the stout-hearted and persistently kind midwives of St Luke's, Kilkenny) of a small human boy-child 7lb 3oz on the scales. That's 2.84kg is modern weight  but I don't imagine they are going to recalibrate the scales in Irish hospitals any time soon.  I dropped by the maternity ward on my way home after the first day's teaching at The Institute.

Perfect timing!  I arrived just after the delivery of a rather sad "tea" consisting of a pot of tea (which Feibhár never drinks) two slices of bread, five small slices of cheese in two artificial colours, a small quartered tomato and a wilting lettuce leaf. So I saved a refreshing cuppa, the slice of brown bread and what remained of the butter from landfill. Shortly afterwards the wean half stirred from his sleep and I was allowed to pick him up and put him back in the Land of Nod with his ear checking out a chap's heartbeat. Brilliant - they're never so sweet as when they are really fresh.  It helps of course that as soon as babies get distressingly noisy, men can hand them back and go down the pub.

Feibhár was waggishly so named because immediately after her birth in London 20 years ago, the father and the favorite auntie nipped across the road to buy more cigarettes. When they arrived at the shop they realised that neither of them had any money, so they reluctantly turned round.  As they crossed the car-park they saw a £5 note on the tarmac, which in those long-gone days was enough to buy a pack of cigs. They irishified the word Fiver to Feibhár ,which people who read but have no Irish (that's most of the 7 billion of us) pronounce "fibre".  "Arian" was arrived at through several interwoven threads but it transpires that it means silver or money in Welsh, the same as argent works for both in French. I imagine we'll hear about him on youtube or in the National Concert Hall in due course.

Knowing from her own experience what hospital tea was likely to be, The Granny arrived shortly after me with a meat and potatoes dinner for the exhausted new mother.  All the new mother wanted to do was sleep, so I got to take her dinner home with me.  It really was a most satisfactory visit.

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