Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pat O'Flaherty, Des Stokes and the Crowls

I know it’s been sometime since I wrote anything on the Hannagan blog. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to but because I’m in England with Celia, and we’re a bit out of contact with our NZ rellies, for the most part.
However today we went to visit Pat O’Flaherty (and Miriam) at their Ketton Christmas Tree place. It’s a ten acre block, not entirely covered with Christmas trees, with a 120-year-old house they’ve been doing up and various large outbuildings. Pat wasn’t home when we arrived, so fortunately we took a bit of time to have a cup of coffee from our onboard supply. By the time we’d finished, she arrived. And furthermore, she told us that Des Stokes was riding back on a bicycle! It was only the hottest day we’ve had so far, so we expected him to arrive in a lather of sweat, but nope: he looked as fresh as a daisy, and not at all hot and bothered. I’d forgotten - or hadn’t realised - he was staying with Pat while he was over here, so it was great timing to have been there when he was. He’s off on the Continent for a week about the same time we go to Luxembourg, but I don’t think we’ll run into him over there.
Pat filled me in a bit on Terry O’Flaherty, about whom I haven’t heard a thing for years. He’s in Perth, and his wife died when she was forty, leaving him to bring up two daughters, who are now in their late teens. He’s been very unwell himself in the last few years, but currently is okay. I haven’t seen him since was a teenager himself - at Jack Hannagan’s wedding. Terry, Jack’s bigger brother, took Terry O’Flaherty and me out for something to eat between the wedding and the reception. And I couldn’t eat whatever was put before me, for some reason.
Pat will probably growl at me for publishing a photo of her - since we nearly didn't get one of her at all - but it was a somewhat historic occasion!