“Bringing organic food to Bray? If they’d said ‘deep-fried’, we’d have focking jumped on it and we’d all be as rich as Denis O’Brien tonight”
I arrive home from Paris on Sunday night with a hangover that hates me, but – and this is me definitely calling it – happier than I was the day my children were born. I’m in the door literally five seconds when Sorcha says something that brings me crashing back to earth.
“Get changed,” she goes. “Claire and Garret are coming over for supper!”
She’s talking about Claire and Garret from, like, Brayruit of all places.
I’m like, “Why? Why do we have to have them here?”
She goes, “Claire rang me yesterday and said she had something big to tell me. I’m wondering is she pregnant? She’s put on a bit of weight recently and her skin is awful and that’s not me being a bitch. Ross, go and get changed out of that smelly Ireland jersey. They’ll be here soon.”
I trudge up the stairs, grab a quick Jack Bauer and, by the time I’ve thrown clean threads on, I can hear their voices downstairs in the hall. Sorcha is telling Claire that she looks – oh my God – so well. The female mind is like an internet browser with 26 pages open at the same time.
I tip downstairs.
Me and Claire do the whole mwoi-mwoi thing, while he just stands there, grinning and shaking his head in just, like, general disapproval of me. The real issue, of course, is that I wiggled Claire’s toes more than a few times back in the day and he isn’t grown-up enough to accept the fact.
“Ross was in Paris!” Sorcha goes. “Oh my God, I was so happy for the players!”
And Garret – this is, like, literally word for word – goes, “Meh. Sports people aren’t heroes to me.”
“If I wasn’t in such a good mood,” I go, “I’d put you out that door on your focking head.”
He hates rugby. Always has. Claire ends up having to step in between us, going, “Oh my God, Sorcha, we haven’t even sat down and these two are already at it!”
I give him a long stare, then Sorcha goes, “Anyway, come in and sit down. I found this recipe for an amazing workhouse stew with a gourmet twist. I hope you both like Dijon. Garret, you’ve brought your own beer.”
He’s like, “Yeah, no offence, but since I got into craft beers, I just refuse to drink anything else. You don’t get the same toasted cereal depth,” and he hands me a little cordboard carrier with six bottles of a thing called, I don’t know, Hacker-Pschorr in it and he tells me to put it in the fridge for him, like I’m the hired help.
Sorcha dishes up the stew and we sit around the dining room table eating it while Sorcha steals sly little looks at Claire for clues as to whether she’s up the spout or not.
Garret goes, “Did anyone see what Morgan Kelly was saying the other day about the threat to the Irish economy posed by our treatment of small to medium enterprises?”
I go, “For fock’s sake!” because I know what this is about – Wheat Bray Love, the organic bakery and coffee shop they tried to set up until the banks told them to go and hump themselves. The most sensible decision that anyone working in an Irish financial institution has made in the last 30 years.