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“What do you fancy for dinner?”
 
“I dunno”
 
I was hunched over the piano warming down my voice after rehearsing with Paula Cox and Mick Egan, a bit miserable I was; nursing the latter half of a stinking cold. Clare was halfway out the door, and was fed up making decisions about food.  And tired of looking at me slumped in the corner like a heap of misery.
 
“Well give me a clue, smoked haddock?”
 
“Ugh, no thanks……….. Actually!…….” I lit  “I think I fancy a stew”
 
“Well it’s all there, some of the filling from that cottage pie is still there in the pot, and there is a pound of minced turkey in the fridge”, said she, relieved that I was contributing.
 
“Frozen?”
 
“No, it’s fresh”
 
“Oh OK then I will make a stew, with the turkey, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, pearl barley, onion, stock and herbs ( I didn’t really say all of that) ”
So I made the stew, and we just ate it here by a blazing fire, on this freezing cold Wexford night in the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen.
 
Last night my good friend the Wex Doc - David Curtis sorted me out with some penicillin, I begged him for help cos I was losing my mind.  Every time I coughed my chest hurt, and then my mind hurt with worry about being able to sing properly on Monday night for the RTE Radio 1 show Arena, on which they have asked me to sing two live songs.  The pills are kicking in now thanks be to Jasus, and I’m on the mend. You can listen in here, at 7 p.m. Irish time on Monday night.
 
Doing these church gigs is not easy, but they are worth it.  I drive to Dublin for rehearsals with the organist Josh Johnston, and Garvan Gallagher (the bassist) who drives down from Westmeath to meet us at the Dublin Unitarian in Stephens Green.  And then I rehearse with Mick and Paula in Wexford.  I go up and down like a whore's drawers, and with the cold it’s been extra tough, under-singing all the while so as not to strain the voice. We also have a trombone player joining us, have yet to meet him.  Each unit sounds great on its own though, and the magic is when they all come together. The gig is next Friday the 25th and you can book here
 
It’s been a cupla two tree fy years since I’ve been in Ireland for Christmas. I’m beginning to feel it in my bones. There’ll be night in the day, and everywhere the fairy lights will wrestle with the winter's way, and a pilot has dropped me, dropped me down from the Christmas clouds, December 22, 23, 24, I can hear the angels sing.

I look forward to seeing you.

Love Pierce xxxx

Dublin: Unitarian Church, Nov 25th, tickets here
Wexford: St Iberius Church, Dec 3rd, tickets here
Cork: Coughlans, Dec 8th, tickets here
Limerick: 1 Pery Square, Dec 12th, email tpprendergast@yahoo.com to book
Glasgow: Tron Theatre, Jan 20th, tickets here
Naul, Co. Dublin: Seamus Ennis Centre, Feb 4th, tickets not yet on sale
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