Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Woke this morning to the tremendous news that it looks as if Michael D shall be President of Ireland.
The truth is, I have not really been following this much. The main thing that was reported here was that Martin McGuinness was getting very awkward questions about his past as an IRA commander, and what he did when, and whether he, literally, knew where the bodies were buried. (One of the cruellest things about the paramilitary groups is that they would take away sons in the night, and mothers and sisters sometimes too, shoot them, bury them in some godforsaken grave, and never tell the family where, so there was no body to mourn.) Anyway, despite the fact that I have loved the thought of Michael D Higgins ever since The Saw Doctors wrote their great shout of joy about him, which I listened to all through my twenties as I drove about Connemara in the shadow of the Twelve Bens, I had not really taken in that he was running.
In mitigation, I offer: book obsession.
A couple of days ago, there were news reports that he had suddenly surged in the polls, almost entirely because he had trounced all the other candidates in a debate. The thing I loved most about the trouncing is that it came not from clever rhetoric or calculated positioning, but, apparently, from clarity and straightforwardness and good English. Michael D speaks in honest sentences (he is a poet, after all), and does not use jargon or weasel words. This felt like rather a profound victory to me.
The results are still coming in, but it looks like Michael D is still rocking. And hurrah for that.
In the afternoon, I walked with the stepsister and small niece, who are visiting, and the stepfather, through the oak woods, past the tiny standing stones that sit there, by the coos, and round back down the lime avenue. The air was clear and still and the ground was cool and mossy and earthy under our feet and the colours were gleaming. We talked of birds and trees and dogs and the meaning of names. The Pigeon had a perfectly splendid time and is now whacked out on the sofa, exhausted from her afternoon.
Pictures are of what we saw on our walk:
The standing stones:
The Pigeon, checking for rabbits:
The beeches, which were green only two days ago, are now blazing amber:
The trees on the hill:
The splendid coos:
Pigeon, thoughtful for her close-up:
And here, in honour of the wonderful Michael D Higgins, is his very own song. I try never to tell the readers what to do, but you really do need to play this at full volume:
The Irish really could not have chosen a better fellow.