Luck of the Irish

I’ve recently read a Maeve Binchy novel (Whitethorn Woods). Yes I did. Yes I know it is not challenging literature. But it is lovely escapism.

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Maeve Binchy’s novels are full of Irish romance, where everything goes wrong and then there you are! Everything works out and the lovers finally get together… and we all sit back and go well, escapism fiction what do you expect.


Except, when we were in Ireland (photos here), we met a couple who could have come straight from a Maeve Binchy novel. It’s true. And I didn’t realise it until I read another Maeve the other week.

We went to a pub in Ballina one night…we were staying in the very swish Mt Falcon Hotel… and we thought we’d experience “an authentic village Irish pub”. So we went to this bar and feeling a little self conscious headed upstairs to balcony table which overlooked the main bar. There was another bar upstairs so we were close to drinks…

Anyway we started playing Brag to fill the spaces in our conversation and this Irish chap started chatting to us and wanted to be dealt in. He was with his sister and brother-in-law. Now it’s been a little while since this conversation so I’m going on my gut remembering what was said but the sister told me how she met her bloke.

She’s from a family of five or six and she had been seeing this fellow and they’d booked a scuba diving weekend away together to learn how to scuba dive but they broke up. Devastated she decided she needed to get away anyway and she went on the holiday alone.

Day one she turns up at this diving centre and signs up and she meets this fellow. She wasn’t very nice to him as I remember… but that evening as she’s dining alone she sees him again and he joins her table. She tells him the whole sorry story. Turns out he’s the diving instructor and at the end of the weekend they’ve fallen in love.

But not only that, he’s made a squillion on telcos and was just doing the diving job for something to do… he doesn’t have to work. His family situation is fraught too. His parents died when he was a teenager… 17 or 18 and he brought up his sister.

Anyway they are together and the brother is a bit of tear-away and wanted to go into business with them but they decided not to do it.

Does this not sound like a Maeve Binchy novel plot to you?!!!

Oh that’s right. You haven’t read Maeve Binchy.

It is JUST LIKE a Maeve Binchy novel.

And then! And then the brother-in-law/dive instructor/squillionaire tells us his accountant used to be Ken Crew.

Yes. The guy that died of a shark attack off Cottesloe Beach.

How amazing is that for a coincidence!

It was like WE were in a Maeve Binchy novel, and the funny thing was, until I read that Whitethorn Woods book the other day I didn’t even realise it…