Some philanthropists, solicitous about the possibility of my becoming bored with so much leisure at my disposal, naively advised me to open ‘a wee shop’. However recalling all the money I had paid out of my own pocket for pens, pencils, jotters, catechisms, readers, copies and rubbers for some of my old pupils (who did me up to the two eyes!) I decided to steer clear and wide of any commercial reef. When I was young I had often heard people talk in awed tones of so-and-so who was in Stubbs Gazette. I therefore had no great urge to appear in that dreaded chronicle of financial disasters. Wisely I decided to play it cool.
Every morning, waiting till the streets are well-aired, I lie in bed, not having to clock in any more. I read the civil register page of the Irish News and, on discovering that I have not yet died, I rise and start the day. Sometimes on my ambles I catch a glimpse of the academy wherein I wrought for so many (forty) years. It still looks right well from the outside, but not having entered it for the past ten years, I cannot vouch any more for the inside! Truth be told, for all I know or feel or care, I might never have been inside it!
Speaking truthfully, it evokes no nostalgia whatever!
…. more later …