Places and people ….aren’t they what makes life interesting and new places and people expand our horizons and keep us engaged. We seem to have lost our way a bit in the world recently and for many of us, me included, life is overwhelming and depressing…people don’t live up to expectations, relationships disappoint and world events are frightening. Time for a change of scenery and people, if only for a while. This has been my experience recently.
I was invited to go to Ireland to appear in a new documentary about Peter O’Toole…as one of those who worked with him and happy to do so. The consensus being that THE LION IN WINTER might have been his best performance…I don’t know…he was brilliant in so many films.
Apart from filming this new documentary, which was a pleasure to do, working with delightful, talented people in a stunning location, I had a wonderful time in Ireland. It is a beautiful country full of mad, wonderful people, who have a real zest for life. And none of it to be taken too seriously.
I think that was one thing I appreciated about Peter..he took none of life too seriously, only his work, his acting.
The Producer,Brian O’Flaherty was generous with my expenses and I stayed in a lovely hotel by the sea in Dun Laoghaire, which filled my head and heart with joy…the sea is favourite with me. The sun shone every day and sitting on the lawn, or walking on the pier, watching the boats, large and small was calming. I stayed there for a week, did my bit of filming and re-charged my batteries, had lunch with another online friend Jimmy Keary, seen here and then went to stay with some friends in Howth…the other side of Dublin.
I met Michael Feeney Callan, award winning author, online. I am a great fan of Robert Redford and Michael had written a definitive biography of Redford, which was fascinating and revealing. It presented the man, as I had imagined him to be…intelligent, talented and ambitious. I wrote to Mike…(thank you internet), congratulating him on the book and it seemed, he likes my work too, so he wrote back and an online friendship began. He said also…” if you’re ever in Ireland, come and stay with me and my wife, Ree”. I took him at his word and invited myself to stay for a few days. They generously accepted my self- invitation, without hesitation and I had a great few days with them….both delightful and very interesting people. Mike is one of those, with whom you sit down for a bit of casual chit- chat and will end up in a two hour deep conversation about life, people, motives, Jung, literature and so much else.
After spending quite a lot of time on my own ( often my decision), this was an absolute joy…to get away from technology…the media, just the everyday pattern of many of our lives, the engagement and conversation were wonderful.
This stay in Ireland was special and one to be kept in the virtual book of memories. I should also add, we filmed all of the interiors for THE LION IN WINTER in the Ardmore studios close to Dun Laoghaire. AND as a child I stayed in Dun Laoghaire with my Aunt and Uncle, temporarily based there, in the house, which had the Martello Tower adjacent, in which, James Joyce wrote much of his work. It is now a Museum. How’s that for serendipity?
So now I am back in London for a bit, waiting on two films, which, being independent and given the state of world finance, are taking their time to happen and some personal appearances, which are always fun.
Be well friends, be optimistic, we have been through bad times, many times, in history!
Till next time!