It’s two in the morning when the phone starts to ring. I stumble onto the landing; this being the early 80s and cordless phones the stuff of science fiction.
“Hello!” A voice bellows in my ear. Very loud; very Irish. “Is Mary there?”
“It’s two o’clock in the morning,” I answer. “She’ll be in bed.”
“Is Mary there?” comes back the yell. “It’s her brother in New York.”
“It’s still two o’clock in the morning – she’ll still be in bed,” I repeat.
“Can you get Mary for me?” I give up, go downstairs and bang on the bedroom door.
“Your brother’s on the phone again.” Eventually Mary appears, dressing-gowned and curlered. I make my way back to bed while my landlady and Seamus yell across the Atlantic at each other.
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In the beginning of years, when the world was so new and all, a trip to the pictures gave you much, much more than a main feature.
Not being quite as old as my class imagine, I don’t personally remember cinema-organists; although ActorLaddie had a great-uncle who, rather romantically, met his wife when they were both playing in the pit orchestra for a silent movie.
All I can offer in comparison is a very close relative who met her husband while bunking into a cinema. She was, apparently, the designated chump who paid for a ticket and then opened the back door for the others. She denies it now, of course, and claims they met in a coffee bar. But then she would, wouldn’t she?