Previous parts are here. If you haven’t been following the story, this episode won’t make any sense. Could be fun anyway though.
“Is it just yourself for breakfast then?” The landlady looked Davy up and down with cool disapproval, eyebrows raised.
“Yes, of course,” Davy replied, frowning with confusion, “just me. Why do you ask..?” Then he realised. Bloody Hell. Oh Jesus, no. His chest tightened as a wave of anxiety shot through him, and his face began to glow.
“Maybe you can help me,” she said sternly, “I was watching a programme last night on UTV, about some girls from here who went over to California looking for work. They seemed to think it was a great place, nice warm climate and all that. Plenty of opportunities for hard-working people. But you know, when I was watching it, I couldn’t help thinking to myself that everything out there seemed a bit … fake or something, like everyone was acting. Our girls couldn’t see it, of course, lapped it up. Which do you prefer: Irish girls or American girls?”
Davy shifted in his seat, and mumbled, “I know what you mean. Give me a good down-to-earth Irish girl any time.”
“Very loud, those American girls,” she said archly, “aren’t they?” Davy stared at the place mat in silence for some seconds, as if the secret to teleportation was written on it, and then looking up, managed a thin smile.
“Oh, I think I know what you’re talking about,” he said, “I didn’t have anyone in my room, if that’s what you’re thinking.” Her eyes bored into him, probing the deepest corners of his being. Davy glanced down nervously, paused, and then continued: “I was listening to the radio. There was a play on.” He swallowed and laughed awkwardly, adding: “It was a bit racy for my liking, actually…” He glanced up to see that she was still staring at him. After a couple of seconds the tight line of her mouth began to turn up at the corners, and then a burst of laughter exploded from her.
“Jesus, that’s hilarious,” she eventually managed to say, breathlessly, with her shoulders still heaving, “I thought you had some young thing in there with you.”
Davy smiled back at her, relief written across his face, and said, “Good grief, me? With a girl? I …”
She cut across him, “Same as yesterday, then?” Davy nodded. She paused and then said, “Maybe I should give you two eggs … you need to keep your strength up, Romeo.”
The colour rising in his face again, he mumbled, “No thanks, one’s enough.”
“Right you are then.” She turned and went towards the door chuckling.
As she left the room, he could clearly hear her singing, “It’s all over … Casanova.”
Back in the room, Davy powered Jo up. After a few seconds she blinked into life and said, “Morning, love. How are you?”
“Here, I just had a close one with the landlady,” he blurted, “she overheard us … you … yesterday. Thought I had a girl up here.”
“Oh my gosh,” Jo replied anxiously, “what did you do?”
“Well, I managed to put her off; told her I was listening to the radio … Jesus. She was really fierce, I thought I’d had it. Ended up she was laughing her head off though. It was tight.”
“Poor you.” Jo sympathised, “It must have been really embarrassing.” She paused for a moment, then added, “But quite funny too when you think about it. Your face must have been a picture.”
“I haven’t hit a reddener like that since I was a teenager,” Davy answered darkly, “I was scundered. It was terrible. We’ll have to be more careful in future, I don’t want that happening again.”
“Aye aye, captain,” Jo replied airily, “caution at all times. Discretion shall be my watchword.”
“Good. Now I suppose we’d better get ready to hit the road for Donegal, it’s a long enough drive.” Davy got up from the edge of the bed, and started to walk towards the bathroom.
After a short pause Jo said softly, “About Donegal …”
“Yes, go on.”
“Well, it’s just that there’s so much to see round here on the North Coast. I’d like to explore round here a bit more.”
“So, are you saying we should skip Gweedore and just stay here for the whole weekend?” Davy answered.
“Would you mind awfully?” I’m just thinking about Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Have you ever been across it? I’d love to experience that. And there’s the Giant’s Causeway; we could have a picnic at Whitepark Bay, maybe even go to Rathlin Island. What do you think?”
Davy mulled it over for a moment. “You know what? That sounds grand. There’s so much here I’ve never seen; seems like a real shame to have all this on your doorstep and not experience it. Not sure I can take yer woman giving me gip at the breakfast table though,” he continued thoughtfully, then added, “Ach what the hell. It’s nice here, and we can always go to Donegal another time. I’ll see if she can have us for the rest of the weekend.”
“Oh that’s great! What shall we do today then?”
Davy glanced out of the window. “It’s a gorgeous day. What about a picnic at Whitepark Bay, and a look at the rope bridge? Does that sound good?”
“Sounds perfect. I’ve had a look and there are other places to see round there as well: Larry Bane chalk quarry looks interesting; it’s right by the sea. And Ballintoy has a lovely little harbour.”
“That’s decided then,” Davy answered cheerfully, “I’ll go and talk to yer woman.”