Yesterday, I heard a programme on radio advising the exploration of our own areas, with the aid of an old "six inch" map showing the old buildings and features, so it was no wonder that in my sleep I should find myself walking around Georgian Dublin observing all that was to be seen.
I entered a lovely Georgian street and noticed a grand building behind a fancy courtyard. I entered the building and found myself in a room that was a cross between a hotel foyer and a grand bank of the 19th century. There were comfortable seats all around the large room, shelves of books here and there, and more books disposed randomly around.
"A reading room!" I guessed.
I sat down in a comfortable chair and took up a magazine from the nearby coffee table. The pages in the magazine were of a thick semi-glossy paper, so I surmised the magazine was one to be kept rather than read and thrown away. It was entitled "The Works of John Bonham." Now the wine I had with my dinner yesterday was labelled "Bonpas," (Cote du Rhone) so I guess this is where the name "Bonham" came from.
I had never heard of John Bonham, so hoped that glancing through the magazine would give me an idea of what his works were like. However, when I opened the magazine, I found a typed page pinned onto the magazine page. The typed page seemed to be a contract that John Bonham had signed with the Department of Arts and Culture. However, a lot of the typed content had been struck out, and different conditions, written in ink, written in instead.
I turned from page to page in the magazine, but all I could find was more and more one-page contracts signed by John Bonham.
"Ah," I said to myself, "It looks like the civil servant dealing with Bonham was given the task of signing up Bonham at all costs, no matter what changes had to be made to the contract to get him to sign."
A well-fed, prosperous-looking man came in the front door of the reading room, passed across the room into an inner room, calling "Mr Brown" as he entered. With that one of the gentlemen sitting in the room got up and followed the prosperous man into the other room.
"Ah," I said to myself, "This is obviously a waiting room for a highly-paid medical consultant."
I no longer felt comfortable lounging there, so I put the magazine back on the table and made my way to the door.
Two other gentlemen reached the door at the same time. I soon learned that their surnames were Harrington and Moody.
"So," said Harrington to me, "This is not for you?"
"No!" I replied dubiously.
"But, no doubt," said he, "You have some savings?"
"Well," I said, "You would hardly have reached my age without some little bit of cash in the bank."
"Perhaps you have a few thousand or so," he said.
"Maybe so and maybe not," I said, as I moved away from him.
As I left, I saw Moody advising Harrington. He brushed a bit of dust or debris from his shoulder and, apparently, advised him always to wear a clean shirt and keep his tie straight. Then he advised him to say to himself, "I'm the best; I'm the best;" then put a smile on his face and approach the next potential client with confidence.
"So," I thought, "It was not a medical practice. It was a stock-broker's or financial adviser's."
Harrington was there to pick up customers disillusioned with the firm. He saw me considering what the firm was offering (the magazine of contracts I had perused), apparently rejecting it, and leaving. He had hoped to pick me up as a client, lure my savings from me to invest on my behalf.
Well, yesterday also saw the news about Davy Stockbrokers being fined by the Central Bank, so my devious subconscious mind was bringing all the news into personal perspective.