Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Fiona Bruce*

  • Nicholas Bowen
  • Nicholas Browne
  • Sean Burke

I am back in Cardiff for Sean's mother's funeral later today. Rather poignantly - having written about Nicholas and Jeremy Bowen earlier this week (passim) - I have remembered that when registration was called in primary school I was sandwiched between Nick and Sean.

Sean's "real" name is John, but he has always been called Sean in and outside the family so as not to be confused with his father, also John. I always thought that this was an idiosyncratic Burke thing, but no. John Ford, the director identified himself as Sean to, and was called Sean by, all his oldest and best friends for exactly the same reason. An ice-breaker anecdote for me to keep in my back pocket for this afternoon.

Sean and Rod, met in Pamplona all those years ago (passim) and Rod lives in Crete now. Between us we have been scheming to get Sean over there for a break. I could fly over there with him. I imagine he must be weary after - to all intents and purposes - living with to care for his mother for months on end. Another one for today's back-pocket for all that Crete seems to have burst into flames since we came up with the idea.

*Fiona Bruce

Alphabetical order being on my mind, I have remembered that in 2011 I got an invitation to a Media reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II  at Buckingham Palace. (Me along with Pete O'Sullivan as I remember, yet another brother of someone with whom I was in school; more circumstantial evidence of the Splott silver spoon?)

Who knows? Anyway there was a definite irony charged frisson when I picked up my ID badge from the table on which they were laid out as it was immediately above Fiona Bruce's. (She would have been between me and Sean when registration was called.)


I found this video when I was Googling to double check the date of the reception. I can remember being appalled (on their behalf!) by all the obsequious fawning the hosts had to endure with smiles on their faces. I recall thinking "I wouldn't want to be the Duchess of Cambridge," before realising that that particular phobia could probably safely be stashed in the "cross that bridge when I come to it" file.

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