To answer Arlene’s call

Have you read the new Harry Potter? says she. Harry Potter and the Invisible Border.

Sounds good, says I. What’s it about?

Well, says she, sitting down in her throne overlooking the serene waters of Lough Erne, it’s about these delusional people who speak a strange Celtic language and claim that evil overlords use brute force to intimidate them around the border between their land and land that was once theirs.

Is it kind of like Trump and his wall?

Well you know, says she, reaching for another battenberg slice that the lady’s club baked this morning, there is no wall, there never was and there is no border, there never was, so I guess they are the same, yes.

So are these Celtic people like the Mexicans?

No, Mexicans speak a language that I recognise. Spanish is not used to oppress people. Speakers of Gaelic use it as a weapon of mass destruction.

Gaelic, isn’t that the one that uses the Módh Cionniollach?

Exactly! They condemn the use of tear gas, but resort to torture like the Módh Cionniollach and the notorious Tuiseal Ginideach. These people are morally bankrupt.

So, there is tear gas used in the story, is there?

Well, hypothetically, if there were to be a border… that is to say, if one was to materialise… as in, the book refers to there having been a border that disappeared, so let’s say it were to reappear, although we both know that such a border never existed, well then in that case, I would imagine that there could be tear gas employed by the forces of the crown should they deem it necessary to use it in the face of the Celtic linguists. Do you follow?

Eh…So there is a border in the book?

Well of course there’s a border. There has to be a border. How else are they to protect themselves? Her lips frothed at the sides. Had she had any battenberg left, she may have thrown it at me at that point.

Do you believe in Santa? says I.

There is no Santa. There has never been a Santa. I believe in Santa. The Torys know my stance on Santa. I am fully supportive of the deployment of Santa across the Union.

I could smell kindling burning, as though a campfire were being started. The scorched smell was accompanied with a crackling that built up to a loud hiss when her eyes popped from her head revealing a mass of burning tangleweed inside. Her nose caught fire and burned in an instant, reducing to a splatter, not unlike duck pâte, that dripped down her chin and onto her navy Hobbs’ two piece.

I admired the view on the way out. Across on Lough Erne, a lonesome boatman made his way across the peaceful waters: a dove sat calmly on the mast.