I had a dream last night that I was in the west of Ireland and had left a pub to go in search of a mandolin so I could join the session. (This is dream bravado, of course – I've had three lessons and can play two and a half tunes at walking pace). I wandered through the night, getting completely lost, until I came to a little boreen and turned down it. At the end of this lane was a large, modern detached house, surrounded by grass. I knocked on the door and the writer Arthur Mathews answered it. Yes, he said, there used to be a mandolin here. He invited me in. He would have a look, he said.
The house was huge inside, with many corridors and dark rooms with big modern furniture. I could hear Arthur talking from somewhere but his voice was growing faint. I then glimpsed some light and walked down another dark corridor until I came to a small white room which had had a whole wall removed. It was a bit like Darth Sidious's anti-chamber on the Death Star in Star Wars. In the middle of this white room, on a big white chair, sat Graham Linehan (Arthur's former writing partner), reading a tabloid. I introduced myself and tried not to to be too fawning. He sort of grunted and carried on reading. Then Arthur reappeared with lots of other people and we all went in to a big living room. One of them was Graham's Brazilian model girlfriend/wife who said she had a really bad headache. Most of them were drinking some kind of green potion to get rid of hangovers. Then Arthur made milky coffee for everyone. I sat on a big sofa next to Graham and Mary McAleese (President of Ireland) stood up and started to explain who they all were. Graham turned to me and said something but it was in a faint, high-pitched shouty voice. It sounded like "It's the half-term holiday!" Then the voice got louder. "What? What are you trying to tell me Graham?" Then I was lying awake in bed and my kids were upstairs shouting and jumping up and down on their beds. "It's the half term holiday!"