On our way to Galway in the van, we saw him, black plastic cape flapping wildly, the wings of a monstrous crow caught in a squall. Soaked, he extended a bony thumb and as we passed, I saw he was an old man, maybe in his eighties, his lined face screwed up tightly against the rain. He was an unlikely hitcher but we stopped, brakes squealing in the wet. I shoved up closer to Joe on the bench seat. The man smelt of wet sheep. “Where to ?” I asked him, “Monroe’s bar, a few miles on,” he boomed out, surprising loudly and cheerfully after his drenching “Drop me there and I’ll stand you a drink and a game of cards.” Later, several pints of Guinness and an unfathomable card game later, he trapped me in a dingy corridor on my way to the loo and begged me to marry him. I told him I wasn’t very good at looking after sheep.