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I was on a shoot in rural Ireland recently and a local told me about an old house once owned by a librarian named 'Birdie'.
Birdie Higgins moved out of this house 14 years ago and went to live in a retirement home. Time almost seems to have stood still since her leaving and me arriving.
She died 3 years ago at the age of 94.
The hidden poem in the frame on the fireplace reads. "A Prayer for those who live Alone"
"I live alone, dear Lord, stay by my side,
In all my daily needs be my guide.
Grant me good health, for that I pray,
To carry on my work from day to day.
Keep pure my mind, my thoughts, my every deed,
Let me be kind and unselfish in my neighbor's need.
Spare me from fire, from flood and
From thieves, from fear, and evil ones.
If sickness or an accident befall,
Then humbly, Lord, I pray, hear my call.
And when I'm feeling low, or in despair,
Lift up my heart, and help me in my prayer.
I live alone, dear Lord, yet have no fear,
Because I feel Your presence ever near. Amen.
In the morning, fill us with your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy to balance our affliction
for the years when we knew misfortune."