Wednesday 23 September 2009

A mighty craic - or several

What was best about today? It's hard to choose.

It could have been the eager young man at the Museum of Country Life explaining how yesterday's random walls were make-work shemes for men to earn their aid; or rationalising boys in skirts up to the age of 13. Or driving past great beetling bare hills with green fields at their feet and black peat bogs dug with deep channels. Or the passionate amateur archeologist describing how 15 people and 4 cattle fitted inside a stone cottage not much bigger than our bathroom, as clouds swirled over the mountain top behind him and waves broke high on the rocks beyond a pewter lake. Or listening to his stories about the people who fled this deserted village in the hope of a better life in foreign lands, leaving behind all that was familiar.

Or maybe cantering on a well-mannered grey mare through the shallows along a pebbled beach to a headland where a fierce current swirled through the narrow channel cutting it off from one of the 300 islands in the bay; and then turning to see St Patrick's church clear and tiny on the top of his mountain where pilgrims climb up barefoot one morning a year.

Or standing by the simple and powerful Famine Memorial, a ship with skeletons forming the rigging.

Or maybe in the yard bar of Matt Molloy's pub in Westport, where a man with a pony tail played his own comic songs and shared his excitement about flying to New York tomorrow to perform - another Irishman heading off across the Atlantic full of hope. Good luck to him.

1 comment:

the queen said...

And to think Gary asked me this evening why I enjoyed travelling.


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