We Calls 'em
Like we sees 'em...our lame media could take some pointers in reporting veracity and audacity!
We decided to lounge about today and take it easy. This means starting out the day with my espresso, some Marietta biscuits and my Irish Star. Marietta biscuits are flat thin cookies that are just barely sweet. The taste and composition is somewhere between Vanilla Wafers and Animal Crackers; they are perfect with my caffe. The Irish Star is entertaining. It has a National Enquirer side to it that is hilarious and excellent sports and politics pages; go figure. In fact their political coverage writing is far superior to anything that passes for reporting in our country. They do not cut anyone slack and in fact say things that need to be said. Ditto for their sports coverage; I found it thoroughly refreshing.
Our goal was to go on an extended walk about the neighborhood and then head somewhere for a night of traditional music. The lounging about was easily accomplished and the walk was quite nice as the weather continued to be beautiful. I can see biking and walking around these countryside roads, but doing that on the busy roads as we have seen seems a bit dangerous to us. Even some of the main roads are quite narrow. Everything
The Doonbeg River
Checking under the bridge for any trolls...the goats are safe to cross...quick, name that children story!
is bounded by hedges or walls; there would be no place to bail out in an emergency.
Our original plan was to go to nearby Lisseycassey for traditional music and eats. This didn't happen. Even though they advertised trad music on the weekends, they meant Saturday night not Friday night. So we headed off into Ennis for dinner and were surprised to find a parade going on in the center of town. We thought that finding a parking space was going to be difficult but unbelievably there was a free spot just around the corner from the square. This was a parade of the hurling teams (teen aged) throughout County Clare and some invitees from other neighboring counties. Each of the parishes carried their team banner in front. Later I found out that this is an annual event that kicks off the hurling season for these age groups.
During an earlier trip into Ennis we had scoped out the eateries and we decided to try an Italian place. It was marginal. I won't name the eatery just to be merciful.
We then went off to search for the pubs that featured/advertised traditional music. Important tip: I had looked up this
just know where you are headed otherwise you could get lost...the hills start to look the same.
info online and found a list of places that were supposed to be having trad music that evening. This info is not at all accurate. Some of the places had music but it was not trad music. The online websites had the days and types of music featured all wrong. Interestingly enough, not even the locals I spoke to that evening had the info correct. The best bet is to call the pubs that say that they have traditional music.
Fortunately, we did find a place (Brogans) that had music starting at 9:30. We came in around 10:00 and the musicians still hadn't shown up. Only one musician was there and a crowd hadn't gathered yet so we nabbed a prime seat. The other musicians soon came in and they immediately starting playing. There was one on a fiddle, a concertina, a type of banjo, and a bodhran. It was great! I love this kind of music.
While we were sitting there we noticed a young kid sitting alone. He looked quite uncomfortable as he tried to look part of the scenery and enjoying his beer. I leaned over and asked him, “You're American, aren't you?” He laughed and said,
over the meandering Doonbeg.
“It shows huh? I told him it did. I invited him to sit with us telling him that drinking alone was a lonely business. He was grateful for the invite. It turned out that he had just graduated from high school and his mom had brought him to Ireland as a reward. Tonight was his 18th birthday, legal drinking age in Ireland, so he was having his first legal beer. She was outside on the phone. She was gone for quite a while and we so visited with him.
Presently she showed up and she too was grateful that we had befriended him. We listened some more and then left to find another pub. We were directed to two other pubs only the info was incorrect. By the way, Ennis is not a large town. Sheesh.
We also got our first look at locals on their night out on the town. The style for the girls is either some short dress/skirt over leggings or sans the leggings and only the verrrrry mini skirts/dresses. Oh and with very high high heels. This is the style regardless of the size of the person...if you get my drift. I must invoke The Manolo
A lot of poor farmland is being turned into tree farms.
Rule: Just because they make it in your size does not mean you should wear it. And the guys looked like typical guys from the States; t-shirts, tennis shoes, and jeans.
We did find another place. The musicians were on a guitar, a concertina, Irish bagpipes, and conga drums. The congas were a bit of a puzzler. But I really dig bagpipes and it turned out to be grand...fecking grand. We parted company with the mom and son and headed home.
It was about 1:30AM in the morning. This, however, gave us an opportunity to see the countryside in darkness. It is verrrry dark because there isn't much in the way of yard lights. What was also interesting was that even though it was very dark, off to the north there was a distinct light in the northern horizon. This is because Ireland is situated in a very northerly position. We were both impressed. As we pulled into Cooraclare we saw people heading out of O'Keeffe's. They too must have had a late rousing night. We made no plans for the next day other than to sleep in.
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