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Published: August 16th 2009
I didn’t really have a plan for what I was going to do in Ireland. I just knew that I wanted to pop over and see my gran in Boyle (in Roscommon in the west of Ireland) before heading on our big trip. I couldn’t have picked a better time to visit - it was Boyle Arts Festival and my lovely aunty Martina had a whole schedule planned. She picked me up from the train station and said “right - you’ll have your dinner with your granny and then I’ll pick you up at 7.30 for a photography lecture, then maybe some music and then the next day ….” she really had thought it all through.
It was so nice to spend that week with Granny. She really is incredible. For anyone who hasn’t heard me talking about her, She’s probably the most feisty, fabulous lady I know! She’s 84 and her motto is “I’ll do it myself” and she really does - from jumping up ladders fixing things to making a full cooked lunch for herself (and any one else who chooses to pop by) every day. Walking around town with her is so cool as every single person
in Boyle knows her and wants to know who I am (ah your grand-daughter, you must be Mary’s? ah sure how;s Mary these days? Etc etc). We did some lovely things together like going to say a play called The Field (by John B Keane - hey Pee and Charlie, it was cool seeing an Irish Play where the actors were actually Irish - no cringing!) and a very talented Jazz trio from Sligo called the Odd Couple who played an amazing range of jazzed up covers from The Beatles to theme songs from Hill Sst Blues and the Simpsons. My favourite was their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. I also had three musical evenings with martina and my two cousins Lisa and Sarah. The first one was to see an Aussie band in the Moving Stairs. Who’d have thought I’d have to come all the way to the west of Ireland to see three boys from Melbourne strut their stuff! They went down a treat though. After that we had two trad sessions - first in Keadew (where I had my first experience of Door Dancing last year!) and then in Battlebridge just over the border in Leitrim. It’s so
The Party Bus
on our way to Justin and Michelle's engagement party. From Left to right - Niamh, Deirdre and Sarah
funny, the music only really kicks off at about 11 and you never know what you’re going to get really - depends on what musicians drop by and what mood they’re in! keadew was pretty slow but Battlebridge was fantastic - we had about 10 musicians and a few great singers including a young girl who sang the most haunting ballads. It was a great night until the police eventually chased us all out in the early hours.
I said a very quick goodbye to Granny on the Saturday as I really don’t know when’s the next time I’ll be back and I hate goodbyes. Lisa drove us up to Dublin so that we could go to my other cousin Justin’s and his Fiancée Michelle’s engagement party. We stayed with Deirdre (another cousin) in her lovely new house and when her sisters Aisling and Niamh arrived, we had wine and food before heading over to the party. We had the funniest party taxi - it was a people carrier with full on lighting and sound system - we nearly asked him to go round the block a few times! After a great night of celebrating with Michelle and Justin,
the six girls headed back to Dee’s where we continued singing and drinking rum and coke until almost 5 (I think I need to go back to Thailand for some more detoxing!!)
My last night in Dublin was with my friends Lisa and Rory. We went for lunch in Ranelagh in Trocedaro’s and after adjourning to Smith’s for a couple of pints ended up rolling home after midnight. That’s about the longest lunch I’ve ever had! I had a brief drama of picking up my forgotten jacket from Deirdre’s and my aunty Phil very kindly rescued me (and my jacket) and brought me to the airport. Next stop Nairobi here we come
Photos to come!
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