We bring our music with us. That way, when we’re driving away from Dublin, and there is a rainbow, we’re listening to “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” and when it began to rain as we came into Belfast, we were listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Dance me to the end of love,” and when during the last part of our drive coming into Connemara, Nina Simone was singing exquisitely, mournfully s as if her song was the whole world shattering and becoming a new universe. Connemara is cold, wet and here my head is a mass of curls. Mark and I walked last night to look at the hillside and the sheep. While we walked, I burnt the dinner, and we ate it anyway, and then had strawberries and cream. Why are the strawberries in Ireland so much better than the ones in California? We spent a few days decompressing and journeying, first to Dublin and Temple Bar which was, like many bars, very noisy. They played a mix of Irish music and songs about Reno and Texas. Then we went to the Giant’s Causeway, the rope bridge, the castles and cathedrals of Northern Ireland, the soldiers with machine guns, the heavy Presbyterian churches. We drove from Belfast to Connemara in a day, it alternately poured, showered and lightly drizzled, even a few moments of nearly sunshine. Our travel plans never include lunch. We have certain travel rules: We do not believe in stopping for lunch, checking luggage, listening to guides, travelling in groups, going on cruises and we rarely chat with anyone. Our friend Maureen would have made a dozen friends and several would have invited her over in the few days we’ve been here. She might even have a marriage proposal. We like to chill, to breathe, and Ireland is a great place for breathing. The air is wet and everywhere you walk in this little town, there’s the soft sweet smell of peat burning. The Irish flowers are mostly purple except the buttercups. At the market, they specialize in root vegetables and mushrooms. We have a huge celery root that I plan to make soup with. I didn’t buy turnips or parsnips, just onions, carrots, the celery root, sweet potatoes and mushrooms. From where I write, there are sheep grazing. Shearing season is early August. The lambs follow their mamas closely. Most of the sheep have horns. We are known in town as “the Yanks.” The shepherds have sheep dogs, the same kind of dog we had growing up. In our cabin, there are three copies of Paradise Lost, but for us Yanks, this is paradise found.

 

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Published in: on June 13, 2017 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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