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Damn! That Sexy Accent poll's got me thinking about Ireland again!

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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:32 AM
Original message
Damn! That Sexy Accent poll's got me thinking about Ireland again!
(WTG, corporatewhore, just when I was about to get over it!) :)

We flew from Manchester into Shannon, meaning that scrawny little airplane crossed the countryside and I saw what they mean about "forty shades of green." There were no two fields that were the same shade and a lot of 'em looked as if they were illuminated from underneath somehow.

I despise airports, but the very air inside Shannon Airport was cool and sweet. It increased by a factor of ten by the time we got outside. OMG! The green-ness all around me overloaded my poor old retinas in such a pleasant manner!

It took about an hour to get used to driving a car with the controls on the "wrong" side and to get used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road. After a lovely night at Peg O'Donoghue's B&B (just around the corner from Bunratty Castle), we were off for a week's stay in the cabins at Spanish Point.

Driving into the nearby town of Milltown Malbay, what I had long thought was a purely Southern (American) phenomenon manifested itself: drivers in oncoming cars would invariably wave at me, the exact way that rural Arkies still do. And, same as Arkansas backroads, I would invariably get behind a tractor making perhaps 15 miles an hour. Damn! I was somehow home, yet three thousand miles away!

It was inexpressably cool to see tractors pulled up on the curb (kerb) in front of a pub in the village. Seems Billy Bob O'Grady couldn't be bothered about going home to get the car before he'd go into town for a pint after a hard day's plowing. He'd just drive his tractor to the pub!!

And then there's TURF--what we would call peat over here. It makes the hottest, most fragrant fire you can imagine. Smells halfway between a wood stove and a blacksmith's forge. Three or four bricks (sods) of turf in a curiously small fireplace with a slate bottom, and your ass will have to move to the farthest corner of the room.

So you turn on the TV and get the evening news from the RTE network. In County Clare, it's done in the Irish language (what Yanks are prone to call Gaelic). You can't understand a fickin' WORD, but you somehow think you should be able to!

Naturally, I had brought my fiddle and was eager to show the Irish musicians how it was properly played. Talk about yer rude awakenings! We somehow got invited to a christening party one night at Cooley's pub in Ennistymon--to which all musicians were "invited and expected."

Sure enough, that dark little joint which had no inside bathrooms featured a musical group consisting of Mick (who had just returned from Boston) on fiddle, a woman on accordian, two women on bodhran (Irish hand drums) and a man on guitar, who was drunk on his ass (langers) already. They took me for an American right away and wanted to know if I could play Johnny Cash's version of the Orange Blossom Special (they were quite specific). Being an Arkie, I counted them in and it was ON, as they say.

I got to sit in with the band for the rest of the night, but I soon discovered there was NO WAY I could hang with an Irish fiddler!!!! Fortunately, your man on guitar handed his instrument to me so he could give his full attention to getting beyond langers, a condition which is called stocious over there.

After a good round of tunes (in which I discovered that the Arkie fiddle tune called "Red Haired Boy" was Irish and had words to it), the crowd began calling to a woman named Teresa at the bar: "Give us a SONG, Teresa!"

It took a while, but this plain-looking female finally came over and sat down beside me. From her totally unremarkable mouth came a voice that must have been ten foot tall! She sang a song called "Caledonia" (NOT the Van Morrison song) which has got to be the saddest thing I have ever heard. To this day, I have not been able to find it anywhere else; must be a County Clare thang.

All too soon, we had to leave Ireland. I cried like a little girl when the plane lifted off the runway.

Any other DUers been to Ireland?

:loveya:
dbt
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've always wanted to go
It sounds really spiffy

:toast:
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Way beyond spiffy, Independent429:
It's magical. Y'ever get the chance, just get on the plane--but take your coat!

:toast:
dbt
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Another Bill C. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've nearly moved there
a couple of times but I didn't want to be that far from my children. Last time I went so far as to price out homes in Mayo. Ironically, it's my children who've been moving away.

Nearly all of my great grandparents came from Ireland and I've never had the comfort of feeling that I belong here.

Slan
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Wish I could've seen Mayo!
(somehow Clare and Galway proved to be irresistible). I hope you get there!

:beer:
dbt
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
5. 1983
I was in Ireland in 1983 and traveled around on a bus/rail pass for a few weeks. It was a pretty good time in my younger days.

My husband is from Ireland and I had to go and check the place out before I married him. Glad I did actually because I am an Irish citizen and can move there and live there if I like.

The only thing I did not like about Ireland was the weather. Does the rain and the cold ever stop?

I especially liked Galway and Tipperary (that is where my family is from :D ).

As for that brogue, I am to the point I don't notice it having 9 in-laws (via my husband) that all have it naturally enough. Some are still living in Ireland but most are here on the west coast of California.

I'd like to go back again someday, but when I'm not sure. I've even thought about making it my permanent home someday. ?

IRELAND FOR THE IRISH!!! :D

:dem: :kick:
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. twilight, contrary to popular opinion, the rain DOES stop!
And on a sunny day, you'll find the Irish gathered at the beach. I hope you get back there soon!

Slainte!
:beer:
dbt

PS: Y'heard about how artists and (I think) musicians are exempt from taxes on their earnings there?
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I've heard that
I know it doesn't rain constantly, but it sure does get cold there. When I was there I had on two Irish sweaters and a rain coat the whole time.

I went to Knock and visited the big Shrine there with a bus load of nuns that left on a horrid Sunday from Sligo. They lost an old man on the trip and the bus driver drove around for a couple of hours looking for him but we never found him. We concluded he must have stopped in a pub somewhere and "gone missing". :evilgrin:

I enjoyed visiting the Guinness Brewery in Dublin and I also managed to "Kiss the Blarney Stone" in Cork. I'll never forget that one - the guy lowered me down to kiss the stone and said, "Watch out there now, you might be getting yourself a case of herpes by doin' that don't ya' know ..." :D LOL!!!

Maybe I'll make it back. My health is so crappy right now I don't know if I can make that flight again. Its a long haul from the west coast no doubt.

I found the food to be ok - a whole lot better than :puke: England!

I wonder if I'd have a better time now that I no longer drink alcohol? That was a real problem for me in 1983 but I gave up on the drinking (for the most part) in 1986 luckily. Not a good habit to get into! :puke:

Cheers and Slainte yourself!!!

:toast: :toast: :toast:

:dem: :kick:
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Intelsucks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
6. Wanted to go to Dublin the last time I was in Europe, but didn't have
enough time to cover everything I wanted to see. It came down to Rome or Dublin. I guess there's always next time.
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dbt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. My friend Gordon from Galway
recommends that you see the countryside (away from the big cities). He says Dublin is "just too American these days," but he could well be biased.

Personally, I did NOT see an ugly part of Ireland!

:beer:
dbt
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'd love to go to Donegal
I did not make it there when I went (no buses went that way). I wanted to see Donegal Castle - that is my family's home actually. It has been in the process of being restored for many years and the job was finally completed a couple of years ago.

It has all sorts of secret passageways and lots of nooks and crannies inside.

Shoot, now I really do want to go back - if for no other reason but to visit Donegal Castle and lay stake to my ancient roots.



IRELAND FOR THE IRISH!!!!

:kick:
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. 10,000 songs here .... :)
Click on this link ... lots of Irish songs to be found here - maybe one is the one you are remembering - ??

http://www.ingeb.org/catei.html

What Shall I Say About the Irish?

The utterly impractical, never predictable,
Sometimes irascible, quite inexplicable, Irish.
Strange blend of shyness,
pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He's spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child
fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up with tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest
to banish your fears.
His hate is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there is no middle ground
on which he will stand.
He's wild and he's gentle,
he's good and he's bad.
He's proud and he's humble,
He's happy and sad.
He's in love with the ocean,
the earth and the skies,
He's enamoured with beauty wherever it lies.
He's victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he's Irish
in love with his God.

IRELAND FOR THE IRISH!!!

Cad Mle Filte !!! (It means you are welcome A thousand times over
Wherever you come from, Whosoever you be :D )

:kick:
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. I've been thinking of Ireland so much lately.
Thanks for this, dbt.
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pagerbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
13. I'm sold!
Let's get a DU trip together!
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twilight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. sounds like a plan!
I'd love to go but I have no one to go with (husband doesn't want to go back). So, its me on my own AGAIN if I want to go but as I mentioned, health is a problem.

I'd go if you don't mind going with someone who isn't exactly in tip top shape!

GREAT idea!!! :D

:dem: :kick:
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