April 2007


Woke up at The School House in Dublin, packed and headed for the airport. Returned the car to Thrifty. We ate breakfast in the lounge.
Boarded BMI to London. Hung around there for a few hours. Ate lunch at Garfunkel’s.
Boarded the plane for home. The flight was good. I slept a little. Not like me. Read and crosswords later we landed in Seattle. Picked up the car at the airport and off up I-5 to QFC where we bought some provisions. 
Back home unpacked. Looked at the new gas furnace we had put in while we were away. Loads of room down there now that the oil Volkswagen bug size furnace is gone. Ate dinner. Carmen came over with some flowers to welcome us home.

Woke up and went down for the breakfast. Had a nice chat with the fellow and his sister. Talked about South Africa, Ireland and well the world. 
Packed up and headed off for Dublin.
We stopped off in Silvermines looking for the town of Killinaskully but kept going when it wasn’t so obvious. Got into Dublin and headed for our hotel. “The Schoolhouse Hotel”  http://www.schoolhousehotel.com/  A nice place.
Parked the car and walked downtown. We stopped off at some of the statues of Dublin along the way.

One of my favorite Irish poets:

Patrick Kavanagh

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O commemorate me with no hero-courageous
Tomb – just a canal-bank seat for the passer-by.

He looked cold so I gave him my hat.

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Then a rocker

Phil Lynott

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I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on.

Then onto the great:

Oscar Wilde

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A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her. 

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One of the requisites of sanity is to disagree with the majority of the British public.

Then on to ole James:

James Joyce

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“The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole Life to reading my works.”

and to the tart with the cart:

Molly Malone

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In Dublin’s Fair City
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheel’d her wheel barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!


Alive, alive o!, alive, alive o!
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

She was a fishmonger
But sure ’twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they each wheel’d their barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

Alive, alive o!, alive, alive o!
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

She died of a fever
And no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
But her ghost wheels her barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

Alive, alive o!, alive, alive o!
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

We ate lunch at Gallaghers. http://www.boxtyhouse.ie/

Headed back to the hotel after hours of roaming around the place.
Went off for a drive to a few different places. We shopped in Blackrock and ate our last dinner in Ireland in Dun Laoire.  We went to an Indian restaurant called “Jewel in the Crown” We had eaten here before a few years ago and liked it. We started our trip here with Indian food so it was fitting to finish with the same theme.

Back to the Schoolhouse and asleep in minutes.
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Up at the castle and down for breakfast. We walk the grounds for the morning.

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We then pack up our stuff and close the Castle doors one last time on this trip as we will be leaving today.

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Into the car and off over to my God son Kevin’s (Eamon’s son) Confirmation. We pull into the church in Sixmilebridge. We go in and watch while Kevin gets confirmed. We take a couple of snaps after the mass.

Kevin and Bishop Willie
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Regina, Eamon, Willie and Kevin.
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My other nephew John
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We chat outside the church for ages with all the gang. Marie, and her sister Anne and brother Michael. We are the last to leave the grounds of the church. We don’t have time to go up for the party afterwards. We head over to Mary’s. All the other gang are here recovering from a night at the bar. We say our good byes to all here after a while. 
Then off to Scariff via the back roads through Feakle. 
I stop off in Feakle to See my dad.  Jimmy Fennessy
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In Scariff we stop in to see Shelia Bugler. We chat to Nora and Roisin on the way in. All are fine. I find Shelia sleeping off her lunch upstairs. She wakes we chat for awhile, joking and laughing. Trying to make a dash for the car I meet Maureen Long. Hadn’t seen her in years either. She looked terrific. Chatted with her as Ger Bugler came down along for a chat. Anne Cauloo came by for a hello. Bernie B’s daughter came out to say hello too. I talked to Patsy and Carmel Long for a bit. Their 102 year old mother isn’t doing so good. A good conversation took place here on the street of my youth. Finally Ciara my God daughter came along. We all said our good byes and I made it to the car via a visit to Banes.
Off out of the town we go. We stop off in Bodyke to walk the site of our house. Then Ennis parked at Dunne’s and had the snack at Supermacs. Over to the hospital to visit and say good bye to mam.  Mary my great sister was there visiting too. She is great, I love her lots. We all sat at the outside smoking Gazebo. The patients were smoking like chimneys and drinking whiskey and the like. Some were here very sick near death even but the spirits were high. Joking , laughing and having a great time in the face of sickness and death. This scene was one of my better ones on this trip. Had great fun and realized how the Irish have a great time in spite of what life throws at them. We said good bye to all and made our way out into the late dark night and up the freeway. It was late and the sleep was getting to me so we pulled in to the Castletroy lnn B&B just at the Dublin side of Limerick city. We knocked. A fine fellow showed me the room. I said we will take it. He was here from South Africa helping his sister get the place in shape. She had just bought it. Their mother was from Ireland origanlly. We headed to bed and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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Woke up in room 224 at http://www.dromoland.ie/ Ate our breakfast here. Then we left for Tulla. We were a wee bit early so we decided to head over to our home in Coolagoree. Well the house I grew up in. We went through Feakle and down home. We walked around here for a bit. Then off like rabid rats through the back roads of my childhood over to Mary’s in Tulla. When we got there, the house was full of excitement for the day ahead. My brother Eamon was there. Mam was out on a day release for a bit. A pile of the Regans were down from Mayo for the day. My God daughter Michelle (Mary’s daughter)  is making her confirmation at the church in Tulla today. We load up the cars and off we go. We arrive at the church and in we go. The service is long enough and kind of boring but it is great for the kids at hand. My  favorite cousin Angela arrives to the church from England. Her mother Anna Marie from Kilrush shows up too. After a while it’s over she is confirmed. We take the photos outside.

Michelle
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God daughter and God father
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Us and bishop Willie
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Left to Right: Eamon, Angela, mam, Anna Marie, little Holly, Natasha, Mary and Rachel.
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About 40 of us head over to the Clare Inn for the dinner after mass. We get served and eat like we are at a full blown wedding. We hang out here until 9 or 10 o clock in the night. A long day.
We decide we will head back to the Castle for a nights sleep. Some of the gang come with us for a visit. We talk for a while and then we are alone. A long and great day.

Mam came by for her night cap before heading back to the hospital.
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After all are gone we head into Ennis to the Sherwood Inn for the late snack. Back to 224 and lights out. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Woke up and headed down for breakfast. Talked to Siobhan for a while. Her father had been a guard in Scariff back in the 60s. He came by for a chat. He knew all who I knew and visa versa. We had a great ole chat there for a time. Then it was time for us to head out of town and towards home. Down the N7 and over to Ballina and into Joannes but she was not open yet. She showed up before we left. I was so happy. I have seen Joanne grow up into a beautiful woman over the years and she is my friend.

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Off we head for the town of Scariff. We stop in to see Ciara my God daughter at Treacys. She is in good form.  We joke around with her for a bit. Paddy Doyle my cousin shows up while we are there. We joke around a bit. and up town we go. Coming back down the hill a car stops up and a woman starts talking to me. I talk to her like she is my friend Paula. We hold up traffic in both directions as we chat away. I told her I will talk to her later and give me her e-mail. Then I realize it is in fact Clare Henchy. Feck I haven’t seen her in years and years. She looks great. Off we go. I can’t wait to get in contact with her later. We meet David Fahy down town. He pulls in and we chat to him for a bit. He is in great form. Then Tasha goes to the store and I sneak into the bank for some cash. I walk through the door and I meet John Kelly. We have a good ole chat there for a bit as we are waiting for “Next”. Eileen Madden comes in behind and we chat for a bit too. Up I go and take out some money for our time in Ireland. Tasha comes in before I get done. We talk to John K in the street for a bit after leaving the bank. Then out comes Eamon Maloney and we chat some more to him as John heads to his car. While talking to Eamon Mary O Connor comes up along with Patricia’s baby in the buggy. We chat to her for a bit more and down walks the good Maureen Shaugnessy and we talk to her for a bit more as Eamon goes on with his thing and Mary O and baby head up town. We talk to Maureen for some time more as Jerry Hassett comes out across the road to his front door step. I head over to him for a chat too. I haven’t seen him in a while. He now has a wooden leg due to bad circulation. He will get a new one soon as his stub has reduced in swelling. He is in great form. We head up towards our parked car and we meet Tina Shaugnessy (Maureen’s daughter) coming down along with her two kids. Another conversation later and we are off. We are in our car over an hour later after what started as a quick trip to the bank. I frigging love the people of Ireland.
Next we head over towards Tulla to my sister. She brought our mother to the hospital today for an upper GI. First we stop off at the farm in Bodyke and have a look to see where we will build our Irish cottage. Over to Tulla. When we get to Mary’s, she is not home. She is at the hospital with mam still. Kevin is here with Holly. We chat for some time. Then later Mary calls and I answer. She is shocked that I am there. Brother Eamon gets on the phone to say that a tumor was found in mam’s esophagus and it was not good news. We hop into the car and make the trip into Ennis to the hospital. We wander upstairs and bump into Mary in the hallway. She is all happy to see us. We go in and see mam. She looks tired and will be forgetful after the GI. The nurse took us out and showed us the tumor that was blocking 60% of her esophagus. It looked bad in the photo. They will have the results of the biopsy back in a few days. They will send her in for a CT scan in a day or two. Then off to Dublin for the surgery after that. Back we go to mam and chat away like everything is ok. She does’nt want to know what’s going on as she is a worrier. We chat away for ages. Then we head over to our Castle for the next couple of nights.  http://www.dromoland.ie/ 

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We are in room 224. We relax here for a while. Kind of sleep in fact. After a few hours we head back to the hospital to see mam. She is doing better now, the side effects of the GI have worn off. Mary is there too. We chat away for a couple more hours. Mam will be held here until all is done for her in a week or two from now.
After visiting hours end we head over to Supermacs for a quick dinner.
Then to the castle.
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Somewhere on route we crossed into the new day. We landed later again into London as they were working n the new tower. We didn’t have time to make the next flight so we took a later one. We got the British Midlands next flight to Dublin. We landed and went to Thrifty to pick up our car. Off on the M50 and down the N7/M7 we head. We stop off in Portlaoise and go to an Indian restaurant  called “Mayur” for dinner. It was a good first dinner in Ireland. We try to find a place here quickly to spend the night but we head down to Roscrea to the “Sli Dala” B&B. We stayed here a couple of years ago and I loved the owner. She was great.  When we get there I go up and knock. Out comes Mari the owner. I let her know who I am. She remembers me and tells me I lost weight. She has no rooms tonight she is booked up. She gives me the name of her friend Siobhan’s place in Nenagh. She’ll have rooms she says. We chat for ages about stuff. I bid her a good evening and we head down to Nenagh and into Abbey View.http://www.abbeyview.ie/  I knock on the door and out comes a woman. “Siobhan” I say. “Yes” she says and off into a conversation we go. We will spend our night here. I have a good ole chat with Siobhan but the sleep is taking me so off to sleep I go.

Worked up at 6405 with Paul today.We went to lunch at Azteca. Worked away all day and then headed down to J.C. Penny’s to buy a pull along travel bag that I could take on the plane to Ireland. 
Went home packed and headed to the airport. Parked the car and checked in. 
Off on British Airways 048 we go, leaving late. Ireland here we come.
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