March 2008

 Back to work. Nick rode with me. Had the safety meeting. Got on with the day. Went down to “The Wok” for lunch. Finished out the day good. Ate dinner at home. We then went for a walk in between the showers up the street.
Watched “Deadwood” on the DVD. Only two more shows left. Feck.

The News From Home:

Peace Process Thrives 10 Years On

THE peace process is stronger now than at any time since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness has claimed.

It is a decade on since U.S. senator George Mitchell uttered the words that the world had waited to hear after 38 years of the Troubles.

“I am pleased to announce that the two governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland have reached agreement,” he told waiting journalists at Castle Buildings at 5:36 p.m. on Good Friday 1998.

While many of those who brokered the agreement, including the SDLP’s John Hume and the Ulster Unionist Party’s David Trimble, have since retired, the peace process has managed to survive various serious political obstacles in the last 10 years.

Those crises included the Real IRA bomb attack on Omagh in August 1998 which killed 29 people and two unborn children.

In the years that followed the signing of the agreement Unionists collapsed the power-sharing Executive at Stormont on two occasions over demands for IRA decommissioning and later allegations of Republican involvement in a spy-ring.

But 10 years on Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are now in government, with Ian Paisley and McGuinness touring the world to promote Northern Ireland to foreign investors.

However, a key issue remaining to be resolved is the transfer of policing and justice powers from the British government to the Stormont assembly.

Unionists insist that the time is not yet right for the transfer of those powers, claiming that more needs to be done to improve confidence within the Protestant community.

Republicans insist that the transfer of powers was agreed by all parties during talks at St. Andrews in October 2006 and that the DUP cannot now attempt to renegotiate it.

As the policing dispute continues, Unionists have now demanded that the IRA’s ruling Army Council must stand down before they will agree to the transfer of justice powers.

However, those Unionist demands appear to have fallen on deaf ears in both British government and IRA quarters.

In its traditional Easter message, the IRA leadership reaffirmed its support for the peace process, but pointedly gave no indication that it is preparing to stand down any time soon.

In a statement read out at Republican commemorations across Ireland, the IRA said, “Our task and that of all Irish Republicans is to shape the future through our commitment to achieving our goal of a united Ireland.

“Since 28 July 2005, IRA volunteers are playing a positive role in the new phase of our struggle. You have entered into this with energy and vigor.

“We commend this work and appeal to everyone to continue until we achieve our objectives.”

Insisting that the principles enshrined in the 1916 Proclamation remained as relevant as ever, the IRA said, “We have proven that together, in unity and with comradeship, we can advance our struggle. Let us rededicate ourselves to that goal.”

Despite Unionist opposition, Northern Secretary of State Shaun Woodward appeared to signal that the transfer of policing and justice powers would still go ahead later this year.

Woodward said the political progress made over the last 10 years meant there was now “no question” that Northern Ireland would ever go back to the Troubles.

He highlighted the Independent Monitoring Commission’s (IMC) assertion that IRA is now solely involved in peaceful activities, and that the principles enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement would guarantee Northern Ireland “stability, peace and prosperity” for future generations.

Praising the establishment of the power-sharing Executive as “one of the most successful governments anywhere,” he said, “I take nothing for granted in politics, but the fact of the matter is what we have seen, over the last year particularly, in Northern Ireland are these institutions, the Assembly and the Executive, working together in a way that even those who dreamed it might be possible couldn’t have anticipated.

“I think there is no question that Northern Ireland will ever go back to the ways of the past.

“It is committed now to this new stable, prosperous future.” Insisting that republicans had played their part in bringing peace to

Northern Ireland, McGuinness said, “Politics in the North had for years been a scene of failed political initiative after failed political initiative by the British government as they sought to undermine support for Sinn Fein and bolster the so-called center ground of the SDLP and UUP.

“Last year Sinn Fein achieved what many considered impossible – a comprehensive agreement with Ian Paisley and the DUP.

“There could never have been a successful accommodation without the involvement of Irish Republicans.”



 Woke up after many hours of sleep again. Headed down to the middle pool early in the morning. We soaked there for ages then back to A5. Got ready for the trip home.
Then down to the Lodge for our final breakfast there.
Oatmeal, Roast potatoes, Tofu and juice, A good snack. Walked back up towards the cabin.
BreitenbushMarch2008035.jpg Breitenbush Hot Springs picture by KingDonal

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Said good bye to our cabin.
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Up to the Jeep. We pack up and head for the downhill drive.
Another good trip to Breitenbush.
BreitenbushMarch2008014.jpg Breitenbush Hot Springs picture by KingDonal

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Listen to the Sharon Shannon Cd on the way back. We listened to it on the way down too.
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It is so good. Hours of great musicians and music.

We make it back to Seattle in 4.5 hours including a stop for gas. 

After getting home we watch the Sharon Shannon DVD.

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So fucking good.

Had Pagliacci for dinner.
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Watched more “Deadwood” and now I will ready myself for a sleep.

Woke up after 8 hours of sleep. Headed down for the Oatmeal, Tofu scramble, OJ and tea breakfast.
Then over to the middle pool for a soak.
BreitenbushMarch2008005.jpg Breitenbush Hot Springs picture by KingDonal

Back to A5, Read, relaxed and slept for over an hour.
Then down for the huge salad, artichoke dip & corn chips, a barley mushroom soup and a tea for lunch. Down to the meadow.
BreitenbushMarch2008008.jpg Breitenbush Hot Springs picture by KingDonal

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Sat in the middle pool talking to some nice people for a very long time. Back to A5 weak at the knees from the long soak. The brisk air waking me right up as we neared the cabin.
 Read, relaxed, happy.gif picture by KingDonal, and slept for some more time.

Down for the Mac and cheese, Broccoli, cauliflower, tomato soup and tea for dinner. Yum. I then headed down to the sauna for a steam.
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Sat there for a while and then off to the meadow and this time I went over to the silent pool.
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Sat there until I felt cooked. Then I went up to the lodge and into the library. I sat there and read for a long time. Then back to A5.
Passed the Forest Shelter on the way.
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 Off to work at Williamsburg yet again. Worked the morning away. Down to Subway for lunch. Worked the afternoon and headed home. Then hopped in the Jeep and headed down I-5 towards Oregon. 
 Down I-5 and stopped into “Shari’s” for dinner before heading out to the Hot Springs.  Veggie burger and a tea. Then off on 22 East to Detroit and up the forest service road to Breitenbush Hot Springs. We meet with the security guy and he gets us our cabin number.
 We unpack the car and head down to cabin A5.
BreitenbushMarch2008001.jpg Breitenbush Hot Springs picture by KingDonal

Pile everything into the cabin and straight down to the meadow pools.

The Forest Shelter survived the winter well.
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We make it down to the pools.
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and into the middle one. I like this one the best.
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Soak into the darkness and then up to A5.


 Last night I finished Season Two of “Deadwood” A great show.
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Off to work with Nick at my side. 
Worked like mad until time for Subway.
Finished out the day slow.

Home. Ordered Pizza and a salad from Pagliacci.
pagliacci2.jpg picture by KingDonal

Started watching the third season of “Deadwood”
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So far so good.

Carmen came by for the visit. 

Now I will think about watching a movie.

 Up and got the rest of my journal caught up to date. Off to work. Called aunt Marie in Ireland. She is still lonesome at the loss of her sister. I hope she will pick up a bit over the next few weeks. Worked like mad. Got a lot more done. Subway for lunch. Finished out the day well. 

The Sunlight for dinner. Whole Foods for dessert.  Got the Sharon Shannon DVD in the mail today. I can’t wait to watch it.

Went down to the office. Mam was on my mind a lot this morning as I would call her in the mornings on the way to work.
Worked at the office for a couple of hours. Back to the job. Got a lot done. Went to “The Wok” for lunch. Back to work and slept off a headache for a few minutes. Worked like mad until the end of the day. Got a lot done. The end of this job is in sight.

Went to “Araya’s” for dinner. 
Watched Deadwood.

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