October 2011


Woke up early and relaxed for a wee while.
The anticipation started. Ate the slow release carb bar. Water and Nuun. Put on the shirt and shorts, shoes and new socks. Oh wrapped the foot before hand. Strapped on the electronics and headed out. Met Jean and Kevin downstairs. We walked down to the assembling area for the Dublin Marathon. Dropped off our gear at the drop point.Bathroom break and headed to the area of our start. We talked here for about an hour.  
     

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This was the hard part, the waiting. As soon as we crossed the starting line all the unknown and nerves would end. Eventually the time came. Gave Kevin our new jackets to keep. I lined up with my Seattle Sounders shirt and then the countdown. Said the bye byes to Kevin and we walked towards the start line. And we are off.
 
We head off down along the street. Natasha hangs back at her pace. I pace along next to Jean for the chat.

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We have fun but after a while her chat is slowing. I feel like I am dragging her along at a faster pace than she can handle and she feels like I am holding back slow for her. I serenade her as we run along. Then soon after the 3 mile mark. I pat her on the back and take off on my own. It was actually nice running up along O Connell Street and through the city. I enter into Phoenix Park and tap along there at a good old pace. Another nice place to run. The crowd out cheering along the way are great. I high five everyone who wanted one and thank them for coming out.  
Out the far side of the park and back through the outskirts of the city. Ran with a fellow from Liverpool for a bit and he was doing good at keeping my pace for a while but then had to fall back. Got plenty of fluids along the route. Finally hit the half way mark. Not so shabby. I continued on my brisk run up until about mile 17 and the I started to think maybe I would burn out before the end so I slowed it way down. Continued this way for a while longer. Came by UCD and knew the end was reachable by this stage. just over 6 miles to go I picked up the speed again. High fives and hand holding along the way. Cheers and applauds. I ran with a nice woman from Dublin for a while and tried to give her some advice on hydration. She moved along at my pace for a good bit. I found a good pacer in her. I told her to move on ahead whenever she wanted. She said she was actually thinking about walking and I left her there. The rain started pouring down for the last hour left. 

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I danced around the puddles as much as I could. Still soaked. I kept piling in what I got along the way from the spectators. Candy, bars, water, sports drinks, jellies, apples. oranges and blueberries. Some people were laying along the route with foil blankets around them and medics helping out. Along came miles 23, 24 and 25. I was feeling confident now and took it up another notch. The lane narrowed and I found it a bit difficult to pass people along here. Then got wide again. I continued up along past what was around 26 miles and then up ahead in the distance I could see the finish. I slowed to take in the last part to experience the ending. Passed the finishing line at 4 hours and 40 minutes.

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I was overjoyed. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/126525883
 
I got my medal,
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Then my winners swag bag full of delights, a winners photo and finally picked up my swag bag I had dropped off in the morning. I was beginning to cool down now so I put on me North Face that I had left in the bag. I went for a long walk home to walk of the running effect. Looking back, crossing the finishing line was rather anticlimactic. It was good to get a marathon off the bucked list. Now what. Chatted to a few people along the way home. Into the Schoolhouse I go and up to 320. I strip off the wet clothes and eat a pile of crap to fill the void. Announce to me Facebook pals I had completed the marathon and took a shower. I felt good. Lazed around the room in my robe. Stretched a bit and ate some more. Jean called to say she arrived back and shortly after Natasha came through the door. All 3 of us winners today.
 
I head out for a wee walk and exercise later on. Had a grand old time really. Came home later and ate more crap. Finally made it into bed and lights out.


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Up and relaxed the morning away. I forgot to mention earlier. Michael D Higgins was elected to become the ninth president of Ireland.

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Talked with Mary for a long time. Headed up to Super Value for a few provisions but they were closed. Back home. Holly got up chatting with us.
Finally I ran up and packed me bag. Then up to the store for a few items. They were just opening. Oh I realized why they weren’t open earlier. The clocks changed back an hour last night so I was an hour too early this morning for the 8am opening.
 
Home. Rachel got up for the chat. Finally the time to depart was right. Loaded up and headed off. Big bye bye’s and whoosh.
Got a call from Mary as we were driving down the Killkishen road. Natasha had forgot her back pack. Stupe.  We turned around and headed back to get to. More bye bye’s and off again. Stopped at Crowe’s in the Bridge for water and the like. Onto the M50 and headed to Dublin. Stopped off in Nenagh for petrol. Then in next door to buy a couple of zip hoodies to wear before the race tomorrow to keep the cold at bay. A gwall of snacks too. Got to Dublin pretty quick. It was a slow enough trog through the city to the RDS.
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Parked the car nearby and headed into the RDS to get our running numbers and swag bag. Walked through the hall looking at the stands.

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 Got finished and headed back to the car. Then headed down along the Northumberland Road to The Schoolhouse Hotel. http://www.schoolhousehotel.com/

We got the “John Millington Synge” room. Different from the last time we stayed here. Up we go and unload the bags. I lay out all my gear for the run tomorrow. Shirt, shorts, hat, water pack, gels & goo, electronics, and finally hoes and socks. “fuck” wait I had left me socks back at Mary’s. Maybe not so good running in cotton. I called Jean to see where she was. She was on the motorway getting nearer. I asked her to pick up a pair of socks at the RDS when she was there for me. Happy days.
 
Ate a pile of pasta for dinner. Then a load of crap. Feck again. I am dizzy as I write this.


 

Today I woke up and lazed as usual. Well not lazed Went for another 3 mile run. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/126525899 Breakfast ala Mary. Chatted away as usual.
Today is dress up day at the school. Holly decides………………

scary
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and we take her to school as Lord Voldemort
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I head back up to Tuamgraney and stop into see Paul Mc. D
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Meet David F and John McD there on the way in. I chat to Paul for a good while. Joke about the past, present and future. Paul will have another baby, number 4 born very soon. I head out after the good byes.

I stop in to see Mary Quinn in Drewsborough. I hadn’t talked to her in years. She is the same as ever. A truly lovely woman of 81 years. Her sons John and Fiachra are visiting her. Fiachara from Singapore and John from Liverpool. I hadn’t talked too them in years either. Tea and a good long chat followed. Met Dinky her dog.  We have a great old laugh and I head off.
Next I pop over to see Michael O Gorman. I have to go out to Ducey’s to turn around as the roads are being worked on. I swam a lot here when I was a young lad.
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I had to park in the Library and walk down to Michael’s.
As I walk along I notice Michael walking up along the road.
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I lean against the wall and say hello as he passes. It takes him a minute but he cops on who I am eventhough he hasn’t seen me without the beard in years. He is on the way to the library to do a wee bit of work on the computer. I go with him and enter the Library for the first time. It is a long way advanced from the old one.
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I read the papers while there. Then we head back to Mike’s place. He brings me into his office and we look at piles of photos.
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He had lots of great ones from the old days. Frances comes in to say a helllo too. After a grand old chat it is time for me to head back to Mary’s as they want me back home early for dinner. Mike shows off his bodhran.
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Slan leat mo chara and I walk out past the road works
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I make it back to Tulla in good time. Relax the evening away.
There is a knock on the door. Mary tells me to answer it. Out I go and feck it was a surprise visit from my pal and lover Una McNamara. Her sister Brid was along with her. Brid’s daughter Moirina was also there. It was a wel planned surprise. Mary was in on it and all. Even Natasha.  In they come and on goes thetea tea and tea along with cake cookies and snacks. It has been shoving onto 30 years since I was hanging out with Brid and Una. It was fun. We talked for hours.
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Music and dance started.
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Moirina Boirina
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The plan is Una and I will take Moirina back up to her granny’s and we will all meet up in Jacko’s later on. So off on thhe dark roads to Flagmount we go.

I would have been ran out of this house back in the 80s and here I am getting kissed and tea in the parlor.
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After tea and cookies we say goodbye to all and head off. We take dark windy mountain rouds down through Flagmount town into Scariff. It has been 30 years since Una and I rode to school on these roads. Feck. Stopped off in Scariff and got to Jacko’s way late.

As sooon as I walked through the door I was swamped. Everyone saying hello like mad. It was overwhelming at times really.  Rachel G. was there to meet me.
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She was with her mam Jan and brother Paddy. I hadn’t seen this gang before Facebook.
And JAN
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Jan was nice and friendly. She seems like good fun.

one more of Rachie 
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Then went on chatting to others. Met up with Jean. She started all this running madness for the marathon. Well I did help a bit too with my bluffing ways.
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We joked for a while.

and our good friend Marie.

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I hadn’t brought my camera inside with me but everyone were taking photos. I was literally blinded from flashes. Continued on my way around visiting and chatting.
Peader
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John L
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And the best surprise of the night. Mary White took time out of her busy life and hopped on a plane from Leicester to be here tonight to see me. We haven’t met since May 1988. So 23 years and 5 months have passed.
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We had a good chat but I was being dragged away from her quite a bit.

Met me God Daughter Ciara. I had talked to her earlier on the phone. She was in great form.
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Here is a photo of us 23 years ago when I was in Leicester her christening.

my beautiful sister who was like a celebrity answering questions as to when I was arriving for a long time  before we arrived in.
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Back to Mary and Ciara again. Mary is Ciara’s God Mother so that makes her my God Wife.
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Met and chatted with so many people here tonight. I felt like it was back in the old days when I was the king of Scariff. Such a warm welcome by everyone. Finally made it back to my gang. And then it was a few hours into the new day.

Woke up and watched some more OZ during the night. Then up as usual.

Went up to Super Value for a quick item or two with Mary and Michelle. Back to the house. Holly had the day off today so we chatted away for a while. Next over to  to see Eamon and the kiddies. This was my first time seeing the place since they started in on the building and remodel. Got the tour of Coolagoree first and then the shed. Very nice work done. Tea biscuits and chats galore. Played with the kiddies too. They put on shows for us. 
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The Yaris

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After a few hours we headed out. Natasha went off with Mary and Holly. I went on down to see Maura H. Up to MY house but she wasn’t there.

She may be asleep or off galavanting. Next I headed back in the Feakle Road to Scariff.

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Went up to see Shelia Bugler. Met her inside the door. We chatted for a long long time. She was in great form. Marie McI happened t come in too. Another chat. Then I headed out.
Walked around for a while after and took a couple of snaps. 

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Bought a Wispa from Kieran G. and we talked for a while. Then down town for another quick walk. Met Ted M in his new shop. We talked for a while and I bought some Yams from him. 

One of these may be our President Elect after tonights election
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Into the car and off to Tuamgraney.

Stopped off at the home of our Edna.

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Next went to the Handball Alley. Took a couple of snaps of the memorial there with the Brian Boru fort in the background. 
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Finally off over past me farm and into Tulla. Had the dinner. 

Went over to see Margaret and Kevin. Margaret was the only one there. Kevin had gone up to vote. The tea went on, biscuits and sweet cake came out. Keven came down as soon as he heard we were there. We talked and talked with food and a gall of tea for the rest of the night.

Home


Finally at 4am I popped in a Valium and lights out.

Woke up at 7:30 and straight down stairs. Mary had already left to bring Rachel back to college. I talked to Angela on Skype. She was in great form as usual. Michelle came down after doing her early morning study. We chatted for a bit. Mary came back soon after. Tea and more chatting. Holly came down next. Later on we walked Holly to school.
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Maybe our new President after the election tomorrow?

Met Liz on the way. It was frosty and chilly. Back home for more tea. Then put on the running gear and headed out for a 3 miler.
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It went well and only took about 15 minutes to warm up.
Aunt Marie arrives soon after we got back. More tea and snacks.

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 We talked for hours. Headed over to the school to pick up Holly again. Today when I went to lift her up she said no, later. Talked to Liz and Evan there again. Chased down Evan’s kids. They ran away from me. Met Bridget again as we were walking along. Then the dinner was nearly ready so I got a chance to pop in to the shower.
Back downstairs to a great dinner. More chatting and dessert.

Eamon showed up with James, Matthew and Catherine for the visit. Marie too her chance to head out shortly thereafter. Karen showed up later on too. More tea and chats. After a few hours all the gang headed out.
Lazed the rest of the evening away.

Bed

 
 
 

Woke up after near 8 hours go sleeping. Feeling well too.
Put on me running clothes and headed out. Looking out the window onto the parking lot I could see rain pouring down so deck it. Back inside for me. Watched a bit  the telly. Watched Sesame Street as gaelga. That was a wee different seeing Grover and Snuffy speaking away in my language of old.

PAcked up the bag and headed down to the car. Loaded the bags in and was glad to get inside out of the rain. Then stuck in the key and nothing. I checked and saw I left the lights on last night. Bollix. What car keeps it’s lights on nowadays after you take out the key. Back into the lobby and the girl there (Donna) was so helpful. She tracked down the maintenance fellow (Eamon) who came out to give me a jump start. I asked if he had the leads and he said No. He thought maybe I had some. No harm back inside and he called Brady’s Garage to come out and give me the jump. I waited in the lobby and about a minute later a nice fellow called Paddy Brady came along. He was the nephew of the owner. I got talking to hime and he knew a fellow I was in AnCo with back in the 80’s. He lived 2 doors away from him actually. A small wold. We pushed out the Yaris and hooked up the batteries. And it started in a second. We talked for a while more. I gave him the 25 Euro fee and off we go.

Out onto the M7 we go. I put The High Kings on the CD player. So even with the rain still pouring down the old sod was looking better. Paid the 1.80 toll for the road. Then continued on down towards Limerick. Went through the new tunnel there for another 1.80 toll. I finally felt like being in Ireland was not too bad when the “Welcome To County Clare” sign came into view. I gave a wee victory shout. On and turned off for the Bridge. Pulled into Crowe’s for a few snacks.  Then on through Killkishen and out on to Tulla. Pulled in to Mary’s and walked in the back door. I gave the “God bless all here” as I walked inside. Mary thought I was the fellow who was pressure washing outside. She was shocked to see us. Hugs and on goes the tea. We chatted for a while drinking tea. A good Irish welcome.

Michelle came down from her study for the chat. On goes the tea and some biscuits. She had grown up a lot since Cuba. Looked like a model.

Went over to the school to pick up Holly. Met Liz and her boys as we walked along. Then met Evan who was waiting for her kids too. Evan said she loved my accent, I don’t have an accident I though. Not to worry I will be speaking like a pure culchie after a week here. Holly comes out and I pick her up giving her hugs. She was a little embarrassed of course. Then off home we go. On goes the tea and we continue the chat but with Holly this time.
We head up town again. I pop into the bank and take out a gall of cash. Then I pop in to see Patricia at the health food shop. She wasn’t there but I talked to the girl there for a while. Then down and met the girls at Super Value. Got some shopping for the dinner there.

Dinner was a pile of veggies. First warm meal I had in a long time. Had a spot of custard after. Oh met Bridget Long in at the petrol station earlier. She was in grand form. We had a chat for a while. We loaded into the car later on and headed in to Limerick to meet up with Rachel at the LIT accommodations. She had grown since Cuba too. On goes the kettle and another chat. More biscuits too. Talked Rachel to come out to Tulla for the night.

We stopped into Tesco’s for a wee shopping. The news of the floods from last night was in all the papers.


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 Bought a few items there. Got a new sim card for my Irish cell phone.
Home
Tea and biscuits and a chat for the rest of the night into the wee hours.

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Off to bed. I watched some more OZ. Could not sleep.


We cross into the new day along the way.

Next up I watch a new movie which I hadn’t yet seen. “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”

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I have lost a lot of liking for Jim Cary over the years so whether it be that or something else I thought the movie was shite.

Next up I listened to poems by our WBY narrated by Frank McCourt. Some good and some not so good as typical with Yeats. Frank had a great voice narrating though.
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Next up I watched the pilot of a tv show called “The Killing”

I got into the pilot. It is based out of Seattle and used a lot of local town names and parks. Most of the show was set in pouring down rain. I managed to get the next episode watched too before we landed in Heathrow. The flight went well and flew by pretty fast.

My first time landing in the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow. They are expanding the airport like mad. We take the shuttle bus over to terminal 1. Go in and wait in the lounge area. We have like a 5 hour layover here. Pick up a few items and get something to eat at Booth’s.

Finally we get the gate number and head out to the BMI flight. We board a tiny plane with 2 seats at one side and 1 on the other. IT is a Embraer 135. Another first for me.

 Off we go FOR THE 55 minute flight across England and the Irish sea. We near Dublin Airport in the dark. It is wet and windy here. Wheels come down and we come into land. Next thing the plane picks up speed and shoots back up into the clouds. The pilot had to abort the landing. The stewardess comes on and says it was the captains perroctive to abort the landing because of safety. We keep on soaring and he makes another wide sweep of the area. Then he comes back in from a different direction and gets the plane down.

We come through the airport and go up to the Rental Car Desk where we call on the phone there. A lovely fellow answered and said would sent a shuttle in to pick us up. Then he said normally it would be 1 to 2 minuted but because of the heavy rain and floods it would  more like 5 to 10 minutes. A while later the shuttle arrived. We went out to the rental office with him. He was revving the engine going through all the water logged side roads.

We got a Toyota Yaris. We made our way out of the airport and down onto the M50. Then on over to towards the N7. It took us about 2 hours to drive off the ramp and onto the N7. Traffic stopped from all the flooding that came in. A 100 year rain storm had brought Dublin to a standstill. Floods everywhere. A state of Emergency was called for the area. We drove on and got to Portlaoise after 5 hours of driving. So like 60 miles covered. The M7 part of the drive was closed too because of flooding. We had to take the side roads. Pulled into a hotel. The “Maldren”. http://www.maldronhotels.com/?gclid=CPCkyoaqn6wCFccbQgodIEn0Cg  I ran through the rain into the lobby and got a deal for the last room left n the place. Unloaded the car and went into room 227. This room had 3 beds in it and was very comfortable.


I put on my DVD of OZ and was asleep before one word was spoken on the show.


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