Tuesday, 9 October 2001

My last night in Ireland.

I got tired of being a tourist, today. In a sense, I also ran out of Dublin. An Irish correspondent had suggested that two days were enough, and she was right. I shipped off the ridiculous number of books I’ve acquired (mostly, from used book stores), then finally took in the Dublin Castle museum I’ve passed--oh, about a hundred times in two days. Interesting enough, but I’m not concerned enough with Irish history to have paid too much more attention than I did. I was pleased to get a bit of insight into the Civil War (post 1922, lasted about a year), although the differences between the two factions escaped me.

I did happen upon a brochure indicating the existence of a James Joyce Center, so, all things in downtown Dublin being within easy walking distance, I made the trip across the Liffy to O’Connell Street for the nth time, and ended up spending some time with a self-proclaimed scholar of Gaelic. I was in the academic business a bit too long to accept his credentials that easily, but at least he knew how to spell it. And he was fun to talk with. A point Tom Murphy makes in “Whistle in the Dark” is the terribly important part talking plays in the Irish conception of self. Always makes for an easy hour or two with nearly anyone. Ended up with an “official” copy of Ulysses, and have begun the second episode (the book comprises 18 episodes). Even tried TV for a few minutes. It was interesting to see news of the air attacks in Afghanistan, and a bit alarming to hear of possible biological strikes in my current place of residence, but it all seems a bit fuzzy at this moment.

Off to Shannon early in the morning. Dublin, and, indeed, all of Ireland, it seems, starts later than I’m used to, so I’m hoping to get out of the crunch of city congestion before the main incoming thrust hits. One of my many native informants suggests that getting through Limerick (just before the road runs into Shannon) will take some time.

It’s been fun, but I’m glad I had a couple purposes: photography and Things Lord Dunsany. I’m not much of a traveler, I think, and just going to places doesn’t seem to satisfy me. I suspect I’ll be a stay-at-home old man (when I’m not flying back and forth between the US and my office at Dunsany Castle!). Check the web site for pictures, probably by the weekend of the 12th...

Overcast colors in Ireland

Someone has gone throughout Ireland painting many things colors that gleam in the dark. And I’m not talking about the green, which practically glows…

This street scene in Galway (near Shop Street) contrasts the old with the painted new.
Another Galway scene, this from further down Shop Street (a semi-mall, pedestrian-only, shop-laden focus for tourists—and plenty of Galway natives).
This street scene from the very touristy (but cute as heck) Clifden, County Galway, over on the west coast.
An interesting theme in this Dublin Castle garden.
Also in Dublin Castle, these lovely paintings stand in stark contrast to the material of the castle proper.