In New York

In New York

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Notes from Travel Diary cont'd

17th August, Friday.  Dingle.

This week has passed quickly. The kids have been swimming most days. Roch is happy about that, he wants them to continue to do the things they have always enjoyed on our seaside holidays together. Through the years on our visits to the West of Ireland, an important feature of our family holidays there was the daily swim. Roch was the instigator and facilitator of this tradition. The last holiday in County Clare was August 2010 and that was the last time Roch went swimming in the sea. It's hard for him now, not to be a part of it. So yesterday I suggested that we spend a family day and do things together that Roch could enjoy, too. We drove to Ballyferriter, scene of many Maher outings in the past, and had lunch in one of the local pubs. It was a relaxed and enjoyable meal and we took our time about it.

Maura and Roch in Ballyferriter

 Next stop was out the road to the Louis Mulcahy pottery workshop and shop, where Roch and Tom soon lost patience with their womenfolk, as Maura, Kate and I took our time to decide between various very beautiful pieces. You can watch the potters at work there. This youtube video will give you an idea of the quality of the work and the beauty of the surroundings:

Decisions were eventually made and we loaded up our booty and headed off to Dunquin, to the educational stop on our tour, the Blasket Islands heritage centre. It's worth the visit, although I have to ask with regard to quite a lot of the great literature that came out of the Blaskets - does anyone else find those voices from the past ever so slightly whingey?

Good moment having watched the video which informed us of the tremendous community spirit amongst the islanders - only to spy a quote from one islander who complained that when building his house, he got no help - neither brick nor mortar was handed to him...

Roch's brother Mairt and his wife Sheila joined us in the evening and we headed out to a local amateur dramatics production of the comedy "Moll" penned by the well known Kerry playwright, John B. Keane. There was a step at the entrance to the venue and as we joined the queue for tickets outside, I shared Roch's anxiety about getting the wheelchair in. No ramp was available but having alerted the organisers to our dilemma, tickets were purchased and the wheelchair was basically lifted in over the step. Seats had been kindly reserved for us at the front, with a space for the wheelchair. The only thing to mar my enjoyment was the extraordinary cocophony of sounds which issued from my stomach - a legacy I believe of the rhubarb crumble I had so carelessly chosen at lunch time for dessert. Honestly, I swear that Moll was more than once put off her lines by the loud and embarrassing rumblings. Certainly the small child seated next to me cast some startled glances in my direction. At the interval I swapped seats with Kate, so that I was seated between Kate and Tom to spare my young companion further trauma, but I am happy to report that things settled down eventually!

We waited for a while afterwards for the crowds to disperse and as we waited, a young man approached me. I think he must have been despatched by the organiser to assist us with the wheelchair. I watched the care with which he carried out his part in the operation, and was touched by the gentleness with which this stranger lifted and placed the chair on the ground outside.

After the play we headed back to the cottage together, where we stayed chatting until the early hours with Mairt and Sheila - Sheila regaling us with tales of the filming of Ryan's Daughter (Dingle is Ryan's daughter country, after all) of which she has first hand knowledge - having been in Dingle as a mere slip of a girl around that time.

All in all, a good day, yesterday.

No comments:

Post a Comment