207.June 8

Dunmanway, Ireland

After eating breakfast and arranging with the hostel to take a mountain bike at 5 pounds a day, I left for Blarney Castle, where I roamed and kissed the Blarney Stone. Is that supposed to give luck? Hmm... Then I had a long trek. I stopped at a power generator/salmon spawning area on the river Lee. Then another stop, again along the banks of the Lee Reservoir, where I talked to an old man with bad teeth who gave me directions. They were broken off and brown rotten. Wonderful man. I tried to follow his directions, but missed a turn somewhere making my route a bit longer to Dunmanway.

I passed a flock of sheep being driven on a road. I stopped for them. Then I began to ascend the slight hill they had come down. A car was approaching quickly, so I waved at it to slow down. I lost my balance and control of the handlebars. I fell forward hitting the pavement with my hands and then my chin. I stood up, then felt my chin and all the blood that came from it. It was soft, softer than skin and mushy. I held my off-white bath towel against it. The blood slowed. I tried to wrap my bandanna around it, but it would not stay. I biked on. I stopped at the next pub (no houses with people came before it). I asked for a place to wash the blood off. They pointed me to the washroom. I saw in the mirror the big hole in my chin. I came out and asked how to get a doctor. He got his wife, who bandaged it and sent me on my way. They knew nothing about any doctors.

I reached Dunmanway at sunset after biking in sheer agony for a long time. The last of it was downhill. I called the hostel and asked them to pick me up. She was German, so language was a little difficult. She came in a US-style jeep with a top. It looked military. My bike, now with a flat tire, I don't know how, fit in the back. I got a bed. I am the only backpacker here. I met the man, Paul from Glastonbury, and talked to him. He made me coffee. I tried to eat something, I boiled some water, and put in my cheese and the bread that I had left over, plus many different Indian spices, it was the most disgusting thing you could possibly imagine a bleeding person to eat.

I called my most recently girlfriend's Mother. She said I should get it stitched. It was bleeding a lot, soaking the bandage, so I took it off. Ugh. I talked to Paul, who agreed that I should go to a doctor. I went to the caretakers house to call for one. They helped me call the doctor and a cab. The cab came wearily (from the pub, probably, said the female German owner and a carpenter in Dunmanway, the cab company said he was spending time with his son) to pick me up and take me on the fourty minute ride to Bantry. It was the fastest ride of my life. I wanted to tell the old man to slow down. I'd rather have a hole in my face than no head left at all. The road was deserted, a back road that no one should be on at that time of night. When we got to the hospital, they asked the usual questions. They asked religion? I said none. They said "good." They called in personnel. They gave me two shots of local anesthetic before the stitches. Then the cab driver took me home. I fell asleep thankfully.


Cafe Du Journal, Sunday, June 8, 0930 hours 

Back here at the Journal, having a Cafe Latte (Italian morning coffee) so they say. We are sitting in the same seats as the two women I watched last night. The benches here are very tasteful, flat, with luxuriously thin cushions on the seats. The table leg support is of cast iron, with a marble round top. The music is blues vocal with guitar. They have a Cajun after dinner coffee, which I don't really understand, but perhaps their is some kind of seafood fishing connection between these two areas. The service, coffee shop, journal area is separated from the smallest dining table area anywhere, which serves also as a hallway, but only by a cap height seated wall that is a shelf for wine bottle candles and electric lamps. Now the blues are gone, Vivaldi is now spinning. 

There is a bench seat under the tall street window, which opens in, so you can sit there and watch people and cars slicing by. Much of the streets are only one way because it is a medieval city, but an old man at the bike shop with arrogant heathers of white hair said that no auto's should be allowed in the city, only bikes. He was old school Irish. They are a stately breed, and proud. Old men are different in the Midwest U.S.A. They did not always have to go to school, instead they could take over the farm or work. Running off was always an option for anyone, but from Ireland you could run to America if you failed here. The Spanish Arch Hotel is directly out the window, across the narrow street way. 

The walls of the Cafe du Journal are dark green, purple, yellow, but mostly green. only one wall is over half purple and the dark corner down sloping is yellow. The ceilings are all black. One which Sylia Plath is my guess. 

Shakespeare as Hamlet is also there. And the third means nothing to me yet. But the fourth, curving on the wall over the doorway to the 100 is a typist. Art for the sake of entertainment, but not only entertainment, a sense of history. A link to the past. A link to the future. I don't remember writing the word future. I think it just appeared on my page, because I was not thinking it. But if that is what comes after death, this ghostly existence with the tales of gray streaming from all we've done in life, then the future would be correct. Perhaps that will be how we are seen. Are we if we don't perceive? We are, something that exists. 

But that is not the question, Are we what? Living, yes, rightly so, but are we creatures. Others can perceive us. If I perceive Shakespeare through his work, is he? No. If I perceive a living poet though, without saying him, I would say perhaps "I like him/her. There is something about non-living that always we perceive as we would ourselves. But that living is our foundation for perception. It's got to start in the womb. Or even the sperm, which perceives a bit. A bit. 

There is a shaved headed man staring at me at the next booth. He might notice my drawings or my strange behavior stirring sugar into my coffee. The sun has just come out bright wanting to see Sam and I. We'd better wrap up this session soon. After another tea and coffee. But I'm already wired. I won't be tired today. I am fascinated by the older version of last nights short haired vested woman to my right. She wears green sweater, a very plain light valley green, with as silk scarf out of a green violin painting. More people have come, with a very foreign tongue. Sounding from Eastern Europe (Poland perhaps). There is the picture they make in the sunlight window with wild hair. All frizzy and woolly brown. One speaks very American. But no, Irish, I was wrong. I'm not entirely sure. My spoon is entirely too noisy. Lively smiles beyond this sugar holder with a slight arch on top. How long been sitting, sugar, cream and table. Ever wonder how long? Ever wonder how long individual objects have been sitting in one place without moving? How could you perceive a more pleasant place. We should find a place for an open reading of poetry. I shall now "I was a Galway Rover, now the oceans I do roam, I wander on the sea, I've no home in Ireland now, nor no family. They all died in the famine." write a happy song. 

POSTCARD: The Quays Pub, Galway 

Just read Sacco and Vanzetti by Woody Guthrie. Great lyrics. I don't believe I've heard the tune. I just bought a songbook of an Irish guitar player named Christy Moore with his versions of songs. I'm on the way to Dublin. I found out lots in Galway about the Delaney name. I'm headed then to London for the weekend and travelling with Lars during the week. I'm staying with a friend in London whenever I wish. She's temping now, looking for BBC broadcasting jobs, and living in our friends flat while he's on a course in the west of England. I'm so happy about my travels this far. I'm relaxed now. I won't take as much time in Dublin as I planned, becasuse I'd like to enjoy England at an easy pace. I'll go to Nottingham to visit my host family. Lars has never been to England, so it will be my chance to show him around for once. I know I'll go back to Galway, and there is plenty left of Ireland to see. I think I'll get a job here for that reason later in life. 

Delaney: Ballydulany (or Delaney's town.), Offaly 

O'Dubhslaine: "Black Slaney" Between Hilltown & Newry 

The "Black Slaine" is the river in Kilkenny upon the banks of which the Delaney family lived. The grand house is there, but there still seems to be some mystery and disagreement as to where Dubhshlaine are from, according to the map. When I find the river, I should narrow it down. My knowledge of my family name has grown much, but mainly I learned that it is an Irish name entirely. The motto is "Put all trust in God and you will be well provided for." We are known as powerful and unrelenting. God has done well for us I imagine. 

POSTCARD: Eyre Square in Galway 

In one hour, we are catching a ride from where this picture was taken, and with Martin the Galway Chef, we are in the Congo pub in the Spanish Arch hotel listening to a live jaz band with a great trumpet. They are singing a song about Basin Street, in New Orleans, where the dark and light always meet, "The Basin Street Blues.", It is beautiful here though with a skylight above us. We are in our favorite arch, which use to be a small doorway, now a table sits there, each having a Caffrey's Ale. When we arrive in Killarney tonight, we'll stay one night if we must, then catch the bus to Dingle Town. From their, we'll bike around the penninsula, seeing the ancient stone circles, graves, prayer houses, forts, the greatest amount of ancient ruins in all of Ireland. I'm so excited. Plus, our bodies now are ready for heavy biking. We've been in pain, but with two days break from the seat, we're ready. We met Martin at 1500 hours in front of the expensive hotel in town, playing hacky-sack between parked cars as we waited impatiently. 

(FLIGHT INFO: 6:33 hours, 525 mph, 3,276 miles from London. Moist towellettes are on their way. I've had a good flight, and aren't hot moist towellettes the perfect way to finish. Except there is still two hours left. I feel refreshed and a bit lemony. I'm now just entering Ontario air space. Not so far anymore. I'm excited to be home now. When I was there, I was happy to be, wanted to do more, but not a thing could be more pleasing to me than the prospect of coming home.) 


We went back to Killarney, where we joined a hostel, cooked ginger potatoes with veggie galore and leaks from a surprised green grocer who didn't know what ginger root was by sight. Greatest meal of the trip, complete with Cidona, an apple fizzy. The grocer tried to individually bag everything, and we kept telling him "NO" "no bags." We got him to remove all but one, one at a time. I told him we did not want to spread garbage over his country. 

That night in Killarney was a night of darts. We had splendid fun, good ale, and good shooting. I followed it with another early morning of wandering in a strange town. I got a scone with my small change and met Sam for another breakfast of toast and marmalade. Then we boarded a bus to Dingle. The ride was rainy with low fog, mostly condensed on the windows. So I slept.


I went to work late this morning, finally catching up on some needed sleep. Lunch was again spent writing checks to pay bills. I plan to do a little more relaxing tonight and not go to all of rehearsal.


Edinburgh to Stirling, Stirling to Oban,

We had lunch in Stirling, toured the castle, then stopped at the William Wallace monument, where we accended the hill to see it, but not to climb the monument. Then we drove all the way north to Oban, stopping at three or so ruined castles. On was the french castle from Monty Python's Holy Grail, which we circled along a beautiful river below. We got to Oban quite late, and had limited options for food, but we found a food court that worked out well. We had a pretty fun night at our apartment building as well, but I wished I'd done the closer to town one because of the inconveniences of the other with this large group.

Oban, UK by Abbie

June 8, 2023, 3:00pm – June 10, 2023, 3:30pm

9C Longsdale Terrace, Oban PA34 5JS, UK