210.June 5

Nottingham, UK

I woke late as usual and continued packing. I went to the station at 11:00 to check on the trains. There was no way I could make travel plans, because the Continental Travel office was closed, so I walked to Sneinton, far past Greene's Mill. I stopped in a cemetery churchyard. The church was blackened and had broken tombstones. The bell rang two times. Greene's Mill was a good experience. I watched flour being ground up by big stone wheels and drop down into bags. Ramble on. I wrote a song in the graveyard on the way to the mill. "Plant a tree over me, when I die. Bury me shallow in the fertile soil. I never meant to leave you" and so on. I came back through the Lace center. There were restaurants and pubs that I wish I had been to. I stopped at one on the way to Sneinton, I wish I hadn't been there.

Kris came back that night. John got a call from his friends and got a date to the movies. David Faldet came home, and we talked. He played guitar and sang "Froggie went a courtin" Kris and I wished that he would have before it the year. It was great fun. Kris and I went to the Nag's Head for a pint and a half, and a long wonderful chat about what happened this year and what we think of everyone and things. I told him my story. I was a little tipsy, so I told more than I might have otherwise. I had told people after I returned from spring break that Kris was the person I missed the most. He is a wonderful guy. I took all my junk from the big room where I was packing yesterday, and slept in Jen's pj's and Stacey's bed again. Sleep is so wonderful for me now, my only true pleasure.


St. Paul, MN

I'm at the Uptowner on Grand again. I just returned from Minneapolis, my area. I applied for a job at the MS Society, either auditing pull-tabs or telemarketing. It does not matter to me much. They both pay over $6.25 at start. Then I stopped off at our Stephen's Square apartment office to give the manager my phone number. The Dr. Who theme is playing right now. Oh no, it's Pink Floyd, The Wall.

Then I stopped at the playwright center, where I signed up for a play-lab audition, so that I can be a paid actor there. I will audition June 12th at 17:40. I need a two minute monologue and a head shot. Resume?


Clifden, Ireland

POSTCARD: Sam and I are with a group of people who worked at a Best Western affiliated hotel (3 stars) in Kenmare, Co. Kerry. But the first person I met of this group was Willy, a bouncer at a nightclub there. He picked up up in Killarney and drove us (the scenic route) to Kenmare. He was a very rough looking man, but he seemed to love Sam and I. We listened to Rebel Music, a tape in his car. It was quite Revolutionary/Republican. The area is very much so. We listened to a song called "The Black and Tan like lightning ran from the rifles of the IRA". It's our favourite so far. Willy made a copy of it for us. He also let us into the nightclub free twice. We climbed a mountain with small Sheila and our two Luther friends. WE did sunbathing and heard Sharon Shannon, a famous Irish musician at the Square Pint, a pub in town. We also met someone named Martin who told me he worked in Galway as a baker, so we caught a lift instead of taking a bus. We flipped our travel plans around, and have many times since. Yesterday we landed a ferry on the Aran Islands (Inishmoor) and stayed at a hostel near the best fort in all of Ireland. It is on a huge cliff (scary) looking into the rough Atlantic. We biked to Rosselair to get to the ferry port from Galway, because we wanted to go to Connemara. We biked all over Inishmoor (14km X 3km) and walked this morning along the western cliffs to the south. We ferried back at noon and went to a beach made of sharp coral flakes. We biked to this town in Galaway called Carnu. Tomorrow, we bike north and climb.

Sam and I woke early, but rose late for breakfast. She prepared it when we came down anyway. Full Irish breakfast. We didn't know what it would be exactly. I ate all the Irish brown bread with marmalade, and all the soda bread, and half the toast. We tasted the sausage that we didn't ask for but forgot to forbid. This is the only meat I had here in Ireland. It was terrible, and we hated it, but now Sam knows what not to eat, and never to order another full Irish breakfast.

(Flight info: Here comes my meal and wine. I've eaten, and got a full mug of orange juice left to drink for afters, not to mention the Almond Roca with tea. Oh, to die for. 562 mph 1:44 since departure, 838 miles from London)

The next day, that is, after the B&B, and a great shower with ceiling windows, like skylights, but openable, the incredible dinner, everything good except the cost and how our butts felt, we headed north. What a lovely land with

rolling hills and sheep grazing happily along the roadside. Of all the lakes we passed, the bridge we took time off to pose for as trolls under a bridge it was a beautiful biking day took us to Binn Lettery Hostel under a mountain of a similar name.

We met two Australian women who rented their bikes in Clifden, who were just leaving the hostel having stayed the previous night, complaining of sore bums. They wrapped their seats with new Aran sweaters. John, the Brit from Sussex who now, as of two weeks ago, worked at that hostel, told us we missed out by not coming the night before. We already knew that, but now we had a reason to feel less fortunate.

We left our bikes and bags there at the hostel, brought my backpack and hitched smoothly to the town of Clifden. There we looked for good shopping buys. Like a black wool cape for mum. A necklace for the girl I left back home, and I bought a wool cap for me. We also bought groceries that day, an Irish Whistle, and then we headed home. Hitchhiking proved impossible in an eastward direction. The roads part way were being resurfaced, so dust encounters maddened the already tired Sam and Dave. Getting the 14 km home took forever, but we made it, and with lot more weight in our backpacks.

Sam slept and I cooked dinner. Leek soup with asparagus and potatoes. Fresh asparagus. It was tasty, and the bread also helped fill us up. Marmalade was still lasting. We grabbed our ciders, Bulmers, and started up the mountain. I had no intention of reaching the very top, but we changed our minds, or Sam did, after finishing his cider, mind you. I continued to nurse mine halfway up.

(Flight info: 537mph, 2:03 hours, 1,010 miles from London)

We followed sheep paths when they were available, and climbed the bare face when not. I was so tired that it felt nearly impossible, but I kept moving, until we were to the very highest point of the mountain top. I marked that territory, quite ceremoniously and found a red shoestring, to be tied forevermore to the lid of my Bagel Boy mug

(sitting now in from of me with orange juice. It's freshly super glued after it went through the luggage lock at Dublin Busearas station. But that's another story.)

(Flight Info: 2: 14, 1,100 Miles, 522 mph, slight turbulence encountered, seat belts back on)

I fixed the tube of my bike, which was punctured now, a very small hole just leaking slowly near the schraeder valve stem. Then to bed after tea and bread in the empty hostel. The shower pissed me awake the next morning, and I woke Sam for breakfast and to wait for the bus. We wrote some of course. Then, when the time came to wait outside, we were swarmed by biting bugs bigger than midges, near-the-road-gnats I think. Awful waiting. Finally the bus arrived, and the driver said he couldn't take our bikes. We had called, and were told they would be able to, so we were again infuriated. So, we had to bike on to Clifden to get our bikes on first, before anyone else filled up the rear compartment. The next one was supposed to leave at 1500 hours.


Madison, WI

I mowed the lawn in the morning, and cleaned up sticks, moved unattached fences and firewood into the playground area, and moved the Maxim xj650 into the garage for the weekend. Then we packed and left for Madison, where Rachel had an audition today for Opera Fresca. We stayed overnight in Madison at the Hotel Ruby Marie, and had their best room. We had four complimentary pints downstairs in their bar from Asylum Brewery in town, we'd passed it on the way off of 51. The Hoppilicious was wonderful. Then we got some advise from servers at the Essen house, who were there drinking together and had sat down next to us, not to go there for food. We went to a place called Sardine on the waterfront next to where Willy Street Bikes used to be, and had an amazing meal. I had Blue Marlin, and Rachel had fish cooked in parchment paper. We had a bottle of wine of the same Varietal that Laurel is using to make one of our wines for the wedding gifts, and Rachel ordered Creme de Cassis, which is going to be an ingredient in our signature wedding drink. They used the rest to make us a martini version of the drink Rachel described. We finished there, went to a pub on the way home, the Cardinal bar, where Salsa dance lessons were being taken in the next room. Then we went back to our room for a jacuzzi. I soon fell asleep, and Rachel got some midnight cheese curds.