Thursday, August 03, 2006


Back from Ireland

I've just returned from Ireland after spending a few days walking and camping in the rain. I went with my girlfriend for the wedding of her friends, Sadhbh and Marcus. We caught the night ferry from Swansea and arrived in Cork just after dawn. I like Cork a lot. There's nothing much there in the way of sights but the spirit of the place is invigorating. Cork is the home of Beamish, perhaps the finest dark beer in the world, and I sampled a few pints of the stuff. The wedding was very enjoyable and Sadhbh looked lovely and the band played old jazz tunes and everything went to plan, at least as far as I'm aware.

Then I caught a bus to Dingle in the far west of Ireland. The Dingle Peninsula is a remote area where the main language is still Irish rather than English. I was impressed with the place but I might have been happier if the weather had been reasonable. There were some periods of sunshine and even patches of clear sky at night, but mostly the wind was furious and the rain was savage. We set up our tent in the grounds of a rural hostel and drank lots of cheap tea. I was stung by two bees and our tent nearly blew away. But we had a nice walk along part of the Dingle Way, to the beach at Ventry and beyond to the ancient Dun Beag fort. The view across the sea to the Blasket Islands was stunning.

Now I am back in Wales and I have plenty of work to do... It's possible that I might be teaching a short course on 'Fantastical Literature' at the Dylan Thomas Centre early in September, just before the official launch of my Molehills of Madness book. I only have about six weeks to save enough money to go travelling for my 40th birthday. I don't fancy being stuck in Wales during that grotesquely momentous occasion!

Hey, you traveller, don't forget to put Portugal again on your agenda! We are planning to do something around Borges again, thys time joining you with Blanca Riestra, the author of "El sueño de Borges", which we are preparing to publish!


Pedro Marques
Glad you didnt complain too much about the weather! I recommend somewhere hot, that does not allow moped travel and has little slave boys to carry out your every whim. I recommend El Salvador circa 1980.
Glad to have you back. huw
Stung by two bees! I think you have to wear a merkin of stag beetles to prevent that. I'll check my copy of Hooton's Encyclopaedia of Insect Wards when I get home.
Bom dia Pedro! Yes I'll certainly try to get to Portugal for the Borges conference!

Thanks for that suggestion, Huw. I'm looking forward to hearing you play in the Chattery on August 26th -- if I can get a ticket!

Good day, young kicky Stu! The stag beetles in Ireland were all drunk before their weddings, unfortunately! But I'm looking forward to hearing you play on September 15th!
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