Sunday, July 17, 2005

Mission accomplished. The stresses and strains of the last few months behind me; the head cleared of dialogue from that successful, sold-out play; books read; feet up; relaxed frame of mind; lots of staring at the surroundings muttering to self, "wow, what a view!". We stayed in a rather large house that sat atop a hill that looked out over the Celtic Sea. The sun shone brightly. We took the guitar and had a sing-song. We drank Guinness. We ate a stack of food, not all of it authentically Irish (I am thinking here of our two Thai meals). We drove around County Cork and recognised its loveliness on countless occasions. We flew a kite. We played (might be too strong a word given our lack of sporting ability) badminton. We hurled a frisby at each other. We spent a day in Cork, catching up with our pal Josh Rouse at the hot, sticky, rather tiny An Cruiscin Lan, the city's "best live music venue". At the same venue, we sat next to Joe Chester, not realising he was on the bill until he popped down his empty bottle on the table and headed onto the stage, nor who he actually was until we asked a friendly woman sat opposite, who was impressed with where we were staying. Josh and his band, who we saw soundcheck because we turned up a good hour before anybody else, blew the power out with their MOR stylings, forcing their appearance to be concluded acoustically - a rather unique gig all in all. On the way to our destination we saw people heading to Oxegen and wished we'd had the foresight to plan a visit to the festival into our trip. I clocked up 1,200 miles. Castletownshend's main attraction really is a tree stuck in the middle of a traffic island. Driving constantly at or over 100km an hour feels curiously satisfying. Another seven days would have been just right. But the seven days we had were rather good.

Managed to keep up with the London business via Irish media. Well-balanced stuff. Saw the silence. Part of me rejoices that people can demonstrate in this noble way, another is angered by such an orchestrated show of emotion. Can we not just feel the way we feel without being told when and how to respect those that were blown to smithereens? Right now is an important time to watch those bastards that rule our lives. With everyone understandably gripped by fear and paranoia, in fly the new rules and regulations. Could you tell me how an ID card would stop a suicide bomber from Leeds?

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