Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Well, well just when you think you are learning things, you receive a great big shock. Remember the title of the last it should have been post –
I An bhfuil Tar, Been buailte Chun Mo Glúine agus Tite i Grá – Ah Ireland

Well, according to long time Irish person Lynne it actually translates as
” I (in English) are you (gaelic), been (in English), comma (Gaelic), to my knees and (Gaelic) (tite i, isn’t anything) love (Gaelic).”

If I wanted to say I Have Come, Been Beaten To My Knees and Fallen in Love – Ah Ireland it should have been
Bhi me ann ar mo gluine agus ta gra orm – Ah Ireland” (bearing in mind Lynne has not spoken Irish in 41 years!!)

The moral of this is don’t believe everything you read when you use Google translate.

Now Martin (supported by Ken) thought I made several errors in the last post. As I pointed out in my pointed retort, I was just Brian Williams’ messenger and it was my truth. Nevertheless, I admit that the words on the page were not 100% accurate and this becomes another example of don’t believe everything you read from a normally very reliable source who has got their information from someone else secondhand.

I will provide a further example later, but right now let’s get back to the golfing marathon.

On the Wednesday we were scheduled to play Ardglass and Scrabo. (Ed. note: 1. Did I mention in the last post that after all of us played Castlerock in the morning (another fantastic golf course), the other 3 played a round at Royal Belfast Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon, which was arranged by Lee’s wife’s cousin? Well they did. 2. Did I mention that after the round at Royal Belfast they showered and got changed as we had been invited to Peter’s relatives for dinner? Did I mention that just as we got there and walked around the corner Patricia was getting into her car to go out for the evening? Did I mention that it is first time I think I have ever seen a truly shocked face? Did I mention that we were supposed to be there the next night when she had invited a number of people to come and meet us? Did I mention that we couldn’t go as we were going to Lee’s relatives – Connie and Arnie who had arranged Royal Belfast – for what turned out to be a delightful dinner? Did I mention that Stanley and son David invited us in and served us a wonderful meal anyway? Did I mention that Peter will likely never get over his embarrassment since it was mentioned right in the email he received? I didn’t mention it? Oh well, I’ll let it go then.)

Anyway, back to Ardglass and Scrabo. When we told people we were playing those two, their reaction was “You will love Ardglass” “Scrabo? Really? That is a dangerous place.” The morning round was at Ardglass which is on the Irish Sea. First of all, it is the most spectacular golf course I have ever been on. The views were magnificent and the course itself very very playable, even with or, mostly against, the wind.

Ardglass Golf Course

Ardglass Golf Course – taken from their website

The clubhouse is the oldest in the world. It is actually a castle which dates from approximately 1400.

Ardglass Clubhouse - where old meets new

Ardglass Clubhouse – where old meets new

Mike, Lee, Peter and (Open your eyes) Geoff - this was taken by the Honorary Secretary who literally runs the course. He, the Financial guy and I spent an hour chatting in the restaurant when the other 3 decided to skip Scrabo and play a second round here.

Mike, Lee, Peter and (Open your eyes) Geoff – this was taken by the Honorary Secretary, Brian Magee, who runs the course. Brian and Brian McMullin, the Financial guy and I spent an hour chatting in the restaurant when the other 3 decided to skip Scrabo and play a second round here.

Hole #1 - wind in your face, uphill, coast to the left. The green in way up there in the green circle.

Hole #1 – wind in your face, uphill, coast to the left. The green in way up there in the green circle. A great start!

The 2nd tee. It is hard to hit a quality shot when you are mezmorized by the view.

The 2nd tee. It is hard to hit a quality shot when you are mezmorized by the view.

Hole 2 - don't go left.

Hole 2 – don’t go left.

Hole 3 - a simple little par 3 - except for the wind, the cliff and the gorse.

Hole 3 – a simple little par 3 – except for the wind, the cliff and the gorse.

By the time we finished the 6th hole, we figured that we would be saying goodbye to the seaside and hello to inland holes. Not so, Batman. 11 of the 18 holes have some or all of them along the water. The architect did an incredible job. The 11th, for example is a reverse of the 18th at Pebble Beach – the water is down the right hand side and is just as magnificent. If you are a golfer and you go to Ireland you must play this golf course. We paid £59 in the morning and the other 3 paid a further £16 to play the second round. Plus, you can become an International Member for £250 a year which allows you to play as often as you wish while you are there. Finally the people were all fantastic – from assistant club pro, to bartender to Honorary Secretary. What a wonderful experience.

Coming home. Downhill, with the wind. I could easily have reached the green. The aiming point is on the left (fuchsia dot). Land it in that general area and it runs to the green in the distance. Yellow dot is my ball. Sigh....

Coming home. Downhill, with the wind. I could easily have reached the green. The aiming point is on the left (fuchsia dot). Land it in that general area and it runs right to the green in the distance. Yellow dot is my ball. Sigh….

Then it was back to Belfast to Connie and Arnie’s – see above.

The last round was at Layton and Bettystown Golf Course. It was a tad confusing. First of all, who names a golf course after two towns just because it sits on the boundary between them? Then why do you go in to the office to pay green fees and not the pro shop? Then who has a traditional 9 holes out and 9 holes back in and then changes the numbering of the holes – thus invalidating Peter’s Sky caddy, so that people can play the 6 from the front nine and then three of the back nine in order to play just 9 holes? Then who makes the cards and the tees in meters, but the 100,150, 200 yard stones in yards? Finally who has a pro who clearly has no idea what is going on with the golf course and apparently doesn’t care either, given the rolling eyes and shrugging shoulders when scribing all of this to us? Apparently, the Irish in the Layton and Bettystown do all of the above. Still and all, it was a nice golf course and although I lost 10 Euros to Peter, it brought our golfing sojourn to a wonderful ending.

On the first tee: I am getting to where I understand Chinglish, but does this really mean what it says?

On the first tee: I am getting to where I understand Chinglish, but does this really mean what it says?

Opposite the first green stood this building. Someone thought the roof on the left was asbestos - but I have no idea.

Opposite the first green stood this building. Someone thought the roof on the left was asbestos – but I have no idea.

The beach along the golf course. Every year there is a horse race along the here. It used to be a steeplechase, but, unfortunately 6 horses died one year and it was changed to a flat race.

The beach along the golf course. Every year there is a horse race along the here. It used to be a steeplechase, but, unfortunately 6 horses died one year and it was changed to a flat race.

Which way do you think the wind predominantly blows?  The beach is on the left, so I agree, it blows from left to right. However, on the day we were there it blew right to left - go figure.

Which way do you think the wind predominantly blows? The beach is on the left, so I agree, it blows from left to right. However, on the day we were there it blew right to left – go figure.

Enough of the golf now. I still have to tell you about Peter’s night in Dublin and Lee and my cruising on the River Shannon, but for right now let’s get back to don’t believe everything you read. When I first told Lynne and Martin that I was off to Ireland and would be starting out quite close to Skerries, where they are from, Lynne strongly encouraged me to go. I thought it would be great to see as on the neat it looks like a pretty cool town. Sadly, I never did get there. But, if you use Google Earth Street View, Screenshot and Photoshop you can actually convince people that you did get to their home town.

Shennick Island, off the coast of Skerries from Weldon's Lane

Shennick Island, off the coast of Skerries from Weldon’s Lane

Sorry you two, but it is an excellent example of Don’t Believe Everything You Read – even if it is a picture.

The Shoe Blog

Friday night before we head downtown for Peter’s big night in Dublin, a group of 10 adults and 2 kids wander into the lobby of our hotel. They were, as Terry would say, the full Poco. The lobby seating area also serves as an adjunct to the bar. I spy these three pairs of shoes among them. As you can see, the dark pink ones on the left are pretty much a cute pair of shoes being warn by a woman in sensible flowered dress trousers. The other two though. Whoa!  The other pink pair were worn by a woman who could not take more than two steps without pulling down the elastic band she was pretending was a dress. She was 40 – pushing 45. The ones on the right belonged to a woman around 20 so I would say that her short short short dress was more age, if not weight, appropriate.

Ah Ladies, do you mind?

Ah Ladies, do you mind?

Now the real story. I sit talking with Pete, Lee and Mike for about half an hour before deciding what the hell. I warn them that this might be the last time they see me alive, get up, wander over to the group and squat down next to sparkly pink shoes. As 20 eyes stare at the intruder, I explain that I am from Canada but living in China and that my wife and I write a blog, incorporating unique and lovely shoes into it, showing her the blog on my phone. I go on to explain that “I don’t have a shoe ..” “Fetish” comes from the other side of the group. “..problem” I continue. As I look up I see one of the younger men – 30 – 35 staring at me. I ask if he is okay with this and he says “Sure, what the hell” I get the photos, laughingly comment that I thought I was back in China as I watched them take a whack of selfies (Ed. note: I was the only one laughing), thank them and go back to my own seat. Now I don’t know what Peter said to them when he went over as I sat down, but no one came after me.

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