When last we wrote it was about being rejected and scolded. Much has happened since and all of it good.
On Friday evening we went to “Stoop You Head” for dinner with friends and family of Lynne and Martin. Stoop Your Head is a restaurant/bar which specializes in seafood. They don’t take reservations but suggested that if we came for 5pm, it shouldn’t be a problem seating the 10 of us, and it wasn’t. The only problem was that we were to head off after dinner to The Gladstone Pub where music would be playing – starting at 10pm. Now that’s a) a long time in between the two and b) much later than we are used to going out. Apparently, though, it is quite common for stuff to start at that time of the evening – who knew?
We had a lovely meal with a lot of laughter and conversation. The Irish certainly know how to have a great time. By the time we got to the bar our numbers were down to 8 and then others had to go so by 10pm there were just six of us. Music is played every second Friday and our Friday was supposed to be the off Friday. However Dermott, one of Lynne’s best friends – in fact best man at their wedding talked to a couple “of the lads” and they came along anyway. It was just fantastic – exactly as one would imagine an Irish pub to be like. We didn’t leave until just past 2:00 – an hour and a half after the bar closed. There were a lot of traditional Irish songs but also an awful lot that we knew. People just sat, sang, listened, chatted and drank. One of those magical nights.
There were three of them – the fellow in pink, the one with the guitar and the fellow on his left. It was very interesting to watch how they each sang a song or two and then just played while one of the others sang and so on. The one in pink is a professional musician and fairly well known from what I understand but he was just “one of the lads” on Friday. Eventually Dermott was convinced to sing and he joined is as well. He has a fabulous voice as well.
Saturday was a short day since none of us stirred until just after 11:00 and eventually it was off to Anne and Mal’s beautiful home for a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef, cabbage with bacon, parsnip/carrot puree and Irish potatoes. I want you all to know that I ate all the vegetables and they were fabulous. I might even ask Anne for the recipes – except that the cabbages likely came from the field next door and what we get might be have the same flavor. I’ll have to see.
Anne and Mal live on an acre and have spent the last thirteen years working on their garden. It is spectacular. Both their home and the garden have been featured in Irish magazines.
Monday we were off to the west coast. Westport is a beautiful town. It is clearly a tourist destination but even so it has a fantastic charm. I will write more about it later, but let me tell you how fantastic it is. We go into the Porter House pub for a pint before we go off to dinner – which is an incredible experience in itself. After dinner we go back to the Porter House for another pint or two and for the music – which is also great. The place is packed. Our host Andrew says “The barman wants to know if any of our group lost any money earlier.” I had looked in my pockets and thought I had – but then there was wine and Guinness involved so I wasn’t sure. Andrew says go up and tell the barman. I say I think I may have lost 200 Euros ($300.00). He turns around goes to the till and brings back my 200 Euros. How amazing – first that someone would have turned it in and then that he would have pursued it. Again – thank you to the barman at The Porter House and some other kind and honest soul!
And finally, to recap week one…