In usual fashion I’m popping in far too late to say hello, I’m on holiday, and it’s been lovely so far. We went to All Tomorrow’s Parties over the weekend and are now in Ireland with Alec’s family. Today we drove past the Father Ted house, then got onto a very small propeller plane and flew to the Father Ted islands. There have been plenty of sheep, also some lambs. I am very happy.
I admit it, I’m stuck in the past. I sit here and try to think of something to write, but because my current life is boring beyond belief, and generally involves little more than me sitting in front of this laptop typing exam notes about judicial politics in France, me sitting in front of the TV watching Beyonce’s (fine) ass, and me sitting at the dining table eating chicken rice, I need to go back to a time I had fun. I’ll tell you about Ireland.
We were there to go to the Galway Races. And according to a secret plan of Alec’s, to also make me go up in a very small plane and make some pretence of learning to fly it. I don’t think he was planning to tell me this until I was actually thundering down the runway bug-eyed, but James let it slip earlier in the day. Fortunately or unfortunately, my date with the deathtrap had to literally take a rain check when weather conditions were unsuitable for flying, but I’m sure he’ll find a way of bundling me on another one some time in the future.
The Galway Races turned out to be quite similar to the Wimbledon Greyhound Races, except the things running along the track were bigger, and the chicks were better dressed. The major point of similarity between my two experiences with gambling is that we lost every bet here too. In the biggest race of the day, I scanned the 22 horses that were running and one stood out to me: Nearly A Moose. “Guys? I like Nearly A Moose! How about Nearly A Moose, huh guys?” The general response was that me liking the name was all very well, but look at its mediocre track record. I bowed before those who I thought knew better, and bet on another horse. Guess who won with odds of 52-1.
Further reliving our creeping dejection is too painful. I turn now to our creeping drunkenness. On the way back from the races, we stopped at a number of pubs. I forget how many exactly. At some point I revealed to Alec’s organic farmer friends that he often sought out organic food in the supermarkets. This brought much ridicule for him and hearty chuckles of “Take it from us, organic farming is bollocks!” At some other point I was at the bar ordering a round when the giggling ten-year-old boy beside me asked me if I was single on behalf of the very drunk old man beside him. We left the last pub around 1.30 in the morning. The third farmer brother had to milk the cows at 6. When we stopped along the way home to drop his girlfriend off, he decided to follow her, and did so amid shouts of “But what about the cows?” Poor cows.
The holidaying this year was rather different from last year. Ireland with my parents was pleasantly luxurious even if immensely trying at times. I’d forgotten how nice it is not having to share a room with 25 other backpackers and their assorted smells and nocturnal burblings, and the parental food budget was certainly far more nourishing than mine usually is. The tradeoff for this luxury was having to toe the tourist trail line – service staff treating us with an air of contemptuous sufferance, gimmicky stops like Blarney Castle, and way too much colcannon.
But the tour had its moments. At the Bunratty Castle medieaval banquet thingy (also gimmicky but fairly fun), my mother, in mead-filled merriment, started telling the guy in tights how gorgeous he was; later, when he announced to the “guests” that bands of roving brigands were apparently heading for the castle to rape and pillage, she exclaimed “Oh, goody!” I buried my face in my hands and surreptitiously finished off the rest of the mead.
On a guided tour it is easy to begin to take for granted the fact that there will be a roof over your head at night. In light of this, Spain with Alec was indeed a change, given that the only things we booked in advance were air tickets. In trying to find accomodation we therefore soon became very familiar with certain Spanish phrases, most of them ranging from completo to completo, fuck off. But all hiccups were ultimately muddled through without having to resort to “romantic” nights on the beach or me pretending to be pregnant with the next Christ, so all turned out well in the end, yay us.