The only difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral is that there is one less drunk at the funeral...
11.09.2015 - 14.09.2015 15 °C
I have finally regained enough motor skills to write again, mainly since I have to drive to Scotland tomorrow. The wedding on the weekend was huge, packed, and well catered. Pig on a spit, potatoes galore (as you would expect) and much rejoicing. The wedding was at a large country estate south of Dublin, used to be owned by the actor John Hurt who established massive gardens. This included an apple orchard right next to the wedding tent and heaps of people were pinching all the apples as the day went on. You've never seen so many suit pockets filled with apples. Or maybe you have, I don't know what sort of weddings you go to...
Last week I went to an old pub which is typical of the country buildings around. I mean, old. It was built in 1586 (there might be a few of you who remember it), somehow missed being destroyed in all the wars that have roamed the country since, and was when people were a lot shorter, It's hard to stay hunched over at the bar for a drink unless you are a hobbit.
There is music on in the pubs most nights, where anyone with an instrument just rocks along to play on a regular basis. Sometimes the local knowledge is handy to find the better ones and avoid the tourist ones. It is all 'diddly dee' music though - even the locals call Irish music that. The small bands guarantee a crowd in the pub, so they get drinks for nothing, play away, and everyone goes home happy; nothing formal and unpaid. They usually don't start till late (around 2200) which means the place usually fills up late and stays that way till stumps. All good fun, but results in many late nights with whiskey...though as has been pointed out, it is only when you stop that you get a bit tired.
Also went on a tour of Phoenix Park and the residence of the Irish President, commonly known as the Áras an Uachtaráin (don't ask how it is pronounced, you'll do yourself an injury). Basically the same as the Lodge in Canberra. He happened to be in that day, and the weather was very good, so he let his dogs out for a run, which are a massive Burmese breed. I thought they were two blokes in a suit. They just came bounding up to the tour group, frightened the bejesus out of us, and then happily sat for pats. Then the guide told us whose dogs they were. The gardens were pretty spectacular, and all the food prepared for state dinners at the place comes from the gardens and the grounds. The police mounted branch and headquarters are also here. It is all set amongst trees that were planted by various British and European monarchs going back to Queen Elizabeth I in the 1600s. Makes the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne look like a back yard.
Anyway, off to Scotland tomorrow where the fresh highland air should rejuvenate what mess I have degenerated into. Three days in Edinburgh, then to Glasgow area for a week, up to the north for another week. Will keep you posted.
NOTE: Due to administrative overload, and the fact that I can't count anymore, the whiskey tally has been discontinued. An overall estimate will be attempted in a strategic summary at a later date.