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Dept. of Family

The Wandering Son

... has returned from Ireland, with 600 pictures on his camera, a gorgeous woven green and blue brooch for me, some very nice Irish whiskey for his father, stories of how the Guinness over there really does taste better than the stuff over here, memories of cliffs and hills and ancient stone walls and a great, great deal of green, and vows never to fly Delta again. I'm glad he's home, but I'm gladder still that he went over and had adventures in one of his ancestral homes.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
Ohhh jealous. I was looking at studying aboard there this summer but it was not meant to be. turns out I would have been in Belfast during the more recent riot.

Was he there for fun? What part of Ireland did he get to see?
Jul. 18th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
His dad and I are also jealous!

His girlfriend's dad is a Methodist minister, who got a sizable grant to go to the Republic of Ireland to research the roots of Methodism in Ireland. The grant also allowed him to take family members, and he offered to spot Andy half the cost of the round trip ticket, so that he could go with Erin. Andy was in Ireland for about 9 days; they stayed in a tiny village (maybe 300 people, he said) on the west coast of Ireland for most of the time, but did spend a day on the east coast. He says the two coasts are very different: the west coast is rocky in the extreme, with no trees, while the east coast is very hilly and covered with vast swathes of forest. He was completely out of touch with the electronic world, and says he loved it; they spent time walking and hiking the countryside, and visiting neolithic ruins and old monastic towers. When they were with the family, they didn't miss Facebook or Twitter - they played board games, spent time talking to each other, went down the pub for socializing - all the things we did before Teh Interwebz.

All in all, he had a marvelous time!
Jul. 19th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
What part of the west coast? Much of it is rocky, to be sure, but the bones of the land show through so gorgeously amongst the boglands. Also, the upper northwest coast - especially the parish of Erris in Co. Mayo - has some of the world's most gorgeous, pristine beaches. And let's not forget the Connemara mountains, which are so exquisitely, so eerily desolate that I swear they were borrowed from the far side of the Moon.

The east coast is indeed very, very green, but I'll take the lonely, older west any time :-)

~iz suddenly homesick as a homesick thing~
Jul. 20th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC)
They stayed in the town of Doolin, in County Clare. It's got a population of about 300 people, lies on the Aille River, and lies on the coast opposite the three Aran islands of Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore. Andy said both coasts reminded him of Nova Scotia, where I grew up, a resemblance I saw in his pictures. That doesn't surprise me: the Irish and Scottish emigrants who settled in Nova Scotia and other Canadian Maritime provinces were said to have felt at home there because of the similarity to their old home.
Jul. 21st, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
Ah, I know Doolin. Did a couple of seisuns there, long ago. Daww!

the Irish and Scottish emigrants who settled in Nova Scotia and other Canadian Maritime provinces were said to have felt at home there because of the similarity to their old home.

~nods~ Yes. When I get too, too homesick, I get someone to take me down to Phillip Island, because the land there feels rather like West Cork :-)
Jul. 18th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Sounds amazing and wonderful. I would love to visit, especially since it's one of my ancestral homes, as well.
Jul. 18th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
The pictures he showed us were absolutely stunning, right down to the ones with the fuzzy donkeys.
Jul. 18th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, so nice! Except for Delta, of course.

Can we see the brooch? My ancestral home is apparently mostly Prussia.
Jul. 20th, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
I'll try to get a picture of it uploaded to the computer, and put it up here.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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