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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mellow days and music...


Ireland is known for the three-day wedding. Maybe it's our love for each other, the drink, the craic - or a little of all three, and the fact that Irish weddings tend to be large, but we have to make that big day out into a sort of festival. Nowadays the bride and groom acknowledge this and actually benefit from it, because the day after the formal "do" they can let their hair down and relax. I believe these normal rules did not apply to my cousin Aeda, rumour has it she was up til 4.30am the night before her wedding. Well, we didn't call her "All-night Aeda" on the hen for nothing.... The day after The Baker nuptials we headed to Glounthaune for a bit of a session. Of course the Quinn's (my Mum's family) were first to arrive en-masse but soon we had a 40/50 strong crowd, some a little more worse for wear than others. The day after is also a great excuse to catch up on the gossip from the night before, no one can get away with sheepishly creeping out of hotels and holiday homes - they have to face the music later on the Sunday. This wedding had plenty of stories of people creeping past other's in residents bars, letting themselves into other people's rooms on the QT etc.... Music was provided by Cillian, Aeda's brother in law, Aoife (who played and sang in the church) and Neilus, making a guest appearance. Various people gave us a tune - a highlight being Aeda's Dad, Denis, doing some Johnny Cash numbers. Some of my earliest memories are of Johnny Cash being played in their house. Scott did a great rendition of "500 miles," in true Scottish fashion and Tony sang and played "Lazing on a sunny afternoon,". I even did a number or two! It was another late night, a party back in the Paddocks and a great way to round off a fantastic wedding weekend. After breakfast being cooked for us (Full Irish no.3 of the holiday!) Gareth and I hit the road for the second leg of our journey to Dingle in Co.Kerry. The clouds threatened rain but we weren't worried, just excited for a quiet night and a bit of music. There were a few hairy moments on the Ring of Kerry - driving around cliffs in the rain with low visibility and the fear after 3 days drinking is not my strong point. When we met a bus coming the opposite way I nearly had to stop to collect myself - the only thing that drove me forward was the prospect of getting off the cliffs. It is a spectacular place with stunning views - I wished it had been a little clearer for Gareth to really see it. We checked into the Quayside B&B in Dingle just after 3. The hosts - Muris and Therese were so friendly and welcoming from the off with loads of suggestions for places to eat and drink and things to do in the town. We headed out for a late lunch - Gareth had his first Irish stew and we had a little walk around the town. Later in the evening we were lucky enough to be two of a hundred people who got in to the folk concert in St. John's Church. It was absolutely magical. Eoin Duignan, the uileann piper, was the host and played some wonderful tunes at times accompanied by the guitarist, John Brown, who entertained us with some chat between tunes. We also got to hear a new instrument - the hang drum, only created in 1998. After a short interval we were treated to the melodious voice of Pauline Scanlon, accompanied by Donagh Hennessy on guitar. It was so good, we didn't want to go to any bars so we could keep the tunes lingering in our ears. We had a fish and chips on the quayside and took a little walk, relieved to have an alcohol free night. Against our usual grain we were tucked up in bed by 11, with the rain pattering against the window.

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