A little story about Ireland
Many moons ago my friend invited me on a fishing trip to Ireland. Now I don’t fish and as the midges in Ireland are legendary for their ability to get into the most wrapped up places, the weather is generally misty with rain and the temperature can rapidly drop to miserable, I was not keen. However, tales of the spectacular scenery of Cork, the Ring of Kerry, peat bogs, Guinnesss, soda bread, pochino (illegal potato Hooch) and the hospitality of the Irish changed my mind.
I have a many stories about trekking over bogs, climbing mountains so steep that I crawled whilst sheep bounded past me, clouds whipping past me in high reaches, dolphins that came to investigate when you tapped two pebbles under water (didn’t happen) and spectacular food and alcoholic revelry, but this tale revolves around tradition.
On the shores of Eire there is a small village that retains the old tradition of story telling. Here in smokey pubs, old and new gather to listen to songs and poems of the past accompanied by traditional music. The wind howls, rain thunders and waves smash against the rocky shore, but snug and cosy inside the village’s pubs people gather around fires, drink copious amounts of Guinness and through the flame crackling gloam listen in silence to modern-day bards telling stories of old.
Three pints into an eulogy came a man. Dressed in a shooting jacket, dirty trousers tucked into Wellingtons, mud splashed liberally over his clothes and smelling more than a little of sheep, he joined the group.
“I’m off to the marriage festival ” he announced. It turned out that the marriage market, held in Lisdoonvarna, is one of Ireland’s oldest traditional where farmers come to town looking for a wife. After a few beers we helped him out to his landrover where a couple of sheep were staring out of the back window forlornly.
“Will you be changing your shoes. Patrick?” one of the locals asked as we watched the would be suitor climb into a matching mud splattered vehicle
“What!” Patrick replied ” I’ll win her over by charm alone”
I often wonder how he managed to Foxtrot in Wellington’s and if he ever found true love.