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30 June 2008 @ 04:21 pm
Cousins Go Wild in Connemara  
At half four on Friday my cousin Sadhbh pulled up outside my office and I bounced out to meet her, guitar upon my back and weekend bag upon my shoulder. ‘Spring Break!’ she sing-songed yank style. ‘Road Trip!’ I squealed irritatingly. ‘Yeah!’ ‘Yeah!’, high fives all round. Giggled ourselves into her dinky wee love-heart decorated motor.
 
It took us four hours to get to Galvegas, but we didn’t feel it. The plan was to collect Saoirse and Roisin from Dangan and drive on out to Tourmakeady in County Mayo, but when we got to Dangan auntie Maria had dinner cooked, and our cousins Paddy, Brendan and Seanie were there, so we decided we’d hang in Galway for the night, and not set out for Mayo til the bright of the coming hangover.
 
We had a fun fun time dancing our crazy O’Tooligan asses off in the Roisin Dubh, but us girls still managed to get to bed by 3, so the 9 o’clock start wasn’t too painful.
 
Tourmakeady is the village our Grandad came from. The shop is O’Tooles, the pub is O’Tooles and the post office is O’Tooles. One can’t help but feel a certain sense of belonging. It’s on Lough Mask, and that whole area of North Mayo, well, you couldn’t dream up anywhere more beautiful. The lake with its little wooded islands, all the rivers and waterfalls, these shallow valleys and gentle stoney hills, and everything so green and gorgeous. Stop the car at any spot on any tiny winding road and face in any direction – the view will just knock you. Weird Gaeltacht sheep with curly horns, long tails and only their bellies sheared scuttle across the road, utterly unconcerned. It’s pure peace.
 
So yeah, we decided we’d drive to Westport and climb Croagh Patrick for our sins. The weather wasn’t fan-diddely-tastic, but it wan’t raining either, and the only mist we could see was right at the top, so up we went. Climbing a mountain is a class way to spend a Saturday. We were just dancing and singing and messing the whole way to the top. Speaking a muddle of Irish and English, taking photos, occassional flashing. At the summit you could lean right back into the wind and it kept you up. Croagh Patrick’s a nice climb, because it’s challenging enough to leave you with a sense of achievement, but easy enough that you’re not too knackered. Couldn’t convince me to do it in me bare feet like some of the loolahs we saw though.
 
Skipped down from the mountain, sweaty Bettys four, and spun back to Tourmakeady for a dip in the lake. Cooooold. But cold is good. Baltic bikini clad rock dancing with your cousins is even gooder. Got out of the water, shivering Sheilas all, and went back to Mary Ann’s, Sadhbh’s family’s holiday home. We cooked a yummy veggie dinner, had a few glasses of wine, and made ourselves pretty to pop down to Paddy’s pub, an O’Toole institution of the highest order.
 
There was some welcome for us. We were introduced to everyone, and well looked after by our cousin Dave behind the bar. There can be too much whiskey. A decent sing song, bit of a lock in, then back to Mary Ann’s for more singing and silliness. I cannot do headstands when drunk. Myself and Saoirse were the last to hit the hay at around 5.
 
French toast with blueberries, mango and strawberries on Sunday morning, then off up to the rockpools in the hills. There’s this one pool that’s about 12 feet deep and has a little waterfall that you can stand right in the middle of. A west of Ireland timotei ad, fierce exotic. Sadhbh and Roisin flaked themselves in off a rock. I slid in slowly, cause I don’t like that sudden shock thing. When I’m good and numb I’ll get out and clamber over rocks and cannonball with the best of ‘em. Still makes me a bit of a wuss. But I’m 24 now, I can be a wuss if I like.
 
We went back, showered, and tidied up the gaf. Saoirse and I nipped out the back to cut some wild roses for Granny and Grandad’s grave, then we all bundled into the Sadhbh-mobile, packed up for home. We stopped at the graveyard to tell Granny some stuff, then popped into Paddys to say slan slan to all. We didn’t intend to stay long, but Uncle Kevin insisted we have our dinner before hitting the road. I’ll you something, the food in Paddys has come a long way from bacon and cabbage. Great pub grub.
 
Our last stop was in to our granduncle Thomas and his wife Bid. Thomas is a deadly old gent. He has stories to tell. He showed us a book he owns that was given by Padraig O’Conaire’s father to Eamon Devalera. A book of Tennyson’s poetry, the barely credible inscription fading.
 
It was after seven by the time we were properly on the road. We listened to music and chillaxed quietly back to Galway. All nattered out I guess. Dropped Saoirse and Roisin at Dangan, and then it was Sadhbh and myself heading back to the big shmoke. Good company.
 
I don’t know like. Life is pretty good at the minute. I’m feeling my freedom. Jamming sessions, swing dancing, time to read, doing something cool every fecking weekend. A few bob in my pocket, and only myself to consider. Great friends, an exceptional extended family. I’m getting feck all sleep, drinking and smoking like a sailor, and my usually healthy diet has gone to shit, but I just feel, um, content, happy even, excited about things. This summer has been savage so far. May it keep snarling.
 
 
Current Mood: chippergreat
Current Music: Cyndi Lauper
 
 
 
bitchinboxers on June 30th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
i got some mingbag dancin photos to upload soon. it was good to get the galway sesh in even tho us dum boys didn't make it.
emer_the_lemuremer_the_lemur on July 2nd, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)
We're thinking of heading out again at the end of July. Y'game?

Can't wait to see them mingbag picaroos x