Monday, 23 february 1998
I got off the plane, and went out to meet a perfect stranger, who came later since I had thought I'd be arriving a half hour after I did. The perfect stranger's name is Anne, and she is from Cork and in Doug's church, and I'm living with her and her family. She took me to their house and gave me tea, and she and her husband Dennis and a student living with them named Patrick (and he's a redhead too!) and I watched the telly NBC Europe. That fascinated me, and I hope to use it for my independent study. We chatted and one by one headed for bed. I have a double bed, my own WC (shower doesn't work though). Amazing. I just have to be careful not to bump my head on the ceiling (my ear is still ringing from the last time).
Tuesday, 24 february
I had breakfast on my own; everyone else was out already. Around 12.30pm anne came home with dara, the youngest daughter, and then went again to get emma, the older one, from school. When she got back we all had lunch, and then emma and I talked a bit and made friends.
Around 2pm I walked into town. After wandering around a bit, I found the post office, where I changed money and posted a letter. Then more wandering; I grabbed some orange juice and sat in a park to drink it and write (it was quite warm today). next I came upon a cathedral, Fin Barre's, where I looked around and then sat for a while before heading off to meander some more. I found a spot high above the south channel of the River Lee, where I looked down and looked out and then watched some guys practising their hurling skills.
then I walked more, and found my way back to the route home which anne had mapped out for me. I got home around 5pm, and then helped out in the kitchen for a bit for Tea. That was good, and we finished off with pancakes for Pancake Tuesday. Then some telly and reading before anne dropped me off at a prayer meeting for their church. She went on to an Irish dancing lesson, where the other half of the congregation were (a few at the prayer, and a few at the dancing).
The prayer meeting was great. A bunch more complete strangers, but I soon felt quite comfortable and could even decipher their thick Cork accents rather well. around 9.40 anne came and picked me up, and I climbed into a car full of women coming back from the dancing lesson. It was an entertaining ride, when all the ladies were talking about how their parents used to respond to them dancing when they were teenagers.
Wednesday, 25 february
I headed to town, again, and made my way first to St. Ann's of Shandon church, where there's a big steeple and famous bells. I spent time in the church looking at the old books that they have there, and was especially impressed by a prayer-book, in Irish, from 1830: beautiful printing of the beautiful language. Then on to the steeple, and I rang one bell but not from the belfry, but instead with my foot pulling on one of the ropes to the clappers. I went out on the parapet and let the wind blow my hair in thousands of directions, and then made my way back down.
Next I walked westward, to Fitzgerald's Park, which is a big well-kept garden next to the River Lee. I sat there and wrote some, and breathed in the smell of grass and flowers and trees (most of Cork is, I think, rather polluted... at least there are several times I don't want to take a deep breath, like London). That was until 2.15pm, when the (free!) Cork Public Museum opened for the afternoon. There I learned some of the history of the city and of the country as well, mostly a very pro-Republican take on the Irish fighting the British.
I stopped in a cheap little grease spot where I got chicken and chips and coke. Then on to a big bookshop, where I bought Tolkien's Return of the King, which I'd been wanting to reread for a little while now. I then sat by the north channel of the river and read the first chapter, before I started to get just a little bit chilly and headed home.
about 5pm I returned, and helped out with dinner and then we ate. After dinner I hung out with the girls for a little while before secluding myself for the next four hours, to pore over maps and my guidebook about things to do over the next few days, and then to read.
Thursday, 26 february
I looked outside and it was raining a bit, so I thought I'd wait to see if it got any better. When I decided it wouldn't improve, I headed into town in spite of it, and I gathered information at the bus terminal. My plan was to go to Blarney today, and since I had an hour to kill before the bus left, I went to a little coffee shop and had some cake and a coke and wrote. The cake was great and the whole time was just lovely, nice and slow.
Then on to the bus, and on to Blarney, which was a half-hour ride through some pretty good-looking countryside. The town itself wasn't much, but I went to the castle and wandered around in it, very dilapidated it was and I went through using the always-bear-left rule that I learnt from playing the Wolfenstein castle game on the computer way back when. Same strategy I used at Craigmillar (in Scotland). The castle was interesting just because it was old and decayed, but much better were the surrounding grounds.
I explored those as thoroughly as I could, and by this time the rain had stopped and left a good green smell behind it. and a bit of mud and sticky grass on my shoes. But I wandered, and walked along the river there and the rocks and mud and grass and trees, and I breathed in and listened to the birds. Eventually I found a perch, after walking over most of the available area, where I could sit and watch and write for a while.
Then to the town again, and after wandering up and down what little of it there was, I went to the bus stop. The bus got me back to cork around 5pm, and I walked home from there home. anne was feeling ill today so dennis and patrick and I ate together, and then I read and wrote for a while before having some tea and watching some telly with the boys.
Friday, 27 february
I got on a bus and took it through some very green places to Youghal, pronounced sort of like 'yawl' in English. That's a coastal town at the end of Youghal Bay, which just looked interesting on my map so I went for it, in search of being by the sea. It turned out to be a good pick. After walking and picking up an amazingly cheap lunch, I got to the sea, and had a whole afternoon to sit on or climb on rocks. Across the bay was a big green chunk of land rising out of the water, and there I was on these fabulous pink and brown and grey rock formations, scrambling over them and watching the tide rise. I'd arrived at low tide, which was the only reason I was able to climb on any of those rocks; the tide was up by the time I left and I could see that, by then, everywhere I'd been was submerged. But while I was there the rocks were dry, and I took some time to sit and look out, and then climbed and was reminded at times of climbing on rocks by the sea in Maine. Only these rocks were much more rounded, and lower, and pinker. There was even one cave that I got to go into, which would have been filled by the tide later. All the rocks were covered with various types of sea-life.
When I started to get cold (and it was raining, but it had rained a bit before and I hardly noticed, a misty rain that lasts for all of five minutes and is just enough to get the grass wet) I headed back up to town, over the sea wall, and into a pub. I chatted with the barman and read a bit in there, 'til it was time for me to go out and get my bus. I could see a rainbow hitting the land across the bay from the bus stop. Then on to the bus, and through more green. In Scotland they told me that Ireland is greener than Scotland and I hardly believed that could be, but now I see what they meant. The green here actually has a glow to it, just radiates complete greenness. The ground here must be very well-fed indeed.
All the signs not just along the highway or 'link-road' but everywhere, on streets etc. are in Irish and then English. On a few buses I saw destinations written only in irish. And yet everyone speaks english most of the time; it's almost (sadly) as if the government is making a concerted effort to keep it alive. I have heard people speak it, though, including my host, dennis.
I walked home from the bus station in Cork, through more misty rain. I arrived about 6pm and anne just put dinner right in my hand a few seconds after I walked in. A bit before 8pm dennis took me in his big construction van to tonight's prayer meeting, which was all of 5 people and quite good. Then back home, where we all watched the telly for a while and had toast, before I came back up to the room to read some and to pore over my map and guidebook some more.
Monday, 2 march
I got on the 11.25am bus to Dingle Town on the Dingle Penninsula, via Tralee. That ride took about four hours, and all the while I stared out the window, at the beautiful green farms and the rivers and the sides of mountains. It rained on and off during the ride, but I didn't mind the rain; if anything, it enriched the air as it touched the land, so I was glad for it. and I listed to the radio, because most of the bus drivers here play their radios in the front so that anyone toward the front of the bus can hear it, and I enjoy the odd mix that the stations (Radio 2 and Radio Kerry on this trip) provide as a soundtrack to the trips. Curving against the hills, around Tralee Bay, while listening to the Waterboys' 'Fisherman's Blues' was exhilarating.
And then I arrived in Dingle, and it was raining so I ducked into a pub for a while, to have the soup of the day and to write. After I was done all that, I went off in search of the post office to mail a letter, but I took a wrong turning somewhere and wound up walking for quite some time along several walled-off farms, on a near empty road. As I walked on the side of this road, the notion came to me of hitching. I originally wanted to stay at the An Óige hostel in Dunquin (Dún Chaoin, further west from Dingle Town) but when I saw that there were no buses from Dingle to Dunquin at that time, I decided that I'd just stay at a different hostel in Dingle. As I walked and eventually came to a roundabout off of which one road led to Dunquin, I figured I may as well see what sort of results I'd get if I stuck out my thumb toward Dunquin. Every source I've checked has said that hitching is quite safe here, and I have been discovering on my own that folk here are apt to be giving and trustworthy for such things.
The first car that came my way slowed and let me in. and so it went for a total of five out of seven cars on the way to Dunquin. All of them were willing to take me as far as they were going. Only two passed by and it looked like they were both about to turn off the road anyway. all told, the journey to Dunquin took about 1.5 hours; I rode with a man working in Dingle and living in nearby Ventry, who dropped me off at Paidi o'Sé's (Paddy O'Shea's) Pub, the One Place of meeting in Ventry I believe; a pair of farmers (and their car did smell like a farm, just a bit) ; a lady coming home from shopping; a father and son pair who spoke to each other in Irish (probably just to make me paranoid that they were talking about me... or because they were talking about me....) ; and last of all a man from Cork who owns a hair salon there and actually took me hunting specifically for the hostel, since he was only driving around for sightseeing's sake anyway. (He pointed out the house of The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan, up on the hill overlooking Dunquin.) The road that goes to Dunquin is part of the Slea (pronounced 'slay') Head Drive, an extremely scenic route that hangs on to the edge of the peninsula and attracts visitors with cars, or visitors who are willing to sit in other people's cars.
When there were no cars I would walk, and it was quite a bit of walking but there was always the possibility that the cars would simply cease to come. Again, only seven cars did I see going the right direction, in 1.5 hours! The two farmers told me, in Irish laid-back don't-worry-about-anything fashion, 'It'll take a while, but you'll get there, you'll be just fine...' and I believed them, and continued to do so even when I was stone-stepping across a waterfall in the rain and it was getting darker and I started to wonder if I'd be sleeping in an abandoned barn tonight. (This waterfall ran right through the road! The road became cobbled rather than paved, and the waterfall that was coming from the mountains above just went right over the cobbled road and continued on its way down to the sea. Why bother messing with a waterfall just for the sake of a road, right? I love this country!) All the while, the views of the Atlantic crashing on the rocks, and of the sheep just sort of bumbling along the edges of these stark cliffs, made me want to whoop and sing, which I did, since there was no-one near to hear me. except for the sheep, who seemed quite confused by me.
It occurred to me that if I had not followed a little urging in my head which said, basically, 'there is a road that has just put itself, not of your own plan, in front of you... so take it,' I would have missed out on the Slea Head, and just stayed in Dingle Town and seen much less of the coast and none of the people that I got to meet.
finally I got to the hostel, and paid my 6 pounds to stay there and have sheets, and I was going to go to the nearby Kruger's Pub for dinner but I found that they do not serve food this time of year. but they are the only establishment of any sort for miles, including shops and all. So I had no food for my dinner. At the hostel I read and wrote and went to bed early.
Tuesday, 3 march
I was going to get up and watch the sunrise but it was pouring with rain all night and into the morning. So I slept through the worst of that, and then woke, got around, and went down to see the Blasket Island Heritage Centre... but that was closed for the season. So instead I went right up to the sea and said hello, and then walked back up to the main road.
Since I had not eaten since yesterday afternoon, and since it was raining slightly again, I was quite happy when, again, the first car to drive by picked me up. this time it was two American brothers who are in ireland visiting family. They were going all the way to Dingle, to which I needed to get back, along the top half of the loop, where I'd not yet been. They made one stop and let me tag along for it, to see a church which is shaped like an upside-down boat, built in the 7th or 8th century out of nothing but stone (no mortar of any sort)... and it has never leaked. And then we continued on to Dingle. The signs along the way were usually just Irish, no English at all; Dingle is part of the Gaeltacht, where irish is much more frequently spoken and promoted, and I've heard a good bit of it here so it must be working.
There I grabbed some scones for breakfast (food at last!) and then finally found that Post Office that eluded me yesterday. I still had a while to hang out before the bus for Cork via Tralee left, so I went into Adams' pub for a pot of tea, and read and listened to people there, and then walked on, explored more, and went into another pub, and had a basket of chips for lunch. More reading, more people-watching. By that time the rain had died down, so I went to the quays and watched the boats and the boatmen and walked around and didn't breathe in too deeply.
Then on to the bus, and on to Tralee, then Cork. Again the ride was gorgeous, but this time I didn't manage to stay awake for all of it, and faded a bit on the Tralee to Cork leg. After getting off the bus, I walked home, greeted the family, had dinner, and read and wrote and planned for future journeyings.
Wednesday, 4 march
I spent most of today at the public library, reading up on modern Irish history, Celtic history and legend, and religious background, partly to research for what I'm trying to write and partly for personal curiosity's sake. As always I found myself captivated by the legends, many of which I've read before: the Tuatha de Danaan, Oísin and Niamh and Tír na n'Óg (the land of eternal youth, and the name of one of the pubs I dropped into sometime in the last few days), the Children of Lír, Deirdre and Naoise... and the history, how the Celts never managed to consolidate enough to fight off the Romans, the Vikings, the Normans, and finally the Angles and Saxons; but they still in their reckless and unorganised way shaped all things European for quite some time.
Things about this country sort of clicked for me as well, Ireland being the only country that managed to stay almost completely Celtic for the longest time. Nothing about this country, from bus schedules to political debate, is carefully ordered or often even logical, and the people are very laid back and seemingly carefree. But still they are fiercely defensive, in their highly individualistic ways, of what they have, and will fiercely pursue what they want; both the defence and the pursuit, however, are often unsuccessful because of a somewhat limited respect for doing things in an orderly or practical fashion. The 'Protestant Work Ethic' is not much of a force here. Folk would much rather just sit around and talk, rather than driving themselves to acquire goods or wealth... or to rigorously acquire knowledge and wisdom either, sometimes. The intellectual is not highly respected, but someone who operates according to trust and faith and is trustworthy and faithful is; thus the preference here to priests over politicians, I guess. People here are much less interested in hearing about my studies than in hearing about the Amish people of Pennsylvania, or about the television shows that we have there (it seems to me that the television interest comes from a desire to know which stories people in the U.S. are absorbing, and how they differ from the stories that people here absorb, because these days television is the #1 narrative-transmitter...)
Reading about the saints (even from the point of view of Irish Protestants), I noticed that it didn't much matter if a thing was 'impossible,' for two main reasons: 1) They simply don't take much stock in classical divisions of 'possible' and 'impossible.' There is no doubt, even among those who don't consider themselves religious, that miracles happen constantly, or that there is something more than the physical / material realm. Academic inquiry, usually springing from and often limited to the material realm, is therefore sometimes rendered empty of much significance, or irrelevant. 2) If it's part of the story, then it's part of the truth. The story provides a symbol or pattern of symbols, even if it's not literal fact, which ultimately transmit truth (_supposedly_, if the story is told by someone you trust, like your family or the Pope). It seems that the Catholic Church, with its billions of stories and symbols in objects, saints, or dates of significance, caters very well to this.
Ancient Celtic hospitality (I did not know this before today) was renowned, as well. A chieftan would let a total stranger eat at his banquet, and only after the food and drink would he bother asking the visitor who he was, or even if he were friend or foe. So sometimes after dinner there was mortal combat with someone with whom you had just shared bread, but more often there would be an adopted member of the family sleeping, like you, on the straw on your floor.
It was good to be able to do the reading, and make the connexions with what I'm seeing from day to day. What I read sparked the thoughts above, but the thoughts were continued based on what I've seen and heard while here. The after-dinner mortal combat possibility is, it seems, the biggest 'rub.' Last night, in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, two friends were in a pub. one man, a Protestant, had just told his lifelong friend, a Catholic, that he was about to get married and that he wanted his friend to be his best man. And then someone, probably a Loyalist paramilitary, came in and shot six of the people in the pub, including both of these two men who both died soon after.
I first read a report of this in a tabloid during lunch today, when I had soup and tea at Applegate's, a wonderful spot near the bus station (it's a furniture store with a café in the back, and if I lived in Cork, I'd be a regular). I watched a fuller report on the news when I got home this evening; I had thought that the tabloid was exaggerating the poignancy of it, but it hadn't. such things stab me through on every possible level, not so much because it's a touching story as because it's simply unacceptable to me. not right, not right!
Thursday, 5 march
got a 1.45pm bus to Kilkenny. The ride was fun, listening to a talk program about everything from boarding schools to a game that looks like an electric chair, called 'The Shocker,' and we wound through the lowlands in County Tipperary and twisted through many towns and beautiful rivers and green roadsides. On the radio (TIPP-FM) they played the Eurythmics and 'Classic Kate Bush' while I looked out at the mountaintops in clouds and snow, and the green valley wet with so many rivers, or maybe we were crossing the same river over and over.
Around 5pm we got to Kilkenny, and I made my way to the IHH (Independent Holiday Hostels) hostel, where I checked in and explored. There are other people living in this one! Four other girls in my room, a few guys, and a whole bunch of Australians who are staffing the place. The ceilings are high and half of the ground floor is in beautiful oak.
I wandered around the city for a while. Its mediaeval-ness reminded me of Edinburgh a bit... though smaller. lots of the grey Kilkenny limestone that, when polished properly, makes black Kilkenny marble. A few abbeys and lots of statues. I walked along the old town wall, and went by one church at 6pm and listened to the bells from it and watched a stream of ladies coming out. Then I got dinner, and then walked down to the River Nore, and along the Canal Walk in the twilight, which was quiet and dim and beautiful and solitary. I found one spot where there was the skeletal ivy-covered stonework of an old house, surrounded by mud and leaves and birds and rain. I looked through the front door and saw right through the house to the fields beyond, then left there before it got too dark to see how much mud I was stepping in. when it was fully dark I came out of the gate to the walk, and went along the river to the hostel, where I sat in the sitting room by the peat fire, and wrote, and listened to the Auzzies gossip about their friends back home.
around 9pm I went down to Ryan's, a pub where they have 'Trad Night' every Thursday. By 10.00 the place was packed full, mostly locals. I was glad that I had gotten a seat when I had, right next to the band, when they showed up. they had a fiddle, a bodhrán, Uillean pipes, and a guitar. And they were very, very good. For two hours everyone listened and dug into the music, and though there wasn't really any room for dancing, a couple of people got up during a few jigs and stomped or shuffled, arms always straight at their sides, as is the way of it. during the slower songs, which had lyrics, folk sang along. One of them was rather anti-English, and everyone was singing, and I wondered how the lady sitting next to me, who was English, was taking that. They closed up with an amazing blend of 'Hey Jude' and the Swallowtail Jig.
I walked home, in the light rain (this light rain has been constant for the last several days), and as I was coming into the hostel I met an Irish guy who was picking up Australian friends there. he'd had a few drinks, and thought I was Irish! Maybe some of my t's have softened and th's have hardened, but I know I don't sound irish. I was the last person in my room to come in.
Friday, 6 march
and I was the first person to get up; for some reason (perhaps that I was on a top bunk with no rail, or perhaps because I was next to the window and the birds outside sounded like they were going mad) I didn't sleep too well, and woke at 6.30am, unable to get back to sleep. So I got up, and ate my breakfast in the oak dining room on my own, and then journey-planned and read in the sitting room 'til 9am. then I headed to St. Canice's Cathedral, which is the second highest in Ireland and rather beautiful. I had thought it opened at 9, but it didn't open 'til 10, but by then it was raining heavily so I sat in the sheltered entranceway and wrote 'til the vicar (it's a Church of Ireland Anglican building) poked his head out of the door. he welcomed me in, said that he didn't bother to close the building after the 8.30am service. There's a high tower next to the cathedral, but it was so wet today that the tower was too 'slippy' to climb.
After a stop at the hostel, I wandered to the Thosel, the town hall, a good-looking old building. I went to a pub on St. Keiran's Street for a pot of tea and some reading, waiting for the rain to abate. Then I headed down to Kilkenny Castle. For the cheap student rate, I got quite a good tour of that. One of the most fascinating aspects of it to me was the lengths to which they've gone to restore it, from a stone shell with floors missing and rain falling through the roof, to a lavishly decorated and plushly paneled and potrait-lined Victorian-era state home. The before-and-after images of the restoration were more extremely different from anything I've seen anywhere, and they were of course careful to make it all like it originally was. Duchas (the Heritage Service) must have quite a bit of money; maybe that's where the V.A.T. that's on everything, goes.
Next I found a neat little café in which to eat. Since it was so wet, and there was not much more to do indoors than drink a lot of tea, I went back to the hostel, where I read and wrote some while the rain came down outside. About 3pm I walked from there to the train/bus station, to get the bus to a little town called Cahir (pronounced mostly like 'care'). I looked out the window, and slept for a few minutes, and read whenever we stopped. We got to Cahir and I found the shop which houses the in-town office for a hostel in the nearby country. There I met a nice white-haired man, the caretaker, and we arranged for him to drive me out to the hostel later, and I left my stuff in the back of his shop while I explored the town.
There wasn't much to explore. I took a path that wound through the woods alongside the River Suir (pronounced like 'sure'). It went past the Cahir castle and a church (very good-looking, both of them), so that just like yesterday, I was on a tree-filled path that started from a castle and went along a four-letter river, at twilight.
I walked again and came to a pub called the Fountain, where I had soup and tea. There I wrote and listened to the swelling gang there talk around the bar. The soup was wonderful. Soup may turn out to be my main diet component when I eat out on the road; cheap, warm, and very good everywhere I've gone. Tea I'm already consuming constantly. Then back to the shop, after picking up some food for tomorrow's breakfast. I arrived there a good hour earlier than the prearranged time since there wasn't anything to do in cahir except for drink. The Nice Man (I had meant to get his name) didn't care that I was early, but took me out to the hostel, and on the way he told me about the Golden Vale (the name of this part of the country; it's a very fertile valley and dairy is the biggest deal around).
we arrived at Lisakyle (the 'lisa' part is pronounced 'lissa,' and the name means 'Fort of the Woods' in Irish) hostel, which is an old farmhouse. Mary Shelley lived here, for a while. A wood fire was burning, and after the caretaker left I stayed in the room with the fire, where I wrote, played solitaire with a very old and floppy deck of cards, watched the Late Late Show (Irish chat/variety show which comes on at 9.30pm late, sure...) on the telly, and read. All the while I could hear cows somewhere nearby outside. As the night went on I moved closer and closer to the fire, which turned out to be the building's only heat source since the space heater was making some very frightening noises and giving off no heat. Maybe the rustic charm is a little more rustic than it needs to be. But I have my own room, nicely furnished and big.
Saturday, 7 march
Well, forget about rustic charm... i have spent warmer nights camping outside in cool months. Every few minutes last night, i would wiggle my toes just to make sure i could still feel them. I don't believe there was any heat in the building other than the rapidly-dying fire in the next room, and the walls were extraordinarily drafty. I didn't sleep much. But i'm still alive.
About 9.45 the Nice Man came and picked me up, took me back to town. There I walked out along the road toward Cashel (emphasis like 'castle'), in the rain again, hoping for a lift. A good number of cars passed me by this time; I guess people are more wary around towns, plus there's more than just one direction to go so people were turning off more. But eventually I got a lift as far as Newinn, about halfway, and then I got in the back of a cluky van, with his dog, for the rest of the trip.
That man took me right to where I was going: 'the Rock,' St. Patrick's Rock in Cashel, or the Rock of Cashel. It's a steep outcrop of limestone in the middle of a flat green plane, on which some ancient kings of Munster built castles, since its height was a natural defence. In the 12th century a king gave it to the Church, and then Bishops built things on it. the buildings left standing were a round tower and a Romanesque chapel (only surviving mediaeval Romanesque building in Ireland) from the 12th Century, a more recent cathedral, and a house for the Bishop's personal choir. The film and tour were quite informative. Interestingly, the film had a soundtrack that was mostly Moorish music, with one Irish tune and some singing monks thrown in. I was quite interested in the dichotomy between the way the monks and friars lived, especially before the 12th century, and the way the Bishops lived once there started to be bishops. According to the guides at the Rock, the bishops here were originally the kings, who would be baptised and then be able to get money from the Church as well as from their people; or they would be rich folk who'd pretty much buy the position. The friars, meanwhile, continued to work in their cells and do nice things for people, and they had next to nothing. They had a little abbey under the Rock, on the plain, so they could look up and see the fortress, and those in the fortress could look down at them.
I set out again after seeing all that, and stuck out my thumb in the rain, and the sun came blazing out just before I got a ride: a man going to Fermoy. So he took me about 3/4 of the way to Cork then, and talked to me about free education in Ireland (free college just started 3 years ago) and politics and taxes, and I was sometimes quite interested but sometimes I just smiled and nodded or said 'mm-hmm' a lot. He left me in Fermoy and I was thirsty so I went for some tea. I read and drank it, and then headed out again. Next to pick me up (again it was raining while I stood out there, but just before I got a lift the sun came back out) was a younger man going right to Cork; he told me about the club scene in Ireland and about the biker clubs here, as we listened to Robert Myles on the tape player. He gave me the tape when we got to Cork, said it was a copy and insisted I take it. but I think I left my gloves in his car, so I guess that's fair enough.
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