Ireland is still here. Sometimes when I leave, I wonder if it disappears in a mist. An Irish Brigadoon. Since I was here in November, not much has changed except the flipflops are in the stores even though it's only 8 degrees celsius out.
Uneventful flight. Uneventful departure from M, as she headed off to Waterford. Uneventful bus ride to Galway alone. I got here at 10:30, dumped my suitcase at the train station, and decided to pack as much into the day as I could before my cousin Mary and her husband collected me at 3:00. At home, I could spend a Saturday doing my nails and looking at the window. That's it. The day just disappears. It is nice to know that if I really want to, I can move quickly and get a lot done. Like this blog, for instance, which will end in approximately five minutes so I'll have time to go to Charlie Byrnes, buy a postcard & a couple of books, and trot over to station to pick up my suitcase and catch my ride.
So, I got here, I looked at the eyesore which is still an Eyre Square under construction, with fewer trees, but otherwise looking like it did before the city planners spent their millions refurbishing it. Saturdays in Galway are market day--a sort of farmers' market with cheese and veg and handwoven bracelets from Guatamala (Genuine Irish). While there I found the baby shirt I had wanted for my U2-lovin' boss last fall when she had her baby. It says "U2: Rattle and Mum". Then I turned a corner and saw what looked like the poet Michael Gorman, who taught a summer course I was in four and half years ago at NUI Galway. He walked like him and wore a hat like him, so I yelled, "Mickey???" He snapped around, looked a bit frazzled, like perhaps he had enjoyed St. Patrick's Day too much last night, and stared at me blankly. I didn't expect him to remember me though I had a summer crush on him that was almost painful. So I re-introduced myself, shook his hand, he said, 'Ah, yes!' but I'm not convinced he remembered. He said he was in a hurry to get teh shopping done and something about a football match or something, but he wrote his number in my journal ("A Moleskine, I see!") and told me to call him tomorrow for coffee. I won't BE here for coffee and am sure he forgot as soon as he hurried off to fondle carrots, but boy if it didn't make me feel good to bump into someone I knew here. Particularly him, still looking befuddled and artistic and cute.
In order to celebrate, I went to my favorite sweater shop and bought a new cardigan. The woman who owns it was back. In November, she had been out with a broken knee cap and her very charming son managed to sell my friend Isabella and me about 400 euros worth of woolens. So I asked after her knee, asked after her son, and then talked to her friend who now lives in Canada but is moving back. It was a perfect morning--making me feel, as I almost always do here, that I am HOME.
After I was warmed up by my sweater, I sat by the Corrib and watched it race by, before going to Fat Freddie's for my favorite pizza. And then the Ninja Shopping commenced. Less bought than looked at, but two books, a notebook, some inkpens I like, and a birthday card for a kid's birthday in June.
So, all in all, a very fine day indeed. Now I'm off to buy a few books and meet up with the O'Mahony family to find out how the rugby match went yesterday. I think I need a hot whiskey!