Thursday, June 19, 2008


'Tis a grand fine day. Sunshine, blue sky, and dramatic cumulus.

This morning, we took advantage of low tide to make our way by foot out to some of the tiny islands nearby. They're much to small to inhabit and we had to pick our way across stones and seaweed with the wind whistling around us. It took over an hour to venture not very far, but the view changes with every step and it's not like we're in a hurry anyway.

Hungry, we hopped in the car and drove to Cronin's Sheebeen, a thatched roof pub on the other side of Westport. Premium T. settled for some seafood chowder while I went for a real West-of-Ireland lunch: Mussels and Guinness. Talk about hitting the spot!

After lunch, we stopped in town to run a few errands, which included a stop at Christy's Harvest, a small shop offering among other things local cheeses and fresh eggs. At Christy's you can buy several different kinds of eggs, including the hen, bantam, and duck eggs shown here:

We picked out a toffee fudge cake for dessert, expertly transacted by Christy's son Andrew.

Tomorrow comes our first excursion, a trip to the Belmullet Peninsula. The Mullet is one of the most remote places in western Ireland (The West, it's called). It's about the only part of County Mayo that I haven't been to.

I'm reading a novel called The Lazarus Project (Hemon). The protagonist is a Bosnian refugee stranded in Chicago when the civil war in the Balkans breaks out. He stays in Chicago and eventually marries an American. This passage (p. 103) struck me in particular:

"I used to tell stories to Mary, stories of my childhood and immigrant adventures, stories I had picked up from other people. But I had become tired of telling them, tired of listening to them. In Chicago, I had found myself longing for the Sarajevo way of doing it -- Sarajevans told stories ever aware that the listener's attention might flag, so they exaggerated and embellished and sometimes downright lied to keep it up. You listened, rapt, ready to laugh, indifferent to doubt or implausibility. There was a storytelling code of solidarity -- you did not sabotage someone else's narration if it was satisfying to the audience, or you could expect one of your stories to be sabotaged one day, too. Disbelief was permanently suspended, for nobody expected truth or information, just the pleasure of being in the story and, maybe, passing it off as their own. It was different in America: the incessant perpetuation of collective fantasies make people crave the truth and nothing but the truth -- reality is the fastest American commodity."


Melinda said...

total dreaminess. total.

Kathy said...

Lucky you! The picture of the thatched roof pub reminded me of a similar pub we visited in Lisburn (N. Ireland) several years ago. I loved the dark wood tables and the thatched roof. I felt like I was stepping back in time.

Andrew said...

ohh my god my picture's on google
images and its on this website this
is so cool. Im Andrew From christys
Harvest ha this is pretty funny my
pictures on the internet.Before the
Cronins sheebeen was the cronins it was my dads but we then sold it.I would nt want to live any where
else then westport.

K. said...

Hi, Andrew!

I'm with you re Westport! We'll be there next week and will be sure to drop by to see you and your dad.