Funky Drums

Day 112 -Sarah on her way home, three days and counting

Wow, what a day. Up at 6:30 to walk Sarah to the bus and get her off.  Then when we arrived at the bus station there was a student there from Boston U who stopped Denis since she saw his jacket with the Union on it.  Her sister had graduated in Poli Sci last year.  They had a little chat, the bus pulled up and we got Sarah on and off she went.  Messaged during the day and she was boarding on schedule in Shannon and on her way home.  Sad to have her go. We had fun together and I think she enjoyed  her vacation and for sure will be back in Ireland sooner than later.

I went home and back to bed. LIstened to WAMC from yesterday. I love that I can hear the Roundtable every day… I slept on and off for a bit.  Gerald came and took the chairs back next door that we had borrowed last night. What a great party! The kids stayed much longer than we expected but I think they knew this was the last time they would be together and were really feeling the loss. I know I am hating the idea of leaving!

The weather was awful. Rained all day and we got soaked this morning. Real Irish winter weather. I was surprised that the pants were soaked through so had to change.  Did a laundry and cleaned up the final dishes from last night.  Finished Mary Eileen’s latest historical novel and took another nap. Also got some knitting done.

WE had a simple supper and went to our last Bodhran lesson.  It was fun but I felt very sad. I love that group  and we have had a good time, lots of laughs and learned something we would not have ever thought of learning at home.  It helped us get in touch with a little piece of Irish culture.  Cannot wait to continue when we get home. I am sure I can find lessons at a HIbernians there somewhere.

Afterwards we did a bit of shopping and stopped at the Spanish Arch for a drink. The fellows in the band spoke to us about how great Sarah was.  She really had fun singing with them and they hope she comes back again. We will probably go to dinner there on Saturday evening since they will be playing from 6 pm on.

Got a call today from Frank at the tour place to discuss my concerns. We had a very good chat and he asked if he could transport us to the airport to thank me for helping him out and referring so many folks to them.  I really like their tours and would recommend them to anyone coming to Galway. I have to find out if I can cancel our bus tickets.

Have some pictures of our good bye drink at Tig Coili with Sarah last night.

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Day 105 – Can it be true????? Singing sensation in Galway

Adventures never stop.  Got up this morning early and got Sarah over to Jury’s to meet John for her tour of  the Cliffs of Moher. He gets there – and tells us the Cliffs of Moher are closed but he will give her a wonderful tour around Clare and she will see lots of interesting things.  So, oh well, give it another shot.  So I left her with him to go off on her tour.

I get back to the Granary Suites and the key will not work in the door. Appears we are locked out. I went up to ask Kathleen are Arabica what time Gerald usually shows up.  She suggested I go and try the door again and if it is still locked to come back and they will call Gerald.  I went back to a locked door so then walked back up, ordered a coffee and figured I would have to wait a bit.  One of the woman from the Spanish Language Institute was in the shop also locked out but she knew what the problem was. There is a little button on the lock and you can only open it from the inside if someone hits that button. So, that was the problem.  So the nice woman got someone inside the building to come and open the door.  That was good for all of us I guess. Then I got thinking about what if someone hit that button when they came in at 9 pm and we showed up at 9:30pm and had no way to get in. What a pain that would be.

Once in the building I decided it was time to go to work on cleaning for a change.  So did a laundry and then washed the floor and the cabinets and swept the wood floor.  Such an exciting day I was having. It is very gray and eventually the rain returned and it is not a great day outside although, yes, I did venture out. In fact, I did quite well for myself. I headed out when it was not raining – went to the Bank of Ireland for some cash – always like having some cash in my pocket. Then I went to the Ulster Bank to exchange the pounds I have for euros.. Went okay but they don’t take change, have to do that at the airport.  So, I guess I will go that as we are leaving.

Then I went to the post office and mailed two more packages home.  One with brochures from some places we visited and then  one with more presents….  So, I have been checking my baggage and I think I will be okay with what I have to pack. the books will be heavy but I will put them in my carry on and the other brochures and last minute gifts will have to fit into the suitcase with the bodhran.   So then I left the post office and went for groceries and got myself some goodies. We just can’t function if we run out of Keogh’s potato chips.  Love them to pieces… all of us, everyone who has visited and had some. They are the best ever!!!!! So I am set for two evenings.  Then I was walking by this book store and saw a book I hope I have not already purchased for Asta a.k.a. LIttle Bear.  Yes, a book about LIttle Bear. So cute a story and I hope she will like it. Since I got her something I figured I had to get Sol something as well. So I found something she could play with and share with her sister.  We shall see.

The rain really had started coming down then so I got home quite wet.. I was glad I had on my rain jacket and not just my brand new NUIG sweatshirt hoodie.  That would have been very wet if I had been wearing it.  So now I guess I will stop this until later since we have our lessons this evening and Sarah to get back home and then we are going to the Spanish Arch for music and maybe playing and singing. Never know what might happen over there.

Went to our lesson which went quite well. Some of the folks won’t be there next week so we took a picture of the group for me and then some of the folks came with us over to the Spanish Arch.  I had the Bodhran but did not play it over there. They play way too fast a reel for me to keep up. Maybe in a years time I will be able to do it.  Sarah had quite the day on her tour. Luckily a couple of New Foundland were there as well. The tour driver bought her lunch etc.. Guess he took a shine to her. Melanie, watch out, someone has taken your place. It was the same fellow that we went on the tour before.

The music was great and it was fun getting to know more about the folks in our class. Love hearing about Michela’s time in Australia and to learn that Marielle is her mom, not her buddy. That was a start.. They both look young to me.   Sarah got to sing two songs with the guys which was fun.  I think they were impressed… It was a fun time. Denis went home before we did and we stayed and talked to Barbara and then her husband when he got there to pick her up. Loved hearing about how they lived and worked in one of the Indian Residential School in BC back in the 80s.   It was

a grand time. Check out facebook to see videos of Sarah singing. She was great  DSCN3983 DSCN3989

Day 94- Santa run and other fun

Other than packing our day really started around 11:30 when we walked out to the Promenade for the Santa Run to raise money for childrens hospital or some such cause.   Everyone in the race gets and is expected to wear their Santa Suit or they don’t get a medal when they finish the race.   We met up with three of the students – the two from Union were running and Dan from Hobart was taking pictures and cheering.  He had made two signs, ” the end is coming” and “you will prevail”. it was fun to watch the runners faces when they read this signs.  We took some pictures, before,, during and after. The best part was Denis being the only runner with a real beard so lots of “Hay Look the real santa is here” and questions about why he was not up at the NOrth Pole.  It was lots of fun.  While the others ran Dan and I chatted about the year and what he wants to do when he gets back to school. He is a very nice fellow and I have enjoyed several conversations with him during this semester.

After the run Haley and Mike had a tennis match – they are on the NUIG Tennis team when they are available to play. Mike is on the Union team at home and maybe Haley is as well. She comes from Tiverton Rhode Island where I use to work as a nanny in the summers for Phil and Larry McGourty.  We have chatted about that in the past.  Mike is from Guilderland so is a local guy.  Dan is from Geneva and goes to college in town but lives on campus.

Denis and I went for lunch at Arabica and then back here. I ran up to the drug store to pick up something and he was doing some work.  We have everything we need for Paris we hope. Boarding passes, bus tickets, ride from the airport etc.

Soon we are leaving for our first public Bohran playing. Have to admit I am a bit concerned about making a fool of myself. I am bringing my music with me. I hope to get someone to take a couple of pictures and maybe a little video so I can see what we look iike and sound like.  so will finish this when I return.

What a fun time we had this evening.  We walked over to lower Salt Hill to the Cottage Bar and found out they were changing the location on us. So Jim from our class offered Denis, Julie and I a ride to the Olso right near the water in Salt Hill. It was a great time. There ended up being 8 of us from our class there. The more experienced folks were amazing. Brian is a very good teacher it is obvious… The band was great and at times we had trouble keeping up as the speed of the reels and jigs increased. But even so it was grand fun.  I was hoping to get someone to take a picture of us playing but we did not go up as groups. we all just played together and then two of the advanced groups played something special for us all.

One of the folks gave us a ride home which was so nice. So here we are, eating a late supper, watching Inspector Lewis and thinking about having to get up at the crack of dawn to go to the airport in Dublin.  The beginning of another adventure. Am taking my laptop with me so I can write each night and up load pictures. Cannot wait…

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Day 91 – Thanksgiving I guess

It is very strange when you know it is a holiday at home and there is no holiday here.  I woke up in a funk today for the first time since arriving.  Just no get up and go. Of course it does not help that I have been staying up reading quite late lately. Like 1 am.. Not sure why I don’t just go to sleep instead of reading. Need to change this behavior because I want to sleep too much during the daytime.

I packed up Asta’s birthday presents and went to the postoffice to send them off to her.   I wandered through some stores looking for something special but have not found it yet.  I love Christmas shopping and here it is so convenient.. Also think when Sarah arrives I will take her with me and see if I can buy one of these little dresses I love looking at. Not sure how they would look on me but I really like the way they look on the hangers.  I walked home the long way and saw some swans in the canal which was a treat.  The river is just so fast now they cannot swim in there

Back at the apartment I skyped with Ian, Maya and the girls for a little bit. Solveig is not happy with me because we have not been to visit for a long time.  She wants us home.  I told her we are very close to coming home and if she would like we will come for Christmas and her daddy’s birthday as well.  She seemed to like that idea.   They were off to meet their new cousin in Virginia so at 10 pm here we will skype with them again so they can say hi to Grandpa Denis.

I did rest this afternoon and then we ate a little bit and went to drum lessons. It was fun. The group gets laughing and sometimes quite out of control. Great fun really.   We learned some new jig combinations this evening so tomorrow will have to practice. We are playing in public on sunday evening at the Cottage Bar.  Should be a fun time.

After our lesson we went to the Spanish ARch to listen to some music for an hour and then came back as we wanted to skype with NOrah and Dan.  They were getting ready to sit down to dinner so we chatted a bit and then here we are. Nice to see them and some of the Plue family who are there for dinner..  At least they had power unlike some of my friends on facebook who cannot cook dinner due to no power.  Got a nice picture of our house in the snow from Lon and Heather. I might add it to this just for fun. The contrast of Galway vs Niskayuna.

Going to get something else to eat, then skype then to bed.  Have to get packed for next week and figure out what I need to take to Paris. NO plans to dress up while there that is for sure.


Day 90- Make up Drum Lesson and Group Dinner

Today was a gorgeous crisp day in Galway. The sun shown all day. We were up early and caught the bus to Knocknacarra to Brian’s house for a make up Bohran lesson.  It went very well and I think we both did very well. Worked on playing the waltz and a faster jig than we are use to.  We walked back and caught the bus back to town and dropped our music off at the apt and walked up to town.  It was lovely going in and out of the shops. Got another gift for someone. Was nice for sure.

We came back around 1 and made a brunch for ourselves of rashers, scrambled eggs and toast.  I think we were both quite hungry by then.  Denis had to see a student so he headed out a bit later and I decided I needed a nap. I was torn between going off on the bike or sleep and sleep won.  I read and dozed for a while. Then got up and started making reservations for next weeks trip.  The bus to the airport and back and a shuttle once we get to Paris.  So that should be all set by tomorrow.

I got dressed up for tonights Thanksgiving Dinner with the NUIG staff and our students.  It was held at the Park House HOtel.  We had a private dining room.  All the students but one attended and the parents and sister of one of the girls joined us.  It was a wonderful meal.  I had the fruit plate starter, Turkey and ham dinner and Pavlova dessert.  It was all very very good.   We said our goodbyes to some folks. I am not sure if I will see any of them again before we leave but we told them not to worry – we are coming back even if just to visit.

We walked back home through the park and down shop street. It was pretty quiet although there were still some buskers playing along the way and a few young folks who were quite excited to see santa out walking with his girlfriend. We ignored them.

Good pictures of the group and the meal… was just so nice and I was pleased with myself that I was able to eat as much as I did.

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Day 63 – The day of the drum..

I got up and did some work around this place – load of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, made a grocery list etc and then headed out to Michael VIgnoles to pick up our Bodhran.  What a great opportunity this was. Met Michael’s son and he took the attached picture of us.   I walked back and on the way a lovely woman came out of her house and smiled and came up and asked me if I had just picked up a drum from Michael.. She has one too.

Once home I got ready and went up and met Melanie at the bank and we walked up to the Ulster Bank in Eyre Square to get British pounds for our adventure to Edinburgh.  Should be fun.  Then I went to Dunnes and a few items for the frig and for me to take on our adventure in case they are not as gluten free friendly in Scotland as they are here.

Came back and cleaned and sorted things for a bit and got ready to go. all packed and reservations in a folder.  At 6 we went to our drumming lesson and it is amazing how much better everyone is at this point. Most of the group are going to perform this weekend at the Funky Drums Halloween Party. We are sad that we won’t be there with them. Hopefully we will be there for the Christmas Party. By then we should be much better.

Denis is all set to go to Northern Ireland this weekend. He will be back on Sunday to get ready for the folks coming on tuesday.. For the next few days any pictures will be either on my ipad or on the camera and not uploadable, I don’t think. Maybe I can and don’t know it. HUMMMMMM. will have to check that our with all the cords I have.

Went to dinner at the Front Door and it was very good. Met Melanie there so we shared a final dinner together in Galway.

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