A Craic-ing Good Time

Saturday 6 November
A lovely sunshine and showers morning. The view from the house is stunning. To Lidl to buy provisions for weekend. At the till the cashier confiscates all alcohol. None to be sold before 10.30 or 12 noon on Sundays and St Patrick’s Day. Drive up Connor Pass to see the view on a clear day – breathtaking. Then back down to Supervalu for papers and now legal alcohol.

Ma is filled with the urge to visit the hairy jumper shop again to find one for herself. She is assisted by a prim and rather fierce-looking woman of about her age. They bond over widowhood. ‘Why are Irish people so happy?’ Ma says, a bit in love with all things Irish. ‘Well, mainly, it’s the drugs,’ says the assistant without blinking. ‘But what about the luck of the Irish?’ presses Ma. ‘Well, I don’t know about that,’ says the assistant. ‘This week I’ve already blowed up me hoover and me food processor.’ Ma suggests she needs a win on the lotto. ‘Ah,’ says the assistant. ‘I’ve thought about that. I’ll buy meself a nice place somewhere out of Ireland, maybe France. Then I’ll book meself a Caribbean cruise and get a **** *** *** (eyewatering detail of the stud at the top of her wishlist deleted to spare everyone’s blushes) for meself. Then I’ll decide what to do after.’

Ma’s eyes have gone wide; she has finally met someone naughtier than herself a fact confirmed as the assistant delivers her opinion on the medical profession, ‘the feckers’, the perils of pills, ‘even if they say they’re only for constipation, make sure you ask about the side effects.’ And the folly of leaving money to your children, ‘sure, you’re the greatest mother in the world for three days and then they won’t even visit your grave!’

Ma walks away with a new hairy jumper and stunned expression of respect.

We retire to Murphys for hot chocolate and a lovely chat with the nice young man in there who got dragged to Ireland when his parents fell in love with the place nine years ago. The coffee machine’s taking time to warm up so he gives us free ice creams whilst we watch the rain and wait. Drive round the Slea Peninsula when the rain clears – utterly stunning views – and walk up to the beehive huts, the Neolithic stone dwellings. Home to drink Guinness and watch Ireland lose to S. Africa. Heavy rain and wind.

Sunday onwards
Dingle puts on a fine display for the last few days of the holiday and we meet and chat to enough people to fill a book. There are bright mornings, walks and breathtaking scenery; it’s been utterly wonderful. On the last day there’s a final treat. We’re half-planning another trip to Miss Courtney’s Tearooms, but when we arrive they’re giving themselves a makeover so that they’re even more beautiful. We don’t mind too much because we’ve spotted a newly-opened retro-style burger bar which is gleamingly-clean, the service is fantastic and the food is fresh, good and made with care. You can see it was a success...

Coming next and in conclusion: standing above the most westerly beach in Europe watching the wildest waves I've ever seen.


Flowerpot said…
I'm still laughing over your Ma and the assistant in the hairy jumper shop - that will have to go ina novel somewhere! Great pics - and what a Sundae - sounds the most wonderful holiday. Happy sigh....
You just have to love the blunt irish lady. I hope she moves to rance soon cos I am in need of some entertainment here.
Fennie said…
Just lovely Chris. Really lovely. Observing and re-telling. Your Mum is very feisty and clearly enjoying herself. I'll keep watch for Dingle in your future books.
Preseli Mags said…
I'm so glad you took Ma to Ireland. Her exploits get better and better. She must have been chatted up at least once - next instalment? Fab sundae - but isn't it supposed to be a pint of the black stuff (ah - driving.)
her at home said…
Is that a knickerbockerglory I see ! Now there lie childhood memories!!
Aaaahhh! (Man in hairy jumper moment - that is surely the beam of a truly happy man. Unless of course it's an undue amount of eager anticipation for a knickerbocker glory...)

Your Irish break sounds wonderful - really loved the naughty shop assistant - can just picture her now, as well as Ma's look of awed respect, she'll be getting ideas, now. Did you check her bag for Lotto tickets?
Pondside said…
I loved your mother's encounter with the naughty Irishwoman!
Jude said…
Yum...how is the hairy jumper...makes me itch just thinking about it..
Take care
Lane said…
What a fantastic trip you had and your Ma was in her element. As was the chappie in the last photo it seems:-)

ps fab photos.
Chris Stovell said…
Flowerpot, you had to be there! I coudln't believe what I was hearing!

Joanna, If she's not there when we go back, we'll know where to find her!

Fennie, thank you!

Mags, I tried to keep her under control this year... and failed again!

HAH, it was indeed and went down very well!

LBD, Yes, one very happy MIHJ. I'm shuddering to think of Ma joining forces with her friend if either of them won the Lotto!

Pondside, yes, she finally met her match!

Jude, oh gosh, very hairy - you notice I resisted!!

Lane, we had a great time and will certainly go back! Look out everyone!
elizabethm said…
Well I think the assistant would win the prize for naughtiness in any country! Fabulous.

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