Galway September 2022

This must have been our fourth or fifth visit since 2005 when we did our round-Ireland cruise. 

The Irish people are amazingly friendly. You go in a pub and there will be a bloke sat there. "How are you?" "Where you from?" They've all worked in Halifax or Sheffield or somesuch. Either that or they have family in England somewhere.
They don't do bus queues. They stand around until it arrives and converge simultaneously at the driver. You can choose to be annoyed, or just suck it up. An Irish guy described it as the scattered queue.

Like the rest of Ireland, loads of history. Medieval especially, detailed in the museum. Otherwise a succession of invasions - Vikings, Normans, Cromwell - topped off by the famine. There were several wealthy merchant families in the 15th-17th centuries. Anglo-Normans in the main. Taken over during the Cromwell era and restored by Charles.

Galway City

The Long Walk and Quay St

Eyre Square



The barman took us on a tour of the back of the pub. I guess he was simply proud to work there. He was visiting Liverpool soon and he said for us to go buy sandwiches and bring them back to the bar.


Lough Corrib

The Burren; Cliffs of Moher


Lots of open water swimmers. 
Lots of traffic.
'Chippy' which did a fair attempt at one of our traditional dishes.
The view from the prom beyond the GAA is of Claddagh, a 5th century fishing village. Translates as 'the shore' and famous for the Claddagh ring, for loyalty (crown), love (heart) and friendship (clasped hands).


I don't need to say we had a great time.


Another trip to Zapato's brewery- doesn't disappoint

 zapato brewery     one of three along the canal from Slaithwaite.

So, despite protests from Andrew, we walked from Marsden - 25 minutes. Muddy puddles on the towpath, so more moaning. He soon calmed down with three pints. Fiona drinks coke or tea. Doris, her mother, lives in Jamaica. Fiona was born here, but spent most of her childhood and teenage years over there. Two brothers over here.

What is going on?

Nothing we can do, but what shambles it all seems and probably going to get worse. It started for me with brain fog in lockdown, then covid followed by hernia surgery with complications. And my 75th birthday. Finally a geriatric. Though The Times this weekend prefers older person (Carol Midgley Notebook - Oct 15th). I suppose if someone gets cancelled for using geriatric, I won't complain. A couple of definitions I like. "Getting any" refers to sleep; "you can live without sex, but definitely not your glasses".

So how to stay sane? Particularly we older people. Maybe happy even? Toby Keith has some suggestions. The song features in The Mule, starring Clint Eastwood, also directing, who is in his eighties. He is a 'prizewinning' horticulturalist who neglects his family. When internet competition undermines the flower trade, his need of cash accidentally connects him to the lucrative Mexican cocaine-running business. He finishes in prison but at least the family knows where he is. I've modified it a bit.

Don't let the old man in
I've got some living to do
New things to enjoy
He's knocking on my door

Many moons I have lived
My body's weathered and worn
Ask yourself how old would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born

Lots of things we have done 
Some good and some bad 
Leave your sorrows behind 
Enjoy the love that you have

Keep close with your kin
Talk often with friends
Toast each sundown with wine
Don't let the old man in

Stay true to yourself 
Sing and dance all the week
It don't cost a lot
Keep as trim as you can

I've known all of my life
That someday it would end
leave it out on the pitch
Don't let the old man in

When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in

Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in

It's a metaphor

It could be a many-legged something. Able to walk. No head, no direction.

Actually the other half a brush head.
Autumn leaf forces at work, structural weakness undetected.
No one on the handle.

Water chute belonging Kinderland. Now part of the lake attractions next to the Open Air Theatre.
90 years old and only two ropes.

Autumn in Scarborough (2)


We have gone to Scarborough or Filey every year since we were first aware of going on holiday. The childbride's family and friends had a cottage and we went to holiday camps. Now the childbride's parental flat.
  Two trips this autumn. September, we went on our own to start with - make sure everything was shipshape. Then Judith, an old friend, and family, daughter Liz and granddaughter Jaz. October was Andrew and girlfriend.
 Craig, the piano-playing window cleaner came. Said it was 5 years since he last did the windows. Wanted his video deleting from Utube but the choir loves it too much.

Went to a Motown night at the spa.

3 girls, 4 men. Glitter.
Music a bit edgy. Some of the pieces sounded the same.
Pick - 'Heard it on the Grapevine', 'Endless Love'.

There was a 'seafest' down on the harbour (eating, drinking and shanties). It rained us off. Several festivals during the season. The beer's good.

The Altrincham team's first visit Scarborough. Apart from Judith who is a veteran. The others had not been. Stroll to the beach via The Grand, a short taste of waves and weather at high tide.
The wheel has now gone for the winter.
We cannot miss out a trip to The Clock cafe. Coffee certainly. Judith is pointing to the harbourish.

The distillery cafe does great breakfasts. There are tours, but we've not done one yet. It is located in Hunmanby village where the childbride's parents lived before Scarborough. The equipment is just visible through the window.
The flat is on the first floor and overlooks Albion Square which is a car park. Otherwise street parking which most people are good at.
Good day at the cricket with a drop in to the North Riding for pints of Citra. Having established my accent, a bloke asked me who I supported. Not impressed with Thongsbridge. He was Scholes, Holmfirth. Met him on Albion Rd the following morning.
Yorkshire have been relegated - management, culture, staff in meltdown - goodness knows the outcome.
The Spa orchestra thrives. Eight concerts per week including a Sunday family show - Teddy Bear's Picnic.

October - Flamingoland

Introducing Fiona whose mother lives in Jamaica.  The zoo is massive. Though tickets are pricey, the zoo is nearly worth the fee on its own. The rides are not for us. So we did 'carers' tickets. Special 'q'. Andrew and Fiona had to sit at the back. Not for long - Andrew didn't want to seem special or have a safe seat. Negotiated back to regular.


Fiona seems pleased with Sik.

Back to Scarborough

So we survived. The weather throughout was great.
The typing on the pictures can be variable. Scarborough is a favourite. Fiona wants to go again.