Friday, December 9, 2016

All you need is pubs

While in County Kerry, our home was the Sneem Hotel, but home away from home was Danny O'Shea's, the pink pub on the north village green. (Not, incidentally, named for the Irishman standing next to Francis Scott Key on the deck of HMS Tonnant in Baltimore Harbor back in 1814...) This was the public house to which Don Ryan led us after our first day at the IHC field meet, and while it may be thousands of miles from where I sit in Nebraska, in my heart it will remain my local. Never have I felt quite so at home in a bar...

We also frequented the stone-fronted Blue Bull on the south green, which I suppose makes it our home away from our home away from home...never mind, this could easily get confusing, especially after a drink or two, but suffice it to say we enjoyed ourselves here, too.

After a day of exertion in the field, it was lovely to sit by a wood-and-peat fire, enjoy a bit of brown bread and a hearty soup with some cider, perhaps some tea, and have a quiet conversation while half-hearing other conversations in English and Gaelic. This is civilisation...

May the roof above us never fall in. And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.

—a traditional Irish blessing

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