May home


Monday 1/5

And Frankie Gavin was in awesome form last night, but maybe he's always just awesome. Reel, jig, Women of Ireland on a tin whistle, more violin, Maid Behind the Bar, detaché, Kilty Town, the second set opening with the 'jazz' Mona Lisa, then Head O'Cabbages 1&2, and more, then more, some flute stuff, and finishing with a set of mighty fast tunes, and me thinking "how the feck does he do that ?"

Once again, in Bewley's. Westmoreland Street.
Neither The Guardian nor The Times have the AFL results. Want to just sit here, and not move. The bloke on my left has fallen asleep, I'm eyeing off his copy of The Independent, the one that I know has the AFL results.

The Flea Market, behind Dunnes. There's a guy, always wearing red pants, who has a Tom Waits fixation something chronic, but he asks how I'm doin' and seems friendly enough. There's outrageously expensive glasses, containing candles that illuminate Celtic designs, £15, £22, and "I'm sorry, I don't have a price for the larger one." Another stall with second hand books, Irish Cottages £4, Irish Art 1830-1900 £12, Ireland This Century £10, Reader's Digest Treasures in the Home (in a special slip case) £20, and phone cards £2 each. I still don't know why anybody would want old phone cards. And if you want framed photographs of Johnny Depp with his tattoo, or of Jack Nicholson with his grin, or of Hannibal Lector with his mouthguard, then this is your place.


Tuesday 2/5

Nassau Street.
The mosaic on the wall detailing some of The Tain stories. How could I have not seen this before ?

I who have copied down this story
Or more accurately fantasy
Do not credit the details
Of the story or fantasy
Some things in it are devilish lies
Or some poetical figments
Some seem possible
And others not
Some are for
The enjoyment of idiots

                                               from The Tain

         The Morrigan by Louis Le Broquy


And whenever something really interesting comes up in Westropp , like Monasterboice, or Clonmacnois, or some tart being told the mythology of the Tara renting, the negatives begin disappearing. I guess the good ones have been souvenired by whoever abstracted this collection into their 'counties'.

Nassau Street.
Back at the mosaic again. This time with the camcorder. There's something about the style that makes it instantly 'heroic'. Maybe it's the scale of the thing. I really like this. But, then, I'm probably one of the idiots who just 'enjoy' it.


Wednesday 3/5
Began reading The Tain again. The jealous pig breeders, and the gathering of Medh's army, to wrest the brown bull from its owner. And Cruachan is in Sligo, and now called Rathcroghan, or something like that. But where's the ringfort over whose triple walls Cuchullain did his salmon-leap to nab Emer and his sister ? Heroic deeds. If I enjoy them does that make me an idiot ? And which are the devilish lies ?

Yes, it's Rathcroghan, and it's in Country Roscommon, near Castlerea, and 'Owneynagat' is nearby, and 'is said to be the entrance to the Cave of Cruachú, the Otherworld of Irish myth'. Near Rathcroghan is the house which has O'Carolan's harp. Wonder where his skull is though, as it ain't with his body.

and the luscious pagan goddess Vivian, down at the Londis Liberties has just been usurped, by an unknown at the moment. But the gold chain around her neck bears the letter 'Z', dark haired and cute, even if she did give me my 20p change in 5p pieces.

Up on the roof, again, it's still light even though there's a fine mist around the horizon, and everything's softer. The dome over the Iveagh Baths has already lost its bronze colour, now dark. Wonder if it, too, will be green as all the others by the time we leave.


Tuesday 4/5

Weather Report. Today's temperature expected to range between 14 and 25 degrees. Isn't this supposed to be Hibernia, the land of perpetual winter, continually drizzling, so where's the fine Irish mist is what I'd like to know. It's been like this for weeks now, perfect day after perfect day.

"Mornin's," to the cleaner that's always out the front, and to the security guy at the desk to whom I flash the pass, the Church Doors are opened, and a "hello" to whoever this week's work experience student is.

On a whim, collected the 'Proms Guide', and discovered that for £13 I can see Moving Hearts. Holy Bejaysus, in something called Plearaca '95, in a concert titled 'from the Pure Drop to Riverdance'. My heart is doing dances of joy, truly.

To the South Anne Street Post Office, 3 38p stamps, and I'm told the postcards don't need the Par Avion stickers, and why she couldn't have been more pleasant in telling me I don't know. Not unkind, but blunt. Nothing that an intensive session at Charm School couldn't sort out.


Wednesday 5/5

And there's something to be said for getting pissed in the middle of the day, and when I find out what it is then I'll let myself know. O'Donohues in Baggott Street, sawdust spread thin on the floors, framed black and white photographs of folk performers, including a much younger Christy Moore.

The Irish Film Centre. Waiting for La Reine Margot to begin.

Now that was a great movie, even though I'm not all familiar with that period of French history. Sex, violence, and costumes, and the King sweating blood was a powerful image, "Every night I dreamed of a ghost", the mad, too gentle, King. I'm sure the other two people in the cinema enjoyed it too.


Saturday 6/5

Just got hassled, virtually just outside our front door, by someone who assured me he wasn't asking for money, but needed 30p for a bus fare "it's a 10 mile walk". Well pal, walk the 10 miles then, not my problem. If you've drunk yer bus money, then yer a dickhead.

According to the news, 43% of Dublin's youth take drugs regularly, and 61% say they're easily available. There's also been a double stabbing in Limerick.

Eddie Rockets City Diner. In the Merchants Arch
We're having ice creams. And, bejaysus, they're huge! Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream with the fan shaped wafer. On a day that's reached 24 degrees, we need this.
I've passed this place hundreds of times.

In the National Gallery, Red Wing.
If this room has a theme I'm not sure what it is. There's a Picasso, "Still Life With Mandolin", and a Turkish bay scene, then a Pointillist painting that's not by Seurat, but Signac, and a Fauvist painting of a woman. Cubism, Realism and Impressionism all jumbled up. And C thinks it's a pity they don't clean the skylights in the Renaissance Wing.

Nassau Street. The Tain Mosaic.
The massive display of tits, exciting Cuchullain to boiling point. Killing the Hound. The single combatants at the ford. The Bulls. Finnabaire. But the Sun, don't yet know how that fits in the story. And the black bird is probably The Morrigan. But I just discovered the maps near the front of the book. Know where Cruachan was, but where was the Fort of Emer ? The Ford ? The tit display ?

And Cuchaillan's just killed Ferdia, with the fearsome 'gae bolga', its points filling up every joint in his body. Predictable, but the four day epic was .. was .. not enjoyable, as according to the mosaic, enjoyment is for idiots. No explanation of the crow yet. But he did knick off for one night, before Ferdia arrived, for a night with Emer. No heroic bonking described. Bummer. Maybe I should write the missing scene.

Just remembered that last night I dreamt I was the drummer in the Albion Band. Strange, I always wanted to be the drummer in Blowzabella.


Sunday 7/5

And Cuchullain doesn't die at the end of The Tain, he doesn't have himself strapped to a stone, and there's no bird on his shoulder. He does, however, go off with Finnabair which is a bit strange, as she's already dead.

Outside Mountjoy Square West.
No. 60 is now a ruin, only the first two floors are there, the left side has completely gone. All its windows have been smashed, including the ornate fan light over the front door, which is now covered in corrugated iron sheets. Its balconies have been ruined, all gone. It's For Sale. Hassett & Fitzsimons 6773591.

Walked all over. Liam saw Princess Buttercup herself in a black limo heading up Golden Lane, she's in town for the filming of Moll Flanders.
Down Dame Street, through Temple Bar, along Bachelors Walk, posters for the Bantry Bay Mussel Fair where De Danann are playing, O'Connell Street, to Gardiner Street and the streets smell like disinfectant, and there's some booted feet under a blanket, and I'm wondering whatever was under there was still breathing, up, passing the ruins of what was once The Kasbah, where if you could pay then your every dream would come true, down North Great Georges, O'Connell again, Marlborough, down, ProCathedral, passing the D'Olier Screen, still showing Exotica, through to Westmoreland, up Fleet, passing the outside of the stain glass windows of our favourite Bewley's, to the Quays, asked the posterman if I can have a Sinead O'Connor poster when they're available, yep, just front up on a Sunday morning and I can have what I want. Back over the Ha'penny Bridge, up to South Great Georges, Tower's closed 'til noon, Stephen Street, round Chancery Lane. Back.

"The Days of Pearly Spencer" is playing on the radio. Bejaysus, haven't heard that since the sixties, and it's still good.

Merrion Square
Turning from Cuffe Street into Wexford Street, I finally saw a moving statue. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. She was strapped to the roof a car, standing, her feet garlanded in plastic flowers, and a hymn blaring from the car's speakers. I think it was a hymn, if "Beautiful Dreamer" is a hymn. Excellent.

Holles Street




James Joyce
"the oxen of the sun"
episode of
in the original

National Maternity Hospital

which stood on this site
16 June 1904

but even better, the grocery store at the end of the street had Taz's. Must be the last in Dublin. Wondering if James Joyce ever had a Taz. "The oxen of the sun" episode is the part where Joyce is being clever for the sake of being clever, where the cleverness becomes just too transparent, and as such, it fails.

Lady Gregory's version of Cuchullain includes his death. Wouldn't it just.

Kilkenny has just beaten Clare in the GAA hurling finals. Ninth time they've won it, first time since 1990 though, and there's been some 'minor skirmishes' in West Belfast over the re-routing of some VE march.

More wanderings. Down Fishamble, showing Liam the plaque commemorating the first ever public performance of The Messiah. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Under the beams holding up some building, to the Grattan Bridge, the Liffey, facing the Ha'penny and O'Connell bridges. Up the quays, passing U2's hotel, the Clarence, still being renovated.
To the Arch, telling Liam about Leopold Bloom holding the Sweets of Sin close to his heart, bought in the Arch itself, although whatever bookshop that was has gone. Up South Great Georges, into Tower, reading 'Propaganda - the Gothic Chronicle', with people looking self-conscious as they pose with Egyptian sphinxes as Thoth's spells for the resurrection of Osiris are quoted, as if that's secret mythic information. What a joke. Sacrifices. Retail Slut on Hollywood, for all your slut gear. The Lesbians Guide to S&M. You have to wonder.

The phantom horses that C has been hearing all evening, approaching then disappearing, turns out to be the horse-drawn coaches for the Moll Flanders filming. Entering Ship Street from Werburgh Street. We go down for a closer look, but there's nothing really happening, no "Lights, Camera, Action" at all, just endless setting up and taking down.


Monday 8/5

And last evening Jacque Chirac became the new President of France, with 52% of the vote, the centre right ousting the socialists, meanwhile, in England, they're whooping up the 50th anniversary of VE day.

The GPO, still no rebellions in progress. But, over the road, the Lir Clock is playing Lillibulero.

Bewleys. Our favourite. The Usual. Kathy poured the coffee and the tea, and Linda took out money. For some reason, the mug of coffee is 20p more than the pot of tea. You get 2 and a half cups of tea from a pot. Doesn't seem quite right.

Hodges Figgis
pléaráca : p'lé:'ra:ka. mt. revelry, high jinks, reveller. Good word.

Dublin Castle courtyard.
Filled with caravans, mobile homes, a spotlight that at some time will be hoisted high on the cherrypicker crane. Liam's amongst it all somewhere. Two horses, one white the other grey, trot through the entrance arch, led by costumed men in three-pointed hats, and above all, the green-domed clock tower that's been here a long time, and will still be here after all this, and us, have gone, and will still be here when Moll Flanders is reduced to the $1 Weekly video bins.
Liam appears, apparently Morgan Freeman is just "over there".
The spotlight plays over the courtyard, briefly illuminating the Statue of Justice with her sword and scales. Liam points out Robin Wright, Buttercup herself, playing with an empty mineral water bottle. And how he sat with Morgan Freeman's grandson, as they rode on the back of the carriage going round and round the courtyard while some scene was being filmed. I want to see the movie now.


Tuesday 9/5


Morning Coffee. Apparently there's a great market for stone heads, sold to tourists for outrageous amounts of money. They think they've cracked the black market for genuine Irish artefacts, when actually they're supporting the Tallaght School of Naive Art.

Down Kildare Street, towards Nassau Street. Finally found the billiard playing monkeys. On the base of a column near the corner, not sure what the building was, some Ministry building for something.

Then up to the Taylor Galleries. An exhibition of the Louis Le Brocquy brush drawings, the ones that accompanied the Kinsella translation of The Tain. They're quite brilliant, deceptively simple.

Much later, after the Auld Dubliner Session
"Sing a song, Mark".
No way. Don't know any anyway.
Then 'Derek' turns up, the all-time crap bodhran player. Frenetically crap. Waving it around like a madman possessed, but who has a problem with the beat. Tries to take over, hassling the piper, getting right up John's nose.
"You're a guest, so behave like one"
"And what do you mean by that ?" he responds, aggressively.
But John's the diplomat, sorts him out.

Later, I get hugged by an old man who "loves the music", and that's all I could understand. The older they get, the more incomprehensible they become.

Derek's playing too loudly, pushing the beat, I back off, quietly, I can't hear the tune. Later, he's telling me that his bodhran was made in Clare, twice. I don't care, he's still a shite player. He's pissed and his breath smells like vomit.
"A lot of people think playing bodhran is easy." My attempt at a bodhran brotherhood.
"And what do you mean by that ?"

Well, actually, it means shut up and piss off, but I say something else, can't remember what.
"Can I have a turn on the pipes," he asks. What ? Holy Bejaysus, is he insane ? Bodhrans maybe, but the golden rule is that the real instruments do not, ever, get passed around like communal property, like toys.


Wednesday 10/5

Met Colleen at the morning break (think it's Colleen), who tells me there's a 'Music Room' somewhere in this building, which, to everybody in the know, seems to be a bit of a joke. Harps, cello's, "that kind of thing". Bet I could do something with it.

Molesworth Street is full of farmers, protesting. From the stage, speakers are demanding the right to sell their cattle whenever they like to whoever they like. IFA banners, Kerry, Fermoy, "You Won't Pull The Wool Over Our Eyes", some kid with an aerosol horn. Clapping and Cheering. TV camera crews. Demands made on The Minister, Ivan Daniels. No Surrender to British Ferry Companies.

at the flat.
The In-laws have arrived, but they're not here at the moment. The place is full of other people's touristy stuff. A huge jar of vegemite. Li-lo's. A video on London, well gee, that'll be useful. Loaf of Brennan's Bread, someone's been lashing out.


Thursday 11/5
Re-reading The Tain. The birth of Conchobar. Deirdre smashing herself. The birth of Cuchullain. Just what was the sicked up thing ?

And the second book of Westropp's "Celtic Crosses" is done, making 12 books done. Think I agree with Tolkien, too much nonsense gets the 'Celtic' tag. Too much air-headed mysticism. These people were real. But when ? And who ?

morning break
And apparently I got my face on last nights news. Me, at the farmers demo yesterday. Yep, solidarity with the farmers of Ireland. I didn't see it, as we don't have a TV.

Leeson Lane. Finished three individuals.
Number 1418, hand and arm. Wonder if that person achieved anything with those fingers, that hand ? Did they build anything ? Did they write anything ? Did they ever hold somebody else's hand ? Did they ever feel anybody up ? Who know ? No-one ever will.
Individual 1884 amounts to just a few broken pieces of a leg bone, one with an interesting hole drilled through it. Not 'Interesting' as academic-speak for totally boring, but for the possibilities of what it conjures up. Why would someone have a hole drilled through their leg ? It's too perfectly place to have been an accident. Wonder if they were still alive when it happened.


Friday 12/5

Cuppas at Hodges Figgis, looking out over Dawson Street, although I was reading a book on the Loire and its chateaux.
Loches. Agnes Sorel, the 16 year old tart of Charles VII, a relationship that shocked, as it was openly flaunted.


Saturday 13/5

Moore Street. C buying from her 'favourite' stall, the first one, nearest the tobacco and cigarette sellers. Large oranges 5 for £1, large golden delicious 6 for £1, large peppers 60p each, new potatoes 3lbs for £1. Tomatoes 60p a pound.

Sheils Cafe, Troy's Traditional Irish Butcher Shop, S Cousins (another butcher shop, this one with red and white striped awning), Doyles Fancy Goods Hardware Toys, lucky 4 bingo, Heel Bar (shoe repairs), Paddy Power Bookmakers, The Clothing Store, and McGivney's on the corner (jewellery, silverware, giftware).

On the 123, to Mount Temple, Shannon's gym morning. Westmoreland Street. Had to wait a while at the stop, the traffic coming around the Christchurch corner was crawling, thick nearly all down to College Green. Front Seats. Cross the bridge. Over. O'Connell Street, Eason's, Clery's, stop outside Penny's, the girl with the tanned midriff and the grey/black checked cap must be sucking in her gut. Passing the GPO, six columns, Funland, Dr Quirkeys, the comhairle chontae fhine gall (whatever that may be), Ned Kelly's, turn right into Cathal Brugha, Church of St George and St Thomas, people waiting, sitting near the black railing, into Marlborough Street, pass the Hostel and have to fight the urge not to spit on its red door, right into Parnell Street, Larry Kirby's, and Christ died for my sins apparently, cross, passing the small square, Gardner Street, outside the house that Jock built, the graffiteed ground floor of some apartment blocks, Morley's Bar, Esquire Ladies Salon haircut £4, cut and blow dry £6, highlights £17, the Bridge Tavern, Croke Park, Foster Terrace, 'Drive Slowly', Joan Armatrading at the Olympia 11th June, Paul Brady at the Point 20th May, Clonliffe Road, right Richmond Road, Fairview Inn, left, Four Star Pizza, Waverly Ave, Brian Road, Shelmartin, suburbs, here we go right around the circle, Croydon Park Avenue, now left around the smaller circle, little boys in soccer uniforms, right, Top Ironing Service any 3 garments £5, Gracepark Terrace, passing the Charlmost, Marino Ministry of Education, Griffith Avenue. Nearly there.


Sunday 14/5

Liffey Street Lower. Keeping the Hags with the Bags company. Hope the poster man turns up the same time as last week.
The Liffey's fairly low, nearly able to see the bottom, revealing the garbage that's been tossed into it. Shopping trolleys, metal chairs, a guard rail, roadway witches hats. Somewhere there's an exhibition of art work created from material discarded into the Liffey.
The posters that are already on the billboards include Eleanor McEvoy at Whelans (which would have been better than Stocktons Wing. Either the mighty have fallen, or they were always crap), Harvest Ministers - A Feeling Mission (whoever or whatever that may be), Frames (also at Whelans), Kieran Goss at the Olympia (fresh from Concerts In Australia, where he's never been heard of), Kevin Ayres at the Tivoli (never quite made it on the Mike Oldfield scale, bet he hasn't got a trampoline in his backyard), Junkster (no idea at all), then some tart with a perm, Paul Tiernan (again, no idea), Hard Ball and the Punishable Act at the Baggott (must be a rock band then), the permed tart is 'Sir Henry's girl' - and something to do with a Bank Holiday weekend); red hot and green (at the Ormond multimedia, which also has the Exploding Cinema, wouldn't mind watching that from a distance), Hard Times (a club at the Ormonde, and the fine print offers Dublin's best DJ's), Mairtin O'Connor and his band at Whelans 21st & 22nd May (box extravaganza), Supergrass at the Tivoli, Paul Brady at the Point Theatre (the world is what you make it, baby), Facedrill at the Baggott Tuesday 16th may, Michelle Wright and her Band Midnight at the Olympia Friday 19th May, and, under her poster, Machine Head SFX Thursday 25th, English Rose (a tribute to the Jam) at the Olympia Friday 28th, and under them Riders On The Storm (another Doors tribute band) Midnight Olympia 27th, Laurie Anderson at the National Concert Hall (walking and falling), World Cup Me Arse! who have six performances at the Olympia (and whose cast voted it the greatest play they'd ever seen).

"Couldn't spare a couple of pennies ?" I'm asked by some well-dressed man.
"Thanks very much."

Jimmy Nail, the Summer Strummer Tour 1995 Point Theatre 18th June, Snowboy and the Latin Section 27th may at the Tivoli, and the Coca-Cola Dance Nation DJ's Janice Stewart, Mark Kavanagh, DJ Pressure, Liam Dollard, and, live, 4th Dimension, Liquid Wheel (who, I'm sure, have just mastered a drum machine between them) at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght (great acoustics, lovely suburb), the Harcourt, and next to it, the Harcourt Sessions - Monday 29th May Sean Keane and his Band (doesn't he play with the Chieftains ?), John Mayall 26th May Midnight at the Olympia (and how's the porn collection coming along, John ?), and Portishead SFX 20th May, Lenny Henry at the Stadium 19th May, and then the largest poster on this wall, Tanika Tikaram's new album Lovers In The City, NCH Wednesday 17th May. Bantry Mussel Fair May 11-14, with Free open air concerts with De Danann, Big Geraniums, Cork Pops Orchestra, Ronan Tynan, Hector Pickaxe, Dukes of Jazz, The Boat Band, Cool Chiarrac, Brass Bands, Pipe Bands. Street Theatre Events and Great Craic.

and a red workman asks what I'm doing and where I'm from.

Melanie Reilly and her Band at Whelan's Sunday 14th, and on the 10th I could have seen Hank Wankford but I'm holding my breath for the 26th, Hector Pickaxe (again) and the Floating Crowbars. The Cryin' Dolls Slattery's 19th May, Barnstormers (presented by Fosters Ice), Free Music Festival 8th Mexican Pets, 9th Swampshack, 10th a 'Europop Party', 11th Razorlove, 12th Indigo, 13th Female Hercules, 14th The Idiots and Luggage, and Barnstormers has moved 10 141 Townsend Street Tel.6714955, and finally, Jimmy McCarthy at the NCH 19th May in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

And here's the poster man. And yes, he remembered that I was after the Sinead O'Connor poster. O Frabjous Day !

On the 44 Bus to Enniskerry. Liam and I down the back, the others at the front. Sharing the ride with a Girl Guide Troop, green scarved; and German tourists. Liam thinks the 'pretty' one stayed downstairs, the one with too much eye make-up.

Powerscourt Gardens

Liam being given the once-over by a passing bunch of nubiles. Him, checking them out too.
And the Liam ratings are:
4/10 (the one in maroon)
5/10 (the one in the black German Army jacket)
3/10 (the fat one)
8/10 (in the blue hat, and red and black Bulls jacket)
2/10 (a real dog)
5/10 (the other one in black)
2/10 (must be the dog's sister)
6.5/10 (the one wearing striped pants)
8/10 (the one in the jeans and the grey/green turtle neck

"pas mal," says Liam, as two French girls walk by. They weren't too bad either.

Urgent need for bread and milk. To Londis on Patrick Street, get the milk, but of the two loaves left on the shelf one is slowly beginning to turn blue, and the other's been opened. Glance through the Sunday Independent, but can't find the AFL results.
Down to the Thomas Street store, heaps of bread, 89p. Ripoff. At Dunne's you'd get nearly two loves for that. The Independent on Sunday (thought it was the same paper, but it's not). Lift out the Sport Section, and bloody Hawthorn's beaten Geelong 7:13 to 7:8. Shit. While I'm recovering and trying to work out the other results (no 'd' or 'bt' between teams, just raw scores), some gorgeous Celtic pagan goddess type asks if I want it, as she wants to buy the rest of the paper and I can have the Sport liftout, but no, not really, just checking some football results, and hand it over. Nice. Except for the bloody Hawks. Bet it was that poofter Jason Dunstall.

And Christchurch is closed. Was hoping to find out some details about the Handel performance next Thursday night, like what time it starts. Walk back, following a drunk still clutching his can, he's dismissively waving at everything he passes, while talking to himself, playing out some argument, wrestling with some personal demons.


Monday 15/5

News. A 'shock survey' of Ireland's shopkeepers reveals that crime is costing them millions, and a supermarket manager got done last night, and 10 kilos of cannabis was taken in a raid somewhere else last night. And, it's Mike Oldfield's birthday, I'm wondering if they sing him Tubular Bells. And Manchester United is not happy about some umpiring decision or other. Tough. Losers.

Bewleys. The usual place. The centre of the universe, where I feel totally and utterly complete. C feels obliged to converse. Not me, I'm in a Bewleys on a Monday morning mode, scavenging whatever papers I can find, read quietly.

According to the genealogy stall in the Powerscourt Mall, one of my rello's was the King of Dublin, apparently. The Crellin's are somehow related to the O'Reilly's, and Godfrey O'Reilly (or whatever Godfrey O'Reilly is in Irish) was a King of Dublin.

still later
In Dunne's, doing the groceries. But, by buying a certain brand of cheese we may win tickets to Riverdance, not likely, but the woman promoting the competition was fairly insistent.

had a brilliant idea for a book. Places of importance in Irish Mythological Literature. Emain Macha, Cruachan, Knockbridge, Tara, Newgrange, Loughcrew, the places mentioned in the Ulster and Fenian Cycles, with appropriate quotes from the literature. Yes, this incredibly moving photograph is the place where Cuchullain leapt the triple walls, yes, this is the stream where Cuchullain fought Ferdia, yes this is the place where the Morrigan and the Dagda bonked and the earth shook, yes, this is where the Formorian soldiers were turned to stone, yes, this is the place where The Tain begins and ends and yes, this is the place where Mad Sweeney spent his year in madness, yes, this is the place where Saint Patrick did the daughters in, and I could include maps too. Just use the 6" series from the Museum. I hereby bequeath all rights to this brilliance, this gap in the market, to anybody who wants to do it.


Tuesday 16/5

Killallaghton. "Parish south of Aughrim and west of Cloontooskert is called by the aborigines in Irish Cill Allachtan, which they understand to mean the Church of St Allachtan."
What does O'Donovan mean by 'aborigines' ?

Met the Norwegian Consul at morning break (maybe Swedish, whoever has the flag with a red and blue cross), but my idea of an Illustrated Mythology wasn't taken very seriously. No wonder the Irish can't sell their history.

Everybody else is in a meeting in Ned's office, to do with the Viking Exhibition and its 1500 exhibits. So, for a short time, I'm in charge.
So, when can I begin the installation of the Ireland In Mythology exhibition ?

Finally bought 'Over Nine Waves', from Hodges Figgis. There were no virgins at the windows.

Reading. I don't know why so many parents here name their daughters Aoife, the original evil step-mother bitch from hell, turning her stepkids into swans


Wednesday 17/5
And, according to the Bishop of Edinburgh, humans have "promiscuous genes". Thank God, or we'd all end up morons like the Bishop of Edinburgh.

Leeson Lane.
Indescribably boring. Vincent Buckley called in, with some work experience student who had dark braces over her teeth like a black stain.

Cleaned two individuals. A skull, a woman's I think, but I could be wrong, while the other just vertebrae and a couple of broken ribs. Sad. Just who were these people? have any of them done anything by which they're remembered? are their names written down anywhere? what did these people do? and what did they think? what thoughts once went through the mind that once inhabited this skull from which clumps of dirt now fall? were they great thoughts, or just boring day to day ones? Could they read, or write, and what were they capable of imagining, and what were their lives like, did they have fun, what made them happy, sad, what amused them, what moved them, did they enjoy their time, now gone? I may have to imagine it for them, as they cannot speak, ever.

And another one, 'mixed bones', a broken bottom jaw, but good teeth, an occasional rib, arms, a toe but no legs, nor fingers. Wonder what he would have had to have done to have his bits all messed up like they must have been. Was he mangled before his burial? Why? Maybe the mangling was the cause of his death, or maybe his body was mangled later. Was the mangling an accident or maybe done purposefully. I think accidentally, as the jaw is a clean, reassemblable break, and surely if the mangling was purposeful, then the jaw would have been smashed in.
So much for paleopathology. What a crock.


Thursday 18/5

And the Norwegian's have an "appalling" Viking display. No labels on anything, and it's meant to 'inspire' in an artsy kind of way, And Njal's Saga, apparently, was written in Dublin, which just about wraps it up for the Norwegians then.

Finished another Westropp book. Negatives of Caher Island, which is supposedly a truly holy place, on which misfortune befalls anybody who takes anything from there, while Clare island has the tomb of the O'Malley's, with maybe, but probably not, Grace herself. Inisturk, now apparently rarely visited, and I'm wondering if any of Tim Tool's relatives still live there.

Lesson Lane.
The first 'individual' amounted to a femur, and nearly half a pelvis. The one I'm in the midst of is a smashed skull, and a few vertebrae. The teeth are in better condition than mine are, and the teethsockets in the jaw haven't healed over. The teeth fell out after death.


Friday 19/5

Hughes and Hughes, St Stephens Mall.
And over there, in front of the 'Travel' and 'New Fiction' bays, and behind the red tape, is Spike Milligan signing books, and asking for the "next victim!" after each signing. Looks as though you have to buy his new book to even get a place in the queue. He's looking old, but takes the time to chat with all his victims, one by one. I find it hard to believe I'm in the same room as him. I wish I could buy his book, so I could have a chat.

Not much later
In the restaurant under the St Stephen's Mall dome, third level, looking down on the Fusiliers Arch, through to the lake, a parade of school children is being led through the gate. Down there are two black motorcycles, and a mess of acoustic motorbikes, and a row of carriages lines up under the trees waiting for tourists.

Waiting for the 123. Lord Edward Street
One appears, but no, it's not them. Another one, still no. The Wedding Bus 'for your very special day. Hire this bus for your wedding guests', 65 to Blessington via Harolds Cross, 65B An Lar via Harolds Cross, 78A to Balgaddy and 7 people get on, maybe I should find out where Balgaddy is sometime, 77 to Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, another 78A to Balgaddy, and yet another 78A to Balgaddy, a 150 IMP to Willington, a 123 but they're not on it, another 123 but nope, I think the 123's are travelling in packs, 150 to Willington, 50 An Lar via Dolphin's Barn, 77 An Lar again via Dolphin's Barn, 77 Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, I guess if you lived in Dolphin's Barn you could just catch any bus that was going anywhere, 78A to Balgaddy, and one gets on and it must have been her icecream or something but her nipples are erect, 65B to Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, and a girl walks past carrying huge bunches of daffodils, 56A to Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, 78A to Balgaddy, 150 to Willington, 49 to Belgard Road via Harold's Cross, 49 to Tallaght, and another girl walks by with a violin, an Old Dublin Tour Bus, 49 to Tallaght via Harold's Cross, a Wedding Bus, "enjoy Coca Cola", 54A to Tallaght, "berry berry good", a 123 but not not this one either, two really aged tourists both with walking sticks one with a 'Reads' bag the other with a 'Kilkenny House' bag, Heritage Tour Bus, 56A Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, 150 IMP to Willington, and the smell of hops begins to pervade and I'm wondering why you can't buy hop-scented insence, 78A to Balgaddy, 150 to Willington, the next 78A doesn't stop at all as it's too full already, a dwarf passes by and I'm thinking that he should have a tin drum, 65B to Tallaght via Harold's Cross, 150 to Willington, 56A Tallaght via Dolphin's Barn, a 123, yes, finally, they're here, the wait is over.

Nutmeg, from the Patrick Street Londis is 69p. Rather enjoyed hearing Zelda the Pagan Celtic Goddess saying "sixty nine please."

Up in the Roof Garden. There's a strange high-pitched noise from somewhere, like a whistling, it's getting louder, maybe it's the sound of the wrath of the Catholic God who's getting mightily pissed off with the sound of the Proddie Bells that are a continual reminder of who holds the high ground in Dublin. It goes on, constant, and the sun is making a last ditch attempt to show itself, through this apocalyptic sky, a break, albeit a small one, high above St Augustine's, the Catholic one. Yep, must be. Thought so. If God is going to appear anywhere it would have to be in this country. Even the Pope contemplated moving the Vatican lock stock and barrel to Ireland, in 1948, fearing a Communist victory in Italy. The whistling noise has stopped, and Christchurch's bells suddenly resume, as if the Catholic sun and the Protestant bells are slugging it out for supremacy. "And in this corner ...", meanwhile, the objects of their attentions are queuing up for their pieces of cod at Burdocks.

Saturday 20/5
At the Abbey Street Mad Sweeney Mosaics. Heroic and sad images of kings and madmen and the curse and bare-breasted women and great sorrow. The words are from Heaney's translation of a 7th century poem or something. These are works of genius. I had to copy them down

Mother Redcaps. £6 must be the going rate. And a barrel of a women takes the stage "Hello, and tanks for comin' along."

And Nomos were very good. Not brilliant, not Dervish, not Sirocco, but nearly.


Sunday 21/5
On the news, there's been punishment beatings in Derry and another beating in West Belfast, and apparently Everton's 1-0 defeat of Manchester United was a 'shock one'.

Irish Museum of Modern Art


By Hamish Fulton, and titled " A road walking journey at the time of singing birds, south coast to west coast to north coast, Brittany 13-25 May, 1987". In the marriage of art and words, it's genius.

Between Waterstones, Hughes and Hughes and Hodges Figgis, there's not a single Heaney translation of Sweeney Astray to be had.


Monday 22/5
Marion served, and we paid the rather plain looking Margaret. Not quite our usual place, under the lead-light, but close to the turf-burning fireplace anyway. "All are welcome here" reads the sign on the door, referring specifically to plastic credit cards, but more generally referring to everybody in Dublin, no matter who. It's one of those things that make a place like this special. Its charms are not restricted to those with bulging wallets.

Still in Bewleys
According to a letter in The Times, on page 15, from Patrick McGrath of Rockfield Road, Kells, Co Meath, there's a good argument against the removal of the Market Cross to the proposed Heritage Centre, and that they should pedestrianize the intersection near it.

To the Henry Street Dunnes, two loaves of bread, bagged up by the redheaded and freckled Joanna O'Hanlon, who's obviously tried hard to smother the freckles in make-up, a hopeless task. Cute, anyway.

The Bleeding Horse
This is a seriously nice pub. Looks brilliant on the outside, black Victorian, although all the drawings and newspaper clippings on the walls show it's been renovated to within an inch of its very existence. Apparently the name comes from the practice of leeching horses; and this is the place that's recommended by Stephen Daedulus might be able to get a good room.

Walking back along the Grand Canal. We found Paddy Kavanagh's set. With the bronzed him on it.
"Leafy-with-love banks, the green waters of the Canal
Pouring redemption for me"
Patrick Kavanagh
1904 to 1967

And on the footpath outside St Stephens Green, an empty 'Banshee Bones' bag. Somewhere, in this city, someone has bags of Banshee Bones...
I knew it ! .. I wasn't just imagining it from last time .. even remember the black bag with the blue-faced witch adorning them.









Back to the incredibly depressing Aliens Office. Full of depressed aliens, like us. And, I'm told, there's no toilets here for the public, and I "have to go outside". Wonder how the garda would react if I went outside and pissed in their fountain ?

The Mad Sweeney is proving elusive, as we chase him from bookshop to bookshop. Not at Hodges Figgis. Waterstone's has an arty copy with a £20 price tag (must be kidding), to Fred Hannahs, no, but I'm told to try the Irish section in the next room, but no, he's not there either. Try Connolly's, nope. Down Crane Street, but they don't have it either, to Parliament Street, try the antiquarian section of HF, but no, the man, well-dressed but wearing two sets of glasses, checks the catalogue, but they don't have him either.

Read two stories from 'Invisible Dublin'. One about Mountjoy Square, about a room in one of the tenement buildings, a mothers note - her own 'Book of Kells' - detailing the deaths of her own three children in one night from 'suffocation', from having stopped up the Georgian window with rags to keep out the cold. The other about Glasnevin cemetery, and which describes the Glasnevin school as an intellectual slaughterhouse, but the cemetery as something wonderful, but that wonderfulness only discovered with the author's discovery of the 'key' to reading it.


Tuesday 23/5

Museum. New Westropp book, number 30, Tipperary and South Leinster, Wicklow and Wexford. Okay, TJW, show me something brilliant, as you rarely do.

Aliens Office
There's only one other alien here, although we're number 52. The garda at the gate knew we were aliens instantly.

Damn, got the smiley one with the bad teeth. She's just gone to check something, and closed the wooden windows. behind the windows, the forces of darkness are gathering, as the first complication is that Liam will be over 16 when we return from France in June, so we have a passport problem, so there's another 'difficulty' right there, apparently. Need documents from Mount Temple to prove that he'll still be enrolled there. "No, it's a Ministry decision, not mine." Shite. Still, Number 53 had to go and get photographs, and 54 had to collect new forms to fill in. Seems odd, but Ireland still loses thousands and thousands of its young people every year, but the people that actually want to live here are given a really hard time for it. Céad Míle Fáilte, bullshit.

In Hodges Figgis, browsing "Sweeneys Flight", the coffee-table version, fairly seriously. Events based around Donegal, but the photographs don't tell you specifically where, although it seems that both Heaney and the photographer went to wet, painful, and miserable lengths to pinpoint the exact locations of Sweeney's flight. The paperback is out of print, and the hardback is ridiculously expensive.

Finally tracked the Mad Sweeney down. Cornered the bastard and got him, like Javert tracking Jean Valjean, pursued and relentlessly hunted down, lurking in Chapters on the corner of Liffey Street and Henry Street, on the Poetry shelves, one copy, which I'm absolutely sure is the last copy in Dublin, or probably anywhere. Nabbed him, paid his price, had him bagged and carried the him triumphantly home.

And at the Winding Stair, found 'The Road Wet, The Wind Close' by James Charles Roy. Just brilliant. Can't afford it just yet, so I stash it elsewhere. Hoping no-one will notice.

Did the Celtic King really say that St Patrick's fire would be the one that would never be put out? Did he really send his horsemen from Tara to Slane. Did JC really walk on water? Who know? History and myth, and it's all in the telling anyway.

Raglan Road. Had to come here, for the song. Patrick Kavanagh lived at Number 19. It's a beautiful street.

Wednesday 24/5

Nearly finished Sweeney, leaving the last 4 or 5 pages until tonight.

To work, walking down Chatham Street for a change, under Neary's arms, then the opened cellar doors of a butchers shop, the metal slide for the carcasses.

In the coffee shop, with the Work Experience students and Raghnall, talking about the Museum Cafe itself, how nice it is, and how the people that run it play favourites, and if you ask for a 'large' cup it doesn't cost any more, and about how the 1916 room shouldn't be there, but rationalized with the Kilmainham collection, and how there should be a exhibition of the tacky Irish stuff that tourists buy, the shamrocks and leprechauns, and how today's tack is tomorrow's artefacts.

There's a firedrill. The alarm sounds. I'm a bit slow to move, the security guard gets a little crotchetty.
"Outside, Fire."
Yeah, right, it's licking at my heels.
But the security guys are loving this, Maybe it gives them something to do other than just sit around, taking the occasional constitutional around the displays.

And back to the Westropps.

Leeson Lane
Just finished today's one individual. Ended up having a cuppa with Joe and what's-her-face, the pleasant one that smokes. Talking about ancient sites, and how they've turned into 'Noddy-land' for the tourists, and about who's getting the job of leading Prince Charles around Newgrange.

Today's individual was a child, died sometime before the adult teeth had erupted. Some you could see, poised, waiting for the first teeth to go, if not pushing them out. Back teeth, front teeth, but only lower teeth. The skull, only one arm, no hands, no feet. And what looked like an adult sized tooth but with an enormously long tooth-root, maybe this child was struggling with some kind of vampire when it died. This child didn't have a pelvis, nothing below the waist at all. Did something slice this kid?


- 5 sets
(Davy Spillane,
Mairtin O'Connor,
Maire Breatnach)

- Inchagoill
- Mystic Slip Jig
- Maam Turk
- Always Travelling
- My Lagan Love
- The Girl From the Big House
- Media Vita
- Fionnghuala
- The Bluebird
- So Do Mahi Meo I
- Eiri na Greine
- Reel Around the Sun
- Slip Into Spring /
  Macedonian Morning/
  Marta's Dance /
  Russian Dervish
- Finore
- Antice
- The Lark in the Morning
- May Morning   Dew
- Riverdance
- McBrides

Now that I know what's on the menu tonight I guess I can leave now, and save the bother of actually listening.

halftime at the Moving Hearts gig.
Jaysus, and if I died right now, after being at that gig, it's be okay. Music does not get any better. So many people here that are Liam's age, I guess their parents got off on Moving Hearts too. Maam Turk was brilliant, even if Noel Eccles can't play a darrabukka to save himself despite being brilliant on everything else, while Inchigoill was unspeakably beautiful, and was apparently written an island in Lough Corrib. Meanwhile, the stage is being arranged for Anuna, and "the second part of the concert is about to begin" is announced.

Lucky I didn't die at half-time, as I would have missed the second part. On the 7A bus, back to the An Lar, thinking of the absolute purity of Anuna's voices, Spillane's pipes, Maire's 5 string electric violin, the drummers beating the Riverdance tattoo, then the 20 minutes of Riverdance material televised live through Europe, and then big one, The Lark, the epic arrangement from The Storm, but better with Maire's fiddle, and of how it's probably likely that I'll never get to hear anything like this again, ever. And that here, it's not considered strange or weird to like this stuff.


Thursday 25/5

And as all of Westropp's photo's of Dunbrody Abbey were taken in August 1916, that means he was out shooting abbeys and castles while the Easter rebels were being shot in Kilmainham Jail. I wonder what Westropp was doing, or where he was, when the rebellion itself was happening. Probably off in some secluded part of Ireland, daydreaming thoughts of Dunbrody Abbey ... thrill me, baby ...


Hell, if Westropp had a hard-on for Dunbrody, then he's had Kilmallock Priory up against the wall and fecked her senseless. Distance shots, close ups, details, good god almighty nearly half an album's worth.

And finished for the week, leaving Westropp and his gang roaming the stone circles, wedge tombs and the other neolithic wonders of Lough Gur. Ballynagallagh is a beautiful name.

Cross into St Stephens Green, round the right of the central flower bed, which is being mown and clipped, and not a single blade out of place. Over the bridge, "look," says someone's grandmother, "there's a swan". Probably the same one as yesterday. Maybe a cursed child, this swan, like the Children of Lir, condemned to float upon the waters of St Stephens Green feeding upon scraps of jam sandwich crusts.


Friday 26/5
News. Just announced, Bill Clinton will be visiting Ireland before the end of the year.

On the 31B Bus to Howth, under the Coca-Cola bridge, Connolly Station, the lock, Croke Park, North Strand Road, Annesley Bridge Road, Gaffney and Sons whiskey bonders, Fairview Strand, Lotus Garden Chinese fast food restaurant, Marino College, Byrnes, Beachcomber, Killester Avenue, Statoil, Sybil Hill, and there's a poster for the Museum at a bus-stop, Raheny, the Station House, Nivea makes the sun safer, Maywood, Greendale Road, caution cyclists, Kilbarrack Sailing Club, Marine Hotel, the Summit.

In Lil's, in Howth. Seen the church, with the neon-lit Madonna, where there was a nun talking about Swiss Rolls, and some young tart in a Celtics t-shirt and a baby in a pram. Seen the yacht filed harbour, Irelands Eye, the Cock Tavern.

In Irish, a Big Mac is a Macan Mhor.

Howth Gardens. On the way, evidence of previous Australians, Fosters cans littered around, jaysus, look around hard enough and you'll probably find kangaroo shit.
Rhododendrons, shades of pink and purple and mauve. Wonder which rhodie slapped James Joyce's arse as he screwed Nora, and I'm wondering if there was an archaeological dig here if they'd find the impression in the ground left by Nora's bum. Nothing like barnacling the missus under the rhodies.

Opposite Techcrete, waiting for the return bus.

Bought 'The Road Wet The Wind Close' by James Charles Roy, from the Winding Stairs. Best book I've ever seen on Celtic Ireland. £12.

And, out there in Bride Road, parking meters have just appeared. Meanwhile, according to 'The Road Wet The Wind Close', Tara was the symbolic expression of power, but removed from the physical location of Tara Hill itself, and the Lia Fail, Tara's Stone, the stone that screamed, Medh, the earth goddess and general tart, and the screaming was 'the ultimate ejaculation'. Bejaysus, I'd call it the Great Feck, but some people are more coy than I.


Saturday 27/5

'The Road Wet' has a chapter devoted to each of Irelands sacred places, although Emain Macha gets shafted, usurped into the chapters on Tara and Cruachain. And, the National Museum gets a short chapter. Yes. Gate. Safe! is a prayer, a chant, upon entering the holy space itself. To worship at the shrine of the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch, the Cross of Cong, Countess Markewiez's pistol, the Museum cafe ...

South Great Georges
There's an old man in the street wheeling a sheet of metal on a pram, while another old crone wheeled her pram, laden with god-knows-what up Stephen Street, munching her bag of crisps. To the arcade, then over the road to Waltons, always disappointing, the same fiddle books, pipe books, songs of Old Dublin, tin whistle and bodhran tutors.
Over the road again, Tower's open. As usual, collect any flyers that are gracing their counter. The one for The Big Geraniums, whoever they are, is brilliant. Browse through the new CD's, then the magazines. 'Cinema' has a giveaway on Violence in Cinema. Straw Dogs, Clockwork Orange, The Devils, and something called Visions of Ecstasy - the only film ever banned on the grounds of Christian blasphemy, although The Last Temptation of Christ came close. Which, naturally, interests me no end. Apparently it's based on the ecstasies of Saint Teresa, the one of Bernini fame, and according to this version, had wrapped a leg around JC while he's still nailed up on his cross.
Looking through the Sale CD's. Find Andy Cutting & Chris Wood's 'Lisa' for £1.99. Jaysus, Claddagh's still selling it for £14.99. Anything even vaguely connected with Blowzabella has to be okay.

I should become an ascetic monk type, and take up residence at Michael Skellig, and eat salty bread, and let the wind, rain and cold lash my penitent body.

To Henry Street. Some cute Toblerone seller looks at me and asks "Tobacco?". Yes. She whips a pack out from under her coat, it's still slightly bent from the curve of her belt, "there's plain clothes everywhere," she tells me. How did she know what I wanted? Maybe I'm becoming known around here. Maybe I just look desperate, like a man who's previous packet of Samson is now down to the crumbling flakes. Maybe she was just taking the chance that I wasn't plain-clothes. Maybe even the plain-clothes are better dressed than me.

And Liam and I must have looked bloody ridiculous carrying the table, from the skip where we found it near the D'Olier Screen, across Westmoreland Street, passing the bus queues, dodging the traffic, down Fleet and through Temple Bar, up Crow Street and Dame Street, then carting it through the Castle, passing the Crypt, to Ship Street and eventually Bride Street. But at least Liam has a desk he can work at. Trés fashionable American 50's, tubular metal legs, laminex-flecked green top. And, we could have got chairs to match, but the best of those had already been picked by the couple there before us.

C's impressed by the desk, and thinks it's "the most beautiful table she's ever seen." Either she hasn't seen many tables, or is just being nice, or really is taken with 50's decor.

Back from the Patrick Street Londis, having bought matches from the legend of Zelda herself.


Sunday 28/5

Mulligans in Poolbeg Street. No Harrington's, no beautiful women glancing, no arm wrestling matches (unless that's happening in the next room). This is more yer local pub, rather than yer all-Irish Molly Malone ones. Older men at the bar, the one near the end clutching a pipe between his teeth, a few others over there who must be in their eighties. The bartender looks like Van Morrison.

St Stephen's Green. And on the stage there, just announced, is Luka Bloom. Jaysus. I own CD's by this guy, well, one at least, and he just happens to be the performer in the Green this afternoon when we just happen to be there, because Mulligans had an unexpectedly early closing time, and we had to leave. Fate, I guess. No, he couldn't have come at a better time. Three songs, including one about the daughter of the King of Ys, who was apparently in league with the devil himself.

Macdonalds, in O'Connell Street.
"One white tea and one black coffee, please."
"Sorry," says the boyo who name badge calls him Dave, "the tay machine is broken."
"Okay, one white and one black coffee."
"Sorry, the coffee machine is broken too."
Well, shit, Dave, can't you boil a jug ? We leave.

Cafe Kylemore. Outside, James Joyce stands, forever peering towards Easons, although more probably in the direction of the Oval Bar.

And while I'm listening to a busker play the oddest set of pipes I've ever seen, some bastard tries to steal my cap, but drops it after I gave chase. Bastards. Thank God we're pissing off to France as soon as the holidays start. The idea of spending twelve weeks with these utter shithead kids, only more bored, ain't pleasant. And some of the Grafton Street shitheads just stole the buskers money. My consolation is that they'll grow up to be alcoholics or make a living asking for the price of a cuppa tea or selling Big Issues. Except the fat kid, he'll have exploded.


Monday 29/5

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! It's finally happened.
Finally found a shop that sells .. Banshee Bones !!
.. bought 4 bags from Mr Pips. Now, a sacred, holy place. Holiest of holies ... Glendalough, Tara, Emain Macha, Loughcrew, Newgrange, Cruachain, and now ... Mr Pips .... in South Circular Road Portobello, up from the Clanbrassil Street Lower intersection.
A new mecca for the faithful ...

And they were delicious. Like a nuclear explosion in your mouth.

Tuesday 30/5
News. And one of Madonna's security guards has shot an intruder, three times, and who is now in a 'stable' condition, a 'stalker' apparently. Anybody that obsessed with Madonna should be shot anyway.

And what's this envelope on the keyboard addressed to 'Mr and Mrs Mark Noke'? It's ... 'an invitation from the Director of the National Museum of Ireland to the opening of the Viking Age Ireland exhibition, Thursday 1st June, 1995, at 5.00pm'. Yes! me and the Minister ...

Westropp spent a lot of time around Lough Gurr, Co Limerick, in 1913, and again later in 1916. Where was he when the guns were firing in the Easter Rebellion?

Speaking of which, two guys just walked in here, from the 1916 Room next door, carrying armfuls of the rifles actually used in the Rebellion.

Apparently, the 'state of the art' cabinets in which the guns of the Revolution are housed aren't quite state of the art, and get dusty on the inside.

The Viking Exhibition preparations proceed. Upstairs. Looking around. The work experience girls are tweezering numbers next to the exhibit pieces, there's painters varnishing the triangular wooden beams, Alan is removing some artefacts from their protective foam packages. It's good, but a tad unimaginative. The Viking skeleton is pretty cool though.

Cleaning bones has become not only tedious and boring, but depressing. It all come to this.
Two individuals today, the first practically newborn, probably only a month, maybe two, old. Still taking mother's milk, could as yet make no sense of the world around it, whenever that may have been. Depressing. The second individual was an adult.

Walking back, down Wicklow Street. A group of girls approaching a boy, who's listening to his walkman.
"Tame ?" they ask.
He whips out the plugs, almost strangling himself in the process, who knows, he may get lucky.
"Tame ?" they ask again.
He has no idea what they're on about, his absolutely confused looks instantly recognizable as 'I've-just-blown-every-possible-chance',
"Do you have the tame ?"
I don't hear the reply, but it was 25 past 4.

Three pages into the serious archaeological literature on Rath Cruichan. And yes, think I'll just lie down, read a few more paragraphs and I'm asleep on the couch, don't know for how long, but woke utterly disoriented, imagined, no, couldn't imagine where I was. Reality dawns with a crick in my neck. Why is archaeology written in such an alienating pseudo-scientific language? Well, probably because it's archaeologists are just so unsure of themselves, and unable to truly place their work in a context that is in any way truly scientific. Measuring the diameter of one hill fort, then comparing that measurement with another hillfort does not a science make, not even a mathematical one, for that too is subjective. And, after measuring and comparing the two hillforts your answer is minus one, then it's totally in the realms of the conceptual, the imaginary, and doesn't exist at all in the real world. Hell, if your writing about Cruchain then for God's sake mention that this is where Medh and Aillil had their little tête-a-tête pillow talk .. and I've got more than you have, oh no you don't, oh yes I do ..


Wednesday 31/5

And, according to the news, Dublin is surrounded by a 'Ring Of Steel' for Prince Charles' visit, and, if I heard right, an incendiary device went off in Easons.
Good session last night, or, as usual, I can look back on it now and say 'good session last night', as at the time felt a little uneasy and awkward, and why do any of them who also play a bit of bodhran also play it better than I can? But ended up with two pipers, which was brilliant. The two publicans having a hard time getting people to leave, yelling from about 11:30, and getting really intense at about 12:15.

Not much evidence for any kind of Ring Of Steel, although there were two garda strolling down Dame Street last night. I'm wondering if Charles will have to undergo the humiliations of the Aliens Office. Probably not.

Since firing up the computer this morning, I've catalogued endless negatives of Moghane Caher, a stone fort somewhere in Clare; fingered the barrel and trigger of an Easter Rebellion rifle; and could've pocketed a Celtic iron brooch/clasp, but didn't.

And the blue trolley full of Viking artefacts gets hauled upstairs, a rusty sword poking out, with an enormous axehead, and gold-topped spikes, and ...

In Leeson Lane, another two individuals, the first not amounting to much, but the second more complete, some of the ribs still had a greenish tinge, not faded to parchment brown. Ribs, vertebrae, pelvis, legs, virtually all complete, except the arms and hands were missing, and while there were fragments of skull, most of that was missing too, and what was left of the face was virtually splintered. Maybe there's some mundane archaeological reason involving post-depositional factors, but I prefer the more imaginative, the more fantastic, the more grotesque explanations as my mind fills with possibilities. Maybe she was caught flagrante delecte in some unnatural act with some lover, and the enraged cuckolded husband grabbed his trusty sword from the wall; and in the effort to shield her the younger lover, spread her arms about him, enveloping him, and the sword descended anyway, then, for good measure, the sword-weilder sliced her arms off at the shoulders. Maybe she was stoned, her skull giving way under the pressure. Who know? But it's fun making it up.

Bank of Ireland Performance Room
Honor O'Hea waited, frowningly, until the latecomers took their seats.
It's a free concert, and we're only really here to see what the inside of the 'blind' building looks like anyway, It's quite impressive, on the wall to my left there's an enormous tapestry of King Billy on his horse at the Battle of the Boyne.
Honor plays her grand. Obviously the product of a private Catholic girls school. Regulation black dress, but her blouse, with its red and white flecks on black is a tad flamboyant. A black headband, and her elbows flap and her eyes close as she tries to get into the emotion of the Chopin piece, I bet she's really thinking "get it right, get it right ..."

And finally, here comes the fiery finale, the all dissonant chords, her nose being held royally aloft. She's put in a good one, she knows it.

Walking down here, the garda looked like they're having a great time being Rings Of Steel. They're around Ship Street, Castle Street, the Castle entrance, and down Dame Street. One Ring allows himself to be photographed with a tourist, whose borrowed his hat for the photo, while the Rings down by Burdocks are probably drooling with the wafting scent, and I bet the Rings down near Thomas Reads are thirsting for a pint ...

The tapestry on the other wall is 'The Glorious Defence of Londonderry'.

Up in the roof garden, after lifting the bench seat around so it faces towards Dublin castle, playing Spot The Security Guard. There's one on the left, behind the blue painted bit, and another on the roof of the yellow painted bit.
I'm wondering if Chuck and Mary nipped down to Burdocks, or at least sent out for a little bag of chips ... and there's another guard, just by the tower, just waiting for something to happen. I bet Mary has her chips smothered with vinegar.

to April to June