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Party time

September 29, 2012

I did not have space yesterday fully to extol the virtues of the a “Haggis meal” with chips and curry sauce to which we were subjected by the O’ Sullivans, who instigated the gathering in Galway where I am at the moment and which included my diminutive South African mate Dilip Soni and voluptuous wife Cathy. I am taking a few days off from mentioning Currencies Direct.  A riot of carbs after an evening of Guinness. It has to de done, as does the Irish breakfast we had yesterday morning.

I was eyeing up “The Full Irish” which included black pudding and a mountain of toast but that nice lady decorator kindly intervened and told the waiter I would have the mini breakfast. “But..” was as far as I got before two laser beams swiveled upon me and in their glare I cannot recall exactly what was said but I think there was a reference to “fat bastard” although I have no idea about in what context she used the expression.

As we walked about the quaint old town yesterday morning, I was struck by the fact that wherever you go you see signs supporting the towns hurling team who have a big match, the All Ireland final, coming up on Sunday. I had always understood hurling to be a way to describe vomiting, so perhaps the team will be training up on haggis, chips and curry sauce? It seems that projectile hurling is all the rage here.

From breakfast, after feeling like a little hurling of my own, we headed out in the car for the sights of Western Ireland and from where I was going to feature a picture, but that was before we went to the opening of the Galway Bay Oyster Festival.

There are three main events over the next few days, one of which is the Mardi Gras ball tonight where masks are encouraged. I suggested that was especially for my diminutive South African pal Dilip, but he did not get the joke. Anyway I digress. I do not know exactly what I expected but I did not expect the highlight of the evening event to be subjected to 8 contestants opening oysters as fast as they can accompanied by an ever more excited compere in a massive unheated tent.

Now let me give you a warning. It leaves something to be desired as a spectator sport. A load of guys wrestling with oysters does not, for me, entertainment make, however diligently the compere tried. After several hours getting cold and listening to a band who seemed to have had personality bypasses, this spectacle was enough so we left and went instead to the Quays pub, a labyrinthine pub in the Latin Quarter with at least six bars plus a band who did a range of passable covers of songs created before 1980. However, starved of entertainment but not starved of Guinness, some of us enjoyed it a little more than others as my photograph today seeks to capture.

Guinness is good for you

What, no Baileys?

When we arrived in Galway the night before, and spent an hour circling the city looking for our hotel in a rainstorm with no map, we could not find anyone amongst the throngs of people on the streets from whom we sought directions who was not drunk. It was like being back in Valbonne except no one comes out when it rains. They seem to like the rain here.

They were celebrating “Arthur’s Day”. It was today many years ago that Alfred Guinness gave his name to the stout ale known the world over. It seems Jude O Sullivan decided one day of celebration was not enough and, despite running out of her secret supply of Baileys she normally keeps in her handbag, managed to maintain equilibrium.

Chris France

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathryn Soni permalink
    September 30, 2012 11:06 pm

    Its Arthur Gusiness


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