Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Galway is where to be, and look, I'm already here

Here in Galway, we have a Film Fleadh coming up, and an Arts Festival, followed by the Galway Races. There we are, quietly pinning a flower to our best hat when the hordes descend upon us.

It's our own fault. We have gambling genes and a reputation for being merry and alternative that outweighs our lack of civic competence. We have ancestors for foreigners who want them, and the fancy G Hotel for international design blogger conventions. Our shops will sell you fascinators if you couldn't fit yours in the luggage compartment. We're not backward: there are parts of town where we have embraced the modern way of life and inflict the tyranny of three for two on consumers who only want one.


We have a coastline. Drive very slowly along it in your retro VW camper van, pointing in admiration and holding us up. Gather our endangered orchids and bog-cotton for your apothecary jars. Photograph our quaint Irish road-signs. Dive in our world-famous seas and dance in our world-famous dives.

You'll find me on a fine soft day in Builín Blasta or O'Grady's on the Pier, or having afternoon tea in the Meyrick as though the fray on the streets were imagined. If you're John Lanchester, here for the Festival, I'll whip out my ancient copy of The Debt to Pleasure and tell you that I've waited years for this moment. If you're not, don't mind those Pink and Blue Children running riot; they're not mine. Sit down and let me buy you a drink.

51 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good time! I'll be there for that drink you offered, Galway Girl :)
    Have a great time!!!

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  2. P. S. Loved the YouTube video...your country singing is better than ours!

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  3. Gorgeous pictures Mise. I particularly love the one with the boat!

    We are hosting the summit this summer, if anyone misses these events in Galway, they could join the protestos in Toronto.

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  4. I'm coming! - although I'll have to stop by the relatives in Limerick and sample the obligatory cupful of Bunratty mead, washed down with my uncle's disgusting Poitín. Somehow everything always seems so much more beautiful and lyrical after that.... and then after supper, I and my 30 cousins (whose names I cannot always recall) will rustle up an impromptu soirée full of heart breaking song and old aunts shuffling on the hardboard.

    I'll be there alright, but it might take me a while.

    Things sound a bit more genteel in Galway...

    x x x

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  5. This sounds amazing! Wish I could come visit just for this! Glad I ran across your blog!

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  6. Okay, I've just officially added Galway to my "must visit" list. How about we hold our own international design blogger summit of 2?!

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  7. Drive slowly admiring the coastline as if you'd never seen water before in your life? That phenomena is found elsewhere I'm sorry to say. I'd love to see some quaint Irish signs though.

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  8. I'm not an "event" or "festival" kind of gal. It seems I'm always avoiding such things. I enjoy one-on-one chats (w/ a bottle of wine) and small snack-and-watch-the-sun-set type gatherings... I'd love to visit Galway (off season). Can you believe I have not read The Debt to Pleasure? Perhaps you'll let me borrow your ancient copy. I'd like to read it on the Pier...

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  9. Naomi, the Limerick relatives sound very authentic. Please bus them along to Galway with you, hardboard and all, and we'll compare levels of beauty and lyricism.

    Denise, there's a lot to be said for that. I'll have the book and the bottle of wine ready for you along with my very best chitchat.

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  10. Galway has been on my visit list for a very long time, Mise. In fact, a few years ago my husband and I were planning a visit there amid other journeys, and then we had to cancel due to a family emergency. I was inconsolable. It will sound like I'm trying to butter you up when I say that I long to visit Galway more than Dublin (which is probably blasphemy to say on Bloomsday of all days, I know), but it is absolutely true.

    I doubt I'll come during festival season, though, and I promise not to gather any endangered species when I finally make it there. xo Gigi

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  11. This made me feel all peaceful.

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  12. Have a great time, Mise - sounds like a good crack (or however you spell it...)

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  13. Gigi, I think you're a displaced Galway-woman. Our pace of life would suit you very well. Let's congregate around my kitchen table and have organic seaweed chocolate and hot brandies whenever you make it over here.

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  14. Beautiful pictures I will be there in spirit. I am sure I have some ancestors to claim, after all so many Australians are originally Irish. That's why we all drink so much. (Sorry, I probably shouldn't have said that). xo

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  15. When they see a sharp increase in tourism this season, they'll know who to thank. :)

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  16. Galway looks perfect. I love the boat photograph. Cin, cin from me in grey and rainy Sydney. xx

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  17. Jealous of your gorgeous views!

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  18. Ah, Galway Galway Galway. Such memories. Have to say, after Dublin, my favourite Irish city.

    Oh I wish I could be there!! You never know...

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  19. Such beautiful scenery.... I'm booking into the fancy hotel, donning my fascinator, brushing up on my family tree and I'll mreet you in that 'true hidden gem' O'Grady's for a bowl of seafood chowder. XXXX

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  20. Oh such lovely photos! Galway is brilliant, theres such a lovely atmosphere and unique shops. I haven't made a visit in ages, hopefully I'll make it this summer!

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  21. I think you'd be the very best tour guide one could hope for Mise. Room for one more on the pier?

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  22. I have always been quite in love with Galway - my parents and I often visited during my childhood.
    What happy memories - your pictures remind me of my stay there.

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  23. so lovely... i have to look into this... xx pam

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  24. Would love to join you. Perhaps we could swap tourists - your bog gapers for our obtuse walkers who stand in the middle of the bike lane of the Brooklyn Bridge as if the entire place were manufactured yesterday and not inhabited by anyone who actually is trying to get somewhere.

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  25. Love that bit about having ancestors for foreigners...we have a lot of wannabe Irish here in New York! I always find it a bit amusing given how little of their blood must actually be Irish. That is some coastline, I must admit...

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  26. bord failté should just hire you, ( and not just for your soundtrack which sure beats that annoying ' i want to get away ' screech ...loath though i am to admit it, i've never really visited galway proper ,though, we did spent a gorgeous and very memorable 2 weeks on Inis Meáin ....
    i envy you your address and since your asking, mines a pint of the black stuff .

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  27. bord failté should just hire you, ( and not just for your soundtrack which sure beats that annoying ' i want to get away ' screech ...loath though i am to admit it, i've never really visited galway proper ,though, we did spent a gorgeous and very memorable 2 weeks on Inis Meáin ....
    i envy you your address and since your asking, mines a pint of the black stuff .

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  28. Jaboopee, you're my favourite person in the whole world and I always feel that my posts don't exist until you comment on them BUT I don't deal in the black stuff, or in pints. If it's not clear or pink or red, it's not a drink. Scottish Husband and yourself will have to skulk at the back with the peanuts.

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  29. i loved your little corner of the world
    ~laura

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  30. Firstly: you're such a good writer! I love your descriptions.

    Secondly: great pictures! I'm sold!! :-)
    xx

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  31. Sounds perfect to me Mise!
    Wonderful photos here...

    Jeanne:)

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  32. All right! I'm coming! The photos are beautiful. Your country is beautiful.

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  33. Galway is great!!!! I feel lucky to live here ;) I love Builin Blasta too, amazing food from the talented Jamie.

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  34. Ohhhh,I feel like I've been on a holiday. Galway looks absolutely beautiful. I love your photography! Susan :)

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  35. hi mise, do you take most of the shots on your site? very beautiful photography..

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  36. You just get better and better.

    I'll bring small children to distract the pink and blue ones and a large amount of something white. I'd even bring yer man if you or Scottish husband could listen to world cup related ranting (bless him, he's English). Out of all the places in the world, we went to Galway on honeymoon.

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  37. What a charming introduction to summer in Galway, and the photos are very representative of how I think of the place.

    I love: "inflict the tyranny of three for two on consumers who only want one" — or indeed none at all.

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  38. Goodmorning! I really enjoyed your blog this morning! I am a new follower and will come back to read all your post. Stop by for a visit. XO MARY

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  39. Everyone claims to be Irish, if only a little bit, on St. Pat's day. Some of us are lucky enough to be telling the truth.
    It may be selfish, but I hope that Ireland never modernizes the look of its small towns, and never gives up the atmosphere of the local pubs. It is a place of natural beauty, mystery and charm.
    Cast a curse on tourists that do not respect the land that they are fortunate enough to look at.
    Hers's to you!

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  40. Ah!!!! I've been away from Galway too long. We're planning on visiting this summer as I've been away from the West and Galway is as far as I can make it since I can't swim home.

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  41. where’s my map? where is Galaway? I’ve never been to Ireland...want to go so bad, but afraid I’d love it so much I would never want to leave...I’ve been to The Isle of Man...Does that count?? I don’t understand half of what you are saying but it sounds cool and smart.

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  42. Would love to visit Galway one day!!!

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  43. The G Hotel seems to be very excitable over the colour pink. Very fetching. That bog-cotton sounds rather nice, too. My boring old cotton-wool in my apothecary jars pales into insignificance now.

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  44. One day I will finally visit Galway! Looks so beautiful. You're a lucky girl, Mise.

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  45. I'm so impressed with Galway that I want to move there now! My daughter attended a wedding there ten plus years ago, of someone named Martha who married a friend of my son in law. My daughter wanted to replicate that wedding in California with no success. She still talks about the hospitality, the wonderful food, the great sites.

    I stopped by also to thank you for followint my memoir blog. I appreciate the feedback.

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  46. We were supposed to be driving pretty far west, but Prince Charming came home in a rain storm recently and booked Brittany. All of it. Lively boys! I have been out of town for a while, at my country home, and coming back here now is like coming to a supermarket when they've upgraded and expanded and changed everything round. Plus ca change... I have honoured your wrinkles discussion in my summer solstice edition- hence my humble worship at your throne!

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  47. Oooh Mise - I LOVE your blog.

    I'm coming too and just like Naomi I'll have to stop off in Limerick and see the rellies to drink a Bunratty or two....

    It must be the Irish in me! My dad was born in Limerick and came out here to New Zealand at eleven!!!

    WHAt a wonderful post and you've got the gift of the blarney.

    Come and visit me and I'll get the pretty teacups out and make you v welcome - to heck with the cups - change that to a a glass or three of whiskey!!!

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  48. ahhhh, my i reciprocate in triplocate,

    i'm only having the black stuff cos were in O'Gradys, I'd much prefer the pink or red or clear , we'll leave Scottish Husband and Joe in the corner, something about marshall amps and fender stratosomethings...

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  49. Debt to pleasure... an old favourite too!

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You're looking particularly well.

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