So in a few short hours my UK trip will be at an end. It’s weird; I feel like it’s gone both mega quickly and slowly, due to having done a hell of a lot in a very limited amount of time.
After leaving Loch Ness we spent another night in Edinburgh, although not doing anything especially interesting (unless you count sinking pints as interesting). Then, the next afternoon, we were off to Ireland. This was part of the trip I was especially excited for; anyone who knows me knows how much I love Irish culture; from music to writing and the rest, so I was really pumped to see the country for the first time. We were staying with some friends of Molly’s, Paula and Jon, who apart from being excellent hosts have also proved to be great company and many hours have been spent talking over a few beers. In fact, I feel like these conversations will probably be one of the things I miss the most about the trip.
Our first full day here was spent in Dublin, doing all of not very much. We wandered around, saw some sights, went to some shops and whiled away an afternoon drinking Guinness in a pub where the singer seemed to have a singular skill for singing songs that we both love (Landslide, Town I Loved So Well, Grace, Fields of Athenry, Take me Home Country Roads) before going and watching Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which I still love despite the critics. The next day we pretty much did the same thing because apparently we’re shit tourists.
On our third day however, we went full tourist and did a bus tour out to Galway and Connemara. The reasoning behind this was twofold; we wanted to see some of the landscape and I really wanted to visit the town of Leenane, which was allegedly one of the stops on the tour. For those who don’t know, Leenane is the setting of Martin McDonagh’s Leenane Trilogy, a series of plays comprising The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, and The Lonesome West, which together comprise some of my favourite writing of all time. The tour was exciting because I had kind of hoped to visit the town but figured actually doing so from Dublin would be impractical. This trip seemed a good way to do it.
And look, it was definitely worth it, save for one little niggle; we didn’t actually stop in Leenane. We did a boat tour in sight of it, and we shortly after drove through it, but we didn’t get to stop and really see the place the way I’d hoped which, after spending the bus ride reading the three plays in preparation, was pretty disappointing. That said, considering I had thought I wouldn’t get the chance to see the town at all, I can’t really complain, and the Connemara landscape was stunning regardless.
Today we went for a walk up on the nearby cliffs with Paula and Jon, then after lunch Molly and I headed to a highly recommended pub around the corner, where I am currently typing this. Shortly we have to head back to pack the last of our stuff, then it’s off to the airport and back to Australia.
The end of any trip is always a bit weird; on the one hand I don’t really want to return to real life, on the other, I’m definitely ready to get back to work, and with Moonlite, The Commune and Seasons of Fear waiting back home I’ve got no shortage of things to be getting on with. But the trip has just been so bloody good; I visited places I’ve always wanted to go to, I saw Nessie (shut up, I did), I met some wonderful people and spent some time with my pretty alright girlfriend, who still doesn’t seem to hate me at the end of this.
So yeah, in short it’s been awesome.
Just some thoughts.