This weekend gone by saw me in Inishowen in Donegal. Inishowen is the most northerly peninsula on the island of Ireland (although it is part of the Republic, and not Northern Ireland). My specific location was the historic market town of Carndonagh. The reason for my presence was to attend a birthday party. Continue reading Happy birthday J.R.
At the turn of the 21st century I moved to Amsterdam and started working for an American company. It was a somewhat brave, perhaps foolhardy move. I had a job lined up. It’s just that I had never been to the Netherlands before, didn’t know a soul, couldn’t speak a word of the language. And I had nowhere to live upon arrival.
After a frenzied few weeks of house-hunting and settling in I was set. The only problem was that Christmas was looming. Being somewhat friendless at this point, I was concerned. I hadn’t booked any time off work to go to Limerick, and it appeared that I would be spending Yuletide in De Baarsjes with only a ready meal for company (my demonic cat Midnight only entered my life in the new year).
One afternoon at work pondering on my prospects I started humming ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas’ by Elvis Presley. A colleague turned around and said ‘Will you please stop singing that, I’m alone this Christmas and that song is depressing’. My eyes lit up. My colleague was from Donegal and we got on fairly well. Seizing the moment I invited her over to my house for dinner on that fateful day.
And so began our friendship. Continue reading The tents of Donegal