Friday, October 24, 2008

Amazing Night Out Weds, 22 Oct 2008

Wednesday 22nd October.

More rain of course. We are now squishing about in wellingtons all over the land, through puddles, streams and mud. Jim braved the weather on Wednesday and did some brambling in the rain. He appeared at the door absolutely soaked. I peeled off his coat, hat, top and t shirt and left the rest to him! I decided to stay in as we were having a night out and I didn't want to get all soggy too.

We had booked to see a play by Irish writer Martin McDonagh called The Cripple of Inishmaan. This is the first part of a loosely connected trilogy set in the Aran islands, which imagines the making of a film by an American company and takes a sardonic view of the gap between the film maker's heroic imagery and the pettiness of the natives. I can honestly say I have rarely seen a play so well written, directed, produced and acted. It was quite superb in all respects. The Glor theatre is in Ennis, so not too far from us (45 minutes by car) and was pretty full too. It was a great audience, ready to laugh from the off.

I was worried that the accents might be too strong for me to be able to hear properly, but after a short while I became used to them. Also, many phrases were oft repeated, so you could catch up a few lines later! The characters had strange names, 'Crippled Billy, Babbybobby, Johnnypateenmike' among them. The inhabitants had obviously never heard of politically correct language in any shape or form. Crippled Billy had always been called so and he kept asking to be called just Billy, which seemed to surprise everyone. It was a black comedy in all respects.

Set in 1934, there was little in the way of story line, the main thread being how Billy's parents came to drown when he was a few weeks old. This story changed throughout and in the end I wasn't quite sure of the truth. Billy 'grew' as the play progressed but was destined to stay on the island until he died, which seemed in the not too distant future, if his moaning chest was to be believed. A brief trip to New York with the film crew 'they need a cripple in the film' came to nought. He was told 'better to have an actor who can pretend to be a cripple than a real cripple who can't focking act at all'.

There was also mention of several characters who didn't appear at all, but you felt you knew them well. One was a hapless lass, 'Finnigan's daughter' who was obviously 'a slut' by all accounts. The doctor was called at one point and Billy was upset that people talked about her as a slut. 'She is a slut' piped up the doctor, without thinking. 'How do you know?' - pause, 'Take it from me - she is'. The set was also perfect and the music. All in all, a superb experience. If ever it comes on television or passes your locality, you must go. The theatre company is simply called Druid, from Galway. If you'd like to read more about them and how they came to perform the plays of Martin McDonagh, their website is

It was raining as we came out of the theatre, so we drove in our homeward direction. Jim fancied a pint in 'Peppers', our nearest pub/restaurant. I published photos of it in the Feakle Graveyard day in my blog.

What we'd forgotten is that every Wednesday evening from 10 - midnight, Peppers have an Irish music night. 2 local musicians are always there, augmented by whoever turns up on the night. It can be a bit of a jam session. That evening there were the main two, one on guitar, the other fiddle, plus a girl on banjo, another girl on fiddle and an elderly gentleman on piano accordion. We arrived about 11 so were treated to an hour of Irish music after our Irish play. What an end to a fabulous evening.

Thursday 23 October

My brother's birthday today. I sent him a card I had made for the Gort show of a clown! Very childlike. He'd appreciate that, being Chair of Archeology at Cambridge University.

Jim was off to Dublin for the day to an Institute of Horticulture Committee Meeting so I had a day on my own. You know the sort, leisurely morning, bath with a book, cut nails, mince about! Actually the weather was hideous. It was blowing a gale all day and raining too, so I couldn't do much in the way of brambling. I did do some ironing and hoovering just to feel slightly virtuous, but that was about it.

I thought I'd better take Buster for a walk in the afternoon and the rain had almost stopped. I let him out and he disappeared over the horizon so I wandered up to the bramble patch and worked until darkness fell. It's really looking amazing now, though there's still a way to go.

Jim returned soon afterwards with tales of his day and we rounded off with egg and chips and home grown beetroot. I know, an odd combination, but it seemed to work.

Friday, 24th October

I can't tell you how late we got up today. Well, Jim did get up and feed the animals, plus their usual 'needs' in the morning. Then came back to bed!! Suffice it to say it's been rather a short day.

Jim cooked a loaf of farmhouse bread and then we brambled for about an hour. Realising it was 6pm and the animals are usually fed at 5pm, we went back to the house for a cup of tea and fed the mob. It was beginning to get dark so Jim decided to carry on with the dinner and I went up and did about another 40 minutes brambling before it got so dark I couldn't see which was bramble, ivy or tree. Buster had been wandering as usual but did return for his tea. I had to laugh when I realised that when he comes back, we always say to him, 'Where've you been Buster?' as if he's going to reply! 'Oh, I went down to see if Milly was in, but she wasn't so then I carried on to the O'Briens', etc, etc. Talk about daft.

We enjoyed spag bol in front of the tv and here we are. Jim's up in his 'office', eating monkey nuts. I need to find a handle for the bag I've made and then line it. I did take a couple of photos of it in 2 halves last night. That is, before Buster decided to chew some of the beads off.

Of course it has to be assembled yet and all the little bits added on like buttons, charms, etc.

bag front

Bag back

There is a red vegetable net, some black video tape, a reindeer's scarf and some Christmas ribbon in there somewhere.

Finally, a quick shot I've just taken of Buster, asleep after his hard day:

Good Night...


Webradio said...

Hello Irish Lady !

Nice texts about your life under the rain... Smile, in Irland, it's often raining...

You have made beautiful bags, and Your dog is so funny with its ears...

Leatherdykeuk said...


willow said...

Hi, Gina! Great review of "The Cripple". And Happy Birthday to your illustious brother!! Hope you and Jim are enjoying the weekend. :)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I would have loved to join you both for the play and the pub! Sounds like a great evening.

Poor tired Buster. He looks so very comfortable, doesn't he?? Edward sends his regards!

BT said...

Thanks for your compliment webradio. Buster's ears are indeed comical!!
Thanks Rachel, woman of few words!!
willow, I'm glad you liked the review, I find it hard to convey the feelings I have for a play when it comes to writing a review. Jim and I have had a fun weekend thanks.
Pamela, T and Edward. WE'd have loved your company too! Buster was tired, but just raised his ear now to say hi to Edward!