Today was pretty busy. Learnt the jig, well to be honest I only learnt a bit of it. I’d like to say I was good, but that would be lying. I could say however that I have potential to be good. Once again you’re probably lucky I have no idea how to post videos!
We headed to Kilarney today via part of the ‘ring of Kerry’ and part of the ‘the Wild Atlantic Way’ which are parts of a lovely scenic drive that is quite heavily promoted here up the west coast. Stopped at Molls gap for lunch and read all about the old woollen mills which the area is known for. I fell in love with the mohair blankets and scarves and jackets. Tried everything on, which took some time and came away with a lovely light coat. I’ll post a pic tomorrow as it’s really late.
Our main reason for heading to Kilarney was to meet Sheila O’Sullivan.
“I’Il be wearing jeans and a blue and white top” she wrote “and we’ll meet in the Kenmare bar at the Avenue Hotel for dinner”.
I thought about what I would be wearing. I didn’t want to say I’ll be wearing my nighty as that would look a bit silly now wouldn’t it so I said
“this is exciting, like a blind date-I’ll be wearing a black skirt and black tights and boots”
I knew her straight away and we hugged. How can two people who have never met or talked before feel so close. We laughed and shared our family stories. Our birth date and year is only days apart. Her Father came to New Zealand in the thirties and connected with Nana and Grandpa somehow. After he returned to Ireland in about 1950, they kept in touch for a while.
One day Mum came across the letters and started to write on Nanas behalf and as her Father had died, Sheila replied on her Fathers behalf. They’ve lived in that house for six generations and Sheila lives next door.
Then when we tidied out Mums things I came across the letters from Sheila and wrote giving an email address. That letter went astray for two months or more but it arrived finally a few days ago and in time for us to meet.
Sheila bought us all tickets to go to a concert by Liam O’Connor so we were treated to singing and dancing from the old and the new Ireland. I watched the steps very carefully to help me in my quest to improve my jig. The girls were amazing. They made it look easy. Sheila’s a beautiful person and she made Kilarney one of my most special memories of Ireland.
Here we are with Liam after the show. Turns out they are friends!
He’s practically related. He is an O’Connor after all…