Tribe of the Ring Fort

Friday, March 17, 2006


posted by Sarah
photos of Listowel St. Paddie's Day parade below

St. Patrick's Day is a national holiday, of course. Susannah and her class will march in the parade through town this afternoon, dressed as leprechauns. Probably dressed as slightly bulky leprachauns, as the weather turned colder yesterday. We'll try to post pictures later today.

I'll be at work, which should be crazy. The Writer's Bar has been slow since Lent began. I've come to think of St. Patrick's Day as the Lenten Loophole. People commonly give up drink for religious reasons (I think the second most popular thing to forego is chocolate). St. Patrick was, of course, quite religious, so it's okay to drink in his (and Ireland's) honor. Thus, a well-timed Lenten Loophole. I've run this theory by several people here in Listowel, and they agree that's how it works. For all the talk in the news of celebrating Irish culture and heritage, there is even more about drinking and concerns about drinking. Although there was a riot in Dublin a few weeks ago, nobody anticipates any violence. As someone in the paper recently wrote, "The only throwing on Grafton Street will be up, or the Gardai will have a lot to answer for."

The Listowel Arms Hotel should be the center of action today. Kids get ready for the parade in the Ballroom, and there's a dance there later tonight. A buffet lunch is served in another of the function rooms, and the incredibly cozy Writer's Bar should see a lot of business because of the weather. The formal restaurant might be the only place that's a bit quiet tonight.



posted by Barry

In County Cork, just east of the Kerry border. It's a handsome town, feels bright. This is for our Montpelier, Vermont, USA friend and (once and future) neighbor, Grace.

A prominent tower...

Some street...

Sign of a politically and geographically confused community:

"Welcome to McCarthy's tavern"

A burning local question:

That Cote d'Azur feel:

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Secret Is Out (Sarah)

I confess to bringing home the flyer about the Carpenters' Tribute Concert. I like the Carpenters. I didn't talk about it. My tender psyche was being crushed under the weight of my guilty secret. Now that I have been unburdened, I feel like a new woman. In Ireland, I don't have to be ashamed.

p.s. I know the lyrics to "Dancing Queen" by Abba.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Cultural Note (Barry)

Another demonstration that my cultural knowledge of Ireland (of which I am a citizen) is only skin deep.

The below banner, which recently made its way into our house in Listowel, announces:

A Tribute Show to the Carpenters
(and on the back:)
The songs of this brother and sister duo are some of the finest ever written, they are still widely recognized as simple but extremely special. Their music has continued to attract a fan base throughout four decades...

...The Carpenters enjoyed massive album sales in Europe and Ireland and now for the first time ever, an Irish production company has put this wonderful show together. Not only is it a musical tribute, but it tells a story, which brings the audience into the world of this talented but misunderstood individuals. ...

...Yesterday Once More will be touring Ireland in the early Spring. Bookings taken at your local theatre box offfice. For further details....[and below it, an extensive listing of venues in many good-sized Irish towns (including Listowel): Roscommon, Cavan, Longford, Letterkenney, ...Naas]."