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nature drive!

So, we had a gig in Belfast on Sunday night, which was a big old hassle, because we knew there wouldn't be very many people there, which makes driving two and a half hours there and two hours back even more annoying. We got there okay, and were surprised to see people actually walking around in the streets, because we did two gigs there in September and they were all on Sundays, but those times just about everything seemed to be closed, which rather startled us, because we're used to Sunday opening. But, apparently the rules are relaxed coming up to Christmas, so it was quite a relief to see actual people.

The gig was okay, but we were glad to be setting off for home. Alas, the journey was not peaceful. For some freakish reason, loads of signposts have been painted over. I can't figure out why this is, or what "side" could have done it. I mean, if the reason is to confuse the fiendish British, it's not like the British army can't get maps. We wondered whether it was just the signposts to the Dublin road, and whether they had been painted over by deranged loyalists to confuse any southern visitors trying to get home. Although you'd think they'd want us evil Fenians to be able to leave and get back to worshiping the Pope and having a million kids. Anyway. We missed the turn (because we didn't know whether it was) and found ourselves driving in the direction of Omagh, with no way of figuring out the right way. After driving around in increasing despair for nearly an hour, we found ourselves able to get on the other side of the motorway, and had to drive nearly all the way back to Belfast, where we found an only partly-painted over sign which showed us the road south, and off we went. At this stage it was half one in the morning. Tempers were frayed.

However! Things got better when the journey turned into a sort of Nature Drive. First we saw a fox waiting to cross the road, which was very cute (it waited for us to go by and then crossed very sedately). Then another fox ran along the road beside the car. Then we saw a rabbit. And then, best of all, we saw an owl! A real owl! I'd never seen one in the wild before, and it was amazing. It flew right across the road, quite low, and it had a large fat body and huge flapping wings. About twenty minutes later, we saw another one, at which stage I was expecting to see an eagle or something. But there were no more animals until we were practically home, and then we saw a perfectly enormous fox, which ran across the Stillorgan Dual-Carriageway, just past Foxrock (!) church, and ran into a sort of shrubbery. It was much larger than its rural cousins, probably because it lives off human bins. We've seen foxes round here before -in fact, on one summer evening, Patrick and I turned a corner in the park and found ourselves about ten feet away from one. We and the fox stared at each other for a moment, and then the fox dived into the undergrowth. And one night we saw a fox in the front garden. But we've seldom seen so many beasts in one night, and it almost made up for the endless hours of ddriving. Almost.

In other news, my dear friend Isabel is back from America today, but I may not be able to see her tonight because we are doing a stupid gig. But still.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2003 06:01 am (UTC)
Believe me, you don't want to get lost halfway across Nothern Ireland heading west...it's sort of like the Loyalist Bible Belt (Big Iain country, with Ulster slogans, flags and bunting etc etc)...and if you had to ask for directions, you might be on the end of a sharp tongue ;-)
Dec. 16th, 2003 09:53 am (UTC)
I have nothing of interest to say, but wanted to mention that the name 'Stillorgan' makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.
Jan. 4th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC)
...and ages later, i see this post and go "it does?!"

see, i live there and find it just a bit crap so i've never really thought about the name but i guess it is quite funny. the local hotel was renamed the 'ORGAN PA HOT' when the letters slowly fell one by one off the roof, which was quite amusing for a few months until they poshed the place up :P
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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