It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? I’ve lived in Ireland for 25 years, and today was my first time in Kilkenny…

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20/1 on blue winning

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Head-on collision

 

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Sartorial excellence 

 

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Ice cream stare 

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Castle – with legs

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CCTV

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Sucking Diesel

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The ????? Bar 

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High visibility occupation

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Please? Please? Pleeeeeaaaaase?

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Kilkenny colours

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The Shrimp

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Mulzer of the Jungle

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The Beast from Lang’s Meadow

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Photographing you photographing me

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La vie de chateau

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Please? Please?Pleeeeeaaaase? 

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Image Beauty

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Bodega, my arse. Let’s skip dinner and head straight back to our hotel room

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Kilkenny

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I hummed the chorus…

… they sang the whole of the tune.

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Mimi’s first ever concert. Wow. She did not even mind going to see geriatrics on stage. The Waterboys at Leopardstown racecourse.

Two new experiences in the same night!

First, two races. And first first before the races, checking the horseys going round the paddock prior to their gallop around the track. They go real fast Mimi says. Yes, they are race horses says I. They are not called gentle trot horses. They are the Ferraris of the equine kind.

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Just before the last race, she spots a scrawny little grey thing in the paddock. Number nine. Poor thing is about 75% of the size of the other mutants that are mostly made out of super tout back legs, with barely anything else, bar ears and big horsey teeth. But number 9 is grey. And well proportioned, albeit on the small side. And with lovely plaits. Very important the plaits, for speed you see, I take it from very reliable sources in the racing circles. So the Mustang muscle-horses go round the paddock, but Mimi roots for the number 9 Jaguar e-type.

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And we head for the track. Two options are open to me. Get a round of drinks, 2 minutes before the start of the race, the only time when the bar is not totally mobbed. Or place a EUR10 bet on scrawny number 9 for Mimi, just for the craic, and to teach her a valuable lesson on the pointlessness of gambling. I go for option 1, as I can tell that Mrs Raheny is gagging for a bottle of Sol, with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck.
I make it just in time, with my plastic pint of Guinness still a-settling, and the bottle of Coke, and the bottle of Sol, with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck. Just in time, up close, up to the fence, catching up with Mimi and Mrs Raheny, right at the start of the last race, right up to the fence, to hear the thunder of hooves as the pack races towards the finishing post. And what detaches itself from the pack, about three hundred meters from the end, a pack in which I was surprised it had managed to keep a place up till then? Yep, scrawny nine, racing as if its life depended on it, tapping into its inner Speedy Gonzales to comfortably reach the finishing post ahead of the over-sized slugs on steroids trying to keep up with it.

Aw bollix. That tenner on number nine could have bought loads of Sols with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck, for Mrs Raheny. And maybe even Mimi, who surely knows how to pick a winner! What’s a tenner at 12/1? It must be at least fifty euros I reckon.

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And then, straight on to the Watermelons. And Mimi already reckons that the shite music just before the band comes on stage is to make them sound brilliant by comparison. And I think she may be on to something. And the shitey badly distorted pre-concert music from a roadie’s iPhone plugged into the PA comes to and end, and the geriatrics get on stage, and Mimi realises there and then what live music is all about. Wow! It’s loud, it’s intense, it’s raw, it’s rock and roll (even if we are talking Waterboys here).

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The Mike Scott dude is a touch on the grumpy side. He can be a moody bollix. He surely isn’t as affable as when I saw them a few months ago, when they played their newest double album in its entirety. Epic that was. Not quite full of beans. Well, I suppose that’s what happens when you make babies in your sixties. The getting up at night on milk bottle duty takes its toll. And he surely doesn’t look impressed with the horsey-gambley crowd either. There is a lot of drinking and match-making (not only for race horses) going on around the several bars and hospitality tents, and they aren’t quite paying due attention to his finally grafted lyrics I guess. Hell hath no wrath like a poet scorned.

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But Mimi couldn’t care less. She has no point of comparison. This is her first concert. And it is loud. And exciting.

I even spotted her dancing during the proceedings, such was the pull of rock and roll.

I was almost tempted to start daddy-dancing at one stage. And then thought better than spoil an otherwise magical evening.

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Adolph Nana…

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… the blood-thirsty, egomaniac conqueror.
I have told Luca about the many times Nana trashed Uncle Martin and I at Risk when we were young. He listened, but he did not truly believe me.
I have told him of how each new game ended in tears of frustration and bitter defeat, as we never managed to win a single game. It piqued his interest.
I have told him of how one winter Sunday afternoon, the game of Risk was binned by Nana, as both Uncle Martin and I were in tears yet one more time, and Nana declared that she was sick of this game, and that she loathed the military, and that she did not ask to rule the world. But couldn’t help it. Luca listened, but he thought that he had a winning chance.

He insisted that we should bring the board with us for the long weekend.

Nana trashed us.

But he did not cry. I am so proud of him.

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mde

The Irish Summer, it’s a state of mind.

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Mind over matter

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Fresh, so fresh, exciting

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These made a swift transition from the cool waters of the Atlantic (14 degrees, I checked later with my all-over-body sensor) to our plates in less than 4 hours.

They were swiftly gutted, beheaded and betailed upon landing, for the greatest joy of the local gulls (I remembered not to throw jewelry at them along with the mackerel entrails this time – I still miss that little gold ring), and then went into a quick dip in the lager and flour batter before a shallow fry.

Just simply delicious.

I didn’t bother looking up the calories intake.

mackerel

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You go ahead, dude, I’m right behind.

Right behind.

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Lunchtime swim

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