He covets the precious things of the shop

15 June 2006


There must be something in the Irish psyche that just likes complaining. Or maybe it is just my psyche, but whatever! I’ve had enough of this weather. No, it hasn’t rained. And it is still fairly warm out, but I’ve just had enough. I’m bored.

It isn’t that I want rain exactly, its just I want a bit of a change.

Maybe if it was non-stop blue skies I’d be fine, but lately we’ve had blue skies in the morning followed by cloudy humid afternoons.

Bored now, change the weather.

I was browsing through The Sligo Champion, and of course took a look at the Local Notes section. This is where all the news that is too boring to report but might be of use to all of five people gets listed. But this week, well, they really shone with the following story:

TWO bus loads of children from Strandhill National School went on an outing to Athlone on Thursday last. The children, who were accompanied by their teachers, visited places of interest in the midland town and dined out at McDonald’s.

Dined out at McDonald’s! How exciting, and worth reporting too.

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78 Responses

  1. Mal says:

    I used to agree with Oscar Wilde…now I am beginning to agree with Wittgenstein that ethics and aesthetics are the same thing. (Don't know what HE meant by that, though.)

    I watched Schindler's List and A Hard Day's Night on DVD in the same night, and decided that the second was morally superior as well as aesthetically superior, because you can't really separate the two. Also sometimes you see bland sentimental trash that passes for children's films, and I think, that's actually OFFENSIVE; morally offensive.

    I just thought Schindler's List was uninspired and dull and did a great disservice to its subject by not being a good film.

    So that's what all those fireworks were about!

    Not bus…TRAIN! Thanks for the offer of advice, I'm sure I will take you up on it soon.

  2. NineMoons says:

    You can't go to Galway by train from Sligo.

    I suggested Dublin to Sligo by train, Sligo to Galway by bus (as there is no train) and then Galway to Dublin by train.

  3. Mal says:

    Can you go anywhere direct from train by Sligo, apart from Dublin? I've been on the iarnrod website but can't find anywhere. It doesn't have to be an especially nice or interesting or picturesque place; anywhere will do, pretty much.

  4. NineMoons says:

    There's only the Dublin – Sligo train line – the train stops off at various places along the way – Collooney, Ballymote, Boyle, Carrick on Shannon etc etc. Boyle worth a visit – King House and Lough Key Forest Park.

    Everywhere else is reachable by shortish bus journeys or taxi.

    For a first trip to Sligo on your own, I'd recommend a trip to Yeats' grave – not super-exciting but worth a look. Is under the shadow of magnificent Ben Bulben as well. A boat ride on Lough Gill would also be well worth while. There's a downloadable walking tour guide for the town on the sligo tourism website – you should go to see Sligo Abbey and the Yeats Building (with art gallery) as well as Sligo Library (in an old church) and Museum. And the walking tour advises ending up in Connolly's pub behind the Ulster Bank – Connolly's has stone flags on the floor, old sewing tables for your pint and the toilets were only roofed in my era! And drumroll – it's not a tourist pub. It's just a local! Hargadon's and McGarrigles on O'Connell street are also pretty old style.

    Go out to Rosses Point on the bus (it's about 8 miles) and enjoy the beach. Wander around the Yacht Club and the outdoor swimming pool at Dead Man's Point. Take a stroll along the Scenic Walk (which my poppa always calls the Cynical Walk) and have a look across at Coney Island, recently electrified. There's an old house looking across Elsinore strait that Yeats used to stay in.

    There are lovely places to walk in Slish Wood and up Knocknarea but you might not want to do that on your own. Always have your phone charged and several local taxi numbers handy in case you get stranded. Hitchhiking is totally possible but I don't recommend it!

    In Sligo town you absolutely HAVE to go into Michael Quinn's on Wine Street. He used to be a butcher who did a bit of wood carving. Now the old butcher's slab in the window of the shop has all his gorgeous raw carvings on it! He's heavily influenced by Irish mythology.

    A few pubs in town have trad nights if you want to go for some of that. I'd recommend it but it might not be your cup of cha.

    There's also a few things like a day trip to Inishmurray Island or seal watching tours that would be great fun. People used to live there until they were moved off by the government. There are old monastery ruins and stuff too.

    Sligo is Surprising!!

    Fence – chime in.

  5. Mal says:

    Hmmm…I was just going to wander around aimlessly. Are there any second-hand bookshops?

    I might go to Yeats's grave, is it hard to reach? Although after the Yeats exhib, seeing the piece of earth where he might or might not be laid is not so impressive.

    Rosses Point sounds nice.

    Do you know they have the ACTUAL PIECE of lapis lazuli that inspired the poem "Lapus Lazuli" on show? And his actual Nobel medal? And manuscript versions of lots of poems, and letters. It was great. I went with English Paul. There was a power failure and we had to leave, but we were about to go anyway. I think it was because I was making fun of Madame Blavatsky. Going to go again on Thursday, on my own.

  6. NineMoons says:

    I don't care all that much about Yeats.

    It's only about five miles to his grave from Sligo town. Taxi probably your best bet, unless you join one of the day tour things.

    No on the second-hand books question. Not really, not any more.

    Wander aimlessly by all means. You know best what you like to do. Although as a Sligo native, I find the idea of spending even half a day wandering round town highly amusing. :roll:

  7. Fence says:

    The actual nobel prize is owned (in the custody ?) of Sligo Museum/library, but they don't display it cause they can't afford the insurance, so they have a replica on display in the museum.

    There is the one second hand book shop, you know the side street where Pepper Alley is, but they have weird opening hours, I think it is run more as a hobby than a business now.

    Don't forget to check out Carramore and the megalithic tombs, there is a bus, but it only runs twice a day, taxi is your best bet.
    Although it is only two or three miles from Sligo town and so technically within walking distance.

    And then there Lissadell, but since the sale I'm not quite sure about access, I know they have open days just don't know when. Course you could just check out the virtual tour and not go at all ;)

  8. NineMoons says:

    Yeah, My Lady. But I included it in the "not really" category.

    Carrowmore is great. Although it's a bit nasty if it's wet.

    Mal – Will tell Thorn that you're around if you let me know when you'll be there. Then maybe you could go for a pint. They only live a mile from town anyway.

  9. Mal says:

    Good idea. Will probably be going next week, mebbe Wednesday.

    I think it was the real medal. I'll ask for my money back if it wasn't. Hey, wait, it was free so I can't do that. Or is the prize different from the medal?

    They also had one of his passports and you could actually hold it. I presume that was real, too. And– I thought this was funny– the top hat that he MIGHT have been wearing at the Nobel ceremony.

    Pepper Alley…I like that name…not as good as The Land of Green Ginger in Hull, though.

  10. NineMoons says:

    No, it's the Sligo museum that puts out the replica. I assume the National Library can afford the insurance!

    Pepper Alley's just a café. Don't know where they got the name from. Yeats inspired names round town are: Crazy Jane's (café), Cat and the Moon (wonderful jewellery shop), the Hawk's Well Theatre. Probably others too.

  11. Fence says:

    Zackly NM, they have the real one hidden away, but presumably if the National Library said they had the real one, then that is the one they have.

  12. NineMoons says:

    They stole it from us! The precioussss. Filthy little thievses…

    How many grubby handed people would have to line up to paw Yeats passport before it fell to pieces.

  13. Mal says:

    …All my priceless things
    Are but a passing post the dogs defile.

    — Closing Rhyme, W.B. Yeats

  14. Mal says:

    A post the passing dogs defile, of course. Posts don't pass, even in Sligo.

  15. NineMoons says:

    How do you know? I've been in traffic jams in Sligo (pre-New Road) where I've been overtaken by fence-posts.

  16. Fence says:

    They do if they are being carried on lorries.

  17. NineMoons says:

    Good point, well made.

    That'll put marzipan in your pie-plate bingo!

  18. Mal says:


  19. Fence says:

    Red lorry. Yellow lorry.

  20. Mal says:

    Just to show how open-minded I am, I bought the DVD of Rocky Road to Dublin, which I will watch at the weekend. Shouting, "Rubbish! Rubbish!".

  21. Fence says:

    Wasn't that on telly a while back Mal? Not that I watched it, but I'm sure they showed it over the "20 years of change" thingymebob week.

  22. Mal says:

    I didn't catch it if it was.

    "20 years of decline", I would have called it.

  23. NineMoons says:

    Drop. It. Please.

  24. Mal says:

    Only if you say I'm right and give me a lollipop and a pat on the head.

  25. Fence says:

    Now now, if Mal wants to pretend that the past 20 years have seen a reduction in quality of life then he is more than allowed to lie and say so. We all know it isn't true though :)

  26. Mal says:

    What, are you suggesting I live in a fantasy world?

    At least there were unicorns twenty years ago. All the ozone that's leaked out of Sellafield has killed them off. And snow every Christmas, which has been halted by globalised warming.

  27. Fence says:

    Not at all. Simply that you lie.