Okay, those who do not have fond memories of glam rock and the seminal "Sweet" ("Ballroom Blitz") may be puzzled by the headline, so I'll just rephrase it as "Saint Patrick in a Nutshell". That again sounds more like Saint Brendan, doesn't it, if you know your Irish saints? Anyway - to kick the week off, and the countdown to Saint Patrick's Day, here is the initial offering: Everything Saint Patrick - a quick crash course!
Another game ... and a huge victory - with Ireland beating Italy 46 to 7, the overall win in the Six Nations rugby tournament seems to be within grasp of the "Boys in Green". No Grand Slam possible any more, but still. Just one more game, next Saturday against France ...
In an interesting development, the Dublin Airport Authority is now trying to stop the looming strike at Dublin, Shannon and Cork (see here) with a court injunction. Now that'll do wonders for industrial relations, I'd say. In related news, Aer Lingus has shuffled flights and even rebooked passengers onto other airlines. If you are planning to fly on March 14th, check and recheck your flight details frequently.
They know how to pick their dates ... employees at several air traffic related companies have announced strike action for Friday, March 14th - the start of the Saint Patrick's Day weekend. Which will ruffle some feathers and disrupt a number of travel plans. If you plan on flying on that date, please, please contact your airline for an update and a possible re-scheduling. Due to problems with a pension scheme, workers will walk out at Aer Lingus and Dublin, Shannon and Cork Airports. You have been warned!
Today is Ash Wednesday ... not one of the most exciting feasts in the religious calendar, as it is all about repenting, giving up. But it may well be the most obvious religious observance in Ireland. Because those who observe it are marked. By an ashen cross on the face, on the forehead. Find out more about Ash Wednesday in Ireland.
Shrove Tuesday? Ask around in Ireland and many people will be puzzled. But mention "Pancake Tuesday" and a smile lights up most faces. Stacks of pancakes to look forward to. Because it is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, also known as the first day of Lent. And, according to liturgy and tradition, lent is a time when Christians ought to refrain from rich foods, from meat, dairy products and eggs. A time of fasting. For forty days. So, get your pancakes today ... on Pancake Tuesday!
This past month, most of the articles written and published dealt with the inland waterways of Ireland ... more are to come, to build a comprehensive information base on this tranquil, unusual vacation idea. And then there was some other stuff. Here is the list:
- February kicks off with the Feast of Imbolc, so an article explained what this Pagan celebration was all about;
- added were also two calendar pages, one on Sports in Ireland 2014 and the other one on
- Arts in Ireland 2014, both packing a punch on different levels;
- for those wanting to travel in their own space, an article on Mobile Accommodation in Ireland was added, this also chimed in with the theme of inland waterways, as detailed in articles on
- the Basic Facts of Inland Waterways Cruising,
- the question whether inland waterways cruising is a vacation you should consider at all,
- which Irish areas you might choose to cruise on a boat or
- what safety measures you should take when cruising on Shannon and Erne.
- And finally - after a change of name, a review of the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport is up ...
I am, I have to say, quite a comfy blanket type of guy ... okay, a few decades ago I slept on the suspiciously moist carpet of a ferry from France to Ireland to save some money. But I was young. These days I am ... er ... less young. So I like a bit of comfort and a place to call my own. That can be a hotel room, but no more multiple occupancy rooms in hostels (or moist ferry carpets) for me. Which might be why I can understand why people want to travel without leaving their own four walls. And apart from travelling in your mind only, taking your own four walls on the road (or river) seems to be not the worst idea.
Losing 13 to 10 against England has effectively slammed the door on two trophies in the Six Nations rugby tournament for Ireland - the Triple Crown is gone, and no chance of a Grand Slam either. But Ireland currently leads the all-over table in front of England, with current champions Wales trailing third. Two more rounds to go, still ...
Just finished reading "Purgatory" by Ken Bruen, the latest instalment in his series of Jack Taylor novels, crime writing that puts bitter gall into Galway. Is our writer intent on killing everyone off? Neat cliffhanger(s) at the end, and a rambling narrative that takes in everything from buskers with more than one song, pregnant women dying in a Catholic country and the Occupy movement. Recommended, but not for the faint-hearted ...