´╗┐The train and ferry journey back to Dublin was easy, albeit a bit long. The lights of Dublin ferry port welcoming us back with open arms. Soon we were in front of Molly’s folks, in the car and driving down the Strand Road. The view of the smoldering ESB cooling towers, across Seapoint, with a full moon in between just beautiful. It felt so familiar here but yet very strange. Almost as if I’ve not been away. We made it back to Cabinteely for some stories and some home cooked food.
The next few days we lay low so that we could catch up with family. Saturday night was a different story.
We had heard that our friends were all going out for a few drinks in Johnnie Foxes up in the Dublin hills. We decided to sneak up and surprise them all. Nervously off we went and before I could say “I miss Africa” we were there hugging, shaking hands and laughing. I was good to see them but this still felt alien to me. So many questions fired at us in quick succession I didn’t know where to begin. Purposely, I redirected the conversations to how they were and the goings on in Ireland over the last eighteen months.
For those who don’t know Johnnie Foxes is the highest pub in Ireland and a very traditional Irish pub. A warren of rooms, wooden stools, old heavy oak tables, roaring open fires, saw dust on the floor and lots of atmosphere. And as usual for a Saturday night there was traditional (a Fiddle, Guitar and Banjo with singing) music, or as we call it “Diddely I”. About as Irish as you can get really.
I had wandered off to the bar to get some drinks. On thee way back I faced the band, and in the tinyest moment, as I passed the fiddler, he winked. It was at that very moment when I knew I was home. Travel was now over and the business of re-establishing old friendships and seeing family had begun.
So, now I’m back in Planet Newbridge arguing with me Dad just like as before. It’s as cold as I remember, wet as I remember and as depressing as I remember.
Now I know why I left!