The Craic in Limerick

I’d kept to myself yesterday when I arrived at Kate Daly’s pub.

When I entered, I was cold and drenched. The hail, rain, and wind had just pelted me into a corner of the castle wall (I was looking for an entrance, but alas the castle is completely closed for renovation). Finding no way in, I had little choice but turn back.  I’d snapped some images of Kate Daly’s pub before making that fateful turn toward the bridge off King’s Island. When I saw the pub, I mused to myself that people were drinking at this time of day, and I proceeded onward.  But after the pelting I’d just taken, the pub seemed to offer warmth and hope for survival.

But the place was warm and quite.  The men — all men — clustered around the bar were wide-eyed when I burst through the door.

I’d requested hot tea but was told they had none.  My purchase of a Blumer’s (by the bottle — a fairly costly choice), secured me a seat at the pub.  The bar man suggested I’d be comfortable by the fire.  I embraced the suggestion, peeled out of my wet outer garments, and made myself at home.

I sat there for a long, long while.  The faces people at the bar changed over time, but the composition and number remained steady.

With sun rays intermittently shining through the clouds (As they normally do in Ireland), I determined it was time to leave.  After all, I needed some food to offset the effects of that cider!

On the way to the door, however, the men at the bar posed a few friendly questions.

And that set things right — it’s not usual to leave a pub here without partaking in some friendly chatter.  I’d felt okay taking the role of a tourist today, but it didn’t seem entirely right given my interest in fitting in here.

So I jumped right in and enjoyed some craic.

And, boy, did I mean a host of characters!  The folks in the photos above were key players in the banter.  We had fun.

I eventually declined the (inevitable) offer of another drink and slipped out into a (different) moment of sunshine on my way to find food.  Before I found anything edible, however, I came across some picturesque reflections and  attended a lecture at the Hunt Museum on “upcycling” discarded items into artworks and usable objects. The lecture was sponsored by Limerick’s Tidy Towns committee and delivered by a woman named Mary (another Hail Mary I discovered yesterday in Limerick!).

I left Kate Daly's pub and discovered this reflection just moments before my iPhone battery died. The blogging I did with in in Kate Daly's drained it....

I left Kate Daly’s pub and discovered this reflection just moments before my iPhone battery died. The blogging I did with in in Kate Daly’s drained it….

Hail Mary in Limerick Today

The AIARG conference wrapped up yesterday (my solo presentation went well and the audience was enthusiastic).

I stayed over to experience Limerick (again — Dave and I took a brief stop here in 2003 to see the castle).

Experience Limerick I have. The city gets lots and lots of rain. Today started with sun and intermittent but brief showers.

I admired the River Shannon, wandered the Medieval district, and stepped into Mary’s Cathedral for the end of a Sunday service. I enjoy Protestant services because they include women as primary leaders. I need that and I wish the Catholic Church would get with it. When I was six I wanted to be a priest. The Catholic Church wasn’t ready to accept my contribution. I invested my life’s energies in teach through architecture instead of through theology. I find that, like theology, making architecture requires hope, faith, and expressions of truth and beauty.

Leaving Mary’s Cathedral I headed toward Mary’s church. It seems there are redundant versions (Catholic and Protestant) of churches dedicated to many of the same saints here in Limerick. There are many, many fine church buildings here.

Sadly, the Mary Church was not open though it glowed merrily in the sun’s rays. For a minute. Then all Hail broke out.

I continued wandering on King’s Island in the hail until the the wind and pellets conquered me.

Soaked, I turned back to a corner pub. I sit here warming myself and attempting to dry, Bulmer’s and iPhone blog app in hand. They had no hot drinks but hot whiskey! The radio is blasting weather reports. The resounding “I’m a Believer” brightened the sprits of all the men huddled at the bar, and me!

“I Feel Good” is jazzing us up now….