Oh what a miserable start to the day. Grey, drizzly dreich. So the perfect day for a long lie-in.

Yesterday in the car, we played the last of the radio programmes I’d downloaded. So now, we’re playing the other music, songs and albums, on shuffle. And it’s wonderful what pops up and, equally, how well it matches he countryside we’re passing through.

Fisrt off this morning, we heard Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ New Boots and Panties, almost in its entirety but including the bonus tracks that appeared on the CD. I say ‘almost’, because I wondered whether, in a rare moment of prudery when I was listening to music at work, I might have deleted Plaistow Patricia. But no: when I checked later, it was there. It just never came up on random shuffle, while other tracks repeated a few times before we pulled over to change from the one album to a random selection of all songs.

We had planned to drive from Loughrea to Ballina via the west coast, Westport, Connemara, but in the end, because of the weather we just headed straight north. Beautiful roads and probably gorgeous scenery too, but we couldn’t see much of it.

Instead, we sang along to the likes of Rosanne Cash, Neil Diamond, Camille O’Sullivan, Van Morrison, Bic Runga, Björk Guðmundsdóttir, Beatles, Bee Gees, Dusty Springfield: all the hits and more. One or two were geographically apt: Over to Ireland by Martha Tilston and a gorgeous tune by James Galway.

We stopped in Charlestown for a coffee and instead of cake, I had a bowl of chips. Liesel had a scone because there were no muffins!

We reached Ballina, a cute little town, which would be our home for the next few days. We’re staying with Catherine, with whom Liesel used to work. There are three lively, young children here too: Eoin, Siuna and Lochlainn.

And as the day draws to a close, the Sun has made an appearance. All we want to say is, “you’ve left it a bit late, mate”.

Author: mickandlieselsantics

We are a married couple, one American, one Brit, one male, one female, neither of us as fit as we would like to be, well over 100 years old altogether.

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