Saturday June 1

We drove into Doolin for lunch and a little shopping. We stopped in at the little woolen shop and Bridget looked at sweaters. We tried one spot for lunch but the prices put us off. Doolin caters to tourists not local folk, whom I’m certain can’t afford very much in the village. Bridget dropped us off at the house and went back out to look at some more shops while not being encumbered with the three of us.

We practiced some sets and continued to put together some new ones. We’re having so much fun exploring this, for us, new combination. I’m continuing to find new ways to express myself through the cittern and James and Morgan find it highly complimentary to the music.

The Roadside Tavern was our favorite place to play until this trip. It can be foolish to base current expectations on the past, nothing stays the same. And so it has proven. We relied on the website only to find it was incorrect. We’ve been looking forward to playing with Paul Dooley and Terry Bingham, as well as Christy Barry this trip. Zero for four attempts so far. The website stated that Paul Dooley was playing Saturday night, so we arrived quite early. We left our instruments in the car and got inside the Roadside where I spotted some guitar cases and a small amplifier. Paul plays fiddle. We inquired of the man behind the bar where he confirmed that it wasn’t a Trad night. A good session is proving illusive. We go back to the car and drive over to Kilfenora, a nearby village that’s famous for music to a Pub Morgan remembered from 28 years ago called Vaughan’s. Morgan played with Tommy Peoples in a corner of that pub.

Tonight there was going to be a young singer/guitarist, so no Trad music there. We spoke with an older man who looked like he’d put in a hard days work. He proved to be an entertaining man, full of humor and pithy observations. Then a nice young man Éanna stepped out. It turns out that he works IT for Peter and his wife who own the Roadside Tavern and the Smokehouse, which prepares wonderful smoked salmon. It’s a small country. We had a very pleasant conversation with him. His wife and he are expecting a new member of the family, and while we were conversing another young man from the town came out of the pub and saw Éanna, interrupted and inquired as to how he was. He has the coffee and ice cream shop in Kilfenora. When Éanna told him they were expecting, the response was “ah sure, well you’re doing something right.” We didn’t get any trad music but we did have some great Craic with some locals.

Back home where we worked through sets and enjoyed the pleasure of one another’s company. Tomorrow, Zeke, Fionn, James and Bridget’s sons and Amy, Zeke’s partner arrive to spend the best part of a week traveling with us. We’re “planning” on playing at Eugene’s tonight but we’ll check in with him early evening and see if that’s a go or not.

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