Sunday, June 9

Our last full day in Westport and we’re regretting that we didn’t allow more time here. We have the most friends and certainly the greatest musical activities available. Westport has sessions and music going everyday. The next trip we’ll plan differently.

We’ve invited friends over to our rental home. The view is magnificent and we thought they would enjoy seeing the view of Clew Bay and Westport. The only problem is it’s been raining since we woke and shows no sign of stopping soon. We head into town to buy a few ingredients to lay a table out for our guests. We invited Julie Langan, Jackie Small, Padraig and Els, Maggie and Tom, and Gary Leahy. Gary is bringing a salmon he smoked, we’re looking very forward to that. We do a bit of last minute shopping for family and go back up the hill.

Julie wasn’t sure she could make it, her oldest is having an 18th birthday but she surprises us and shows up a little before 4:00 with her twin girls who are now 10. They were four last time we saw them and they are proper young ladies now. We sit down in the kitchen and play tunes with Julie for over an hour, a real joy and a generous gesture to us as we know how busy she is. Julie has to get back home so she and the girls bundle up and head home. A little after 5:00 Jackie shows which makes us happy indeed. Gary arrives, then Maggie and Tom and we’ve a nice gathering of friends. We chat and visit then sit in the living room looking down at the view. Jackie notices the old cottage that we’ve all been wondering about that’s down below. He thinks it could be the last remnant of a pre-famine village and might ask a historian he knows for details.

Possible remains of a pre-famine village.

We played until 10:00 and thought we should get down to The Cobbler and say hello and goodbye to Johnny Fadgin and Dan Delaney. We glimpsed Dan at a couple of session we didn’t jump into and thought this might be our only opportunity. We hadn’t seen Johnny at all, which wasn’t the case when we were last here, but that was six years ago. Both of them are fixtures in Westport. When we arrived the curtains of the pub were closed but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something going on. That’s the custom, close the curtains but keep going! Sure enough we open the door and the session is going grandly. Dan and Johnny are on the bench behind the table with a handful of players. I spot Tony Reidy as well, just like old times! Johnny and Dan greet us warmly. Bridget and I settle back to watch. I’ve played a lot in three weeks and didn’t feel any loss at sitting this one out but James and Morgan grabbed their instruments and settled in. The two of them lead a fun session, a mixture of Trad and Americana. After the session’s officially over we visit in the smokers courtyard, catch up on some of life’s details, Johnny’s a grandfather of a 3 1/2 year old girl. I could tell by his eyes he’s smitten with her. All of us are shaking our heads that it’s been six years since we last saw one another. Dan tells us he was in London at 12:00 noon that day and caught a quick shuttle back so he could play tonight. He laughed as he told us that he caught some kind of protest with what he estimated to be a couple hundred cyclists riding into traffic, all of them stark naked! He was on the bus trying to get to the airport and was held up. We say good night and go back home. Unlike our recent habits we head to bed soon after we get back. We have to pack up in the morning, tidy the home and head down to Gort.

Session at The Cobbler

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