This is Dursey island, whence come the Healeys, Bridget’s paternal grandmother’s family. It is separated for the mainland but a roiling boiling sea with three crossed tides. You can get there by cable car, should you wish to, but frankly, now that the Brits aren’t taxing the bejesus out of every man and his dog, the attractions have waned.
What I suspected turns out to be true. The fact that we haven’t all lived together and the possibility that there could be issues hasn’t really shown. We’ve been able to make adjustments and catch each other without any ill will. All in all we’re able to negotiate through and around one another with respect and humor. We’ve had some hysterical moments, especially with Jack. Jack is one of the funniest men I know and he’s proven so with all of us. We’ve laughed so hard that we’re left nearly breathless. We drove today down to the end of the penninsula and looked at the island of Dursey across a fairly small channel from the mainland. A truly desolate spot with currents raging through the channel in at least three directions. It creeped me out imagining how long you’d last if you fell in. Not long! The drive down was difficult for me and I decided that the small roads were going to be James’ domain. The lanes are so narrow and the locals drive them with such speed that I don’t feel competent to negotiate them. Anyway Dursey has all of six residents and the only way across is via a small cable car. Some people like isolation and I assume the residents of Dursey are amongst them. Bridget’s family are the Healys who were from Dursey but who now live mostly around Castletownbere. We had a nice late breakfast in Castletown earlier since we had come in with no food. Don and I had oatmeal with fruit and honey and it was just what was needed. We’ve noticed that the cost of living is really rather high here. Being tied to the Euro was helpful when things were going well, but now that the economy isn’t doing well it’s got things in a real funk. Morgan saw a real estate listing that showed a nice cottage that had been originally listed for 230,000 Euro that had been dropped to 90 K!! We drove on to Allihies a lovely little village that overlooks a bay that looks north across to Kerry. We went there because we saw a poster in Castletown announcing the Michael Dwyer traditional music festival. We stepped into a nice pub, O’Neills by name, ordered 5 pints of Murphy’s and started talking to a nice woman named Deirdre who filled us in on the festival. Very welcoming and it turns out that her great aunt was Julia Clifford and her cousin is Billy Clifford both were/ are legendary whistle and flute players. We’ll be going over to the festival this weekend and checking it out. There are sessions happening so we’ll see what happens. Deirdre was telling us that the unemployment rate is as bad now as in the 1930’s and that there was a nice place just behind the pub that someone was trying to sell for 200K that was marked down to 60K. Tough times indeed.