We woke to a cold and blustery day. Wind howling from the North, white caps on the water, rain blowing sideways. This nice tight house we’re situated in leaking cold air through the attic access door and up through a fireplace that howls like a tormented soul. I take a blanket and put it in front of the fireplace and it’s sucked in as if a giant has his mouth around the chimney and is drawing on it. The people who grew up here, especially in the old days when turf or coal fires were the only heat, had to have been extraordinarily tough. Sitting out weather like this in a leaky, cold  stone cottage……they were tough alright. 

We spend most of the day playing tunes, napping allowing the weather to dictate the pace. Janelle Hiccox texts and later calls to let us know they got into Lisdoonvarna and we arrange to meet them for dinner at the Imperial Hotel. Its great to see our old friends again in Ireland. Sharing moments like this in another country has a quality to it that’s not easy to explain, but it does feel special. We drive over the hill and into Lisdoonvarna where we meet Janelle, John, Cathy and Timothy in the bar at The Imperial order a pint, catch up on our email, etc. and 20 min. later tuck into a nice simple dinner. James and Morgan walk around to the The Roadside Tavern where we listened the other night and ask if they’d welcome some traveling musicians. The answer was yes, so they came back to The Imperial and told us we could play so up we got, grabbed the instruments from the car and marched into the teeth of the cold wind around the corner to the pub. We bought a pint each, Don had his tea. James said he’d had an exchange with a patron, commenting on the wind and the reply was “this is no wind, its just a breeze, now if it were blowing out of Siberia, that would be a wind”. Uh, huh!

We got set up, tuned up and off we went, toes tapping, drinks purchased, heads nodding, the bar keep walked past saying “you lads are good”  it was mostly a foreign crowd, a fetching young woman  who turned out to be the French tour guide for a bus full of her charges, was very enthusiastic, smiling and nodding, two very prim German women sitting a little stiffly on a small bench were looking intent, I’d say they were enjoying us, but their poker faces were on. Some people were taking videos, I think we helped the Publican sell a few more drinks than he would have on a usual Sunday night, for he stepped over at one point and replied to our, “are we doing alright” stated “better than alright, would you like some drinks”? This is always a good sign! We played another 30 min. and called it a night. I walked over to the bar to thank the Publican for having us and had a short exchange with one of the local patrons which went like this. “I hope you enjoyed the tunes”, “I did”, he said, “well, glad we didn’t drive you away”, says I, “its the reason I stayed” said he. He then told me where some other sessions were in the area. Morgan reported on a conversation with the French tour guide. “You’re the reason I come over here”, says she!  “We’re Americans” responds Morgan, “Oh, that’s alright” she responds charmingly. Floating Crowbar does its part in promoting goodwill between France and the USA.