Monday 18-6-07
Greetings from Edinburgh. Happy fathers day to Dad. It’s a bit late but we were in the air traveling and then had no computer access yesterday. I know it’s been a few days since I last sent word. It’s been terribly busy. In general I was not impressed with Dublin. It felt like a regular rural city. Beautiful to be sure but the pace was too slow and the shift from fast, hard hitting London to slower very casual Dublin was a shock to my system. I’ll post pictures as soon as I can figure out how to get them up in a decent manner. It could be a nightmare. We’ll see.

So to start from the message sent last Tuesday. We went to Kilmainham Gaol. Very interesting the leaders of the 1916 Easter rebellion’s cells were pretty neat. The space itself is cold, dank, and cruel. What a horrid place. The experience of being immersed in that atmosphere lends a whole new meaning to the words, declarations and speeches of the men who suffered there and were executed in that buildings courtyard. The limestone walls etched with names, lovers, dates, and sorrow echo a single overpowering emotion – Suffering. The kitchens and the newer half of the Gaol. is better then the older half. Built in a Victorian style one can observe all the cells from standing at any point in the Gaol courtyard. There is also a huge window above the gallery which lets in light and “God”. Once down and inside the Gaol there are the kitchens and a few feet down the hall there are the solitary punishment cells. Dark, Freezing, Dank rooms in the basement of the Gaol. The inhabitants of which would be tortured with the smell of the cooking food forced to eat only bread and water. We learned of the political moves which lead to the execution of most of the rebellions leaders and of the reasoning behind the construction of the Gaol. A very interesting trip.

Wednesday – we boarded our buses and headed out to the famine museum in Strokestown. The home of the landowning family which was loyal to the British was very interesting. Built in the 1700’s it is preserved and was lived in until the 1980’s. The house is in original condition and the guides allowed us to touch and experience the home as if we were living there. This was amazing it really allowed me to grasp a sense of the history and time which had soaked into the house. Being able to touch and feel the home. To put my hands on history filled me with wonder and discovery. It added a whole new sense of the entire experience. The second half of the estate is a famine museum chronicling the potato famines and the role the household had in the eviction and persecution of the catholic tenants who worked on the estate when the crops failed. The museum gave insight into a subject which I had studied in the past. The Irish emigration from Ireland affected United States culture on a massive scale. But it also deeply affected Irish culture and society because of the changes which happened in population. We finished in the museum and wandered through the estates gardens. I have some beautiful pictures from that wandering. The garden was stunning; colours and scents filled the air and permeated the entirety of it. There were also passages to further corridors which reminded me of the secret garden. Beautiful.

We got home, I bathed and then I went to the Salsa Club again. I had a wonderful time. Dancing, moving and just relaxing, sinking into the relief and reward that dancing brings – a place to centre myself and just move in the moment completely engulfed. A wonderful break that I was really needing. Emotionally I hit my lowest point in Dublin. In the club I met four women who were regulars and danced there regularly. They befriended me and we danced through the night. It was simply wonderful. I wandered home around 2:30.

Thursday – Class – then into town to wander for a few hours then grabbed a day bus to Newgrange. The Oldest building on earth. The huge burial mound is stunning. And to consider when and how it was built with the huge amounts of earth piled high around the stone retaining walls and the embedded quartz which makes the entrance to the tomb glow in the sunlight the golden glow reverberating through the stone. We then ventured inside and saw the chamber which is lit for only five days during the winter solstice. For such a magnificent and mammoth monument the inner chamber is little bigger than a jeep. The roof is arched with hug slabs of stone layered upon each other with only packing rocks between. The scrollwork and the artistry from over five thousand years ago still etched into the secret places. It was stunning – again to touch something so old. To have it at hands length from you and to know that you’re surrounded by it is stunning. The tour guide was gorgeous as well – it never hurts. – Home again – made a decent dinner and then went out on a pub crawl with a few of the gents. We wandered down from the oldest pub in Dublin to Temple bar and the clubs/pubs there. We danced there for hours and caught a taxi home – it was a great time as well and offered another chance for me to dance and relax.

Friday – Relaxed in the morning and then went out into town. Went shopping to get the ingredients for my last few meals in Dublin – Curry rice – Pasta, peppers, cheese and pasta sauce with minced beef. Pretty darn great. Friday night – went out clubbing again – went to the premier club in Dublin – it was a disappointment. No stories there just pretty lame and all music I’d heard before. Luckily we came early and there was no cover.

Saturday – saw the World Championships for street performers and saw one of the 46 living and practicing sword swallower in the world, do a show – his name is the Space Cowboy. These performances were wonderful. There was a beautiful young woman from Zimbabwe who did a very entertaining performance where she pretended to be a stalker type – kill you if you leave me – instantly in love – girl to some random guy in the audience – she played it off very well and the gag was hilarious yet creepy at the same time. Then there were acrobats, and jugglers, and two Belgian gents who did a stunning show. One was a Belgian toy maker and the other was made up as a life size – full tux wearing automated toy which kept malfunctioning and causing the Belgian Toymaker frustration. It was a spectacular show.

Sunday – Came home – Packed all my belongings – made a huge dinner to finish off the very last of all our food – fell asleep around 1:45 – woke up cleaned the kitchen and then left on the bus for the airport.