Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Day of Adventure

I spent the night in the city, this photo being the view of the sunrise from my second floor window as I woke up. The rest of the trip is small hotels and B and B's, out in the countryside.

Lunch was from a grocers, bread, cheese, olives and a cold beer. When I checked out the girl asked for my shopper card. I said "I'm from the US" and she said "well you sure don't look it" and I realize that I look VERY much like everyone walking around me, hair, skin, clothing. I passed more than one woman that could be my sister. When the Catholic Children's Home Society folks name you Mary-Brigid it stands to reason you're at least part Irish. :-)

I slept like I haven't in years. Then off for another day of adventure. I'm getting used to the driving and the traffic. I did go for a walk that included a trek across this incredibly busy intersection that had about 12 lanes and tiny little islands for the pedestrians to cross the whole thing. You'd get a light and scoot across one or two lanes to the next island, which had fence rails around it as the cars were whizzing by just feet away, then on to the next. Remember the game FROGGER? That was me.

A lovely pub dinner and then to sleep for an early departure.

I'm Scots/Irish. Guinness and SALE all in the same place?

I think I need a cold shower.

Until I'm back online. Slainte. - Brigid


  1. He was Scotch Irish....half of him always wanted to get drunk, and the other half never wanted to pay for it....
    -Mike Rayburn, college tour

    Sounds like fun. :)

  2. From what I've read the ancient Celts were mostly small and dark-haired, so I suspect you have a Viking in your gene pool to thank for that red hair.


    Glad you're having fun in the auld sod, Brigid.

  3. Have a great trip, Brigid. Enjoy your stay, but hurry home. Glad your posting.


  4. "From what I've read the ancient Celts were mostly small and dark-haired, so I suspect you have a Viking in your gene pool to thank for that red hair."

    Sounds like every discussion of geneology I have with my Irish wife.

    Enjoy the countryside. Look out for the sheep on the roads!

  5. "Remember the game FROGGER? "

    Uh huh. Fun game. Its nice that it is free now:

  6. Enjoying the updates and the pictures - all so lovely!!

  7. Please, please, get to western Galway, the Gaeltacht area west of Galway City if you can. I'm perhaps somewhat predjudiced, having a hundred generations of family buried there, but on a nice day, I think it's the prettiest place on earth.

    If you're running low on petrol when you near Moycullen, please stop in to the Texaco station there. Times are slow, and my daughter Fiona and son-in-law Micheal (pronounced Mee-hol, his people are native speakers) could use the money. He's the big albino gorilla hulking around somewhere in the back.

    Bob, the husky brunette Picts (they ran about 5'8")were the combination of incoming big pink Celts from the alps and the Iberians who were there earlier. They're mostly found in the south-west (Kerry and Cork), down near Spain and Portugal, or in the less well off areas of Dublin and Cork City.

    Think Pierce Brosnan, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Ronald Reagan, any of the "Black Irish".

    The incidence of red hair in Ireland and Scotland is 12 to 15%, and less than 5% in Scandinavia, mostly among the 30% to 50% of Scandinavians who are predominantly Celtic by ancestry.

    The Danes and Icelanders are about half Celtic, the Swedes and Norwegians about a forth Celt.

    A gift from centuries of Irish and Scottish mercenaries going native after collecting their pensions.

    Go to Haplogroups_In_Europe for a breakdown of R1a (norse) and R1b (alpine). Amazing breakdown.

    And in the "Blood of the Vikings" special, the BBC had a DNA check of the entire British Isles done. They couldn't find a single drop of Norse blood in all of Ireland.

    When the O'Brians flattened Dublin, the Norse/Irish hybrids all packed up and went to Iceland or the Hebrides, or back to Scandinavia.

    Plus, Scandinavian blood found in Britain would usually be from the Norse craftsmen who followed the Vikings, not from the Vikings themselves, who were almost universally homosexual. Wikipedia up Jomsviking for a good bit of coverage.

    Also, many of the Vikings were Slavic. The various brotherhoods like the Jomsviking recruited all around the Baltic. They were so successful that they changed the genetic structure of the locals.

    XYY, the "Berserker" gene, is 1 in 100 today among the Irish and Scots, who bred selectively for it.

    It's 1 in 2,000 among Swedes, and 1 in 3,000 among Danes and Norwegians, who lost almost all their seven foot whack jobs to the viking recruiters. To judge from some of the commentary in the dreary "Kristen Lavrensdottir", they weren't missed.

  8. I am so glad you are resting well and enjoying your vacation! Hoist one to the moon tonight for me!!

  9. Ah, Lass, tis a fine Coleen you've become. May the sun's kiss touch you with kindness each morrow and eve. God Bless...

  10. I'm still laughing about Frogger. At least they provided the little islands - Mediterranean countries tend to discourage pedestrians altogether.

    I'm glad your experiences are so positive; I dream of visiting Ireland someday. Thanks for sharing what you've seen & done.

  11. Had I not recently been smitten utterly by brunette woman I met the other day, I'd be inclined to come over there and investigate this abundance of redheads. :)


  12. The mention of the possibility of Viking ancestry reminded me that there have been some significant finds of Viking relics in digs around Dublin. Might want to check out if the museums have any displays.

    and Oh yes, I do remember Frogger. :-)

  13. Scots-Irish... true indeed now lassie. 'Tis a fine thing.

    Me gandfar, William "Woody" Martin's family hailed from Galway. They immigrated late in the great famine. True'tis. I have the Martin tartan close at hand.

    Tip a shot of Bushmills, wash it down with a fine Porter or a well poured black and tan.

    "Sure now, 'tis a fine soft evenin'...I think I'll join me friends at the Pub and talk a little tre-e-eason."

    -Barry Fitzgerald in "The Quiet Man"

  14. Why are you touring Ireland during the winter? I spent December, January, and February there a few years ago. Wind, rain,and darkness nearly finished me. Guiness, Bush Mills, and the stunning scenery in Donegal helped me to survive.

    Enjoy your visit.

  15. Have the time of your life!

  16. Enjoy the trip, and have a Guinness for me.

  17. "And in the "Blood of the Vikings" special, the BBC had a DNA check of the entire British Isles done. They couldn't find a single drop of Norse blood in all of Ireland."

    Now that is real interesting, Ed. Being that I am from the clan 'Condon', it makes me wonder where my New-Irish/Old-English/Hiberno-Norman forbears came from. After all, the Normans (Northmen) were Vikings who were granted Normandy by Kings Charles the Simple right after the end of Late Anitquity.

    ... and yes, we were 'Black Irish' too, as my Dad and my Uncles had jet black skin (hmmm... kinda spanish looking too, I might add - maybe from the age old trade route to Spain that ended in Cork County). Still, I take after my mothers Dad whos name was... King and yes, of Irish fame, too. :)

  18. Hey Con0010! Welcome cousin. My Foster ancestors, part of the Fitzgeralds, were "Norman" too, which means they were actually Welsh mercenaries hired by the Normans, who took their lord's name when they went native. For a charming look at some of my gentle forebears, Wiki up Nesta, or Helen of Wales.

    The Normans had their butts whipped at Hastings, and the Saxons were ripping them out of their saddles as they hobbled away on staggering horses, when the Breton mercenaries on the left flank hit the now scattered English and rolled them up.

    The Bretons were led by an Irishman named Leary, the future king of Dublin (also Shakespear's King Lear), and former commander of the Varangian cavalry in Constantinople. A total pro, who made only half-hearted charges for most of the day, resting his men and horses, waiting for the right moment. When it came, he was ready.

    William, no dummy, took all the Welsh speaking Bretons and paid them off in land on the Welsh border, hoping they would cut down on the Welsh raiding parties burning western England to the ground.

    Instead, they intermarried, giving their Normanized names to many a good young Welshman.

    When Strongbow invaded Ireland a century later, it was these border, or marcher lords who provided the manpower.

    Which is probably why the "Normans" assimilated so quickly with the native Irish they were supposed to be fighting. Same race, culture, and almost the same language.

    Again, surf the Wiki pages and the HapMap homepage. Western Ireland is between 97% and 98% R1b, with a pinch of Iberian sub- clade in the extreme south west.

    Even in reasonably cosmopolitan Dublin, there just isn't any Scandinavian influence going back more than a few generations.

    The O'Brians were jackasses. The O'Niall kings pampered the Norse cities along the east coast, and the Gael Gall, or Irish foriegners, added immensely to the country's economy.

    The O'Nialls would make an armed trip down the coast once or twice a century and kick a few butts to keep the nominally Norse cities paying their taxes to Armagh.

    But by and large it was a friendly exchange, and after two or three centuries of Irish mothers, the Gaelic speaking cities of Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, and Cork were really Irish enclaves with strong trading partners in Scandinavia.

    Brian Boru usurped power from the O'Niall kings by demonizing the eastern cities and building a nationalistic movement to "free" Ireland from what were essentially Ireland,s richest areas. For some reason, after the O'Brians took over, the Gael Gall left, and took their money with them.

    By doing it he undercut the finances of his O'Niall rivals in Ulster. A brave man and brilliant tactician, but politically sleazy. His father's name was Kennedy, so I'm not suprised.


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