A great day in Galway

Saturday June 28th – Today was a funny one. Last night I stayed in Spiddal with my mother and sister. My sister Sinead (who is great!www.folksong.ie ) was running a craft/sewing workshop so I headed into town with my mother. It was great to spend time with my mother who is an inspiration for being brave enough to leave her job and home in Cavan and set-up as a holistic therapist in Connemara. We chatted lots about the isolation, doubts and often financial challenges of transitioning to follow your passion but the great joy and freedom that it brings. We talked about the suffering that exists in Ireland (she sees it in her work), how the catholic church is in many ways no longer providing spiritual support and we wondered how people in Ireland can find ways to nurture personal power and community power in new or different ways.


Later I wandered into Galway City to attend the ‘jail the bankers’ protest alongside just 20 or so others. It’s not exactly the Arab Spring but I felt this was important, especially after this week’s proof of the lies and fraud that mean our children will be paying debts for decades to come. Weird that I felt I was the weirdo for attending a protest on an issue so straight forward whereas it seems more normal to carry on with Saturday sports or shopping. I don’t particularly like protests and know they have their limits (and attract all sorts of agendas/egos) but I feel it’s important to at least make a stand and be counted. If we’re going to celebrate Nelson Mandela then we might as well embrace and continue his message of people power.


On a more practical note, I joined others in signing a legal complaint that was inspired by the Donegal Action Against Austerity group who made a complaint to the Gardai during the week. We submitted these letters to the Galway Gardai (and
got a receipt). The letter called for the fraudsters who defrauded Ireland to be investigated and brought to justice in accordance with the law of the land. If it was you or me who committed the fraud we’d be in jail so why two sets of laws? It is simply not right that hospitals and schools are struggling while the rogues and culprits continue to receive thousands per month in pension payments for the wreckage they helped facilitate. I know people think that campaigning doesn’t work but it works better than doing nothing so it’s important for me to just keep trying different ways to create change.


Later on I got chatting to Dave Cunningham who runs the Yoga Shala yoga studios with his wife Laragh. He was telling me about the explosion of make-shift gyms and the craze among young lads for muscles and protein powders, and the dangers of this to their health. He also talked about the boom in extreme stress busting sports and activities which is good on one level but perhaps creating physical stress on the body while not dealing with the root cause of stress. While not for everyone, yoga might offer a more holistic mind-body-soul balance on all levels, although I know yoga isn’t for everyone and people want a good physical challenge. It got me thinking of the ancient training of warriorship in different cultures, including our own, and how many of us modern men (and women) don’t have a physical outlet outside of office and car based living. I feel this leads to anxiety, depression and other health issues. I think martial arts is another good route to go on this but in general it’s great to see an increased interest in getting off the couches and getting active, particularly outdoors.


This evening I found myself exhausted after a very busy week and found it hard to find recording equipment in Galway for my trip. I need a Zoom audio recorder and a small video camera. I decided to head back to Spiddal and on the way home while in traffic I was waved down by two young members of the Travelling community. I wasn’t sure what they were up to but rolled down my window and they were shouting at me that my camera was dangling from the roof of the car! (I’m not hitching yet..borrowed my brother’s car today).

Out of complete tiredness I had left my new camera on the roof of the car and drove off. By some miracle it stayed on the roof for about 2km by attaching itself to some invisible chord. By another miracle the two young Travellers spotted it before it was too late! They shouted over at me ‘jasus, how did you save her?’. I was totally amazed by the whole thing and shouted back ‘I didn’t save it -you did!’.


Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day in Galway. The place is buzzing in full tourist season. Gotta love it and it made me remember the good times living there. I don’t miss the rainy days though. I’m too tired now to be messing around online so time to wind down for the evening and go for a walk. Still a bit of figuring out to do if I’m to hit the road on Monday. Money pressures are kicking in and I need to sort the technology end of things. Anyway, all in good time as they say. That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! Over and out.