Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Got a tattoo and went West

KOI TATTOO - Probably surprising to many westerners is the large of amount of ancient myth that surrounds these beautiful fish in the Orient and their elevated status there.
Generally known here as the brightly colored fish that are common in public ponds and fountains, carp (koi is Japanese for carp) can be found in colors that include white, yellow, gold, a deep orange, and some are even calico-colored.

Particularly beautiful specimens have been known to fetch prices in excess of half-a-million dollars from private collectors who specialize in their breeding and showing. However, the koi is more than just a colorful and collectible fish. It is also one of the most popular and beautiful of Japanese tattoo symbols – a beauty which belies its symbolic meaning.

Although Chinese in origin, the carp is now widely celebrated in Japan, particularly for its manly qualities. It is said to climb waterfalls bravely, and, if caught, it lies upon the cutting board awaiting the knife without a quiver, not unlike a samurai (warrior) facing a sword. This theme dates back to ancient China, where a legend tells of how any koi that succeeded in climbing the falls at a point called Dragon Gate (on the Yellow River) would be transformed into a dragon.

Based on that legend, it became a symbol of worldly aspiration and advancement. Eventually, the stoic fish came to be associated with so many masculine and positive qualities that it was appropriated for the annual Boys' Day Festival in Japan where even today colorful, streaming koi flags are traditionally displayed for each son in the family.
In tattoo imagery, especially in combination with flowing water, it symbolizes much the same: courage, the ability to attain high goals, and overcoming life's difficulties.

Start playing this
The Higland Sessions (2): Suil A Ruin

Well, boys and guirls, since I last left you, hang on, I need to check this one…
Right, Cork got beaten by Waterford and the following week Waterford got beaten impressively by Limerick, well done Limerick.

Then I went West, turns out it works out cheaper than going to Amsterdam and places like Spain, way cheaper and lived like I was 70 years old and retired, but not quite dead, manys a good tune was played on an old fiddle, never really quite imagined meself playing the fiddle or violin, the only difference I think is the type of music played on them, but anyway for 6 days I was retired out west and the difference between having a good time and a wet time is a golfing umbrella, all you need is to get one and you’d never know what a rainy day is about i.e. not getting wet.

My daze consisted waking up, having a pot of tea, putting on the shoes and strolling over for the paper, coming back reading the paper and consuming more tea, having a bit to ate as the man said, going for a walk around lunchtime, maybe 10 kms to the next village listening to music no 70 year old would listen to having a Guiness or 2 (or maybe 3) and strolling back, lighting the fire, reading one of many books, then watching a movie, then see you tomorrow world, which I always would, I’m not that old you know !

Walked to Inchegela 3 times, walked back twice and over the O’Leary way, very nice.
The barman and proprietor, Joe Creedon put me on to a book I’ve always wanted to read about Celtic Spirituality ‘Anam Chara’, translates as ‘Soul friend’, I’ve always understood ‘Anam’ to be name, but it means ‘Soul’ and I suppose when you dive in, it makes a lot of sense, don’t go changing into your swimming attire just yet though.

Called to Art, the old Dutch guy up the road who as he describes it, his own piece or paradise, yep I’d have to agree, just yourself and a few goats, no cars and the like.


Got the first part of my tattoo done, getting it finished tomorrow, got some stuff together for that, so if it comes out good, it won’t be a complete fluke.
Started reading Zola’s ‘General’, very good, need to set a bit of time for that task.

Saw John B Kanes ‘The Matchmaker’, it’s about courting for boggers before they had nightclubs and you could pay a guy and he would tell you which person would be good for you, without even talking to them, and it was staring ‘Miley’ from Glenroe (Old irish soap opera series)

Across the road they had ‘Music on the hill’ (Good title) but for me it was ‘Music across the road, which it was, well anyway they had the ‘Black sea don cossocks’, some really amazing voices, has to be the best part of ‘Multiculturalism’, you get to see different things, not just the guy down the road singing after a few pints, because they were from Russia, so they wouldn’t know anything about the Irish goingons, because they’re not from here, the’re Russian, didn’t I just say that ?

Went to see ‘The Importance of being Ernest’, great show, which it was, I knew that, if memory serves me, Susan was being a bit under the weather because she is a bit of a ‘Daddys little rich girl’ and wasn’t going to be entitled to a grant, awwwwww. Flash backs of Annie ‘…the sun comes out tomorrow’, get on with it !!

Went the Bantry masters festival and saw Steve Cooney among other’s, quialty, quality, quality is all I can say, ok so, quality, do you need to hear it again ?

Put some ‘Magic beans’ on my Facebook profile and I did get an offer from some guy
Goodday to you Seller, I want to know if this particular Item is still avaliable for sell, If yes then i will like to buy it from you and you should he me send it to me sister In california. She is handicap, so i will like the item to be ship to her door step. Please calculate the shipping cost and add it to your Item fee. I will pay for it as well.

This is how i would look on the Simpsons

Didn’t think that would come to much, how much are Magic beans worth these days, especially with the world markets being in the state they’re in ?

Now watch this, it doesn’t have any sound, the boys order a shot in barcelona

Vivian from the Galapagos on the beach

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Spanish connection

Little miss Queensland and meself

Well after transiting through Holland and Paris I arrived in Spain, Gerona to be exact and since I didn’t call ahead, made things a bit complicated, only a bit mind you.

I learned quickly that there is no prefix of [0] in mobile numbers for Spain and hence couldn’t get through to Carlota, the girl I met in Columbia.
I found the hostel recommended by her, it was full, I went next door, it had rooms.
I went for a walk and found an Irish Coffee bar, haven’t seen one before, so it was special, I went in and didn’t order coffee.

Graffiti in Barcelona

Went kite surfing, or should I say I tagged on and that I did. After the dinner date number 2 and getting an earful all day about how I snore it was time to part ways, and off I went, I was free from other peoples problems and it felt so good, I was free.

You: So what did you do with your new found freedom you ask?
Me: I went and had a beer ‘The solution and cause of all your problems’ as Homer might quote

Then I went off and slept in an Orchard, there was a tractor roaring around, so I went for a walk, when I came back I saw this tractor with full beams come tearing up the orchard spraying and was off another way, it only took me about 10 seconds to locate my bag (which should now be insect free for the next 6 months)

Next day I went strolling expecting to find a bus, no bus, walked a long way, it was nice, easy to see I had left Holland, if you don’t have a car in Spain you’re a big nothing.

Ended up at a costal town called L’Escal, dived into a field along the way and had a sleep in a Hay field, it reminded me of a book I once read called ‘As I walked out one midsummer morning’, the book is about an English guy who walks around Spain, eating bread and cheese and drinking red wine and sleeping rough.

English girls on the party bus

The weather won’t kill you, its 28 degrees at night. Sort of European Beat generation with lots of very descriptive explanations of the Spanish countryside, Fuck off, it’s all Brown, there’s only so much you can say, it’s brown, all of it!

The next night I thought, ‘Erra I’ll rent a tent’ and so finally found a place, the charge was going to be £56, bit steep, but show me the tent, finally someone pointed at a bit of brown dirt on the ground and said ‘You can put it there’, yeah but where is the tens, no we don’t have tents, Ahhhhh, I was out of there.

That night I had a £1.80 bottle of table wine, went and had a beer in an English pub where everyone was watching and commentating on 2 dogs playing in the bar and left, they did forget to charge me too.

Slept under the stars again, I was free as a bird.

Next morning I went to Barcelona to meet Jon from Sydney, he was in Madrid. I got a basic room in a place called ‘French Hostel’ and hit the streets.

‘What a city’, ‘Fuckin’ hell’ were but some of the thoughts flashing through my brain.
I love the back streets and squares and old city, couldn’t help but think, how can 1 city have so much and we’re starving for this in Ireland, and probably just about everywhere else in the world too, truth be told.

Highlights would include
I booked a cycling tour and all times I could go, they couldn’t go, and the last time I was supposed to go, I got lost and missed them and as it turns out, I could have went a shorter way, if I could follow a map, which I really cant, so I didn’t, and I missed the tour ok ?

French guys on the party bus

Went on the party bus, good craic, met lots of people and ended up at a club (For everybody) where even the DJ was bored out of his tits, he really was, I laughed, but we all have to make money somehow, hmmmm somehow.

Went into a bar where all the drinks were displayed like the stock exchange and drinks not selling well came down in price, great idea, I’d be hanging out for a bargain, ‘Corrs light has hit rock bottom, errrrr Coors Light is hitting rock bottom, you’d have to pay me there to drink that love’

Had Coffee (Cheap too .90 cents, not like rip off Ireland), Tapas, Watched he rad skaters and boarders and practiced a bit of Spanish

Tommy Tiernan

Went on a pub crawl and met a couple from Cork who thought I looked like Tommy Tiernan, ahh, no lads, i couldnt, but he is popoular, so i suppose it's not too bad.

What else, met some Irish boys that thought they were going to be mugged by the hookers on the Ramblas, yeah nice by day, dangerous by night.
Went to the Picasso museum, lots of naughty pictures, naughty, naughty!!

Finished reading the City of gods novel, epic read

Missed the Cork V Waterford game, I was transiting through London Stanstead, got to the hostel in Dublin and tried to watch it in the hostel.

Upstairs they were watching Ferris Bewlers day off, downstairs this chick was watching CSI Miami and then informed she wanted to watch ‘Criminal minds’, I did well to say nothing, it was only the best game of the year that everyone was talking about and the game itself is our national game and is 2500 years old and oh yeah is the fastest field game in the world ( nearly forgot that bit)

I was scratchin me nuts walking through the Kilnenny Castle grounds and i looked up

I wonder will they be watching CSI Miami in 2500 years, will Miami even on the map?
Flash back to ‘Catch 22’ conversation between and old French man and a young American guy "The frog is almost five hundred million years old. Could you really say that America, with all its strength and prosperity . . . will last as long as . . . the frog?", further reading ?

Back in Dublin, went to Kilmainem Jail, Saw Bully’s Acre

and then I went to Kilkenny and stayed for 2 nights, great night life and managed to see the Cork V Waterford game.

Longest running session in Kilkenny, every Monday night for over 20 years

I was very happy, the score of that game was 3-16 each, the replay is on today, today will be a good day.

Peace out

Something in between that i've wanted to do for a while part 2

Photos i found on Found Magazine

Seems like a nice fellow, sometimes it doesnt hurt to try new things

Now i starting to hate Tim too

Good one, i like

Tell it how it is

I would say 'Obey and conform'

I love this one about the Stud, only because it's true

Sometimes you have to advertise for business

Something in between that i've wanted to do for a while

I call this piece 'Photos i've found that i need to stick somewhere and i'm sticking them here, Ok?'

This one is called Vivian on the beach, and as you can see that description is pretty accurate, eh ?

Shots, dont forget to wash your mouth out !!!

I like stories too, Very true indeed

We're all friends, you can tell by some or all of the smiles

I feel like this sometimes

Friday, August 03, 2007

Amsterdam was cool

Well well, it's been about 2 weeks since i've strung some words together into sentences that might make any sentences or sense.

I’ll start off by saying I woke up this morning thinking, ‘Where the fuck did I leave the mackrle’ and truth be told, now that I’ve had a cup of tea and watched a bit of a program about how the fall of Greece was communicated and how Napoleon liked to communicate, I’m thinking ‘Where did I put the mackerel’, Where oh where.
I got it for free in a pub yesterday afternoon

Well there either in Cummins kitchen across the road, about a 10% chance of that, or down in Roy’s beer garden about a 110% of that one, ‘Doesn’t make sense’ you say, I know, I know !

I have lots of notes on the last 2 weeks, the first note is ‘Doms birthday’ and yes it certainly was. So we went to Amsterdam to celebrate Sue and Noel having sex 21 years and 9 months ago, was there a lot of alcohol consumed you might say, ‘I’d certainly hope so, it’s much more fun anyway’

Well before I go any further it’s probably worth noting that I went out with Hughie the night before, we had a few, lost him or he lot me, I’ll give him a ring later to clarify this one, actually I rang him yesterday, conversation went along the lines of

ME: Hello is Hughie there?
Someone in Hughie’s house: No, goodbye
Phone hangs up
Me: ????

It happened just like that, I’ll call again to see if their telephone skills have gotten better.

Back to Amsterdam, no before all that, the mother drove us to the airport and the highlights would include the mother telling be when I got home the night before ‘Do you have your passport’, after much searching a bag was retrieved from the car with passport, put it on the Kitchen table

Off we went to the Airport, got to the airport, mother got petrol (Cars drink that stuff) and I realized the passport was at home (remember before it was in the car) off home we go.
Coming back to the airport on the roundabout before the tunnel the car conks out, so we are out pushing the car on one of the busiest roundabouts in Cork, Dom is on the phone to his mat that has a car that can do 200km an hour and the car starts and we are off again.

Got to the Airport and the ATM took my card and wouldn’t give it back, I waited and waited then it gave it back, what a relief

Back to Amsterdam had some Philosopher Stone mushrooms, 2 days in fact
The first day we went into the Sex Museum, what a laugh !!!

On one level you had Snow white and the 7 dwarfs with a really nicely painted room, with (No joking) cartoon porn going on 2 TV’s. So anyway I was off having conversations with Snow White (Maybe I fancied my chances, looking at the competition, maybe I was right)

Me: What’s up with your friend there, he’s looking a bit grumpy, and so on and so forth, trippin’
In fairness, I did try and leave that room 3 times, but could not do it, had to come back every time, until there was nothing more for to go up, upwards and onwards, for Ahhhhh, No!! More of the same stuff again.

I remember thinking ‘Where the hell are we again?’, after a while ‘Oh, yeah, the sex museum, fuckin hell’, it’s true we were. From there on in, everyone was made of Bananas (This is true)
Walking around outside later, me ‘Sex show, I would have never thought of that’, where am I again, oh yeah the red light district, the mother did say we were some pity.

Not the redlight district

Went on a Pizza cruise (Dom had the photos of that) very nice, and the Heineken experience, the Guinness tour was far far better.

Joined Facebook, was chatting with a Heidi (Hello Heidi) from Amsterdam, didn’t meet up with her. Maybe it is all part of Gods play, might have to start talking with him again.
I did have some good conversations with my self in Amsterdam though, I was having a good time. I have since stopped, I think I’m getting boring or something ?

Amsterdam is very like Sweden in that they love technology and cycling around in very old bikes, and even talking on their mobile while cycling, yes they have mastered the art of multitasking.
It would be funny to see Italians do that, some of them need to wave their hands to talk, might be a few crashes there.

Didn’t book accommodation for the Saturday and Sunday, but I managed to hook up with a Scottish guy Will and stay at his place, the alternative was partying all weekend or getting the bus or train in the direction of Paris, but for £50 I stayed with Will and did some sleeping, which I really needed and did. It was nice.

View from Wills balcony

Will the chancer was making this bed up in the loft of his apartment.
Him: ‘I’m just changing the sheets’
Me: (Thinking, yeah right, he just told me he hasn’t done any washing in ages) and I was right, I needed sleep and didn’t give a shit either way.

I was in one of the nice coffee shops before I left and witnessed an Israeli guy faint (he was low on Sugar) his friends thought he was dying and were punching him and nearly smashed the place up.

The girl gives them 2 sugar drinks, doesn’t charge them, this happens 10 times a day for her, ok everything is coming back to normal, they are very happy he is still alive, then they want another one, ok, but this time they have to pay the £2, their response is, ‘I thought it was free, no thanks’ and walks off, hard to believe. Guess he wasn’t worth £2 after all.

Went to the Van Gough museum, Dom was feeling a little under the weather.

The first night we were hanging out with a guy from Boston, most of the time Dom and himself were rapping away, I think they were talking English, I think, everyone was made of bananas, whatever language that is.

Went to the live Sex show, Dom’s comment had me in stitches
Dom: (Looks at very seriously and says) ‘I don’t know how they do it boy’

Because it being his birthday, he felt the need to go to the highly recommended ‘Banana bar’ for 1 hours entertainment, entertainment consisting of
1, All you can drink for 1 hour
2, Eating a banana out of a chicks crotch (They do say that fruit is you, now I think that is very true
3, Large dildos shooting out of vaginas, any midfielders out there ?
4, Oh yeah a face massage with a pair of breasts, yeah 2 of them!!

Met a chick, who was a rep for Orange (Mobile phone company), and she brought her clients there.
I was telling her that the banana bar wasn’t tax deductible, how could you negative gear something that funny?

But the best of all was they wrote Dom a postcard, not using their hands, very talented girls. The funniest bit the writing they did (not using their hands) was better than my handwriting. I was asking them if they tried copying any Van Gough paintings, I was impressed.

Dom left (Bye bye Dom) I went on a cycling tour of Amsterdam, very cool city.
Took pictures of Ann Frank’s house and line to go in, I didn’t feel like waiting hours to see the inside of a cupboard and she wasn’t even at home. Didn’t think there would be a ‘Go on let yourself in and make yourself a cup of tea’ note stuck to the door.

Annes place

Left Amsterdam on the 3.30 am train, but first I went to ‘Cheeky Mondays’ drum an bass club until 2.30am and saw some people I knew, I was becoming a local

I had a good time, then it bye bye Amsterdam

This is the part I call crazy transfers to Genoa with my alarm clock going off 10 minutes before my train stop
Left Amsterdam at 3.35 am, change at Rotterdam to Brussels, change train station (I had to figure that one out myself) then on to Paris
Change to North Paris, taxi to Airport, phew 30 minutes to spare, flew to Genoa

Now I know if I asked in the pub about the Mackerel , the response would be ‘That was fuckin’ you!!!’

I’m saying nothing !!!

To be continued …………