Ireland & England
October & November 2014

LAUNCHED: 2 December 2014.       LAST UPDATED:

Accessed at least many times since 2 December 2014.

Tuesday 21 October 2014. Left Jaffrey around noon and headed for the bus terminal outside Nashua. Boston Express Bus to Logan. Checked in. Then went to Legal Seafoods in Terminal B and had a relaxing dinner (crab cake, shrimp, scallops and onion strings and two glasses of Muscadet). Darn! forgot to take a photo. Aer Lingus flight was on time and not too crowded. With the tailwind arrived a bit ahead of time.

Wednesday 22 October 2014. Joe O'Farrell was there to meet me as usual. What a guy! We unexpectedly ran into Jonathan Shackleton as we were going through the terminal. Within an hour we were in Enniskerry and enjoying the usual big breakfast fryup. Afterwards had a good long lie-in. Later drove with Joe into Bray to do some other errands. That evening had a good Irish meal of mashed potatoes, turnip, cabbage and open-face hamburger that Barbara termed a "cheese-top rissole." This was followed by a hot mashed-up apple affair with cream.

Sunset in Enniskerry.

Joe and Barbara.

Barbara's "cheese-top rissole."

Thursday 23 October 2014. A long day of driving around. First thing was a TV interview done by Joe and Michael Smith on MichaelÕs new Shackleton book at RTE. Interesting to watch the process. Into Bray to the Garda station unsuccessfully trying to get passport paperwork signed for Joe's daughter, Sarah. Then to the Shankhill Garda station where he was successful. Then to Stepaside post office to do the next step in the passport process. Later to Dun Laoghaire where we were going to have an early dinner before a reception and talk by Michael Smith. Hooked up with Michael and Con Collins, his publisher, for a beer at DunphyÕs, quite a nice pub. From there to the Gourmet Burger for a bite, then to the John O'Reilly's Shackleton exhibition for a glass of wine. Met Brendan OÕBrien there, Tom CreanÕs grandson. (Last time I met him it was at his father's South Pole Inn some years back.) Then a few steps away to the rather grand Royal St George Yacht Club for MichaelÕs talk. A lovely building.

Michael and Joe on TV.

Con Collins and Joe O'Farrow after a burger.

Michael Smith at the book talk.

Me with Neale Webb (with Michael's book), Con Collins and Joe O'Farrell following the talk.

Friday 24 October 2014. Joe and I went into Bray (for chocolates) and then the airport where we picked up Ulf Bakke coming from Norway. Then headed for Athy arriving early afternoon. Went straight to the DeBurgh Manor where we are staying. A large once elegant house about 2 miles north of Athy. Somewhat of a Fawlty Towers II now. Zaz, Bob Headland, etc., had already arrived. We relaxed for a bit, then went into Athy and had a pint at OÕBriens. From there we drove out to Seamus Taaffe's house where we had another fine Irish stew. Then to the Heritage Centre for the opening reception. Quite crowded. Many old faces. Afterwards to OÕBriens and then back to the hotel by cab, late.

Joe & Barbara's garden in the morning.

DeBurgh Manor from the garden.

Joe and Bob Headland near the entrance.

My room.

View from my room.

At the Taaffe's for Irish Stew. (The kids enjoyed Halloween.)

At the reception: Kari, Huw and Nell Lewis-Jones and Mick, an 'Antarctic Adventurer.'

At the reception: Ken Thomas and Mike Tarver. Seamus in the background. Center: ?

At the reception: Joe, Kevin Kenny, ?.

At the reception: The 'Antarctic Adventurers.'

At the reception: Zaz Shackleton, Noel Shackleton, Frank O'Brien and Michael Smith.

Saturday 25 October 2014. Nice morning, mild. Into Athy by mini-bus and a full day of very good sessions. Had a liquid lunch at OÕBriens. Back to the hotel, then by mini-bus to Frank TaaffeÕs house for the usual very nice reception. Then by bus back to De Burgh Manor where we had our banquet. Crowded and slow service but not bad considering. Some went back into town to OÕBriens but I went up stairs and to bed.

The Antarctic Adventurers in front of the Heritage Centre.

Joe interviewing Michael Smith on his new book.

Jim Mayer talking about Shackleton's love of poetry.

Ken Thomas, Mike Tarver, Brian Lintott in the back room at O'Briens.

Bob Headland holds forth as bartender at the Taaffes.

The reception at the Taaffes: Brad Borkan, Zaz, Jonathan Shackleton, Frank Taaffe.

The Banquet at DeBurgh Manor.

Sunday 26 October 2014. Packed up. After breakfast into Athy on the mini-bus taking my luggage along. Good sessions all. Tuna melt panini and a pint at OÕBriens. After things concluded Jonathan and I drove to Carlow and met up with Arthur and Carol at Mimosa, quite a good tapas bar. Then went to the VISUAL and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre for the premiere of Shackleton's Endurance. The performance was sold out. Jonathan and I head for Arthur & Carol's place—Fruitlawn—for the night.

Ulf Bakke at Sunday's Open Forum.

At Mimosa before the concert in Carlow: Jonathan and Arthur Shackleton, Carol Booth.

A full house at the performance in Carlow.

After the concert. Paddy McAlinney, John MacKenna (the narrator), Seamus Taaffe.

Monday 27 October 2014. Bank Holiday Monday. Up around 8:15. A nice fry-up done by Arthur. Drove into Abbeyleix to the hotel owned by Carol & ArthurÕs friend, Jenny Kent. Took a walk along the old rail line and to a new boardwalk through the bog. A nice coffee at the hotel afterwards. A salad back at Fruitlawn, then off to Lakeview House arriving around 6 or so. Daphne arrives back from sailing and we later have a nice dinner of cod, mashed potato and spinach.

Walking through the bog.

Jonathan and Arthur at Fruitlawn.

Me, Carol and Arthur at Fruitlawn.

Tuesday 28 October 2014. Rainy and gray. Off later in the morning to see the hunt at the same place as last year—Ardbraccan House. The WWoofers—John Michael and Suzanne—come with us. Rainy most of the time. Vast numbers of delicious little Cumberland sausages and coffee passed around. That evening Jonathan, Daphne and I went into Kells to the Station Hotel for a dinner. The ribs were pretty good.

A rainy hunt at Ardbraccan House.

The hounds are raring to go!

Twin calves arrive at Lakeview House unexpectedly.

Me and Daphne at The Station in Kells.

Jonathan and Me at The Station in Kells.

Wednesday 29 October 2014. Not much on today. Had a look at JoeÕs house, now vacated. Daphne off to Mayo on a job. Jonathan cooks up nice steaks from their cows.

Jonathan's Steak & Mash.

Thursday 30 October 2014. Up and packed. Breakfast, then about 9am Jonathan and I set out to Virginia where I got the bus to the airport. Good flight. Took tube to Union Jack Club and checked in. Got organized then went to Waterloo to buy deodorant and a new pair of scissors (security at Dublin took both—yet again!). Had dinner at Caprini—Spaghetti Carbonara. Back to the UJC and to bed.

The backside of the Union Jack Club.

The view out my window.

Caprini—a good family-run Italian restaurant across from Waterloo.

My calories for the day: Spaghetti Carbonara.

Friday 31 October 2014. Enjoyed a big breakfast downstairs. ThereÕs been come re-decoration of the dining room since last year. Very mild out. Headed out by tube: first stop, Royal Bank of Scotland in Curzon Street, then bus to Harrods where I bought a new mobile phone, then around noon to John Bonham's flat. Visited a while, then I bought from him a copy of WebsterÕs Voyage. He took me to lunch at The Mitre not far away. Walked then to Inverness Terrace to take a photo of the house once lived in by Louis Bernacchi. Tube back to the UJC. Did my laundry. Went to dinner at the UJC: pork schnitzel. Not bad. Sat next to a man from North Yorkshire who had walked on many of the paths that I did years back.

Inside The Mitre.

John Bonham outside The Mitre.

Saturday 1 November 2014. Up and packed. Over to McDonalds for an egg & sausage McMuffin. Headed off around 10: tube to Baker Street then to Liverpool Street Station. Train to Bishop's Stortford. Mary Cavanagh picked me up at the station. Back to her house and started talking about the Siafu reunion in Spain next May. Came upon a villa that might work for us. Had some drinks and at 7:30 went down the hill to Zara, an Indian restaurant that we enjoyed last year. Crowded but good.

Mary at Zara.

Sunday 2 November 2014. Mary drove me to the station and I just made the train to Cambridge. Took a cab to Warwick House Hotel and got organized in my room. Took it easy most of the day. Walked into the center or the town and stopped by the Apple and Vodafone stores. Enjoyed dinner at The Varsity for dinner (steak frites).

Warkworth House Hotel. My room (No. 1)

Steak Frites at The Varsity.

Monday 3 November 2014. A nice breakfast and aroud 9:30 over to SPRI. My days will be spent in the Archives from today through Thursday. Working on a project involving a typed newspaper (Adelie Mail & Cape Adare Times produced by Scott's Northern Party—one issue, six copies of which only one survives, now at SPRI. Lunch (soup) at The Alma. Near the end of the day took the train into London, tube to South Ken, walked to the Royal Geographical Society to attend the Monday night lecture series. Very good program on Greenland, dinner afterwards with Martin Henderson, Wendy Driver, Cathy Cooper. Back to Cambridge afterwards.

Parker's Piece, the park I walk across going to and from SPRI.

Cathy, Martin and Wendy at the RGS.

Newly spiffed-up Kings Cross station on the way back to Cambridge.

Harry Potter lives on at Kings Cross !

Tuesday 4 November 2014. At the SPRI archives all day. Lunch (curry) at The Alma with Bob Headland, Bjørn Basberg, Bob Burton.

Bob, Bjørn & Bob at The Alma.

Wednesday 5 November 2014. At the SPRI archives all day. Lunch at Browns with Isobel Williams. And later dinner with Pete and Donna Cavanagh at their condo.

Lunch at Browns with Isobel Williams.


Dinner with Pete and Donna.

Donna's Fish Pie!

Thursday, 6 November 2014. At the SPRI archives all day. Lunch at the Panton Arms. With Kevin Kenny and Bob Headland for dinner at Loch Fyne, then walked to The Eagle for a pint. Viewed The Thing on the way.

At Loch Fyne.

Loch Fyne.

The Thing.

Friday, 7 November 2014. Spent the morning at the library at SPRI. Signed the contract for the Adelie Mail project (what is it now? three years?). By train to Kings Cross, then to take photos of various Antarctic sites here and there, then lunch at The Golden Hind—fish & chips. By cab to Caroline OatesÕ house (took photos of the wrong house!) then on to the Chelsea Town Hall for the Antiquarian Book Fair. Met up there with John Bonham and took bus to Sloane Square, then tube to Victoria. Discovered that my Oyster Card covers West Dulwich—no more queing up at the ticket office! Took train with John & Sue Bonham and their friends. A crowded James Caird Society dinner with lots of the usual there: Brad Borkan, Patrick Fagan, Ann Shirley, Jan Piggott, Calista Lucy, Judy Skelton, Bob Headland, Bjørn Basberg. A good talk by Kelly Tyler-Lewis. Some technical problems with PowerPoint at the start. Sat at a table filled with Stenhouse descendants. Took train to Victoria, tube to Kings Cross, then train (delayed) to Cambridge. Took cab back to Warkworth House, arriving after midnight.

The Golden Hind; purportedly the best fish & chips in London.

The Golden Hind: but crowded.

The Golden Hind: fish was good, though.

Saturday, 8 November 2014. Off to the Post Office and bought stamps. Wrote up some postcards at a nearby coffee shop. To SPRI around 1 or so. Went to the afternoon session of the South Georgia Association meeting. Some very good talks. Following that was the AGM of The Friends of SPRI. Later to the Curry Garden for dinner with Bob Headland, Kevin & Mary Kenny, Zaz, Judy Skelton, et al. Then with Kevin and Mary for a beer at The Elm Tree around the corner from Warkworth House.

Dinner at the Curry Garden.

Mary and Kevin Kenny at The Elm Tree.

Sunday, 9 November 2014. Up before 6am. Down to Parkside where I took the 6:20am bus to Heathrow. Passed through some nice villages along the way. Stopped at Luton: pretty dismal looking: town and airport. Damn! Left my coat on the bus and realized it about an hour later. Went back to the Central Bus station and through the good efforts of Siobhán found it! Two minutes of silence at 11am: Remembrance Sunday. You could hear a pin drop in Heathrow! Uneventful flight to Boston via Dublin. Just made the 6:55 bus to Nashua, then drove to Jaffrey with a stop at Wendys on the way. Almost immediately went to bed. A good trip.

My coat returns. Well done, Siobhán

All my trip photos—the good and the bad— are at