Double Vision with Charlie Adley
On an average Thursday I’d find it hard to justify a tour of Connemara. That boss I have in my head would be shouting me down, screaming: “Get back to work, Adley, you lazy good-for-nothing scumbag!”
If you’re self-employed you’ll know the feeling, although I never fully understand why I choose to work for me, seeing as how I treat myself in a way I’d never tolerate from another boss.
There are of course advantages in working for myself. Once deadlines have been met, I can clock off whenever I want. That freedom makes a happy marriage with living on the edge of Connemara, as I’m able to appreciate it endlessly, seeing it through the eyes of friends and family.
A couple of Thursdays ago one of my beloved London Posse was over on a visit, so we avoid the high season crowds at Roundstone, turning right at Clifden and heading for the Aughris Peninsula.
By lunchtime we’re sitting in Oliver’s in Cleggan, enjoying Guinness, oysters, the view out of the window and each other’s company.
Cleggan was my base when I first discovered the area, and I fell in love with the secluded little beaches that scatter the shoreline all the way to Claddaghduff. Most tourists seem to see the place as merely a ferry in-and-out job, but they are missing a lot, and I’m grateful they’re over there, on different beaches.
Standing on white sand, alone or with a lifetime friend, looking out to Bofin and distant headlands across a turquoise Atlantic aspiring to appear Caribbean, I feel a sense of belonging, calm, hope: works for me every time.
On the day that was in it, the sky was grey, so my friend didn’t see the full splendour of blue and black, green and gold, but Connemara never lets you down.
The lads in Oliver’s are talking about the hurling, and just for a minute my mind drifts back to this bar decades ago, when I used to stay in the hostel at the old Master’s House. Then, after a year in Galway, I developed grandiose notions of belonging to the B&B set. That didn’t work out well at all.
To read Charlie’s column in full, please read this week’s Galway City Tribune.