People of the West made me feel at home!

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

“So what was it that made a London boy like yourself feel at home here?” asked Dave O’Connell is sitting in for Keith Finnegan on Galway Bay FM.

“Well, just off the boat from France in ’92, I was working as a kitchen porter in Kinsale, but my eyes were drawn to Connemara on my map. When I went there, phwoohh, it was like meeting my soul in a mirror.”

Yeh, dead poetic, but actually, I just made that last bit up. Can’t remember exactly what I said on the radio, but it wasn’t as good as that.

Point is, ever since that interview, I’ve been pondering the idea of home. What I said was true, but it set me wondering, because it’s far from the whole truth.

(Indulge me please, as I give thanks that English is my native language. I know but cannot explain why ‘wondering’ and ‘pondering’ do that. English must be a nightmare to learn. Monkey Donkey. Digression over.)

When I finally moved to Connemara in ’94, I experienced home at last.

For the first time I’d a little house all to myself. Two miles from the village (pub), the 12 Pins everywhere, moonscape moraine and Granuaille and Donal’s auld ruined love-nest out of my kitchen window.

I felt I’d run out of countries. There were still untold places I hadn’t been to, but that house was the end of my own long road.

How perfectly ironic that after I’d haired around the planet twice, I ended up in the country next door, where I’d never been; never thought of going to; knew nothing about.

When I’d hitched in new countries as a teenager I treasured contact addresses and phone numbers.

A sofa to sleep on, a hot shower and conversation with a local: comfort to the young traveller.

By the age of 32 however, I was delighted that I knew nobody in this country.

Not a soul.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.