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.
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