Al and Marsha's Journal





March 31st to April 3rd


This is my last few days for this particular adventure, and I am winding up the project (at least this phase of it). 


My total attention is being directed at cleaning up all of the loose ends and documentation before I depart. Almost.....


March 31st


It was a dark and stormy night, and outside the window of my room, in the blackness of the night the wind howled and blew in great gusts, rattling the window against the counter pane. Puffs of wind pushed their way past the window frame and blew into the room. 


Soon the rain began with sporadic splats against the glass slowly increasing to great sheets of rain pouring down and making a great noise against the window. Outside the window was blackness which could not be penetrated; nothing to see but the rain seeking its way in.


I heard the voice of the Goddess of Storm and Not-storm saying to me in the wind... "You obnoxious git!!  How dare you take credit for the record number of sunshine hours in Donegal over the last three weeks!!! You North Americans are all the same." she said with a sneer.  She continued in a similar vein; "You had nothing to do with it!!!! This is my area of responsibility and you keep your bloody hands off it, or you'll be sorry!! Piss off home and leave me alone!!!" With that she threw a huge gust at the window and sulked away. 


Well, I can tell you I was mightily impressed. It never occurred to me that she would notice, let alone get so angry at me. I will sure keep my mouth shut from now on. You have to admit though that it's food for thought; as soon as I arrived the sun came out and stayed out. The record for parts of Donegal which were broken were over seventy years old! Now that's some coincidence, eh?  The only reason it changed is because that nasty creature noticed and wanted to spite me. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!! If you tell her that I said that I'll deny it.


Since Sunday night she has taunted me continuously. As soon as I leave the shelter of a building the sunshine disappears and a frantic shower starts, only to stop as soon as I again reach shelter. Boy has that lady got a temper!!  I hope that she doesn't follow me home. I am pretty sure she's the Irish Goddess of Storm and Not-storm, and will not leave her area of responsibility just to harass me. 


I hope.


April 2nd


Well, this is my last day for this trip to Letterkenny. The aforementioned Goddess got me again this morning. Started out sunny and fine. The minute I opened the hotel door, burdened with luggage, laptop bag, etc, and no car key in sight, the rain started. At least I did not have far to run, and only got sort of drenched. I wonder..... will she be waiting for me when I get back in July? 


At the end of work today I will be driving to Belfast to stay at the Hilton (now there is going to be another culture shock after the Castle Grove!) and then up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning to catch my flight to Heathrow. I have about a five hour layover until my flight to Vancouver leaves. If I have anything interesting to report I'll fill you in while I wait.


One last Irishism I spotted this morning: Instead of saying something like "That's all we need" or "Thank you for filling out the form correctly" or something along those lines people say: "Well that's you then!"   


The other night on TV I watched the beginning of a silly game  show. The host was asking the contestants lined up to be ridiculed how they were feeling. One lovely young lady answered: "I'm so nervous I need the toilet."  Verbatim quote..... I love this country!!!


Ta Ta


April 3rd


The trip to Belfast last night, and events today up to this point have been mercifully uneventful. I am sitting in a restaurant in Heathrow Airport's Terminal 4 (which is more like a shopping mall than an airport) having a bit of lunch and reporting to you.


While waiting for my flight home I indulged, for lack of anything else to do, in one of my favourite airport activities, people watching.. Heathrow Terminal 4 is the best place you could imagine for this activity. This is the terminal from which all of British Airways' international flights depart. You can hear flight announcements to exotic destinations all around the world, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Calcutta, Beirut, Moscow, etc, etc. Of course, what goes along with flights to these wonderful places are the people, and what fascinating people they are. People of every colour of the rainbow, every style of dress; families, young travelers with their backpacks, parents, grandparents. They are universally fascinating. The inexperienced travelers look anxious, the late arrivers look frantic, and those with long waits look  bored and sleepy.


I watched one marvelous man who was black as the night stride down the concourse toward me. I assume that he  was from a country in Africa as he was wearing an ankle length flowing robe of a beautiful creame colour over loose creame pants. He looked extremely majestic as he strode purposefully along to wherever he was going. He was a delight to behold.


So I have indulged myself in this clandestine sport and enjoyed much. My flight has been called. Strangely, they board 747s here with a general cattle call. I must join the crowd lunging at the door to the plane. 


I sincerely hope that the flight from London to Vancouver is as uneventful as the first part of the trip has been. 


This time in Ireland is over, and I have put some of my thoughts about it all on the page "Final Thoughts" 



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