Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 26 Saturday July 18, 1987 Larne, Northern Ireland

Since the last entry of Nancy’s Journal, several weeks ago, tragedy struck. Fergus, the scallywag, stole the little journal from a side table where I had left it. He took it out to the yard and chewed on it for a few minutes. Luckily, he got bored fairly quickly, before rain or gust scattered the journal to the four winds. I was able to tape it back together, but as you can see from the pictures, it will never be the same.

Day 26 Saturday July 18, 1987 (entered Monday) Larne, Northern Ireland

Well so much for getting better weather. We woke up to a cloudy sky, showered, and rode into town for breakfast. The Butter Churn was earliest opening at 9 am. I had pancakes (with no syrup) and a scone. Doug had chicken alronet and a scone. By the time we left the cafe it was raining of course. We decided to do laundry, but was easier to drop it off and let them do it (2.25 pounds).We wandered around town to kill time. Doug bought a pint of Bushmill’s and we decided to shop at the numerous produce shops for dinner supplies for another salad.

After picking up the laundry and heading back for camp we decided to take a bicycle ride to Carrickfergus to see the castle, rain or not. And rain it did - it barely waited till we were out of town. And not much past that is where the real trouble started. Doug blew a tire. Since we weren’t carrying a pump, it was back to town in the pouring rain. We walked along the road a ways and were overtaken by a temporary checkpoint by the Queen’s army. Two trucks of very young soldiers with rifles and dressed in camouflage were stopping all vehicles and checking IDs. They waved us on though saying that we didn’t look as if we were carrying anything illegal. I decided to ride on back the rest of the way into town, get some groceries and wine and meet Doug later at the bike shop.

I putzed around looking at each and every produce shop, waiting til I saw Doug coming up the street. Luck was not running our way. And it was still raining. After finishing my shopping, stopped at the bike shop, but Doug had left because they couldn’t help him. I figured he was in great mood by now. When I got back to camp our neighbors informed me he was near the shower block taking the wheel apart. It appears the problem of the spokes that had been replaced was never cut down inside the wheel, so it wore a hole in the tube, and what was worse, shredded the side of the tire. So the tube could be repaired but a new tire was definitely needed. I rode back to town to check any likely store (met a cyclist friend who was extremely interested in our Yankee bungee cords. He bought four at 40p each). Back to camp again to report the latest news. But Doug was gone. Neighbors now informed me that the husband , Tom, called a bike shop in Carrickfergus , who had the replacement mountain bike tire, and he took Doug down the 14 miles to get it. Unfortunately, I had all the money.

I went back to the town to cancel the tire I had ordered, and then Maureen invited me over for coffee. She and her sister/brother-in-law and kids yakked til Doug and Tom got back. He got a new tire/ tube for 6.50. Well, the world was beginning to be brighter. And it had stopped raining and was even sunny for awhile. Had more coffee with the neighbors again, yakked about N. Ireland, etc. and arranged to come back later with the Bushmill’s. We went to the playground area whipped up our salad with Newman’s dressing, had sandwiches and drank wine. After cleaning our one dirty dish, we headed back to Tom and Maureen’s for party time. They kept feeding me vodka and lemonade. Very sweet. Tom bought out some Guinness, warm, of course. Tom and Doug polished off the Guinness and Bushmill’s then all felt it was time to hit the pub. All but me. I know I wouldn’t get up in the morning if I had any more. So I put myself to sleep. Didn’t hear Doug come into the tent, but did hear it start to rain and gale force winds during the night. What else??

As you can see Fergus has also take the little yellow English/French Dictionary out to play with, as well as the Castarede French Verbs, and the Marling Menu Master for Italy, and a magazine or two.


Anonymous said...

That Fergus has been a mischevious boy! Did he receive any punishment...or is he automatically forgiven for whatever his sins may be? Maybe his treatment of the French books is his way to show how much he misses France??


North of Andorra said...

It's hard to punish him for his transgressions unless he's caught in the act. He takes the books while we are gone and goes out the dog-door. It seems to be his way of puishing us for leaving him alone. But,in fact, we are not sure that he is really the culprit. The evidence is only circumstantial and he won't confess.

Bill Minckler said...

Kill the dog.