QUICK NOTE - Although the trip didn’t start properly until I made the first real move towards Beijing on the 10th July, I wanted to get the ball rolling with some quick notations I made after arriving in Dublin. I deliberately made the notes without punctuation or grammatical correctness to sum up the instant thoughts I had as I experienced them.
I leave it to the viewer to decipher where the breaks are meant to come to make sense of it all…..How very Joycean of me! Don’t worry - the rest of the journey will be more viewer friendly.
Day 1 - walking through dublin streets rucksack weakening back price of food crazy on the bus back to belfast pass street corner backstreets of dublin 2 boys mock fighting to the encouragement of 3 old men in worn clothes sad looks of days gone by and a youth misspent or not spent at all but a high price paid sun shining with dina washington playing and singing beggars on the streets big issues tramp playing on a toy guitar and no chords just strumming tunelessly and making more money than me belfast looms Day 2 - belfast sun shine short skirts and fake tans soft top cars and designer gear wheres all the money coming from catch up with the family exchange money parades and trouble as usual flags on the streets proclaiming sides paisleys in the news again wedding present commissions getting out of the city for the night no trouble in the news again romanians targeted in belfast whole families leave the country see jim and have lunch chasing money tomorrow dollars for russia Day 3 - into belfast mother to hospital the falls road murals from both sides sell paintings in city collect cheque from county meath riots in belfast parades etc eating far too much wine in apartment bar in central belfast over looking city hall paintings on buses glamorous tomorrow dublin chasing money again Day 4 - notes from a train journey 8am double espresso to wake up on my way to dublin on the early train to chase money cold wet and heavy drizzle ushers in the new irish summer morning a soft day as we would say the familiar back streets and garden views as I leave the city yet again the air hangs heavy as if suspended in the globules of raindrops only the train contact seems to agitate them into the action of release passing hilden brewery the smell of early morning hops assails the nose as the next batch of real ale is laid down the green countryside takes over soon after as we push clockwork like towards the borderless line between countries and cultures 61 window empty flashing level crossings are the only witnesses to our arrival at each step of the way then lurgan people dressed in winter clothes drab and black against the sky the strong green of the countryside the only strike of colour in this otherwise drab grey world of blacks and lesser shades numbers I notice that there are countless numbers along the trackside I will make a note of them and see what order man tries to bring to nature warehouse 14 trackside ROCS 20 station platform 61W time 0830 temp +16 car no 3 train no 3309 signal PD48 speed limit 70 no of cows in a field 43 a big field no of fields with cows 27 a lot of fields a lot of cows getting bored scarva flashes past canada 498 newspaper of man opposite trackside XD293 fairy ring dead tree in middle of a field POYNTZPASS fantastic old church tall and narrow looks like there are only six pews inside reminds me of my paintings tall thin finger reaching into the sky I wonder where it was flags and emblems showing the usual demarcation zones NEWRY like trains they cut through the countryside up on high over valleys and through mountains workers out on smoke breaks a friend of my daughters actually took up smoking to get extra breaks at work bypassing traffic jams in newry at a gentle speed 21 lambs in a field with their mothers that’s 84 legs of lamb for icelands special boil in the bag dinners colours on the flags 3 different colours all sides equal 1 punched ticket just over the border CATCH POINTS DUNDALK full speed no one on the platform 52¼ heavy rain streaks across the window parallel to the motorway a red flatback lorry kicks up a large cloud of spray on the cars behind a splash of blue sky at last gone again in minutes another church spire reaching towards the unobtainable lines in fields of bright yellow rapeseed wild rhubarb on the embankment 33¾ the age my mother was when I was small for 10 years she never aged CATCHPOINTS again a bucket impaled on the fence peoples bedrooms and back gardens again tidal waters at laytown sunshine on the sea and over the beach approaching skerries martello tower reminds me of buck mulligan in ulysses stork in the water at donabate while a helicopter flies overhead man flies while bird dreams of flight role reversal trendy malahide dublin life in boxes again Day 5 - no money forthcoming thousands owed and recovery doubtful in the near future damage limitation time new gallery called for owner avoiding me how strange life is flying from spain to ireland and then leaving for china mongolia and russia the life of an international artist last night bohemian bar glass of wine 7 or 8 euros cant afford to live here now in shelburne hotel for glass of wine €8 barman first class super attentive better quality than other one re the gallery 20 paintings counted in two galleries take paintings in lieu of money last resort a changing picture of sunshine today in dublin turned into a watercolour with the frequent heavy showers wee gracie and janet off shopping for a while waiting for phone call of total paintings in stock paintings taken away sold 4 in galway one for 5G