“It’s a long, long way
From Clare to here…”
So says the well-known Irish song by Ralph McTell. But actually, it’s not so very long nowadays. Ireland is criss-crossed with very modern motorways and the journey we made last week from Amsterdam to Dublin Airport to Co Clare only took a few hours. Yet in other ways it really was a long, long way from here to Clare: we left behind lots of work and found ourselves completely free to get up late, walk in the wind and rain, eat lots, sit beside the fire, read, watch TV, do crosswords, wander around the town… and abandon all sense of routine or responsibility. For a whole week it was wonderful. This was a bit of a nostalgia trip – we stayed in the same hotel as we did thirty years ago and visited some of the same tourist spots like the amazing Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and Lough Derg. At the end of our week away we had another nostalgic experience: David was invited to speak at the thirtieth anniversary of Dundalk Baptist Church because we had been living and working in the neighbouring church in Newry all those years ago. It was a lovely chance to meet up with old friends from those days as well as seeing many new faces. Then it was all over and we came home to Nieuw Vennep. Suddenly we felt ready to return to the work, the routines and the responsibilities we had so eagerly abandoned just a week before. Isn’t it amazing how a restful week away can give us new energy (even when we have passed the 60-year marker)? Let’s hear it for holidays!
Here’s the Fureys’ version of a Long, long way from Clare to here…