Ennis, Co. Clare, Republic of Ireland

It’s been over a week since I’ve been back in Ennis. A small city out on the west coast of Ireland, where I spend a year living before heading off to Japan. It’s great to be back here where traditional Irish tunes leak from every pub on the street. So, that is Ennis. A wonderful place to experience traditional Irish music, and I just missed the Fleadh Nua, a wee traditional irish music week, though not as big as the Ennis Traditional Music Festival which takes place at the end of October of each year. It’s wonderful to be back in a place where the music moves the people and much of the heart. People from all corners of the world convey to this location to get a taste of the ever so popular Clare tunes, and each time I return here, I’m welcomed back into the various sessions. Plenty of the local musicians recognize me, and shout a great “Paul, welcome back!” with open arms and ask if I’ve brought my fiddle along. Alas, this time around, I’ve left my fiddle collecting dust in my flat back in Japan.

Each time I return to Ennis, I promise myself that when I return to wherever I’m currently stationed that I’ll continue playing, so that when I return to Ennis, I’ll be a much more effective player amongst the sessions. So, as you now know, Ennis has it’s wonderful music sessions. And unfortunately, or fortunately depending on the people you ask, that’s all it offers. Well, according to my books. Everything else for me just seems to be either dressing or annoyances. And I won’t go into details of what’s what.

On one of the days Saša and I ventured off to Galway just to hang out and see the ocean side by Salthill. Here I am, just relaxing and playing with my new whistle. Ahhh, I won’t see scenes like this when I return to Japan. In Japan, I’m just not used to those clay japanese roof tiles, wooden buildings, wee alleyways and the lack of space. I’ll certainly miss the smell of peat burning, Something I’ll never smell in Japan. It’ll be a while again when I next return to Ireland. I can only imagine how much it’ll have changed from now. Also, I shall return to Japan, as a single man. Saša and I are finding that the time apart and distance from each other is a call for being good friends. But not exclusive, since we both currently have different goals in mind.