Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pete McCarthy - McCarthy's Bar

During snatched moments this weekend I have read Pete McCarthy's book, McCarthy's Bar, a travel book around Ireland as Pete visits the home of his family and then wonders round the island visiting places with McCarthy's bars in them.

The eighth rule of travel apparently states "Never pass a bar that has your name on it".

I doubt very much if there is a pub out there called Baldock, but to be sure there is a Post Office, probably a petrol station and almost certainly a junior school, in a certain market town in Hertfordshire that I should never pass.

As a very passionate Eirophile I devoured this book. Interestingly in this book Pete went to lots of places I missed out and missed out on lots of places I have visited, so if I add his experiences to mine I am slowly getting the full picture.

He spent a lot of time in West Cork, as I did two years ago, but in a different bit of West Cork and didnt go to Baltimore or on the Ferry to Nowhere, like I did, whereas he was in Drimoleague where his grandparents lived and I dont even remember passing through it.

I worship West Clare, Kilkee, Kilrush, Doolin and the cliffs of Moher, he didnt stop at any of them but went all the way up to Westport, Mayo to meet mad Americans who thought it had something to do with Tuna dressings (!!)

A fab book, published in 2000. By a remarkable coincidence I picked it off Claire's shelf in her new home in Tuebrook on Saturday lunchtime, read the first two chapters and then left it behind to drive to Glossop. Yesterday evening I found it on Suzanne's shelf and picked up where I had left off at a quiet moment this morning before the house was stirring.

It's been seven years, maybe you have already read it, but if not, and if like me you are in love with Eire, get it out of the library or buy it in Oxfam (or ask me if you can borrow Claire's copy) straight away.


Ian Jackson said...

I really must visit Ireland more often - only ever been once (to Cork when it was Capital of Culture naturally).
Pete McCarthy was a very funny guy, saw him on TV a lot during the 80s, he's from the NW and used to perform with Roger McGough.

Sadly died from cancer when he was only 52, great shame.

Louise Baldock said...

Am now officially depressed.

I only met the man on Saturday/Sunday and really enjoyed him. Now it turns out he is dead.

Bloody hell.

I was going to write to him too


Louise Baldock said...

Funnily enough Ian, I too went to Cork for the city of culture year. I have the badge upstairs.

I was disappointed with their cultural efforts although we had a great holiday despite them

Hope we can do a better non-job than that