Saturday, September 20, 2008

What I saw on my vacation

(At right, Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Built by John de Courcy, c. 1178-1190/95; additional construction thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth, nineteenth centuries.)

(At left, Joymount Arms pub, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Operated by sister of noted crime writer Adrian McKinty. Guinness ordered c. 12:35; lunch finished c. 13:08.)

And a blush of thanks to the excellent Arlene Hunt, who referred to me on her blog as "the terrifically bearded Peter Rozovsky." Ms. Hunt, you are a credit to your profession and your country.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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37 Comments:

Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter don't you feel guilty you take a holiday and the entire financial structure of the USA[and the world] collapses while you are away.
How many additional Guinness [or should the plural be Guinnesses] did you have?

September 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrifically bearded? Now I'm gonna picture you as a bespectacled Yeti.

Bye
Marco

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Uriah, if only I'd stayed home and made just one extra mortgage payment. I might have prevented all this.

I had just one Guinness with lunch and thus avoided the problem of determining the plural of Guinness. I'm not a beer drinker, though, and my main Irish tipple was Bulmer's cider.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Marco, I presume Arlene Hunt must have referred to the quality and not the the copiousness of the beard in question. In fact, said beard is far more Gerry Adams than Karl Marx or Luke Kelly.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

*smiling* Just visited Luke Kelly's video. Excellent! Ach, Peter, there are castles and beautiful pubs everywhere in Ireland or Scotland. Really, my hunger grows to revisit upon each return to your blog. Btw, Peter, wanted to thank you for your comment on Whose Role... The winners were Marty Feldman, Sean Connery, Kate Winslet, and Uma Thurman. Hope you enjoy
'GODIVAS.' Buona giornata!

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mille grazie!

Yep, Luke Kelly was something else, and I can see why Irish musicians and pub keepers revere his memory.

I've never been to Scotland, and I don't know what sort of music is to be had in pubs there. Musical overlap between Scotland and Ireland would make sense. Scotland, after all, is easily visible from the north Antrim coast in Northern Ireland, and Luke Kelly, among other muscians, does a fine job with "Peggy Gordon," likely a Scottish song.

The linguistic overlap is such that I heard lots of ayes in the North, but not so great that I heard any achs.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Peter, the "achs" must have been
inherited by the teutonic conquests. Ach is a prevalent German word. Peter, while I lived in Edinburgh, many described themselves as "cousins" to the Irish.
Am getting a feeling Kate is the only actress who can play anything in your opinion. Mine is Cate Blanchett. If she could play the part of Bob Dylan as well as she did, she can do anything!

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know; I'm not sure the Teutons ever made it that far north. In any case, I don't know whether ach is characteristic of highland scottish speech or lowland or what. Highland, I suspect, since ach is such a staple of verbal caricatures of Scottish people.

I think I've seen Kate Winslet in just one movie, but I've had a soft spot for her since then because she was good and because I have read that she may have lost acting jobs because she refuses to starve herself skinny. Good for her, I say.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Thanks for the PR for my sister! The Joymounr Arms has won Carrick pub of the year a couple of times now. How many pubs are in the competition I hear you ask. Well in a town of 18000 people there are 32 licensed premises. I know this because one Saturday a few years ago, I had a half pint in all of them, including the Rangers Club, The Pigeon Fanciers Club and the Royal and Ancient Order of Buffaloes.

You didnt mention how long the Guinness took to arrive. If it was less than four minutes you should have sent it back. Sometimes when my nieces are serving they feel that the customer should be given their pint a little too promptly but the black stuff needs to be treated like you're rekindling a relationship with an old girlfriend - slowness is the key.

slainte

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A half-pint in each of 32 establishments makes 16 pints, which still puts you seven behind a school pal of Declan Burke's at a long-ago drinking contest, if Declan is to be believed, and why should he not be? The Pigeon Fanciers Club, you say? Are you sure you didn't drink yourself into a P.G. Wodehouse story?

I don't remember how long the beer took, but it was a few minutes, fewer than ten, but probably not so fast as to endanger the delicate balance so neccessary to a warm and loving relationship between a man and his Guinness.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Glad to hear about it the Guinness. Could have been the beginnings of a family feud if I'd passed on a complaint.

The Carrick Pigeon Racing Club is all too real. We had to be guest signed in and they only did lager but at 50 pence a pint who's complaining.

Let me tell you something else, it took courage to ask for HALF a pint at the Rangers Club and the Railway Tavern, but we knew that if we didnt stick to our limit a trip to the hospital would have been in order.

a...

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, if the Pigeon Fanciers Club ever opens a country pub in England, they could call it the Bird and Beer, or maybe the Squab and Stout.

Why were you visiting all 32 establishments in one day? Was it a charity thing? A puke-a-thon? Or was it just what I believe your new home country refers to as a piss-up? And why is leisurely service so desirable when it comes to Guinness?

September 20, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

It was more than a piss up. Some people hike to the South Pole, others bicycle from Cairo to the Cape, for me and a couple of pals the quest had always been to drink at every licensed premises in Carrick on a single calendar day including the scary paramilitary pubs we'd always been too afraid to enter. Two of us lasted till then and its my belief that our names will be writ in the pantheon.

Guinness needs to settle at the the half pour and the four fifths pour, otherwise it'll be spoiled. Also no shamrock on the head.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You, Willie Sutton and George Herbert Leigh Mallory. I understand now.

Thanks for that lesson on proper pouring. I am pleased to report that I never saw shamrocks or any other Irish symbols on the head of any of my pints, just that thick 'n' creamy froth.

September 20, 2008  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

Adrian, to watch Rangers games live in Toronto people have to be at the club at 8:00 am - a neighbour took me to a game a couple years ago and I didn't want to drink beer that early Sunday morning so they gave me an Irn Bru. I drank it before I even realized they were making fun of me.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

irn bru, ye gods, McFetridge you'll never have to test your courage again...

Earlier in the year I went to the Fado Brew Pub opposite Coors Field to watch the Ireland-England match at about 7 in the AM. Full Irish breakfast, Irish coffee and a pint of G is not a good way to start your Saturday.

Peter,

Better than Mallory, we made it back alive, even after someone in the Rangers Club asked my friend George if he was staring at his girlfriend.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have just given myself a quick introduction to Irn-Bru, which I didn't realize was a phonetic spelling of Iron Brew until I looked it up. I thought at first it was some Gaelic slogan, possibly what the high kings used to drink in the Brú na Bóinne.

My favorite tidbit about Irn-Bru:

"Irn-Bru's advertising slogans used to be `Scotland's other National Drink', referring to whisky, and `Bru'd in Scotland from girders'."

I've forced hot, greasy food and alcohol down my gullet a time or two when up early to watch games. In a future post, I may hold forth on the virtues of the full Irish breakfast, though without the alcohol.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

What did George reply?

September 21, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

IB is a vile concotion, best avoided at all costs. Still on soft drinks, I wished I told you about brown lemonade and white lemonade in Belfast. I've never understood the difference myself but apparently there is. Ger might know.

George replied "sorry" and we lived.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Your mum could have served me brown lemonade and white lemonade along with tea and shortbread.

I read that one manufacturer labels brown lemonade "Witches' Brew" around Halloween. I forgot to try red lemonade in the South, too.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Some people hike to the South Pole, others bicycle from Cairo to the Cape ... "

Adrian, I once ran on the field during a major-league baseball game. Does that count?

September 21, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

yes it does. especially if the camera had to cut away like they annoyingly do.

nyy eliminated today and last game at the stadium...o tempore! o mores!

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yeah, and the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays are in. I wonder if anyone bet on that outcome before the season started. And it appears that Joe Torre will be going to the playoffs, which can't make the season any easier for Yankees fans. Could this be the mid-'60s and early '70s all over again?

I don't know if the cameras had to cut away back when my friend Jeff and I had our adventure. It happened quite some time ago.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

I think your story needs a post rather than a comment, it sounds good.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It already is a post, or at least part of one.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Good stuff. And you kept your kit on which I appreciate. Alas you may be right though, did you ever read Cyril Connolly's Enemies of Promise in which he posits the theory that children who attend Eton and Oxford are on such a high from the giddy experiences of those times that their subsequent life tends to anti climax. I think agree with you that after your Expos invasion nothing is ever going to quite cut the mustard after that.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And you kept your kit on which I appreciate.

Er, I haven't quite mentioned every obnoxious thing I did as a youth.

September 21, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Over at the Dodgers blog I frequent we've been calling the Rays the 150:1s, those being the odds at the start of the season against their winning the division ahead of the Sawx and Yanks.

September 22, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It would be nice to see that team capture the imagination of American sports fans, and I'm sure the Rays would be pleased if more people started coming to their games.

In retrospect, I wonder if the baseball world should really have been surprised by the Yankees' decline. Outside of that good group of young pitchers, they've been an old, fading team, but they have been good for so long that few people seemed willing to notice this, at least among their fans in Australia.

September 22, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Oddly, the team I've seen the most of this year, other than the Dodgers, is the Phillies. That's because Shane Victorino is from Maui, and our local TV sports guys are hopeless homers. There are currently about five guys from Hawai'i in The Show, and we see their team's highlights instead of any other team's.

I'm such a hopelessly hardcore Dodgers fan that any Yankees failure brings joy to my heart. I didn't even become a Dodgers fan until 1959, but all those losses to the Yankees in the 1940s and 1950s left their mark anyway.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

If the Dodgers win the World Series this season, you can tell any Yankees fans you know to "Wait til next year."

I remember that when I first became a baseball fan, writers and announcers would always note that Mike Lum was the first Hawaiian in the major leagues.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Next year, Mr. R. you'll see.

SP:Sabathia, Wang, Chamberlain, Mussina, Hughes/Aceves

Long Relief: Coke, Kennedy, Bruney

Closer: Rivera

The NYY couldnt win during a Bush administration, but next year

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think Carl Pavano could be the key to their chances.

I will say this about the Yankees' decline: It's not as if they turned into the Pirates or the K.C. Royals overnight. Their record is still pretty good. It's just that they have the bad luck to play in the same division as the Tampa Bay Rays.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Yankees minus Joe Torre need I say more.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The Yankees' rise and fall correlates neatly with Joe Torre's arrival and departure, doesn't it? That being said, Torre's previous career as a manager consisted of three largely failed stints distinguished by half a good season when he ran the Braves, so his manaerial career has to have been one of the more interesting in the history of baseball.

May I add what a pleasure it is to be talking baseball with an Englishman and with an Irishman living in Australia.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Whats this about the NYY decline? They're still going to have the fourth or fifth best record in the AL. And seriously with young pitching and Bush gone, you'll see. I'm rooting for the Cubs this year. every 08 baby.

September 23, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, that's what I mean. The Yankees' decline is a decline only by the standards they set from 1996 through 2000 (and by George and Hank Steinbrenner's standards).

September 24, 2008  

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