8 April 2006


To be sure, to be sure twas a foine wedding begorrah - bejabbers - out there on the western edge of Europe - just a few miles inland from where the Atlantic crashes on the giant Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Flute and whistle playing Katie, her of the foine voice, my beloved niece was finally tying the ould knot with Seamus the electrician from the Aran Islands.
It was to be a civil ceremony. Unfortunately, there's no registry office in Clare so we had to drive curvaceous miles over the wild limestone landscape of The Burren to reach Clarinbridge in County Galway. There the official ceremony was held in The Clarinbridge Court Hotel. The weather was kind as clouds scudded in over Galway Bay, leaving vast pools of bright April sunshine in between, making the emerald green more verdant and the turlough lakes more silvery. As part of the ceremony, I had to read an Indian blessing selected by Katie - a little shakily - having only been handed it ten minutes beforehand - but folks were complimentary. It was all about how, in marriage, we have to hang on to the sunshine that sometimes hides behind the clouds.
After the ceremony, there were a few drinks in the bar - you can see the scene below - my brother Paul on the fiddle and Katie on the whistle - then back over The Burren to Vaughans' Pub in Kilfenora. The wedding breakfast was for around two hundred. We guzzled Guinness and wine and danced like dervishes. The best man, Noel, who now lives in Arizona was as drunk as a skunk, cavorting and tumbling and communicating in a language that only Aran islanders with alcohol problems could possibly understand. It was a long day and we finally hit the sack after two a.m..
I do hope Katie will be happy with Seamus. She deserves some happiness. It was a great send off, a wedding to remember with fond smiles in the years ahead. I wrote something like this in the wedding book that was passed from table to table:-
"Seamus and Katie went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat..." A wedding is like the launching of a ship. I hope your voyage is long and happy, with few storms to ride and many lovely ports to visit. God speed!"
Shirley with our son Ian, Kilfenora April 7th 2006


  1. A civil ceremony in Ireland? How did that go down? Did it not set the tongues wagging?

  2. Wonderful! Sounds like a great time was had by all!

    Love the pictures.

  3. Wossername - I hear what you're saying but Ireland is loosening up now and civil weddings are on the rise. The Catholic church's grip is not as ferrous as it once was and church attendance, though still strong, is certainly in demise.
    By George - It was a great wedding - a celebration, a coming together of two families, a putting aside of old gripes and grumbles, a good reason for downing a few and declaring - "Hey we're alive!", a marking point in time when other days are forgotten.

  4. Anonymous10:06 pm

    Sounds like a lovely wedding full of family, friends, and good wishes. May that spirit carry forward for Katie and Seamus!

  5. You're quite lucky, Mr Pudding. I always get banned from weddings.

  6. It sounds wonderful. I can only hope mine will be just as good a time in October.

    Many Congrats to your niece and her new husband.

  7. You look remarkably like Stephen Fry.

  8. It sounds absolutely marvelous. I always wished there was alcohol at my wedding reception - but there wasn't, because neither my husband nor I were of age - just so people could loosen up a bit and be happy-go-lucky like that.

    Your wife doesn't look much older than your son, my dear. How lucky are you to have such a lovely spouse as Shirley!

  9. Hey where u at?

    We miss you!

  10. DIRK - Stephen Fry? Don't you mean Brad Pitt? Beside I've heard you look like Rolf Harris!
    FRIDAY - Thanks for your kind words about Shirley. Staying young in your head certainly delays the ageing process. Forget all those creams and potions and cosmetic surgery, it's how you are inside.
    BY GEORGE - I didn't post because we visited Jersey for three nights. Hope you're fine.

  11. Anonymous9:53 am

    On the theme of lookalikes, doesn't your son look like Roman Abramovich on that photo?!


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