“One guy, seeing that I was hungry, insisted on buying me a huge lunch and when I thanked him for his kindness, he simply said, 'Pass it on.' I liked this selfless concept - repay me by rewarding someone else entirely with a generous dollop of goodwill.”
“I was beginning to understand how the Irish mentality worked. The more foolish, illogical or surreal one's actions were perceived t be (and mine surely fell into one of these categories), the wider the arms of hospitality were opened in salutation.”
“One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever is driving you. It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat and then simply to crash out until you reached your destination. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until Chris dropped me at the address of the lady who had offered me free B&B.
One of the more tiring aspect of accepting an offer of free accommodation is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever had offered it to you. It would be considered poor form to turn up, dumb your bags, crawl into your bedroom and order an early morning alarm call. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away to Marjorie, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until the tea was drunk, the cake was eaten and I finally plucked up the courage to mention just how exhausted I was. I apologised and said that I simply had to grab a couple of hours sleep, and Marjorie understandingly showed me to my room.”
“The behaviour of the English people I had run into was making it very difficult to nail down a theory that the reason my trip so far had been such a bizarre success, was that Irish people were crazy. One Englishman had spent a morning on the telephone trying to organise a helicopter to take me out to an island, when a boat was leaving only a few yards away, and here was another, making a two-hour round trip for no reason other than to lend a helping hand. Two of the more eccentric pieces of behaviour hadn't been performed by the Irish, but by my fellow countrymen. However, both Andy and Tony had embraced wholeheartedly a love of the Irish way of living life.”
“Running twenty-six miles is no fun.
I think it was possibly an American who came up with the adage 'if it ain't hurting, it ain't working'. It would be nice to think that shortly after he uttered those words someone smacked him in the mouth by way of demonstrating how well it was working for him.”
From Saiorse, a name of Irish origin,
Faces problems head on
Admired for its originality, dedicated to worthy causes
A kind and generous fridge
It always stands firm for its principles
It does not have to get its own way always
Others think it is an extremely clever fridge
From Matt Molloys Pub
May 20th 1997”
“How do you manage for money?’ I asked.
I was given two simultaneous replies of ‘We get by’ from Ian and ‘Don’t ask’ from Neil. I favoured Ian’s reply because it had less-sinister connotations. ‘Don’t ask’ left open the possibility that they raised funds by selling hitch-hikers into slavery. I changed the subject.”
“What followed was a great treat for me. This was Irish traditional music as I had hoped to see and hear it, spontaneous and from the heart, and not produced for the sake of the tourist industry. As I sat there with my pint in my hand, enjoying the jigs and the reels, I watched the joy in the player’s faces and in those around them who tapped their feet and applauded enthusiastically. Music the joybringer. No question of being paid, or any requirement to perform for a certain amount of time. Just play for as long as it makes you feel good. This was self expression, not performance. Someone would begin playing a tune and the fellow musicians would listen to it once through, hear how it went and join in when they felt comfortable, until, on its last run through, it was being played with gusto by the entire ensemble. This process provided each piece with the dynamic of a natural crescendo which could almost have been orchestrated.”
“Stella explained that when he had arrived, because of his English accent, she had assumed that he was me, and had asked where his fridge was. She didn't tell me what his reply was, and we can only hazard a guess, but I was impressed that he had been prepared to stay the night. It is surely a brave man who goes ahead and checks into an establishment where the first question is 'Where's your fridge?'. Especially if, as he had done, you had arrived by motorcycle.”
“Size isn't important', he quipped.
I have never adhered to this view. As far as I'm concerned, people who say size isn't important, aren't big enough to admit that they're wrong”
“There are two words I don't want to find myself uttering as an old man, and they are "If Only.”
“I was in a hurry, because packing is something which you always do at the last minute. Anyone who packs two days before departure should seek counseling.”
“Taking coffee in a tea-room always brings me a certain amount of extra pleasure in that I feel I'm beating the system. It's like having spaghetti in a pizza house, chicken in a steakhouse, or having a neck massage in a Bangkok massage parlor.”
“Heavy lifting is good for the soul but bad for the back, and tends to interfere with lolling about.”
“My gameplan is not to have a gameplan.”
“I was born into the wrong generation. How I would have loved to have been a dashing young man in the 1930s and 1940s when dance bands and orchestras played at dancehalls, and you could hold your partner close and whisper sweet nothings as you waltzed into her heart.”
“I'm against the death penalty. I believe that it is a mistake to show that killing people is wrong by killing people. However I'm not against the random killing of people who snore.”
“Terrific idea. Two days of advice on how to cope with married life from a body of people who have never been married, and don't indulge in any sexual activity. (Now don't scoff - it's true, they don't.)”
“I will tell you something about stories . . . They aren't just entertainment. Don't be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death.”
“The Stones and the Scriptures; The Scriptures and Archaeology; and The World of the First Christians”
“Man's desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy (conscience) within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.”
“Don't let death, Jacob reproves himself, be your final thought.”
Always Say Less Than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.”
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