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Wednesday 23 May 2012: Munster Hop

I'm still in a quandary over cameras and am borrowing himself's canon powershot S90 which is very small, compact and handy. A quick nip around the garden and the foxgloves became today's blip. it's a toss up between this and the G12, so thanks for the advice and recommended websites.

I'm rushing as I'm shortly off to the Ladies' Book Club. We are discussing some short stories by an Irish writer who's name is unspellable and unpronounceable. Quite interesting but not hugely memorable. I shall be recommending Jeanette Winterson's 'Why be happy when you can be normal' which is a marvellous piece of writing based on her early traumatic years with her adoptive parents and then her search for her biological mother. Written without a trace of self-pity and with much warmth and generosity.Highly recommended.

Track 7: Munster Hop by Sharon Shannon. I've already chosen a couple of tracks that reflect my Englishness (Greensleeves, The Smiths) and the list would not be complete without something referencing my adoptive country, Ireland. We fell in love with Ireland the first time we came over in 1993 and returned at least once each year afterwards, always sighing ' wouldnt it be wonderful to live here'. Well in 2001 it seemed that we could do it if we wanted. We wanted and abandoned the sons in the family home and landed up a few hundred metres from the very first place we every stayed in. It was a good decision all round. This piece of music by Sharon Shannon seems to reflect all that's joyous and evocative about traditional Irish music. It was the only cassette we had one holiday and we played it loud and incessantly as we tootled around County Clare. We've seen her play many times and she's an engaging and brilliant musican. Our friend Klaus complains that she's too smiley but I think she's all the better for it. Munster by the way is a province in Ireland, the one we live in. So put your dancing shoes on and have a hop around.

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