Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Changing Views

This post should have been called “Changing the post because it’s already the 27th of December and I still haven’t replaced my Christmas-themed blog yet” but that was too long and, as luck would have it, the topic I pulled out of the “Blog Topics to Write About When You Can’t Think of Anything Else” jar happened to be the changes that have taken place in Ireland since my life-altering trip there ten years ago.
This is relevant because I needed to do something to get The Santa out of the first slot…, I mean, because I just recently completed another rewrite of Postcards From Ireland—the hilarious, must-read chronicle of a portentous trip to Ireland (that’s what I’m expecting my publisher to call it, anyway)—and as part of the writing, I spent a lot of time going over the photos I took on the trip as well as traveling to some of the locations via Google Maps ™ ©
I wasn’t able to travel to a lot of the location I had visited during that trip because, as you’ll see when you read the book (you are planning to buy the book, aren’t you?) I was lost—both physically and metaphorically—much of the time. However, I did manage to locate the Killarney Court Hotel and find my way into Killarney from there.

The Killarney Court Hotel
Killarney’s town center wasn’t drastically changed, and O’Connor’s pub was still where I remembered it to be, but the outskirts of Killarney have changed dramatically, and not for the better.
This is the view I had from my hotel window back in August 2001:

View in 2001
This is the same view (from the road) now:

View in 2011
I suppose I shouldn’t be disappointed, or surprised; progress happens whether we like it or not (mostly not) but to cover up that stunning view with a gas station and mini-mart is simply criminal. I suppose they could justify it by observing that stunning views are ten-a-penny in Ireland, but if you don’t start looking after them, you’ll soon find them all concreted over and sprouting Tesco Supermarkets, McDonald’s franchises and betting shops.

And that would be shame.

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