Ibiza History Culture

Established 1982
Ibiza Artists Anthropology Bibliomania Ecology History Features


Sober Life
by Sinclair Newton



Sober Life

I'm off to Ireland for a few days next week and I've been thinking back to the good old days when I could drink a gallon of Guinness.

I remember this bar just below Galway where they have their own oyster bed

You just get off a plane and drive for four hours through mind-numbing green countryside, stopping off for a quick Paddy's and Red in Athlone along the way. I'll explain that in a minute.

First I must tell you that Athlone is right in the middle of Ireland and all the English (and - for all I know - Ibicencan) tourists look on a map and say to themselves that'll be a good place to stop. So they've seen them all, the English "hoorigans" as the Japanese call us and the Germans who love going there because no-one hates them. That's because no-one knows anything about them and their towels.

I once took the American lap dancer and her sister, having promised them they could kiss the Blarney Stone though for goodness's sake I think they must have already licked the American version clean out.

We pulled into this parking space right by a bar and lurched in and I made the mistake of speaking first. The place went quiet when they heard an English accent and so I let the girls do the talking. The Nevada drawl did the trick and that was when I found out that the Irish have red lemonade. It looks kinda cute in the glass don't it

Anyway we motored on to Ballyvaughan, somewhere in County Clare, until we were running out of petrol. It was getting dark. In fact, the more I tell it, it WAS dark.

And then, at the side of the road, I saw two petrol pumps. They were just how you might imagine petrol pumps should be although the garage was closed for the night. No matter. I stopped anyway and there was a light coming from the office at the back.

The man who answered my knock was everything you'd expect in deepest Ireland in the dark, but he looked at me puzzled when I asked if he would open up and slip a few gallons my way. Then he came out onto the forecourt and scratched his head. "Bejasus," he said, and went off to fetch his friend. "Would you look at that!" he kept saying.

Sure enough, the petrol pumps were there. They had been delivered an hour earlier and were still in their wrappings. I doubt if, like me, you have ever seen petrol pumps still in their wrappings. It was to be a petrol station, but connected they were not.

Ireland is a bit like that, all petrol pumps and no action.

I've just booked a car and I see the email has been returned marked "not known at this address."

I'll let you know how I get on, with or without the petrol. Or the Guinness.

Sinclair Newton