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IRISH YEAST DUBThe last days in Galway were a hectic rush to get the workshop pieces finished, and in typical film biz manner, it went on until the very last minute before the screening on Sunday afternoon, following a first screening for Marcella of her first feature, Landing in the Morning Calm, which did nicely – lost 2 of an audience of 27, got a respectful applause at the end; then my Mr Right, began and after five minutes stopped, a big digital dropout followed by no sound.  I’d made the tape just before we’d left and hadn’t checked it.  We jumped then to showing the workshop pieces as I ran to our temporary abode to find a replacement.  Too late, we skipped it, and we went with the people of the workshop for a beer and dinner.

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Workshop came out quite well, with some nice pieces made, in some cases by pure 5 days earlier novices.  Experimental, narrative, doc, their choices.  It was rather a bit more work than we’d signed up for (10 am to 1 pm days that stretched instead to 3 or 5 pm instead), but that’s the usual for me.  For no pay…   Not sure why I still do this, but it seems to happen regularly.

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We left Galway in a rental car – internet cheap deal morphed into costly one when I went to pick up the car, this and that charge mystically tacked on, and I fell for an insurance I’d usually skip.  130 Euro turned to 300.  We drove north, through extravagantly beautiful countryside – Galway, Mayo, Donegal – with great desolate valleys with gray skies pressing overhead; ocean views occluded with rain, sheep dimpled hillsides, and here and there the residue of the Irish building bubble – overblown second homes, out of scale to the landscape, ballooning in clusters across the landscape, For Sale signs weathered as the would-be buyers now scramble simply to weather the downturn: in Galway the local paper announced a 300% rise in business closures in the last months as the “recession” begins to take hold.  Empty houses are just one symptom.   We’ve been staying in B&B’s, 25-30 Euro a night, per person.  A beer runs 4 Euro.  All for me a bit pricey, though I guess most people have acclimated themselves to these prices.   Though I wonder as the easy money of the last decade evaporates just when the deflation will come to force prices down, or as seems to be the case, the closure of the pubs and restaurants and other “optional” pleasures.  No job, no beer. That’s life.  Should we come back in another year or two (possible), I suspect we’ll find a very different social landscape.  Just like in the US….

north most irelandcrp

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