It ain't like it was in Dublin, that's for sure. I went to a bar across the street from me called Malone's to feast on corned beef and cabbage and guzzle Guinness...and their corned beef was of the luncheon meat variety and, to make matters worse, was served lukewarm. I guess I should have sent it back, but it had taken me so long to get a table I just dug in. As for the Guinness, it's served in the usual American way - FAST. I got it on tap but it was cold and there was little head on it. I'm told there's a bar in South Buffalo, where the main Irish community is, called Curley's that pulls a Guinness the way it should be done. I guess I'll head down there to see what that's like, sometime.
I'm reading a book called "Mother Ireland" that seems more a memoir of the country than the person telling the tale and is quite engaging...if a bit difficult to follow at times and some of her dates are off. For instance, she has the potato blight that lead to the great famine starting in 1847 when it began in 1845...but since it's more of a rumination, I guess it's not that big a deal. What's interesting about it is the window into the mindset of the Irish as seen by an Irish woman who considers herself sophisticated. The layer of condescension is elegantly accepted by her, without even a thought.
Of course, it's given me clues into Brendan and his mother and other people in the story. I almost said characters, but that's a diminishing of their role in "A Place of Safety" and I don't want to do that. So I keep watch for anything that minimizes them in my own mind.
It'll be interesting to see if I come out of this with my own mind still intact.
Here's that picture of the Niagra River's ice.
Taken from the US side, three weeks ago. I wonder if it looks like that, now?