Thursday, 19 November 2009

Irish Tour - day four

Breakfast at the Ivies and a damp, wet and miserable day outside. The weather made it an easy decision to call a taxi but we had planned to walk to the coach station. We’re eating a lot on this trip but the cooked breakfast is hard to resist.

Anyway, we jumped on another CityLink coach and pulled out of Galway en route to Cork. Cork via Limerick, as it happened, so the route was a little familiar from our earlier travels.

Yet again, we made use of the free WiFi but I also took part of the 3 hours and 20 minutes as a chance to finish my PowerPoint presentation for Cork. I tried to keep it simple and use the presentation as a slideshow introduction to the people I interviewed for My DDR T-Shirt. As the Cork classes had watched the screening sometime last week, it was just a reminder.

The journeys have been really useful. We’ve been able to do a bit of housekeeping and Kirst has been able to keep track of maps and locations. I’ve…erm…written this blog and read my book.

The coach dropped us off just outside University College Cork (UCC) and within a few moments, Kerstin met us with a smile and a handshake. I wonder how wide my generalisations can be about the friendly people I’ve met on this trip. Can I generalise that all Germans are nice (accepting the fact that Kerstin is Austrian)? Can I say that all German department staff are nice? Or can I say that all DAAD lektoren are nice? I suppose generalisations aren’t that helpful (generally speaking, of course) but I’m yet to meet an exception.

Anyway, Kerstin, Kirstie and I had soup for lunch in UCC’s staff room (another lovely campus, by the way). Kerstin showed us a rather strange statue of Queen Victoria that used to stand on top of the college. It was taken down some time ago and there was a debate about what to do with her. Destroy her? Place her somewhere else? It seems an odd decision/deferment but they decided to bury her and forgot all about it. In the 1980s, the statue was re-discovered and placed in a case in the staff room.

An interesting story, for sure, and an interesting talking point for the staff room. For me, stone cold Vicky could’ve stayed under a couple of tons of soil for a little longer.

Compared to some of the big lecture theatres we’ve been in, the Cork seminar room was fairly small. Still it soon filled up and a few latecomers even had to stand. I’m not kidding myself that I was the reason for this – I was talking in the slot for their usual lesson. Anyway, I made a start on the slideshow and tried my best to keep things informal, brief and interesting. I tried to give an introduction to the filmmaking process and fill out some back ground on the people I interviewed.

I expected another quiet response (I certainly didn’t expect another Galwway) but in fact, the Cork group were great. Again, they seemed to have thought about the subject and asked good questions. One lad asked questions about specific words I’d used in my voice over (hollow and coerced). As they’d seen the film last week, he’d obviously paid close attention and made notes. Rispeck to that lad.

The Q&A lasted the full hour and I thought it went really well. It’s still a great pleasure to engage with people on this subject.

After an agreement with Kerstin to meet later for dinner, Kirst and I were straight down the road and into Cork for a wander round. Kirst did her best to gather the interesting facts from the Lonely Planet but I think they may have been wasted on me. The Q&As coupled with the travelling here and there are fantastic fun but they can be taxing. I found myself struggling for energy and called Kerstin to bring forward our meal.

At 6pm we met with Kerstin and Daniella for Mexican food just off St Patrick’s Street. It was a lovely meal and a pleasant contrast to the larger gatherings we’d enjoyed of late. It felt a little more intimate with just four of us there and nicely relaxed. I think I may’ve struggled to keep up with a larger group.

We were back at the B&B by around 8pm after a walk back and a stop at the offy for a bottle of rosé. I took a look at the webstats for and found some greatly increased traffic from Ireland. It’s funny – the site is showing little spikes in the traffic graphs after each screening. When you dig a little deeper you can see that each spike comes from each town we’re visiting. It’s good to know that people are Googling things before and after screenings. It’s also interesting to see that you don’t stay in people’s minds for long.

I don’t really have clear memories after that. More down to fatigue than wine but my day was definitely done. Even so, we still had enough energy for another episode of 24 – you don’t need much for that.

1 comment:

Judith said...

I'm very glad you're enjoying your tour through Ireland. Must be pretty exciting to have so many different encounters. I'm not so sure though about the conclusion that you don't stay in peoples memories for long because they stop googling you. I'm still receiving quite a bit of good feedback on your screening here in Lancaster.