One could do worse than be a meteorologist in Ireland. There’s no expectation you’ll be right, and if you are, it’s your luck and not your learning that gets the credit, not unreasonably. A moment ago, the skylight revealed nothing but storm gray, and there were raindrops big enough and fast enough to drum on the window glass, but now the clouds are whitish and wispy and only semi-opaque, the blue mixed into the palette. But wait, the wind is up again, swinging the power line, so who really knows about the rain.
I walked the campus of University College Cork this week. Some of the buildings, made of stone, have the feel of the ancient, but UGA’s Old College predates them all, I think. UCC, as it’s called here, opened in 1845. I walked through the main gate, flanked on the right by a branch of the River Lee, which was moving swiftly but serenely past me, a mallard pair flying low over the water. Some students were about, but the main areas were far from crowded, and I enjoyed a meandering stroll, free of the concerns that would have preoccupied me during my years on the UGA faculty.
Early yesterday morning as I walked beside the Pier Road in Kinsale, long lorries passed me every few minutes in one direction or the other. It turned out that they were hauling malting from a cargo ship — the Arklow Cape, moored at the Port of Kinsale — to a place nearby where the cargo would be weighed on public scales, then stored for distribution to area distilleries and breweries.
I talked to one of the fellows supervising the offloading, and he said that you might see twenty-or-so visits of such cargo ships in a year at the Port of Kinsale. I’ve seen a few of them already, and I’ve seen some other interesting ships moored at the port, including the Irish Naval Service patrol vessel LÉ Ciara (pictured below).