Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Another day, another train. The early one. From New York to Washington. Trains are a great way to travel. Especially here where security at the airports is so intrusive and invasive. Travelling by train is less hassle. And you get to see the countryside.

Also occasionally a train guard sounding and looking like a character out of a Mark Twain novel will pop up to tell this blog and everyone else that ‘dis train is approaching Philadelpia. Have yo tickets ready for inspection. And we kindly, courteously and professionally ask yo all to make space for your fellow passengers. And if yo is leaving de train do so on de platform side. And mind de step.’ And so it goes in a singsong melody and an equally musical shoo shoo shoo from stop to stop.

The ticket inspector on the train down from Boston thanked me for coming. He thanked everyone else as well but that didn’t stop me from feeling that I was really doing him a favour. This morning the rain has disappeared. We are proceeding through rolling countryside. The sun is doing its best to make up for the wetness of recent days. There is a bright golden haze on the meadow. And the corn is as high as an elephants eye. Your man is whistling ‘oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day’. I’m starving. Oh for a cup of Culturlann coffee.

Today we have another busy schedule. A Friends of Sinn Féin fundraiser. A meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another with Senator Chris Dodd, interviews. And maybe the chance of a walk. Yesterday I walked for an hour between engagements.

Despite the recession there were Irish people everywhere taking their ease and enjoying the build up to Saint Patricks Day. Washington will be no different except in scale. I like Saint Patrick’s Day. Preferably at home but no matter. It is a nice idea to have a national, or international, day. Nothing too stage managed. Just a popular expression of identity and an excuse for a celebration and for drowning the shamrock. My Uncle Paddy was a great man for that. And who could blame him? He was a great Irishman.

If me and your man survive it all, and I have no doubt that we will, I’ll keep you posted. Probably as we make the return train journey. In the meantime onwards and upwards.

I tink Naomh Gall is going to win the Club Championship tomorrow. And I certainly hope they do. Naomh Gall Abú

‘Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling. Everythings going my wa..ay. oh what a beautiful day’!


Micheal said...

Sounds like your having a great time Gerry. It is quite magical in the states, when you're on a trip.

I prefer travelling on train's as well. It's the best way to travel.
Why is everyone in such a hurry all the time. I think it's just a con. "The Man" in the sub-conscious crackin' the whip all the time. And, as fast as they run, they'll still have to do it all again tommorow.

I hope Sinn Fein will see the future benefits of a leisurly integrated transport system. No need for these high speed rail links and all that money making palava. Local jobs where people don't have to commute, and work and travel every hour.

Well, I'm delighted to hear you're enjoying yourself Gerry. It's the next best thing to me being there myself. Enjoy washington, and say hello to Hillary and Bill for me, and all our other friends there too.

Mr Reality said...

The last paragraph of the post gives me the impression that you are on a bit of a high, and who can blame you, Gerry. To all the Sinn Fein team have a great Saint Patrick's Day.

Linda Coleman said...

Have a great time at the dinner tonight!

Ed. Feighan said...

Hi Gerry, Hope your not riding the quiet train, after all that rain you know how Rita gets.And thats a long ride for her not to smoke. Ed F.