This blog is high in the night sky on a plane bound from Pittsburgh to New York. Your man and me left Ireland on Tuesday on a long haul that had us travelling for over twenty two hours before we arrived at our first stop in the tidy town of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Bed thankfully beckoned and we collapsed, separately - though that’s none of your business - into jetlagged but much needed slumber.
The next morning breakfast or what passed for breakfast in our accommodation, put your man in thoroughly bad form.
‘There’s no porridge’ he declared.
‘They call it oatmeal here’ I reminded him.
‘Well there’s none of that either’ he retorted.
And he was right. Poor coffee in paper cartons. Multi coloured cereals, Cheerios, in polystyrene bowls. Mixed fruit. Plastic knives, forks and spoons. A machine for making waffles.
‘Remind me not to come here again’ your man grumped.
‘Maith go leor’ I said as I munched my way through the plastic fodder and hoped that he would get into better form.
The gig at Allegheny College was a very good affair. A capacity crowd, a series of interviews and an informed discussion lightened your man’s cranky mood. And the good weather helped. Bright autumnal sunshine and acres upon acres of tall trees resplendent in their russet, orange, yellow and gold foliage surrounded and dotted the campus.
Allegheny county has passed a United Ireland motion. So has its neighbours the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Aside from Ireland the politics here are all about this weeks election results. The Democrats took a pounding. They lost the Congress but kept the Senate. But all the talk around here is about the negativity and coarseness of the campaign.
From home came news of Senator Pearse Doherty’s victory at the High Court in Dublin and scéal that the Government would have little choice but to move the writ for the by-election that they have avoided for over eighteen months.
‘That means we get to Donegal’ your man beamed at me.
‘To work’ I said.
Tomorrow night our big event is in the Úll Mor.
Alec Maskey will be there and Raymond McCartney. As well as Martina Anderson. They will speak on their Policing and Justice portfolios. Raymond is the Vice Chair of the Assembly Justice committee and Alec and Martina are Sinn Féin representatives on the Policing Board. The three of them are also former political prisoners. Raymond served nineteen years, Alec four and a bit and Martina did thirteen years in the worst possible penal institutions. In Britain itself. With all the racism, bad practice and down right bad mindedness and brutality of that system. At least in Ireland prisoners had lots of company. Prison life in Britain was a lonely grind for Irish politicos. And for their families.
But they came through it all. In many ways their election as public representatives and their work on these big issues of Policing and Justice shows how far we have all come. Of course we have still a long way to go but if someone ever laments the distance still to be travelled point them at the distance travelled those far. And take succor from that. We will complete our journey. Our people will be free, And united.
But for now as the New York skyline open below us we begin our descent. Here for a day. On Friday the flight home. It will be slán New York. Good Morning Ireland! Home for the mother and father of all election campaigns in Donegal South West.
This blog is looking forward to that. So, I am pleased to note, is your man. He is now in good form again.
And that my friends is a very important place for him to be. Especially for me.