I'm presently in Northern Ireland visiting family, which is wonderful, but I'd forgotten just how many different kinds of rain there is on this island. There's driving rain, gentle rain, blinding rain, tepid rain....on and on it goes and people know by the color of the clouds exactly what kind of shower they're going to get. I suppose the many types and quantity is the price to pay for the enormous variety of colors of grass there is that ranges from emerald to kelly-green. And it's also responsible for the fantastic vibrancy of the flowers adorning the street corners of every town and village throughout the province. Every town also has huge arrangements by their entrances--some arranged in the ancient crests of the town--and the colors of the petals is so intense the flowers actually appear as if made of plastic. An artist's paradise.
Last week we nipped up to the ancient city of Derry (Londonderry to some)to meet our friends from New Orleans who're on a trip of Ireland that began in Belfast. They're traveling with their friends Jan and Bob Carr--who were formally the 'Richard and Judy' of New Orleans, later moved into radio and had me on as a guest on their show just before Hurricane Katrina struck and their radio station has not returned to the air waves--and all were stunned by the beauty, cuisine and wealth of Northern Ireland.