WanderingDan’s Weblog

one man’s castle…
July 21, 2013, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I close the swinging car gate behind me quickly and have a peek in the windows of this sign-posted farmhouse for sale. Yep, vacant! Then I turn around to see how I may enter my hopeful dwelling for the evening: a moderately dilapidated sort-of-treehouse next to the empty home. It’s almost 9:30 on a Saturday evening…I’m sure I’ll be gone before anyone may happen to check the house out tomorrow. But being Sunday I’d be surprised if it gets shown at all.


The stairs, well worn 2×6’s creak and bow under my weight, but nonetheless hold. Entering, I question if the plywood floor has enough life left to house one more guest. It’s about the size of my cabin on ship, maybe 5 feet by 8 feet, save this domicile has a sixty year old tree running through one side. I test the floor gingerly…and am both surprised and relieved to find it adequate in enough areas to suffice. The other spots I simply avoid. The bugs I initially disturb either settle down and go about their business or bugger off. Lifting the window’s old shutter, which is lying on the floor right where I plan to lay my sleeping bag, disrupts a colony of sow bugs. Since, in all fairness, they were there first I just slide the old piece of particle board over and let them reconvene. It seems as long as I leave them alone they are no bother. Staying inside for a while, this custom-hostel passes the mosquito test, though I expect a few to come out later when the sun is full down. Not a big deal, I can live with a few, just not a swarm. The few spots where the floor boards are missing or damaged make good pee holes, to which I take advantage…modified, opportunistic plumbing! Within minutes my camp is made: sleeping bag out, towel from this morning hanging out to dry, with my modest dinner spread of an apple and some mixed nuts while drinking the last of Mike’s pommeau, with some Stevie Nicks and Gaelic Storm in the background. Lighting up a Marlboro, I lean back and nod my head, marveling at the good fortune. Originally my plan was to stay in Belfast for the night, but this evening happens to be Bruce Springstein’s Belfast appearance on his european tour and every hotel and hostel in a twenty mile radius is booked solid…or so says the hostel manager to whom I spoke. I didn’t know the dude was still in the game…but now it does better explain why one of the pubs I passed, classily named ‘Filthy McNastys’ was blasting ‘Born in the USA’ as I walked by earlier. I didn’t mind leaving…Belfast didn’t do much for me. Just another city. I’ve never seen a city with so much colored hair: pinks, blues, reds, purples and many creative combinations. I was happy to hop on a bus and head out to the countryside…where I feel at home. And here I am, ‘camping’…or more appropriately ‘squatting’ just a few miles from Bushmill’s distillery and Giants Causeway, both on my list of places to see! Life is good, and the Ireland leg of this trip is off to a fantastic start!


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