Limerick

… and County Clare

This true story is just as much about Mr. Cunningham as Limerick and Bunratty. Actually, I do not remember his Christian name, though I call him with his surname. I have got to know him by a dating site, when I felt very lonely in Dublin – that means, before my son arrived and before I have got some friends. At that time, I also changed my Christian name from Ursula to Dorothee. Anyway in the beginning it was only informal. There were two reasons for it. The first was, that the name Ursula is very hard to pronounce for English speaking people, for the second, I didn’t want to be recognized as a foreigner on the dating site. I chose the name, because one of my grandmas’ Christen names, which was Dorothea and changed the a into en e, that it sounded more English and in my ears, the English pronouncation had such a music in it, that I decided, to switch to that name in real. In Sweden the laws for names and name changes are very individ friendly, but now to the story.

I had signed up earlier to that dating site, but had not been lucky. Once I have got an invitation to meet, but the guy never showed up. Mr. Cunningham was different. We had been chatting a while, when he asked me to come and meet him in Limerick, where he lives. That weekend, we agreed about, The Dubliners had a session in one of the pubs in town. He also told me, that I can stay at his home, he has rooms enough and he also will care for, that I won’t freeze in his house. Therefore, I was going by train to Limerick. He was waiting for me at the train station and soon he told me, that he is an Albino. I did not care about that, none created himself. Anyway, he also told me, that he has very bad eyesight and it is becoming worse all the time, because of his disability and he cannot drive a car.

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Part of Bunratty Castle

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By this, he also had the right for a kind of taxi service for the disabled. We were first going to his home, that I could put my bag there and directly afterwards, he was going to show me Bunratty castle and the pub “Durty Nelly’s”, telling me about the history of both the castle and the pub. While you can read the history of the castle on the Internet, I will tell you the story of “Durty Nelly’s”. Once upon a time a very short woman, called Nelly was working at that pub. When she filled the pints with beer, she could not see, when the pint was ful. Though she put a finger (or the thumb) in the glass to feel, how much beer was in the glass, that the beer would not spill over. Unfortunately this woman always had dirty fingers. The pub had another name before, but soon people did tell each other, that they will go to the dirty Nelly. However, there is a totally different story about “Durty Nelly’s” on the Internet. The pub was furnitured with items from former days.

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Durty Nelly’s

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We were a little early back in Limerick and visited that pub, where the Dubliners should perform. We had a non alcoholic drink, but Mr. Cunningham was not good in waiting and he took me around in the area, close to the pub. When we were back, the event had already started and it was so crowded, that we could not see the band at all. There was, of course, no place to sit and after two or three songs, Mr. Cunningham tog me to his home. I would have loved to stay there and listened to the music, but he was my host and I did not know, how to return to his home without him.

By the way, I remember his name so well, because I told him, I would like to change my last name to Hillwalker, for the reason, that my last name Schroeder is very hard to pronounce for English speaking people and they also have difficulties to spell the name. He told me, that Hillwalker is no surname. In Ireland, names like Cunningham are usual and actually his son in law also listen to that name. I told him, that it is usual with surnames like Walker and Summerhill, why not Hillwalker. Anyway, I only used Hillwalker for email adresses and as a nick name. I never really changed to it, because of Mr. Cunningham’s statement.

When it was bedtime, he gave me an extra cover and I got it cosy and warm. He also told me about the bad isolation of the Irish buildings and the new law (all residences has to be isolated before 2010). I slept very well and I was happy, that I could trust Mr. Cunningham. He did not try to have sex with me.

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One of all the Statues in Limerick

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Next morning, when I came into the kitchen, he was already there. I had expected him to prepare breakfast, because I was his guest, but he had not. When I asked for porridge, he showed me the pack of oats and told me, where the pot is. Though I cooked porridge for me, but forgot to ask him, if he also would like to have a portion. I got it myself and then asked him for forgiveness that I had not asked him about it. During our following conversation, I have got to know, that he is looking for a housewife or almost someone who helps him with the household. My answer was, that I am not looking for such a relationship, that I have my work and am happy with it. Before noon he left me at the railway station and I took the afternoon for sightseeing of Limerick. The city was in Christmas attire by the time of the year. I found the People’s Park as well as the city center very easily, because Limerick is a compact city and very easy to get around on foot. See also self-guided tours on the Internet. As you can see, to really see and explore Limerick you need more than one weekend.

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Christmas Decorations in the City Center