Monthly Archives: September 2022

Cider and Belfast

I got this shirt from a charity shop yesterday. I didn’t try it on, but noted that the tag said “M.” I now realize that is was probably a Boy’s M, not Men’s M. I’ll donate it when we get back to California.
At the breakfast buffet, there were these NZ Queen apples. Good eating.
Halfway to Belfast, we stopped at Long Meadow Farm, where they make hard cider and other products. Kathryn McKeever showed us some of the unusually-sized Bramley apples this year, due to exceptional heat.
The Beacon of Hope sculpture.
I’ve been in the presence of several big fish, before. This is the Salmon of Knowledge.

The Salmon of Knowledge



The Salmon of Knowledge (in Irish, An Bradán Feasa) is a creature from the Fenian Cycle of Irish Mythology.  
According to Irish mythology the first thing to ever come into creation was a hazel tree, and in it’s branches was contained all the knowledge of the universe. This hazel tree flourished over the Well of Wisdom (Tobar Segais) within which lived a great speckled salmon. The story goes that the salmon ate the hazel nuts which on one occasion fell into the well, thus acquiring all the wisdom of the universe. It was foretold that the first person to catch and eat the salmon would gain this knowledge and that a man by the name of Fionn would be the one to do so.
Nonetheless, many tried and failed, until a poet named Finnegas having spent seven years fishing the Boyne caught it. Finnegas instructed his apprentice, a young boy named Deimne Maol, to prepare it for him. Deimne burned his thumb bursting a blister on the cooking salmon.  Instinctively he put his thumb into his mouth to ease the pain and in an instant acquired all its knowledge. When Dimne brought the cooked meal to Finnegas, his master saw something in the boy’s eyes that had not been there before. When asked by Finnegas, Deimne denied that he had eaten of the fish. 

When pressed, he admitted his accidental taste. What the old poet hadn’t known was that Deimne had another name, given to him by his mother – Fionn, meaning fair haired one. It was this incredible knowledge and wisdom gained from the Salmon of Knowledge that allowed Fionn mac Cumhaill to become the leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth. He was killed at Áth Brea or Ford of Brea on the Boyne.

Some of our group examine the menu of the Merchant Hotel, unaware of the red hand of Sauron marking the fence.
Thesecans of Coke appear to be about 4 ounces.
I thought this was a clothing store, but there’s a food store in the basement.
M & S was expensive compared to other markets, but strangely, most places closed at 1700, so this place was a boon.
Some cartons have eggs of mixed size.
This man was sleeping on the street across the street from the Clayton Hotel, where we are staying. He’s under the white sheet, which is remarkably clean. Update: same guy, same place, next day when it was rainy.
A pleasant grocery store dinner of Layered Prawn Salad, Mousse, Crisps, and Super Nutty Whole Food in our room.