Many times, I have said that we are enjoying Alexandra’s new base in Lakeside Marina, near Athlone. And that is still true! But we were based in Carrick-on-Shannon for 6 years and made a lot of friends up that direction. And today I am missing the North Shannon and my friends in Leitrim!
About a dog
I think my melancholy was started when I saw a photo of Kai on Facebook recently. Kai was a dog. But a kind of special dog – more like a friendly giant. Kai belonged to Jackie and Dave, and was a huge German Shepherd with enormous paws, and a long black coat. We first met Jackie and Dave in Dromod a few years ago. Mike was delighted to discover a shared love of whiskey with Jackie. I can’t stand the stuff unless it is served in coffee, hot, and with a dollop of cream on top (sacrilege to real whiskey drinkers I know!). Most of the time, Kai was tied up, not because he was dangerous, but because he was a big dog and just his size alone was likely to make people nervous. But he really was a gentle giant.
Jackie took him for a walk in the marina and let him loose for a run. I saw Kai as he came around a corner and made a beeline for a bloke out walking his Cocker Spaniel. Jackie called him off, and there was no harm done. Naturally, Jackie was concerned that Kai might have upset or scared the bloke. However there was quite a different issue which she didn’t realise until much later. The issue wasn’t the stranger’s nervousness of Kai. The friendly Kai wasn’t the least bit interested in the strange bloke. Didn’t even look at him. Noooo, Kai was much more interested in the stranger’s Cocker Spaniel. The little girlie dog was the one who got the fright, if you get my drift 😉
Anyway, Kai died some time ago, and Jackie shared one of those Facebook memory thingys, a photo of Kai. Isn’t it amazing how we get so attached to our pets? More on that in a later post.
So what has Kai got to do with Missing the North Shannon?
Kai’s picture made me realise that I haven’t seen some of my North Shannon friends since we moved to Athlone, and that is over a year ago. Catching up with boaty friends when you are 8 hours drive away (by boat that is) isn’t so easy.
Anyway, to Jackie and Dave, and to the crews of Lady Gwendoline, and Phoenix, and Eridanus, and Lady Mystique, and Le Cheile, and our former next-door-neighbours-who-haven’t-put-a-name-on-their-boat-yet, and Bora Bora, and Derrane and many others around Carrick and in Albert Marina, and also to my land-based friends from Victoria Hall, Burke’s, Floradale, Kinneden Café, Esquires, McLoughlins in Drumsna and many others, I hope you are all keeping well. I miss you!