BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014

Irishman Abroad

BBC Homepage
»Island Blogging
Western Isles

North Uist
South Uist

Argyll & Clyde Islands
Northern Isles

House Rules

From the BBC

Contact Us

Only the lonely, dum, dum, dum, diddy,diddy, dum.

Lyrics are easy to write down but music is a little tricky, but you people out there will get my drift.

Todays blog has been inspired by......Lonely in Lewis. Sorry, but there isn't a prize.

Loneliness is something that has always puzzled me.

I am never more lonely than with a crowd of people I don't know and never less lonely than at home with the dog. Or out walking on the beach, or in the hills. As long as there are no people around.

But....sometimes, at home, looking out over the sea from my kitchen, the table set, glass of wine poured, a meal to be served, how much more enjoyable it would be with someone else there to share the setting sun.

I'm reminded of the poem by that great Liverpool poet, Roger McGough:


i feel like a priest
in a fish & chip queue
quietly thinking
as the vinegar runs through
how nice it would be
to buy supper for two"

But, hey, what the can always resort to drink.

I''m afraid there won't be any pictures of my dog on IB. He's the most beautiful, dog in the whole world, well at least this part of the whole world and the risk of kidnap (dognap?) is too great. As Martin Clunes said on telly the other night about his Lab 'Arthur', he's the son I never had.
Posted on Irishman Abroad at 20:25


Dognappers in Benbecula? Wouldn't you know who they were? Or is there inter-island dog trafficking? Actually, there are no depths some people will not stoop to. Maybe you're right after all, IA - but it would have been nice to see a photo of Himself.

Jill from EK

i can understand a lot of your,herlits and others comments about the feeling of being lonely--i hate it being in a crowded place and not knowing anyone and sometimes having to make the first move--i cana't even go into a bistro here and have a cup of coffee alone,or of cominh home after a lousy day on the wards and not saying"how was your day then telling the half how yours was",but hey i've got a utter nut case for a dog and five crazy cats,who make me laugh so much when i watch them playing etc!!

carol --- from over here

Fame at last! One of your paragraphs is so true. I actually do look over the sea from my kitchen window and do feel those sentiments. Food just doesn't seem to have that magic when its only for one.

Lonely In Lewis from Lewis

Cooking for one isn't the same--sometimes I don't even bother... I understand the fear of dognappers, so I'll just take your word that your dog is the most beautiful :) Thanks for the poem as well.

thelovelyOutlander from at home with 3 dogs and a cat

Very good post, IA. Well written. # Surely there are no dog kidnappers in Benbecula?

mjc from IN, USA

No, there are no dognappers on Benbecula, but if his fame spread someone may come from the Mainland.

IA from with dog at my feet

reading the poem,make me think how much i miss fish and chips!!even living in way out small villages in scotland if they didn't have a "chippie" a chip van would come round about once a week--over here fish and chip just don't exist! ok i can drive to the nearest town-nimes and get a chines,indian,thai etc carry out-we have a pizza van that goes to the next village once a week--but fish,chips and mushy peas???or a haggis supper??? no; sniff sniff!!(one consolation though in NZ there are loads and loads of fish and chip shops--roll on the end of the year

carol from foothills of the cevennes

Dognappers from the mainland descending on Benbecula? (surely not all the way to southern IN, USA, IA?! I hope and pray). Would they be taking their sandwiches with them, IA, or do you think they'll stop at the local tea shop for refreshments before hightailing it? Might it be possible for you to incorporate a GPS chip in your hound? That should allow you to sleep more soundly. Cheers.

mjc from IN, USA

Isn't it dum dum dum diddy dum-dum?

Flying Cat from Big O

I agree hat one can be more lonely in a city or other crowded place than in a remote place. Equally, I find eating alone is a a mechanical activity rather than a pleasure. Solo drinking is, in my opinion, just plain dangerous.

Hyper-Borean from Beside the well

Isnt it dum dum dum - dum diddy dum ?

A from Here

Everyone knows that it's dum dum dum dummy doo wah...

Jill from EK

Surely "doo doo wah ..." Jill?

mjc from IN, USA

Dum Dum; isn't that in India?

Hyper-Borean from Idly atlas browsing

It's a bullet...

Flying Cat from rifling through ib

Following the same train (of thought, perhaps), if it is a bullet, must be Japanese, surely, and not Indian, or Kashmiri. Of course, there is the Srinagar bullet, and in that case I would not like to be in its path.

mjc from IN, USA

It's eponymous!

Hyper-Borean from The armoury

Dumdum bullets; soft nosed bullets designed to spread or break up on impact thereby increasing the damage caused to tissue, very nasty. Developed under the Raj at Dum Dum arsenal near what was then called Calcutta now the site of Kolkata airport. They were banned for military use under one of the Geneva conventions. Strangely the modern equivalent, hollow point bullets, are widely used by police forces so civilians get less protection than soldiers.

Hyper-Borean from Kolkata

Solo drinking is, in my opinion, just plain dangerous. Hyper-Borean from Beside the well # Ach, well - call me any time. You bring the bourbon, and I bring the squirrels.

mjc from IN, USA

You're on mjc, see you at Old Omar's well. (Khayam that is) "Then to this earthern bowl did I adjourn/ My lip the secret well of life to learn:/ And lip to lip it murmur'd- 'While you live/ Drink!- for once dead you never shall return.' "

Hyper-Borean from Still with the pitcher

Never get stuck in a pub with H-B...unless you can exchange quotes ad infinitum...

Flying Cat from my brian hurts

Advice taken to heart, FC. As a matter of fact, did he not use the same quote - the same Fitzgerald's mistranslation [or should it be libertine free translation ?] a year or so ago somewhere on IB? If my memory serves me right ... # He repeats himself while in his cups in a pub while I am company, and I expect I would pull his beard.

mjc from IN, USA

Something to look forward to...

Flying Cat from cherchez la barbe

Sadly mjc I have no knowledge of Farsi or perhaps ancient Persian so I am restricted to Fitzgerald's translations. My copy gives four versions and I believe he reworked the pieces throughout his life, no doubt muddying the picture rather as a poor watercolourist might. Any way I enjoy him not as a teacher but more as a kindred spirit. I must say that Sufism, Khayam apart, does seem to be a more congenial form of Islam than most.

Hyper-Borean from Beside some strip of herbage

Damning with faint praise...

Flying Cat from whirling dervishly

update please

carol (the french connection) from ready to walk oor wullie

This blog is now closed and we are no longer accepting new posts.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy