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Showing posts from September, 2011

Kaffee, Kuchen And Celtic Conversation

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A sunny autumn day, a quick leap over the last mountain peak on the Dingle peninsula, and it's time for the most westerly cup of coffee in mainland Europe.
At the Dún Chaoin pottery café and bookshop, looking out at the Blasket islands, misty in a shimmering ocean.

Among the books and plates and teapots are piles of hand-knitted sweaters, smelling of oiled wool. As you lift the latch on the half-door to the café you're met by the smell of baking. And outside, sitting on a wooden bench with your fingers wrapped round your coffee-cup, you breathe the salt smell of the ocean and the honey-scent of autumn flowers, buzzing with stripy bees.

A couple of girls sitting opposite me asked how to pronounce a local placename. After a few tries they'd cracked it, and we'd moved on to caife 'gus císte, which is Irish for kaffee und kuchen. It turned out they were on their way home to a Celtic Studies course at their German university. 

It wasn't that surprising. Irish language …