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June 2019
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2011-07-29 a message from James

Last night we had a GREAT show in Scarriff in County Clare as part of the Scarriff Festival. We were treated royally and had a lovely show...with a great reaction.

Matthew had only arrived back from his month's holidays with the family the day before, and Daryl was just back from his honeymoon! Colm was driven down by his wonderful fabulous Mum Mary - Red-Haired-Mary as she is now known (Track 2 on our new album!). As a little boy I knew County Clare very well and it is one of my favourite counties in Ireland...we used to holiday there LOTS. And my sister Linda worked there for quite a while and has friends there too, and they were there.... so it was a lovely warm fuzzy first concert back after our break. Some lovely people who live locally to me her in Wicklow also, called Danny and Mary Byrne who have been INCREDIBLY supportive over the years drove all the way down to see us too. I always love to see them. I also LOVE Mary's dinners she cooks for me!!

I know I had sent in pictures for you to look at, but I haven't really spoken. To be honest I was intimidated by Lord H and his supreme eloquence. I read his beautiful account of Kenya twice, and it was so beautifully written from the heart. I feel guilty calling him a "Cry Baby", as we are all cry-babies when it comes to those trips...the emotion comes from different places... sadness at leaving and saying goodbye, but also just those stories. But so many times I look at John and God love him his eyes are welling up, and he is on the verge of tears, and we have a kind of running joke....and I might say something simple like "Are you ok?"...and he responds "Don't!", and then he's off! And John told you the main story of this trip, and you read again in the "Weekender" about it, and next week's column even mentions it slightly.... so I won't go on there. But I suppose when I am at home and I get a little down by all the bills, and other stuff...I realise that just by "accident of birth" I could have been born into a situation like Malik's, and I could have found myself surrounded by glue-sniffers by day, sleeping under empty market stalls at night, and with my intestines hanging out of my body for all to see, and covered in flies... and it yet again puts it all in perspective. And he is just ONE of the thousands. He is lucky. It doesn't bear thinking about, does it? Not everyone looked under Malik's sweatshirt, but Claire and I saw it at the dump, and then in the hospital consultant's room... and I will NEVER forget that sight. Anyway....
And David's hijacking....why are you telling them about that?? We want people to come to Kenya to help... not put them off. Poor David. I had never seen him so quiet, and badly shaken. SIX hours in an enclosed boot/trunk! Samuel was hijacked once also...
Anyway...album! It is out in September. And we are excited. We think you will all love it. Of course many of you have heard some of the songs in shows already. I will be sending Anja the lyrics so she can add them to the website once it is released. Of course not before.... And the photos are fabulous. I look FABULOUS.... looks nothing like me.....but when people cheekily ask me "So when was that photo taken - I can say with my hand on my heart - 2011!".
Love to each and every one of you, and talk soon,