Since I summer in Fanore I have been writing website. In 2001 I wrote for www.irishdolphins.com and in 2002 I launched the 'Dolphin Address' sequel, powered by my friends Peter Smeets and Sofie Graas (www.visolieplein.nl).
The first year I carried a mini no-name laptop that needed regular reanimation. Apart from the actual typing it took many hours of digital agony before I could salvage my verbal harvest on the floppy-disc. This however was not always the end, but rather the beginning of an ordeal. The fortress next to be taken was usually the Internet Café in Lisdoonvarna. It was initially the only one in a radius of 30 km.
Here a Thai character tried to combine bottom investment with sky high revenue. In this chasm documents chanced to disappear into cyberspace. On such occasions the man's command of the English language was severely affected. Simultaneously and from behind the same desk he was running an Asian temp service, which, as he repeatedly stated, yielded 80% of the total income. Now I am, still, comparatively il-digiterate, so any form of the abundant breakdowns made me feel even more insignificant.
The year after, his place was taken by a short-haired Irishman of muscular complexion who occasionally marched through the room, barking orders at ever-changing Thai girls whose English matched their computer knowledge. This year at least the girl was the same, but they took 'Word' of the computers, so one had to type out the whole document on the spot for 3 euros per 15 minutes instead of just putting a floppy in and sending it within 5 minutes.
Fortunately last year another Internet Café rose: 'The Rising Tide' in Ballyvaughan. It is run by two friendly Irish sisters that have sufficient command over their state of the art equipment. The snag here is that they only have two machines and sometimes I eyed the pictures on the wall for over an hour until it was my turn.
Then, also last year, there was Debra's 'PostScript' in Kinvara, 23 km in the direction of Galway. This actually is the shop computer, but Debra shares it carefree with the unconnected.
This year a new take-off has been put up in Doolin. Five ultra modern sets serve those who came to visit Irelands musical metropolis. Finally Enistymon has two machines, but these are managed by people who answer any question by mentioning the price per fifteen minutes.
That is all behind us now. Even before we actually went to live in Killohill I spent two sweaty hours in a phone booth to get a telephone line. From the early morning we look at the 'usage' statistics to the late night responses to inquisitive web readers we are on line with the touch of a key. One of my most treasured indulgences is reading on the website what I wrote the night before, like an echo for my ego.
Freedom's just another word for all you want to do.