• Morgan Fagg

All Roads Lead Home

Updated: Aug 26, 2018

Try to lose yourself, only to discover strange places, interesting people and the Irish village reaching out around the world. Affecting music, people, songs and sayings.

James Joyce said it best in Ulysses when he wrote, “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”


Today I met Marta, my new Spanish teacher, she is just back from six years in Dublin and brings an Irish taste to the evening with a concert she invited me to that was organised in Mercado de Antón Martín where the fruit, fish and flower stalls are displayed along with the butcher shops with their long line of lambs heads. The Spanish for goat is cabra and I smile when Marta tells me she has just moved from Cabra in Dublin 7.

Marta introduces me to a Galician singer from the north of Spain. Gael-icia is probably a better name for the rain-soaked region, the greenest part of the peninsula, the Ireland of Spain.

Susana Garrido Pombo, stands at the market stall holding a guitar.


A surreal venue for an artist and singer but even the Beetles had to cross the road, I suppose.


I listen intensely to her lyrics, trying to make out the palabras. Most of the time I only understand one or two palabrasblablablas but lucky for my new Spanish teacher Marta and I, some of her songs are about Ireland and she sang some songs in English.


There was a beautiful song about girls on bicycles and the 151 bus, called Crumlin Girls and another about Bray. She sang songs about Greystones on her six string guitar that plucked at the strings of my homesick heart.


I listened to the lyrics, “We´ll take the long road home” and I was reminded of my earlier thoughts about Joyce and the longest way round is the shortest way home.


I quickly Watsapp a neighbor originally from Waterford to come to the concert. We play G.A.A. together though neither played it at home. I didn´t invite the rest of the Madrid Harps as they were busy training for a friendly tournament in G.A.A.licia.

One of the many G.A.A. teams in Galicia, Irmandinhos had invited the team to play and as it was not an official tournament, they provided accommodation and even buses from the airport.


The fishmonger in Pescaderia soaps the stainless steel walls of Stall 29 as the fruit and veg shop assistant stacks asparagus into boxes.

The shutters shut suddenly and drown out her sweet voice but only briefly.


She finishes and mi profesora nueva, Marta shares some Spanish omelette.


Music soothes the savage soul and the way to a man´s heart may be, through his stomach and relaxed in the cold cold venue, (I only wore a t-shirt) Marta explains that her tortilla was made with spuds bought yesterday in George Street.


After baking a thousand tortillas in Dublin 7 over the years, Marta´s cakes latartadeMarta has had to adapt in a market full of Spanish omelettes and has started to sell carrot cakes, A shame since I really enjoyed her wonderful tortilla de patatas de Irlanda.


As I wrote last week for St Patrick´s Day when I posted pictures of the centre of Madrid, lit green, “We Irish are like turtles, we slowly make our way all over the world, sometimes turning things green along the way but we never ever forget our home.


Slán abhaile


Listen for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKWoxW2bzQo


The life of Joyce, stinks from the fishmarket

sugarridopombo latartademarta #jamesjoyce

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