After a walk through the Claddagh I always swing by the shape-shifting scrap heap at the docks. I don’t know how often the metal is collected but the only lengthy absences I’ve noticed were during the Volvo Ocean Races.
Here I’m often reminded of my scenic highlight of the Murmansk tour of the lowlands in 2004. We were on a train somewhere in the industrial wastelands of Belgium when I got out of my seat to gaze in awe at the mountain range of rusted scrap filling up the vista for miles on either side of the train. My bandmates were bemused at my enthusiasm and perhaps it was heightened by the lack of natural topography in the low countries. I couldn’t help comparing this range to the humble scrap heap back in Galway. Better beer, infrastructure, public transport….even the scrap heaps were better in Belgium. Of course the Galway heap has the advantage of a city centre location and being accessible to tourists. For me the joy lies in being able to walk all around, towards and away from it appreciating the heap on different scales. Chaos cubed and falling away into disorder, decay and rebirth: it’s all here.