I AM considering a career change to become a tour guide in Ireland. Let me explain.
Next month we have three visitors arriving from America. Maria’s sister Virginia and her husband Ian have lived on the US West Coast for years but, seeing as they used to live in Skelmanthorpe, they will not need much guiding locally.
But they are bringing an American lady called Kim who has never been here before and we want to make sure she has a real experience of the friendliness and history of England.
I have been swotting up about Robin Hood (met his end at Kirklees Abbey), the Brontë sisters, of Haworth (I always preferred Branwell) and York (what can you say?)
Then there is the Holmfirth Flood of 1852 (Examiner reporters were on the scene) which has to be good for a day’s rambling up the Holme Valley and fish and chips at Compo’s Cafe.
And then I got a call to say they wanted to go to Ireland for a few days as well because they knew I was a frequent visitor to Donegal.
All of a sudden I had to start researching afresh for Irish tourist spots. Then the latest edition of The Lonely Planet – one of the world’s best selling travel guides – came out and solved the problem. It said the best thing to do in Ireland is go to the pub.
The love of a good drink “remains the country’s most popular social pastime with no sign of letting up,” it said.
Who am I to argue?
So I have found a holiday cottage in an advantageous situation. “One minute from pub,” the blurb says. That’ll do nicely.
I know quite a few good pubs in Ireland already and am looking forward to discovering more. I only hope Kim appreciates the sacrifice I shall be making.
Lonely Planet says its authors visit thousands of places, including pubs, personally.
So after our visitors have returned Stateside, full of English history and Irish Guinness, I may just drop the guide a line and offer my services. Have thirst, willing to travel.