Lunch stop, made up and fest guests

31 05 2013

1. A long drive up to Dublin but punctuated by a very pleasant stop at The Pantry in Port Laoish. We inspect the ‘rose of Tralee’ contestants’ pictures hanging in the window of the pub on the way back to the car.
2. A warm welcome at the Hennessy’s in Greystones. Doris goes upstairs with Asher and Ruby and returns half an hour later with her nails ‘done’ and glittery eye shadow all over her eyelids.
3. We’ve arrived just as the Greystones Festival is beginning. It’s a riot of unicycles, stilt walkers and drummers. It’s way past her bedtime but Isla in particular loves grooving to the drummers’ beat.


Bog cotton, hill run and pint

30 05 2013

1. Mat brings back a posy of bog cotton from his early morning ascent of Mt Corrin. Weird name but the candy floss like flowers are soft and pretty.
2. I force myself out for a run up the hill before breakfast. It’s a steep ascent but the run back down and the view is worth it.
3. My first and last trip to the pub of the week whilst on a day trip to Sherkin island. We neck a pint of Murphys while the kids eat ice cream and then leg it down to the ferry to make the ferry back to the mainland.

Community, safe walk and popping

29 05 2013

1. Balledehob is a picture postcard town of colourful shops. We drink coffee in the sun at a pavement table outside a community cafe (Doris refused to sit inside because of the ‘stink’, aka a pungent nettle and potato soup being cooked by the hippy volunteers.)
2. A shoreline walk up and over the 12 arch old railway bridge. Space for the girls to run without worrying about traffic and other hazards.
3. The popping of the seaweed drying on the rocks at Ballyrisode beach as I feel the warm sun on my face.

Poached, bling and auto excitement

28 05 2013

1. A drizzly morning is saved by poached eggs on toast (from Ireland’s most expensive chickens) on toasted soda bread with crispy bacon.
2. After a disappointing lunch of microwaved quiche and suspicious cafe hygiene, we are cheered to find a shop selling homemade icecream with blingtastic cones and double dippage.
3. The drive through the Healy pass is incredibly dramatic, all hairpin bends and lashing rain. And what adds an extra frisson of excitement are the roadworks halfway along. We inch past a steamroller as the road drops away below and then further down chuckle with shadenfreude as we pass a French Motorhome and wonder how they will cope when they reach the same place…

Mizen, bounce and fading light

27 05 2013

1. We drive to Mizen head, Ireland’s most southwesterly point, to walk right along the narrow, windswept path to the little light house at the end and drink surprisingly good coffee in the onsite caff.
2. An unexpected lunch and play on the beach at Barleycove Bay, bouncing across the pontoon spanning the river to reach the sand.
3. An evening walk with Mat up the track and onto Mount Corrin in the last fading light of the day.

Views, market and festival

26 05 2013

1. Awaking to find the house we arrived at darkness in the middle of the night is in fact nestled halfway up a fell with stunning views across the bay.
2. The market in Schull is like no other I have ever been to. The stallholders are keen to engage in conversation and one gives away an entire pot of ice cream to Doris (although we leave the scene having spent close to 100 euros, including ‘Ireland’s most expensive chicken’ as labelled by the seller himself!)
3. There is a film festival going on so we wander round ‘the secret garden’ watching short films in tents, a Punch and Judy show and cycle clips powered by a row of people on stationary bikes. Oh and watch a man gut fish and feed the spoils to a lucky seal (down at the harbour and not part of the film festival…)

Llamas, moon and flying

25 05 2013

1. Stunning views across Ashdown Forest as we gawp at the llamas and alpacas.
2. Mooning in Gatwick – Doris running towards gate 11 as her pyjama bottoms make a steady journey down towards her knees.
3. ‘Are we flying yet?’ Doris asks as we push back from the gate. Five minutes later we are as she watches in wonder.