Tag Archives: Ireland

A busy week

It has been a long week. So long, it had two Saturdays, two Sundays and two Mondays. Alas, to day it comes to an end and I head for home.

Saturday: We made Christmas puddings – You already know about that.

Sunday: We had a visitor for morning coffee. After lunch the landlady walked the legs off me. We dandered to the Basin.

Blessington St Park

Blessington St Park

We watched a mammy duck teach her three tiny balls of fluff, no bigger than cotton balls, to swim.

Learning to swim

Learning to swim

Their tiny legs were going a mile a minute under the surface of the water, until….. a large bird swooped down…. Then there were only two balls of fluff for the mammy duck to quack instructions at, to swim faster than time to the protection of their hidden nest on the island in the middle of the lake.

The island

The island

When we left the basin, we passed the Black Church  where legend has it that if you run around the church clockwise three times, then enter the church and stand by the altar, you will see the devil.

The black church

The black church

I never quite had the courage to test that theory when I was young. The building was deconsecrated in 1962, and is now occupied as offices.

The Black Church is mentioned briefly in the novel Ulysses by Irish author James Joyce, in the chapter entitled ‘Oxen of the Sun’, as the location of one of Bello’s many sins: He went through a form of clandestine marriage with at least one woman in the shadow of the Black Church. Joyce lived for a few months only yards from the Church in Broadstone, at 44 Fontenoy Street, one of the Joyce family’s many temporary homes around Dublin. He stayed there with his son Giorgio from July to September 1909 and again alone from October 1909 to June 1910 while trying to set up the first cinema in Dublin.

Monday: Did I mention James Joyce earlier? Well, on Wednesday I met him! Honest. Here is a pixture to prove it:

He called me Nora

He called me Nora

He even called me Nora!

It was Bloomsday.  In Dublin, Joyceans in full Edwardian costume mark June 16th 1904 literary events of ‘Ulysses’ We met them on the Dart,  on the Streets and in the shops. Eileen and I went to Dún Laoghaire. They were there ahead of us.

Joyceans on way to Sandymount

Joyceans on way to Sandymount

I have to tell you what happened on the Dart. You will never believe it. Eileen, nudged me with her elbow and said “That guy over there winked at me!” I looked at the Toyboy and said, pointing at my sister “Did you wink at her?” He nodded. I looked questioningly and asked “Where’s my wink?” Grinning, he winked at me. Holding up my mobile phone, I asked if he wanted my number. He burst out laughing. With that, the engines started and we were moving…. Our Dart moved south, and his on the other track moved north!

No visit to Dún Laoghaire is complete without a visit to Teddy’s for a 99 – a whipped ice cream cone with added flake chocolate.

The evidence

The evidence

Eileen with ice cream cones.

The view while we eat 99sThe view as we sat and enjoyed our treat.

Tuesday: I spent the morning in the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin, with my eldest brother. We saw a Viking House

Viking House

I suggest scrolling to the bottom of the link above and working upward to follow the work in progress. I found it fascinating. I am trying to image life in Dublin 1,000 plus years ago.

'Gro' the Viking Boat

‘Gro’ the Viking Boat

I also saw a replica Viking boat ‘Gro’ on display. It was constructed from Irish oak in 2006 at the Irish National Heritage Park by Danish boatwrights using techniques employed in Dublin 1,000 years ago, the boat is on loan from the Ferrycarrig Heritage Park.

I drove my sister to Howth for an early dinner, which was delicious, and we were home in time to see one of the Football matches.

Looking down on Howth from the Churchyard

Looking down on Howth from the Churchyard

Wednesday: We were entertained to lunch by Brian, who sent us each a text as we were leaving home to say, he had just realised it was forty years since we first met, so a good job we looked like we did all those years ago! Is it really forty years since I was given the handle Grannymar? Yes, it is.

Thursday: I visited Drimnagh Castle, but that adventure is worth a special post. I hope to have it ready for Tuesday.

Drimnagh Castle

Drimnagh Castle

Friday: was a rest day, playing with Buffy and finishing a project that I was working on. I forgot to take a photo of the finished item, so when I get that photo, I’ll write about it.

Saturday: Was the longest day, so where better to be than on the Hill of Tara,  Home to the High Kings of Ireland. The panoramic view in my Header is from the hill at Tara. We were there to celebrate the life of Emma Sharma Hayes. It was a beautiful day, the sun shone and nature’s choir of bird song & gentle breezes sang around us for most of the day. We picnicked outdoors

Lunching Ladies with Vijay Sharma

Lunching Ladies with Vijay Sharma

and I found a very comfortable seat to rest my legs before we climbed the hill.

Tractoring Grannymar

Tractoring Grannymar

I nearly got a job too! One old guy asked if I would plough his back field? I told him I was busy and it would have to be next week!

Sunday: I went to work! Really. You have heard of ‘Bring your daughter to work days. Well this was a bring your family to work day, at Intel. Do you like my outfit?

Intel Open Day

Intel Open Day

Grannymar in a Bunny suit! These are actual uniforms worn by those who work in the clean-rooms. Buses took us on a tour of the site and we had a window tour of a clean-room. Elly showed the corridor she walks everyday, at least twice. It is a mile in each direction. We were introduced to the gym, where I could not miss an opportunity to sit on the equipment. I tested a massage chair, it felt like Ramana Rajgopaul’s masseuse was dancing on my back.

The staff looked after us royally and had fun & games for all ages. Thank you everyone for making us so welcome. Now the holiday has come to an end and I am homeward bound once more. I am covered in a healthy outdoor glow and my legs must be at least six inches shorter from all the walking. It was a wonderful week.

Dashing away with a smoothing iron.

On Saturday, in a light hearted short post, I admitted that I had been wrong to iron my clothes. The graphic I produced told me the freshly pressed clothes showed up the crease lines on my face.

The comments were fun.

Col asked: “How can you steal hearts away if you don’t go dashing away with a smoothing iron?”

Immediately I was back in the house of my youth with a mountain of shirts, blouses, sheets, pillowcases, half a dozen linen tablecloths and napkins, tea towels and a mound of handkerchiefs…..

Sitting by the fire was my granny singing this little number:

I replied to Col, with: “I have evidence of one young lady who took that idea to the extreme! Watch out on Monday”.

So here is the evidence.

Elly taking housework seriously. ;)

Elly taking housework seriously. 😉

Elly ironing on the Giant’s Causeway!

I had to go digging to find the photo and while there I reread the post that went along with it A Political Guide for Tourists to Ireland written four years ago. It applies even more so today, I think you might enjoy reading it.

A Pink weekend.


Non Starter

Non Starter


The world’s second-largest bike race, the Giro d’Italia, is is an annual stage race bicycle race primarily held in Italy, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries.

The Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia  began yesterday in Belfast. It will continue today and cover some 219 km of our most beautiful country side.  The route from Belfast will be inland to the Giant’s Causeway and from there it will follow the coast line all the way back to Belfast.

Giro route Day 2

Giro route Day 2


The whole of the Province has turned Pink. Belfast City Hall was glowing in Pink last night. There is bunting (the nice kind) everywhere and our local optician, not on the route, has a pink bicycle frame in the window!

Stage 3 tomorrow begins in Armagh, with stops in Richhill & Newtownhamilton before crossing  the now non existent border and on to Dublin. 187kms.

Day 3 Armagh to Dublin

Day 3 Armagh to Dublin

Boy am I glad not to be in the saddle, I might end up like this……

Not on course or in the Pink

Not on course or in the Pink


And not on course or in the Pink! 😉

My legs won’t work!

I went for a walk.
Got a hug and a kiss,
Discovered the bus times
Heard of another broken hip,

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Turning a corner in search of green fields
There were laneways and roadworks
And trees with no leaves,
Natives were friendly and curious to,
They came running to greet me
with the odd gentle Moo!

Céad Míle Fáilte

Ireland, the land of A Hundred Thousand Welcomes, – Céad Míle Fáilte, it  is a pronounced like this:

How would you like a welcome to Dublin like this:

I bet that got your toes tapping! It was a flash mob of Irish dancers from the cast of ‘Take The Floor 2013’ at Dublin Airport recently.

Now there’s a grand way to get rid of jet lag!

Thank you World

The song goes:

If you’re Irish come into the parlour,
There’s a welcome there for you;
If your name is Timothy or Pat,
So long as you come from Ireland,
There’s a welcome on the mat,
If You come from the Mountains of Mourne,
Or Killarney’s lakes so blue,
We’ll sing you a song and we’ll make a fuss,
Whoever you are you are one of us,
If you’re Irish, this is the place for you!

If all of the 70 million people around the world who consider themselves Irish or of Irish ancestry arrived at our door, we would need one hell of a big Parlour!

The world turned Green yesterday.


cropped-Glenwherry-Slemish_2.jpgThis was the photo in the Header when I wrote this Post


Legend would have us believe that Slemish was the place where St Patrick was brought as a young boy by his captors, to tend sheep. Since I am not that old, I cannot swear by this story. 😉

The weather up there in the wilds of County Antrim can be very unpredictable. By times you might have all four seasons on the one day.

Poor Patrick had no thermal underwear, waterproof leggins or hiking boots. There were no thermos flasks, GPS or Quad bikes to help with looking for lost sheep.

My header photo above and the one below are taken from the same spot, at most a few feet apart. They are from different years and seasons. All I have done to the photos is crop them.

Slemish 2


If I give you the dates, can you tell me which photo goes with which date?

A. 22nd January 2009
B. 22nd August 2012

Over to you….

The Onion Seller

The Onion Seller

The Onion Seller

The Onion Seller ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~ Séamus Murphy (1907-1975)

This is a monument to the women dealers in the Coal Quay, Cork City Open Market.

The Onion Seller-2

It was erected on February 27th 1986 and unveiled on February 28th 1986 by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Dan Wallace TD as a gift to the City of Cork to commemorate Cork 800 by Sunbeam Wolsey PLC.

Séamus Murphy was born at Greenhill, Burnfort, Mallow, Co Cork.

Special offer today.

Today, like all the best Supermarkets I offer two for the price of one!

Theobald Wolfe Tone 1763-1798

Theobald Wolfe Tone

Theobald Wolfe Tone ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~ Edward Delaney

As you approach St Stephen’s Green from the North East Corner A large sculpture of Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763 – 1798) stands guard today. Commonly known as Wolfe Tone, he was one of the founding members of the United Irishmen and is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism.

Cyclists resting at the feet of the father of Irish republicanism. I wonder what they are scheming?

Cyclists resting at the feet of the father of Irish republicanism. I wonder what they are scheming?

When you walk round the stone pillars the other side tells a very different story:

Hungry Heart Famine memorial  ~Edward Delaney

Hungry Heart Famine memorial
~Edward Delaney

Hungry Heart Famine memorial ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~Edward Delaney

Hungry Heart: Edward Delaney‘s “Famine Memorial”

The two parts are all one sculpture and you can read more about them in this obituary for Edward Delaney from The Guardian in 2009

This eight-minute video on Dublin, Ireland’s St. Stephen’s Green and sculptor Edward Delaney’s “Famine Memorial” (1967) gives more information.

Back on August I featured the work of Edward Delaney, with his piece Four Angels.