As I was packing up my weekly shop the other day, the check-out lady in Dunnes and I were chatting, and we agreed that we wouldn’t want to be anywhere but home at the moment – even with the unrelenting rain that hasn’t stopped for weeks.. This was after a quick discussion about people flocking like sheep to sunny spots in Europe – who are probably glad of the money we bring, but who don’t really want us there at the moment.. At the same time we both also agreed that we needed to get out more 😉
It started me thinking about how lovely Ireland is – even in that pesky rain – and how truly magical it is on a sunny day. We’ve had some lovely Irish holidays in the past couple of years, where it rained, but the sun also shone; where we could put as many shoes, coats and sun hats into the back of the car as we liked, so that we were ready for all weathers, rather than having to weigh everything and stand for hours in an airport. For me, the age of enjoying air travel is long gone. Even that carry-on luggage palaver is too much for me – take off your shoes, belt, coat..
We were very fortunate to share a couple of spring days with our daughter just before lockdown. We stayed just outside Kenmare in Co. Kerry and despite rain – for 24 hours – on our first day, we managed to get out to see as much as we wanted on a fairly short trip.
My parents’ happy retirement home in Skerries, Co Dublin taught us to love small Irish towns, and particularly small Irish towns by the sea.. Even though Mum and Dad are both gone now, we still all find our way back to Skerries at least once a year – to take a bracing walk around the head – it’s bracing or Baltic, depending on when you take the walk, and then to sit in one of the many coffee shops listening to the local chat all around you..
We’re so lucky here in Ireland to live in such a beautiful place – with so many interesting and amazing places to see..
If you’ve never been, may I suggest a trip to the Boyne Valley to see Newgrange, or Bru na Boinne, as it is in Irish. This amazing monument, built by our ancestors back in the mists of time, is one of the most special places in Ireland – you actually get to go into the monument, and see a simulation of the sunrise inching it’s way along the passage tomb, as it does on the longest day of the year. You can also enter a raffle to be one of the lucky few who get to visit Newgrange at sunrise on 21st December – I’ve entered the raffle every time I’ve been there and never won, so I’ll be wildly jealous if you win! Newgrange predates the Pyramids of Egypt – it really is a wonder!
A little closer to home is one of my favourite walks – the Giant’s Ring. This is a Neolithic Henge monument which is close by the Lagan river near Minnowburn – I always think it’s at it’s best on a frosty morning, and poor Mr Saturday Night has been dragged here several times in freezing temperatures.
This year in particular, I’m more than happy to stay at home, take a chance on the weather (!) and offer some support to our local businesses – those who know me well will know that I’m a great believer in supporting local industry – You’ll find me buying my meat and vegetables at St George’s Market, having breakfast in Newcastle Co Down, visiting the 1st Thursday market in Comber , and generally having a great time at home!
I hope that I’ll see you there!