Pencils and Pedals

Saturday, although it was a day of rushing and racing, was a really lovely day.

Firstly I went to a drawing lesson. Kiera O’Toole, who is a very talented artist, invited me along to try my hand at drawing. To be honest I can just about draw the curtains so I was dubious. Kiera is just so patient and was explaining drawing as seeing things properly (a bit like photography).

I tried drawing an upside down image – not great and very challenging for me. After that Kiera handed me a viewfinder and I’d picked an item I’d like to draw. Looking through the viewfinder is a genius idea, it makes you focus on what you should be looking at. I actually had one eye shut as I would if I was taking a photo.

Now I know Picasso can rest easy but I loved my lesson. I wasn’t thinking about anything else except what I was doing. So all the anxiety, depression, negative thoughts took a running jump! It was a miracle! It also goes to prove my belief that walking is not the only answer for people suffering from mental health issues. For me I think more when I walk. I can’t think and draw at the same time so it’s perfect. Thank you Kiera for such a lovely, relaxing, morning.

In the afternoon it was flexing muscles of a different kind as we took part in the Sligo Greenway for a Day in Coolaney. Wild Atlantic Ways were there hiring electric bikes, I’ve already been on one but was raving about it to Andy so he came along too.

We chose to do the 15km cycle as we had the power of the bikes behind us. They really are fantastic, if you don’t want extra power you just switch it off. We went all over the back lanes in Coolaney. Although we’ve lived here for 26 years we saw things we’d never seen before. We really are surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside.

The proceeds of the bike hire went to the Sligo Greenway Co-Op which is hoping to transform the disused railway line into a greenway for cycling/walking etc. I have no idea why this hasn’t happened in Sligo as the Westport one is a huge success. It’s such a shame to see the railway tracks just overgrown and no use to anyone at the moment, so I do hope this happens.

If you are coming on holiday to Sligo you can hire both manual and electric bikes from Wild Atlantic Ways. You really will see so much more than you will in a car. Or if you don’t fancy that you could have a minibus tour.

After our cycle we went into Coolaney’s pop-up Cafe for a much-needed coffee and cake. This is another project I’d love to see made a permanent fixture.

Thank you to everyone who made my Saturday such a special one.


One thought on “Pencils and Pedals

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  1. Thanks for sharing Val, sounds lovely. Still undecided about joining my brother Ray on his visit to Donegal (mums 2 year anniversary). Things don’t seem the same there since the old ones have gone. Ray is taking his bike and although I have enjoyed cycling in Ireland in the past I haven’t cycled for years. I don’t feelnot confident on the roads or on a bike for that matter. An electric bike sounds good as my bike is hard work I.e not many gears. Thanks for info.

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