A Dawn Paddle in South Sligo

Today I was up and about with the dawn chorus at 4am. I love exploring and when I heard that Wild Wet Adventures were doing a dawn kayak at Temple House Lake in South Sligo I booked my place.

The rain was gently falling when I arrived but this is Ireland so you expect rain at some stage. The best thing is that the weather can change in a few minutes and put a whole new perspective on things.

It was an amazing morning, just us and the swans on the lake, the sheep watching us from their neighbouring fields, fish jumping and the sounds of bird song and the gentle lapping of the water. If ever you want some time to just relax this is the perfect way to do it.

Heading into the blue, alone in my thoughts, just enjoying the moment. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning – or in fact any morning.

Under Temple House bridge which I have driven over hundreds of times but seeing it from a completely new angle. John from Wild Wet Adventures told us some of the history of the place and pointed out places of interest along the way.

When we arrived back at base I was surprised to see a gorgeous breakfast laid out for us including croissants, fruit, biscuits and tea and coffee.

Thanks so much to Celine for such a lovely, unexpected touch.

Wild Wet Adventures have a Summer Solstice kayak planned for Thursday, June 21st. You’ll be finished in time for work and I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a morning.


Brownies and banter in Ballyshannon and Belleek

Yesterday was a brilliant day, I enjoyed every minute of it. I met up with three lovely ladies and we had a great time. The first stop was to the Abbey Centre in Ballyshannon to see Aspects of the West, a beautiful exhibition of photographs by Eithne, Avril and Andrea and paintings by Michelle – Camlake Canvas. Eithne and Michelle were with us and I loved looking at the work by all the artists, these ladies are very talented and if you get a chance the exhibition is on until Tuesday so do visit.

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Bloom 2018


I was finally lucky enough to win tickets to Bloom, thank you so much to gra-produce – I love you – see what I did there – possibly something only Irish people will get. Anyway I was so excited the night before I couldn’t sleep…..sounds familiar. I was half-tempted to get the 1am bus but I’d have arrived in Dublin at 4.30am and didn’t fancy hanging around until Bloom opened.

I ended up on the 5.45am train and got into Dublin just before 9am. (Why isn’t there a 4 or 5am bus or train?) There is a free shuttle bus running to Bloom from just around the corner of Hueston Station so I hopped on that.

Before I went into Bloom I went searching for deer. I was told they hang out near the papal cross but I’m a culchie and didn’t know where that was. I asked the bus driver, I’d have been better talking to the bus, I asked the guards who had to google it, I asked google maps – who wasn’t talking to me, so I followed my nose – literally. I went off in the direction of trees, spotted some deer shite and followed that, soon enough I got the whiff of deer and lo and behold there they were. I was so magical, I didn’t get too close to them, just sat and watched. As I was changing a lens on my camera I could feel something near me, I looked up and saw this beautiful deer so close that I could have touched it – wow.

After my magic moment I headed to Bloom. I thought by getting there early I’d miss some of the crowds, I was wrong, they all had the same idea as I did. The sun was beating down and I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful show gardens.

I also loved the postcard gardens, my favourite one was the garden made out of all recycled material. I also loved the postcard garden above, I’d love something like this for my garden.

There was so much to see and do and it was perfect weather with the sun beating down. I do feel quite sorry for some of the exhibitors though as it was absolutely sweltering in some of the tents. At least there is a water station for people to fill up their water bottles and keep dehydrated.

The little ones were entertained too, with science shows and fun and games. Even better that kids go in free too.


As always Bloom was a delight, a feast for the senses. I had a lovely day although if I went again I’d love to go the day before it opens to the public so that I could really get a proper look at the gardens, or stay the night and be in very early – I wonder if Michael D. Higgins has a spare room??? There’s nothing as scary as an elderly lady on a mission to look at a rose garden! Walking sticks at dawn!

You can see the rest of my photos here.


Monday Miscellany

Ah it’s that time of the week when I throw the random thoughts in my head onto the blog. Some of it’s dull, some of it’s mad, but you might find some of it interesting.

I’ve decided if I was an animal I’d be an overexcited puppy. I have a tendency to be very enthusiastic if I hear someone talking about something I’m interested in. Over the weekend this happened on a couple of occasions, one was a speaker at a conference who I found really interesting. I went up to tell them how much I enjoyed their talk and they looked at me like I was something the cat dragged in. I felt like a bit of an eejit so I walked away with my invisible tail between my legs. I think I’d better keep my inner puppy under control.

Our Coolaney Drawing Project is almost at an end. I have enjoyed this so much, the group were all lovely and the lead artist was so generous with her time and advice. I joined the group thinking there was no way I’d be able to draw anything and I’m actually really surprised and delighted at the piece I’ve produced. Watch this space and I’ll tell you more about the project soon.

I got a little try at one of my dream jobs today. A lady who reads the blog is on holiday in Ireland from Canada and I took on the role of a volunteer tour guide and showed her some of my favourite places. I’m pretty sure I overloaded her with scenery but there are just so many lovely places around here that it was hard to choose.


We started at Hazelwood Forest, followed by Parkes Castle, Glencar, The Devil’s Chimney, Mullaghmore and Gleniff. I call this the Castles and Waterfalls tour 😉 I felt like I’d known this lady for years, I really enjoyed the day and I surprised myself by how much I knew about the area. The nicest part was seeing her reaction to the places, there really is a wow factor to the North West of Ireland and it was wonderful seeing it through her eyes. Part two is tomorrow where we’ll explore more – ooh move over Mr. Yeats I can be a poet too 🙂

Photos to follow tomorrow….maybe….



A Super Saturday

Today was a lovely day – even though I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. I was wired last night, what with the road traffic accident, we weren’t involved and everyone was fine, but it was quite worrying all the same seeing the lorry on its side.

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