Days out, Travel

The King’s Trail Tour

I have something very special to tell you about, The King’s Trail has recently launched in Boyle, Roscommon and it’s an absolutely brilliant idea! I went along today and check it out after seeing a video about it. You can see the video and read more details here.

Continue reading “The King’s Trail Tour”

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art, Days out, Diary

Boyle Arts Festival 2018

Myself and my friend took a day trip to Boyle today to check out the Arts Festival. There are so many fantastic events taking place and it’s well worth a visit. We only checked out the exhibitions but there are also concerts, readings, workshops and more which you can find out all about here.

I’ve come home inspired by the many artists whose work I have seen today. I’ve also slightly overwhelmed as there was so much to look at, a visual feast and one I’ve not seen the likes of for a long time.

I saw some beautiful pieces in the Open Art exhibition and I especially enjoyed the photography exhibitions. We got chatting to a lovely man from the Boyle Camera Club and we watched the slide show they had running.

A special mention has to go to the very talented photographer Tony Murphy. Tony moved to Boyle a number of years ago and he wanted to document the area; the people, the landscape, the houses, so that the generations to come could have a glimpse into life in the town-land of CornameelthaTony ran the idea by his neighbours and they all agreed that he would be welcome to photograph them just as they were. If he called to the house and there was washing hanging over the range or spuds being peeled they went into the photo. Tony has a selection of the images as an exhibition Cornameeltha: Portrait of an Irish Townland and its People which is running at his photography studio near the courthouse until August 4th. This really is worth a look.

It wasn’t all art we did, of course, have to check out some of the cafes. I broke the diet for the day and had been hoping for the cup of chocolate that I’d seen on Facebook at the King House tearooms – they didn’t have it so I made do with a slice of cake instead – it’s a hard life! We also had a lovely coffee in The Bazaar Coffee Shop which is a gorgeous little cafe, a haven of blue with a beautiful secret garden at the back of the premises…well worth a visit.

So that was our day in Boyle. It was a really lovely day and well done to all involved in the arts festival, you should be very proud.

Days out, events, sligo

Sunny Sunday in Sligo

Yesterday was a brilliant day, I love taking photos at festivals and to be asked by Cairde Arts Festival to take photos at Park Fest was a dream come true.

The sun shone, there were smiles all round, great food, fantastic entertainment and wonderful music. Visually it was a sight to be hold; the vibrant colours set against the backdrop of Sligo Cathedral.

I was only meant to be there for a couple of hours but time flies when you are having fun and I was almost there for the whole event. I got to cuddle a puppy – one of the highlights of the day for me.

My arms are now a lovely shade of lobster and I was beginning to shrivel up with dehydration when my new guardian angel rescued me. I call her that because when I put up the post about how nervous I was about the exhibition opening she sent me an email and is now going with me. So I won’t have to walk into The Model on my own and I know she’ll be there. Panic over – thank you C x

Park Fest reminded me so much of the Fleadh Cheoil with the fantastic atmosphere, not so much of the diddley iddley music and no yapping dogs but happy people and something for all the family to enjoy. Better still having it all in one location is brilliant. The festival continues all week so do check it out. https://cairdefestival.com/

Days out

Stylish Silage and Amazing Arigna

I had a free morning on Sunday so I took a spin to Drumshanbo in Leitrim. I’d seen some ‘stylish silage’ pics on Social Media and they looked brilliant so I had to go and see for myself.

The Stylish Silage is part of the An Tostal Festival which takes part this week in Drumshanbo, it’s well worth a look for the silage along. There are also lots of other activities including gin tasting…and the one that made me chuckle – The Fittest Feckers Competition! You can read all about it here.

Also if you are in Drumshanbo do check out the floating boardwalk on Acres Lake, it’s an inspired idea – perfect if you’ve ever wanted to walk on water.

After Drumshanbo I went to The Arigna Mining Experience, I haven’t been there in years and last time I wasn’t really into photography so it was great to go back. The mine shut down in 1990 and the miners that used to work there now run the guided tours.

The tour guide when I was there was Michael Earley, he was telling us what life down the mine used to be like and it sounded like very tough work. He told us the men who lived in Arigna didn’t have much of a choice though; it was either go down the mine or emigrate.

We were lucky as there are lights there now and we could walk through it (it’s wheelchair accessible by the way) when the mine was in operation the men had to crawl through it and it was pitch black.

 

Michael said he enjoyed the work though and that all the men who worked down the mines were hardworking and honest. It’s well worth a visit though and check out Ange’s Tearoom afterwards. I had a lovely cuppa and a scone looking over Arigna – I resisted temptation of the chocolate cake.

So that was my day of being a tourist, it was great to be off exploring. I’m looking forward to the next adventure.

anxiety, Days out, hse, Jono

Wheelchairs and waiting

If you didn’t see the post last week about Jono you can read it here. There’s not really any news on that front. A few councillors have been in touch, just a few (Chris MacManus, Marie Casserly and Dara Mulvey) this is quite disappointing considering how many were tagged and contacted. The occupational therapist phoned me on Thursday and said she see what she can do, the referral finally went in – surprise that after I kicked off about it.

Anyway Jono really needed to get out of the house so we headed to Ennskillen on Friday, they have a fantastic Shopmobilty scheme where anyone can avail of the use of a wheelchair/scooter. Unfortunately on the day we went up the scooters weren’t available but we got to borrow a wheelchair. I can’t begin to tell you how much easier life was. Jono was able to look at the things he wanted to look at. I was able to relax because I knew he was safe in the chair.

We had a fantastic, much needed, day out. Although I now realise how difficult life can be for wheelchair users. We saw cars parked on wheelchair ramps and as for cobble stones they might look pretty but for someone with a bad back in a wheelchair they are a nightmare. On the positive side the people of Enniskillen are fantastic. Two men offered to push Jono up the hills – there are a lot of hills in Ennskillen. Downhill is almost worse as I found out when we went whizzing off and Jono narrowly avoided being tipped out on numerous occasions. It’s also hard on the old hands pushing the chair (and hard on my back too). But all in all it was brilliant, thank you Shopmobility and Enniskillen for being so wonderful. This is available to everyone and they hire them out for longer periods too. Asda have their own little electric vehicles complete with a basket on the front. Jono didn’t try these because he was exhausted by the time we got there but it’s handy to know.

As for me. I’m now kind of scared to sleep, I know it’s the whole anxiety thing. I’m falling asleep but only for about an hour and then wide awake. I’m exhausted though. I fell asleep on top of the washing pile yesterday. I resorted to a sleeping tablet midweek but I hate the taste they have. I also don’t like how my body feels asleep but my mind is still racing. I’ll get there though.

The week has also been a stark reminder, again, of who my friends are. I can’t help but feel a bit sad, the coffee mornings which I thought might be a turning point with me making friends haven’t changed things at all. I know people are busy, have their own lives and their own stuff going on but sometimes it’s nice just to say hello, check if someone is OK. Especially when you see these busy people all over Social Media commenting on various things. Anyway I’m going to wind my neck in and drown in my bubble of exhaustion, happy Sunday.

 

Days out, events, sligo

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.