Travels from last week

Last week I was having a wonderful time, travelling around on the west coast of Ireland. My friend and I hovered around in County Galway and County Mayo. While I couldn’t go on the adventures that he went on (up the mountains), I had some of my own adventures. In total, I have taken over 800 photos (average of 100 a day). I have gotten myself lost en route to meeting my friend after his walk; thankfully someone put me right and showed me on my map where I went wrong. I have seen some really, really beautiful beaches. I have encountered some really friendly people. And, I have some seen some extraordinarily bizarre driving!!

As we know, I do like to be beside the seaside, so I have been spoilt with the beauty of some of the beaches on the Irish Coast. I think my most favourite was at Claddaghduff – at low tide I was able to walk all the way across to Omey Island. They have signposts in the sand because people are able to drive their cars across to the island!

While travelling around County Galway and County Mayo, I have done a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way – my friend has done his best to accommodate my interests!! On this trip, I have done a bit of the Bay Coast section of the route. A lot of what I’ve seen has been done on wet days (which we used to travel on) and so my views have been of stormy seas!! But by following the route, it has made these travel days a bit more exciting that just driving along boring roads!

I have had a lovely week away and I would quite like to return to Ireland again – hopefully next time, I will be fit enough to climb some mountains!! This kind of travel experience has been a bit of an eye-opener in the sense that we haven’t really pre-booked anywhere and we have relied on hostels being fairly quiet this time of the year; this has been great because it has meant that if we haven’t liked somewhere, we have been able to move on without fighting for our money back. It has also meant that we have been able to alter our plans as the weather has changed or our agenda has changed. It’s certainly been a more laid-back approach to holidaying than I have experienced before!



Weekly Photo Challenge: windows


“Looking out a dirty old window…” – those are the opening lyrics of Kim Wilde’s Kids in America

Ok, this window is dirty, but it wasn’t very old. Well, it wasn’t as old as the windows were when the original hut burnt down…

This might not look like much, but for me, this is the best view in the world. No matter what was happening in life, this was the place where I felt my safest. No matter what challenges I was facing, this is where I felt most at peace. And, when I felt really, really lonely, this is where I felt most welcome…

Like many days in our British summers, this was taken on a drizzly day. I know that it was taken “in season” because the window view wouldn’t have been on offer “out of season” because we would only have opened the shutter to give us access to the door!! The stones outside look wet. The weather generally looks a bit moody. We were probably drier and warmer inside. For some reason, I had decided to take a photo of the miserable day.

No matter what the weather, this is the best place on Earth.

Great days out I’ve recently had

I haven’t got much to write about, so I thought I would share a few photos of my recent days out…

Steam train ride which resulted in the blog post inconsiderate photographers. It was a wonderful trip. Very picturesque.

All the lovely beaches that I’ve been taken to as I have been a passenger.

My chauffeur hasn’t complained too much about taking me outside. The views have been exceptionally scenic and have inspired me greatly…

My claim to fame

In October 2002, my family (and a dozen other families) were victims of an arson attack. Our homes weren’t destroyed, but it didn’t make the pain of loss any less. All of the hut owners had worked hard to keep their huts secure from break-ins. Lots of the hut owners had a great number of personal possessions in the huts because it was a home-from-home.

I was devastated by the fire – as were others who were effected. I was 16-years-old and I’d never really experienced “loss” like this. If Grandad had his way, he would have walked away from it, but he had nagging voices not to. Mine was one.

The day after the fire I was taken to the scene (I am the one in blue) where I was able to roam around in the rubble of what once was my sanctuary. Sadly, I could identify things – the sofa, the toilet, Nanna’s bed. A set of books that Nanna had were in perfect condition on the inside, but we binned them anyway. Other huts had just burnt to ashes. It was so sad and yes, a lot of us grieved.

Nothing made anything feel better. I was 16 at the time, but even I knew that no one would be bought to justice. I heard the adults talking and I realised that the owners would have to fund this mostly by themselves. We had an/no idea who did it – no one has been held accountable for the devastation that they caused (most likely to be teenagers) so the most that I could do was write a letter to the local newspaper.

When writing the letter, I didn’t for one moment imagine that I would be published in the newspaper…

The following year (summer 2003) the replacement huts went up. Our hut was built by my Grandad’s very own hands, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In fact, during the summer of 2003, I didn’t realise anyone could smell as bad as Grandad did – he worked solidly without many showers!! And what we built, I was proud of – because, Grandad had built it. But, also, we realised what a community was all about. Others who hadn’t been a victim were always happy to help and they offered things that they were otherwise getting rid of. Although this event was utterly devastating, it was also the first time in my life that I knew what a community was.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner.


As soon as I saw the theme, I pictured the photo that I would use. There is nothing special about it, except that it has four corners, as specified for the challenge this week (I’m using from my personal stock…).

This picture sprung to mind because:

  • It has corners – four of them
  • I always wondered what it is
  • It’s the first picture I took on my current camera

Despite extensive Google searches, I’ve never been able to figure what these structures were once upon a time used for.

Lumpy cushion knit…

I have knitted small toys before, but nothing as big as this that has needed stuffing. I messed up – I stitched and stuffed it before attaching the door and life ring. It’s fair to say that this is a bit rough around the edges, a bit messy on inspection and not my finest piece of work. But I am mighty pleased with it, and I can say with great confidence that the person that this is intended for won’t have a cushion like it…

An elemental seaside

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: elemental

I love the seaside. It is my most favourite place to be. It doesn’t matter what the weather, what the season, how blustery it is, what time of day it is, or even what the tide is doing – for me, there is no greater place than beside the sea.

While I love being able to see the sea almost every day from the back of my house, I would be most happy if I could live on a beach….