Because, these past few months, I have eaten a surfeit of sugary treats aka slices of cake and put regular exercise on the back burner the land of healthy living seemed as distant as the far reaches of the solar system. It was time for a change, so this week I munched my way through gargantuan quantities of fruit & vegetables. And I walked, walked and walked some more. As I live beside the sea, my neighbourhood is a pleasant place to stroll around but if I was to pound the same route continuously I could very easily get bored. Variety is after all the spice of life so it was time for a change of scenery.
Tag Archives: Travel
Aeons ago I lived in London. In the arc of my life thus far it was for a relatively short period – a mere seven years. I loved living there but paradoxically only truly appreciated all London has to offer after my return to Ireland when world-class major museums, great art collections, a slew of shops, and a plethora of theatres were no longer a short tube or bus ride away. Not of course that Dublin doesn’t have a humongous amount to offer but the relative sizes of the two cities (Greater London population nearly eight million: Greater Dublin population not yet two million) means that Dublin is never going to provide the same vast array of choices that London does.
Tempus fugit at an undeniably scary speed, like a spry sprinter dashing furiously towards a finishing line. Time tethers us to the present while allowing us to glance backwards and to idly wonder about an uncertain and not foretold future. Time has a way of blurring and misting its own empirical chronological lines so that what happened just a few short days past often seems like centuries ago. A case in point is my recent fleeting trip to Lismore and the lunch I had in the O’ Brien Chop House while I was there; it was only three weeks ago yet seems to belong to a time out of mind in a far distant long forgotten temporal realm.
I am going to stick my head above the parapet and declare that Lismore is quite simply the loveliest town in Ireland. Of course, I should say that I haven’t seen absolutely every town in Ireland and of course I should let you know that when I saw Lismore, for the first time, a few weeks ago it was on what was probably the nicest day, meteorologically-wise we have had in a slew of summers. Still I feel that Lismore would be equally alluring even on the dullest of dull days.
I recently picked up a leaflet about Greenan Farm and its museums and mazes in a coffee shop. As I was idly flicking through it I had a light-bulb moment and suddenly thought it is exactly the sort of place that I would like to visit. And so it was that I found myself travelling the highways and byways to get there yesterday. Well actually I am exaggerating a tad because Greenan farm, in the beautiful Glenmalure valley, is actually very accessible being a mere hour’s drive from Dublin.
I was briefly in Birr this weekend just gone by. I stayed less than twenty-four hours as I arrived early on Saturday afternoon and left not long after a nine o’clock breakfast on Sunday morning. Birr, in case you don’t know, is a heritage town in the Irish midlands. I was there on a short break with a small group of friends. It was a catch-up-with-friends opportunity rather than a weekend for in-depth exploration of the town and surrounding countryside. J our organizer had booked us into the local four-star County Arms Hotel on an amazingly good value deal (details at the bottom of this post).
I have enrolled in a digital photography evening class which starts this coming Tuesday. Now what you may well ask has that to do with Les Deux Abeilles a rather charming café in Paris’s seventh arrrondisment. Well here’s the rather tenuous connection; this weekend in advance of my first photography class I was scrolling through the thousands of images I have taken since I started blogging last year. Among the images were some photos of Les Deux Abeilles, which I took when I was in Paris last November. I had planned to write a post on the café when I returned home but it somehow slipped my mind. Still it’s often better late than never so here we go.
I have been thinking wistfully these past few weeks that it has been some time since I last visited Paris. The thing I most love to do when I go to the City of Light is simply to wander around at a leisurely pace stopping as the mood takes me to: look at pretty courtyards, admire magnificent historic buildings, visit a museum or to lunch at a favourite café. So I decided this Saturday to do a version of my Parisian wandering in my native Dublin.
I arrived home yesterday from a six-day sojourn in Cloona, a health retreat centre in the West of Ireland. Now that I am safely home, I realize that my decision to go to Clonna was one of the best, if not the best, that I made in the past twelve months.
I have just arrived, following a four-hour drive, in Westport a smallish town in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. Westport is a laid out town as opposed to, a hey let’s just stick another building here and there topsy-turvy type town. Architect James Wyatt designed it in the eighteenth century. His client was the then Lord Sligo, from nearby Westport House, who wanted a place for his tenants and workers to live.