Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Emerald Isle 2016

This is my daughter and I, taken when out walking in Donegal. That's our local lake in the background. My floral top was 50 cents in the local charity shop and I'm wearing my Bedford market earrings. Daughter and two grandsons came out for 6 days. The boys still argued but not as much as in Spain...

I managed to read 10 books whilst I was in Ireland. Eight of them were about Ireland or the Irish people; or set in Ireland; or written by an Irish author. I like a bit of themed reading!

Last year, quite by chance I picked up a book in the local charity shop in Donegal to read whilst I was there. and it was set in the very area where I was staying and featured the local 'big' house and the family of that same 'big' house. That was a lovely coincidence and it was a very good read.

This is my beach collection at the caravan. It's called a caravan but it is actually a static mobile home. 

I'm always looking for sea glass when I go to a beach and this year managed to find a green and a brown piece. I also found the interesting turquoise blue thing at the front of the picture, but haven't a clue what it is. It could be a piece of plastic for all I know, but I liked it. Of course the thing I really want to find while beach combing is a big lump of ambergris...a greyish brown mass from the whale's digestive system; a sort of whale poo but very valuable!

This is at St. John's Point in Donegal -   it was a pretty breezy day...

I bought this yellow top in a charity shop in Sligo when I went to visit some of my (many) cousins. I also bought this in the a different charity shop for 20 euros and it has pride of place in my living room now; it's 'The Flower Seller' by Diego Rivera.

This is the interior of one of the cottages at Glencolmcille in Donegal. It's a folk village with representations of ordinary peoples' cottages in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. There is also a fisherman's cottage, a pub cum shop (they were often combined in the past and I remember them as a child)  and a schoolroom from the 1850s. It was very interesting and informative.

This representation of a 1800s cottage has great meaning for me. Until about 1969/1970 my Granny cooked on an open fire like this. Fuelled by turf (peat) cut from the bog by my Grandad and brought home by ass and cart to be stored in the barn for winter and beyond. 

The whole contraption over the fire is called a crane; it swings in and out of the fireplace recess and the pots and pans and griddle hang from it over the flames. The pot to the left in the hearth was what my granny baked her bread in - it was placed in the fire with hot coals on top of it. The bread was delicious. She also had a two burner kerosene stove but most of the cooking and baking was done over the open fire. When I went back in 1971 she had a range. She was delighted with it but I missed the open fire.

The little stools by the fire are called 'creepies' -  presumably so you could creep closer to the fire...

This is the same kitchen in the 1900s; still with the open fire for cooking.

1850s schoolroom. (The screen was for the tourists benefit)! Every pupil was expected to bring a sod of turf for the fire each day they attended...

The pub/shop.

You'll be waiting a long time for a pint here, mate!

Glencolmcille, Donegal.

That's enough of the cultural stuff!

I didn't take many OOTD photos. This one was taken on the decking and I had just finished washing up  - see the big wet patch on the front of my top? Everything charity shopped except the navy blue and grey loafers bought with a Christmas present Debenhams voucher.

Everything charity shopped except shoes from local (Bedford) retailer and earrings from Bedford market.

I bought the mac for 7 euros in the charity shop in Killybegs. It's from Mango and much needed in Ireland's wet climate!

I had an absolutely lovely time in Ireland. 4 weeks of reading, walking, sightseeing, visiting relatives, having relatives visit me, pottering about and a bit of charity shopping; I couldn't have asked for more except, perhaps, a few more sunny days...


  1. Wow, it is so beautiful there. A bit windswept looking but very nice. Those cottages are fascinating. I love how they changed them with the centuries. I think that life must have been very hard for the people living in them. We really do take all our mod cons for granted these days. Your outfits are lovely and that is a lovely picture of you and your lovely daughter. Four weeks of reading, relaxation and charity shopping sounds like heaven. Xx

  2. Ah, what a wonderful place to spend four weeks relaxing. I'm so excited to see Glencolmcille through your eyes and hear your wonderful stories from all those years ago. I loved it when I went, but your memories lend it extra richeness. Did your fella ever get his pint? I love the sound of all those Ireland themed books and very much admire your capacity for reading! Xxxx

  3. What a gorgeous place, no wonder you love it so much. I did enjoy the tour around the folk village and reading about your memories. What a shame the pub isn't functioning like the one at the Black Country Museum, your poor bloke must have been dying for a pint.
    Your outfits and the beach combing collection are fabulous and I love your Diego Rivera print. xxx

  4. I'm always on the look out for sea glass too. You get loads of it in Margate but never a single piece in Bournemouth, very strange! I'm jealous of your lovely long relaxed break, it looks lovely.

  5. When I was first married (former husband) my then MIL gave me a set of family recipes that had been handed down. Flipping through, I noticed they all assumed the cooking would be done over an open peat fire. We had a wood-burning stove, so of course we felt very successful!

    I'm glad you were able to have a nice holiday in a beautiful place with those you love. Sounds perfect.

  6. it looks like a fabulous place to go, and I would like to visit Ireland some day! And it's also colder than Malaga!
    Love your cool&comfy style, and that leather jacket looks amazing!

  7. Heh, those boys will probably still be bickering in their 30s.

    That village looks fascinating. It must have been so hard cooking over the open fire all the time.

  8. What a lovely insight into local life Veronica. You're outfits are all lovely as ever, but I enjoyed the one with the damp patch on the front best - I love honesty more than anything, but you probably know that by now. Wishing you a fab week x