Thursday 7 September 2017

Back to life, back to reality...

Hello again everyone! I hope you've had a wonderful summer.

Back to life, back to reality is the title of a song by Soul II Soul and it perfectly sums up how I felt on my return to the UK last weekend! After eight weeks of holidaying in Ireland with no responsibilities, no commitments and just the need to amuse myself, it was back to household chores; volunteering, grand parenting, school runs, Lidl and Sainsbury's shopping, child minding etc etc. As you can tell I had the most marvellous time in Ireland and I really didn't want to leave. I did miss the children and grandchildren terribly, though...

The photo above was taken on our last day in Donegal and it turned out to be a lovely sunny day. I'm wearing my (charity shopped) Primarni kimono over charity shopped green top and trousers. I bought the necklace in a Derry charity shop for £3.00.

Here I am with my cousin Doirin and her husband, John. We went out for a farewell meal on our last evening.  That's Bundoran, Co. Donegal in the background. Doirin is a fashionista with a love for bright colours, sparkle and glitter. All my cousins are tiny and I always feel like a giant next to them even though I'm only five foot three inches!

The first few weeks in July were very pleasant weather wise. It was sunny and there wasn't much rain. I managed to sit out on the decking and enjoy the weather which is not always possible in Ireland...

Everything is charity shopped; necklace a present from OH bought on a Kettering charity shop rummage earlier this year.

A selfie in Killybegs.
Jumper by Marisoto bought for 4 euros in a Donegal town charity shop - it  must have been a cooler day.

Another sunny day -  again in Killybegs. Purple top by Monsoon; charity shopped in the UK for 1.00.

I spent the first fortnight on my own in Ireland and then Hilary came and spent a week with me. We had a great time walking, sightseeing, eating out, talking, reading...

We went to visit Slieve League cliffs (Sliabh Liag in Gaelic) - the highest in Europe, apparently. Here's Hilary looking very relaxed on our ascent to the cliff top.

Here's a view from further up the climb.


We also visited Glencolumcille Folk Park which I discovered last year. See here for photos. This switchboard was in one of the cottages in the folk park as an example of how things used to be. My second job in 1970 aged sixteen and a half involved the use of a very similar switchboard - a 'Dolls Eye' PMBX switchboard; so called because the extensions flipped up and down like a doll's eye! 

We visited Donegal castle.

There were some lovely sunsets.

When Hilary went back to the UK I was on my own until OH came out for the last two weeks. In the meantime I met up with a range of cousins and attended a family christening and a couple of the cousins came to visit me...

This is Martina and Caroline - we went to Slieve League and Glencolumkille again.

Here's me and Caroline. Tunic bought in a Donegal town charity for 3 euros.

Martina is a hairdresser and she cut my hair for me.

I bought the pink suede shoes in a Donkey Sanctuary charity shop in Ballyboffey, Co. Donegal. Purple shirt from the £1.00 rail at the Red Cross.

I visited my maternal aunts in Leitrim along with cousins Doirin and Linda and we stopped at a tiny little chapel in Carrick on Shannon on the way. This tiny chapel was built by one man for his wife and it is rather beautiful - as are the cousins!

When OH arrived in Ireland we went to Galway and stayed over night and explored Galway town and Galway Bay. This is the Spanish Arch at Galway Bay. 

I saw Dunlins and Oystercatchers at Galway Bay and got very excited as I always do when I see a species of bird I've not seen before - or in the case of Oystercatchers, not for a while.

I'm wearing an Anthropologie tunic I bought in a Donegal town charity shop for 7.00 euros and I bought my handbag at a jumble sale in Sligo for 1.00 euro! I was on my way to my cousin's in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo (below) when I spotted the sign and popped in....

Here's himself with Galway Bay in the background.

We then set off to stay with cousin Linda, in Co. Kerry for a few days. We drove round the Ring of Kerry and on the way visited Kells Bay Gardens.

The gardens were beautiful and some trees had been carved into 7 different dinosaurs for the children to find. This is me, Linda and one of the dinosaurs. 
I bought the kimono in a charity shop in Galway for 4.00 euros. 

The gardens were filled with tropical trees and plants which seemed weird in south west Ireland but no different, I suppose, to tropical trees and plants in parts of Cornwall in the UK.

We also stopped at Torc Waterfall as part of our drive around the Ring of Kerry.

And of course no trip to Ireland could be complete without a donkey. This beauty was seen on the Ring of Kerry drive and we just had to stop and say hello.

We had a relaxed week back in Donegal. We went out and about visiting relatives in Leitrim and Offaly, but stayed local the rest of the time. We had a walk around Eske Castle grounds in Co. Donegal. 

A friend from my Bedford walking group; the Ivel Valley Walkers, came to spend a day with us. He was in Ballymena in Northern Ireland visiting his niece. We went out for a five mile walk - naturally - and then went to have something to eat. It was lovely to see a visitor from the UK.

We visited Coral Beach at St. John's Point. I only managed one swim here this summer but it was wonderful.

We found this cave at St. John's Point and went exploring...we've been coming here for four years now and this is the first time we noticed it! We found several other caves but exploring those will have to wait for next year.

On another day we went to see the newly renovated St. John's Point Lighthouse cottages which are now open for holiday lets. They are rather lovely but very pricey - nearly 400 euros for a 2 night stay...

 Information about the lighthouse on St. John's Point:
A harbour light designed to guide sailors from Donegal Bay, St. John’s Point exhibited its first light in November 1831, almost 250 years after more than twenty doomed Spanish Armada ships sent by Philip II of Spain to invade England washed up on Irish shores – three of them across the bay on Streedagh Strand. With two light-keepers’ cottages, this lighthouse is set on one of the longest peninsulas in the country, looking towards Mullaghmore and the County Sligo coast, and out into the North Atlantic. 
See here for source.

 So that was my eight weeks in Ireland. I'm back to reality and back in the groove. There's been some developments on the volunteering front and I'll tell you all about them in my next post.

It's good to be back!


  1. Lovely to have you back Vronni, I was dying to hear all about your summer ...but aargh, most of your photos are missing Think you've had this problem before...or is it me that's got the fault? xx

  2. Oh God, I hope not. It seems alright to me but I;ll just check it out...

  3. Welcome back!
    I can see everything fine from here.

    Family, friends, beautiful scenery-I don't know how you dragged yourself back.

  4. Yay all good now, perhaps it was me? What a fabulous time you had, so glad the weather played ball. Look at that stunning deserted beach! That switchboard looks positively archaic! I'd forgotten how huge your lovely van is. You look really well Veronica, the rest has obviously agreed with you. xxx

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately I came back with a stinking cold and cough...

      I think the switchboard in the photo was the one before the 'Dolls Eye' but the principle was the same.

  5. welcome back! glad to see you again, with so many beautiful pictures!, those landscapes are amazing!, and you look really gorgeous in your casual clothes, so beautifully accessorized and cool!, love your style!

  6. Good to see you back Vronni I have missed reading your posts and seeing your fab CS finds.

    1. Oh thank you, Elaine.

      I'm going to to try and shop less clothes in charity shops from now - (I've been saying that for years) - but I have so many clothes I've run out of storage...

  7. Great to see you back and to have a nose at your holiday photos. You and himself are looking marvelously well and I do like Doirin's style, she's fab!
    Like Fiona, I couldn't see most of your photos last night but they're all there this morning. Horrah! xxx

    1. Hello Vix,

      I've come back full of good intentions - whether I keep them or not remains to be seen...

  8. Welcome back, and oh, that makes me want to visit Ireland! Wow, how gorgeous it is! Lovely outfits all 'round, Veronica!

    1. Please do visit Ireland, Sheila, it is a beautiful and people are very friendly and hospitable.

  9. Welcome back! It looks like you had a fabulous and relaxing time! I've just got back from a week's holiday and as usual I have some problem adjusting back to reality, so it must be especially hard after 8 weeks! You are looking great, though, and it's lovely to see your holiday pictures. I really must get to Ireland one day! xxx

    1. Thank you!

      Yes, do go, Ann, it's very similar to Wales and the people are very friendly and hospitable.


  10. So great to have you back again, Vronni. Looks like you've been having an amazing time with your beautiful family, hubby and friends. Many pretty colourful outfits for us, so thanks for pulling all this together in a great post. X.

  11. I always enjoy seeing your Ireland photos it's all so beautiful, another place to add to the list of places to visit!

    1. It is a beautiful place and everyone is so friendly and hospitable so please do go!

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  13. Yay, you're back! And it looks like you had a really lovely time. Your cousins must indeed be very petite. And that donkey is really cute - I like donkeys, they're so gentle.

    1. I did Mim! I love donkeys too - as you say they are so gentle - until they bray!

  14. Oh my goodness, what a time you've had Vronni! All those lovely photos of the beautiful scenery - that beach looks wonderful. Is that where you swam? I surely would have! You seemed to manage to pack lots of lovely outfits as well as some fab accessories - I particularly like your kimono. You and OH make a handsome couple! It's so lovely to have you back, welcome home x

    Anna x

    1. Thank you! Yes, that was the beach where I swam. I could have swam on more than one occasion but just forgot the beach was there!

  15. Hello! How lovely to have you back. I am so glad that you had a fabulous time. Ireland looks gorgeous and so nice to catch up with your very stylish family. I wouldn't have wanted to come home. That is a gorgeous photo of you and the OH. Those lighthouse cottages look amazing but they are pricey. Hope to catch up sometime soon. Xx

    1. Thank you, Kelly. Yes we will catch up soon and remember it's my turn to get lunch...xx

  16. You and OH make a handsome couple! It's so lovely to have you back, welcome home x



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