Wednesday 9 August 2023

Back from the Emerald Isle

Hello - yes, I'm back!  

Before I tell you about Ireland; I'll go back to the last week of June before I left. I led a Ramblers group walk on Wednesday; 33 people turned up and we walked just under 8 miles. It was a very humid day and we had rain; very light and mizzly; it brought a welcome breeze which helped cool us down. I wore this outfit; linen trousers by M&S; shirt by Monki and swapped the mules from Sainsbury's sale last year for walking sandals and socks. Everything pre-loved including all the jewellery. We walked through several fields and my socks were full of seed heads which embedded themselves so well, they didn't even come out when I washed them...prickly socks anyone?

One of the group was a keen photographer and took tons of photos of the walk including these:

Apparently, I walk fast a new member informed me. My daughter thinks I walk too slow...

Thanks to Clicky Camera for the photos

There'd been a definite change in the weather from heat and humidity to cooler, cloudier weather from mid week onwards. Thursday was the same. I had my morning 46 lap swim then went to the hairdressers. From there I went home had something to eat; got ready and went to do the food shopping. I don't stock up for OH when I go away I just leave him shopping money and let him buy his own shopping. I do know takeaways feature quite heavily when I'm not here...

It was the first time in weeks I wore a jacket and what's more kept it on for most of the day. Denim jacket as before; trousers from Sainsbury's sale last year; top by Primarni; 1.00 rail. Metallic sandals by Dune bought in a Saffron Walden charity shop on our recent trip there. All jewellery pre-loved. Grandsons came for dinner and the youngest grandson who was 13 recently; made the national under 14's basketball squad. We're very proud of him.

Friday was the unofficial bus-walk day and we walked close to home for a change; along the river Great Ouse from Bedford town centre to the end of Great Denham village; where we stopped for coffee and cake and then walked back; 7.7 miles in total. I walked to the start point from home which was the John Howard statue in the old market place and spotted the above mural; a new sight for me. Before the market was held on this spot it was a bank and the mural on the ground depicts someone making a deposit in the vaults of the bank. The area around the statue is usually filled with parked motorbikes which is why I hadn't noticed the mural before.

I wore this. Everything seen on the blog before and pre-loved. Skirt by East; top by F&F; denim jacket as before. I wore the same Clarks sandals I wore to walk in Kent on Saturday.

On the garden front things continue to burst into bloom. Both hydrangeas at the front bloomed; a spirea I bought last year had started to bloom and the gazanias I bought in Norfolk were beginning to bloom, too. On my way home from Friday's walk I looked at the plant stall in the market and found three small rose plants for 50 pence each. They looked quite healthy; I don't know why they were so cheap but I was pleased to find them. I had been on a hunt for snap dragons for the past couple of weeks but hadn't found any. One of last year's snapdragons had popped up in the pot where the non-fruiting gooseberry was but that was the one and only.  Update - Since I got back from Ireland several more have popped up in lovely bright colours...


Marian arrived on Sunday and we set off to drive to Holyhead where we stayed overnight and caught the ferry to Dublin in the morning.

I wore the BNWT M&S dress I found on a recent trip to Oundle with a denim jacket to travel in; I wore the outfit on the right the day I took Marian to the folk park in Glencolumcille. Whilst I was in Ireland I picked up an autobiography of someone who grew up there in the 1940s, before it became known for the folk park; it made for fascinating reading. In fact, I read 19 books in total throughout July; mostly down to the 5 days of solid rain we had! 

Above; looking down on the folk park and below looking out to Glen Head.

I had a lovely week with Marian; we visited family; went to Derry and walked around the walls; we walked up to the lighthouse at St. John's Point where we saw the cruise ship leaving that we'd earlier spotted in Killybegs. Marian took a fabulous photo which made the cruise ship look as if it was on land...

Celebrating Marian's 70th birthday at cousin Susan's house...

We visited Raghley Harbour and W.B. Yeat's grave in Drumcliff church yard; both in Co. Sligo.

When Marian went back I had 10 days on my own, but I visited more relatives and managed to swim in the sea 3 times in total. Each time it was fabulous and not cold at all. Once at Narin Strand, Portnoo where I hadn't swum before; once at Mullaghmore and once down at Coral Beach where I had a close encounter with a jelly fish!

I went walking around the Gleniff Horseshoe with Martina; my cousin's wife:
A wonderful six mile walk around the mountain and the weather was fantastic.

And I visited Creevelea Friary with Cousin Caroline in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim; built in the 14th century.

It's now used as part of a cemetery which seems to be an eminently sensible thing to do with a derelict but historic building.
That's Caroline on the left in the white jacket.

When OH came over the weather was a bit iffy for a few days but we did go to Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh; where we visited Florence Court; a National Trust property now, but once the home of the Coles family; later the Earl's of Enniskillen. We walked in the woods surrounding the estate after we visited the house and gardens and ended up walking for miles as we lost the car park....

It was a house with a very homely feel; neither grandiose or ostentatious. It felt as if it had been lived in.

Original stucco ceiling  -  the centre half of the house was destroyed by a fire caused by faulty electrical wiring in the 1920s, but this room and the ceiling was spared.

I wore this outfit. The Next dress was found in a Co. Donegal charity shop. I found a few good things in the charity shops whilst I was in Ireland; a blue dress which I left in the caravan; a skirt; a shirt; a top and 3 pairs of footwear. How very restrained of me! You can see some of the items I bought in the following photos:

The blue dress.

Green top which has puffy shoulders.

This skirt is part of the caravan wardrobe.

The shirt by Olsen.

The skirt I found and one of the pairs of shoes I found; a type of espadrille. I keep this denim jacket in the caravan.

And some of the jewellery I wore with the outfits.

OH and I went to Derry and intended to walk across the Peace Bridge, but torrential rain put paid to that idea. We'll do it next time we visit. We went to Ballyshannon which we hadn't really explored before. It was a grey, cloudy day so the photos didn't come out very well but this one did.

William Allingham was an Irish poet, diarist and editor who was born in Ballyshannon and is buried  in the churchyard of St. Anne's in the town. One of his most famous poems was 'The Faeries': I remember learning it at primary school!

Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren't go a-hunting. For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together;

I bought this white denim jacket new in the Penney's sale; the sheep brooch was bought in a Bundoran gift shop. The earrings were bought in a Donegal gift shop last year. Jeans by Toast and top by Next both pre-loved. The day we went to Bundoran the sea looked like this:

These two photos are for Marjorie who has a special interest in the Canadian war dead from WW2. The memorial is on the cliff walk along Tullan Strand in Bundoran, Co. Donegal.

We also visited Creevykeel, in Co. Sligo; which is a court tomb built around 3,000 years BC.

You have to see an aerial view of it to appreciate it.


On the way to Dublin on our last day; we stopped at my Dad's family home to visit more relatives. We arrived in Dublin with only time enough to have a meal and a wander around Rathgar; admiring the mostly late Georgian houses:

We stayed overnight in a nice hotel and then caught the early ferry back to the UK. 

What I haven't told you is that when we were in Ballyshannon in a cafe having something to eat; I received a text message about an answer to something I had been waiting for for a number of years. It's very exciting and somewhat life changing (for me, at least) but I am still waiting on some further information before I can tell you about it. I hope I've got you intrigued and you'll just have to come back in a fortnight's time to find out what it is!


  1. Thank you for sharing the men with me. I will research them. I am glad you had a lovely holiday and your outfits were fabulous as usual. I am recovering from emergency surgery but thankfully I got my exhibit to the museum beforehand. I will send you photos when it opens in September. Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Marjorie and I hope you are successfully recuperating from your op. Good news about the exhibit to the museum in time.

  2. Oh, you tease! I'm wondering if your mystery phone call has something to do with genealogy! I shall check back in a fortnight - as if I need an incentive to visit you!
    Lovely photos, how exciting to visit Yeats' grave, my Mum adored him. It's always a pleasure to see that lovely East skirt and all your other outfits. Love those snazzy trousers especially. Florence Court looks lovely, the wonderful restful colours on the walls and that fabulous kitchen (funny how the servants quarters are often the nicest part of the house!)
    Georgian houses are my favourite - sadly ours isn't as grand as those beauties.
    See you in a fortnight! xxx

    1. You got it in one, Vix!

      Thank you for the comments; I've catching up to do with all the blogs I follow including yours. The kitchen at Florence Court was very interesting as in the centre it had a metal canopy suspended from the roof. The Earl of Enniskillen who installed it was a keen fossil hunter and the canopy was to protect the fossils which were originally stored in an annexe. These rich people - more money than sense!

  3. I'm also wondering if the mystery is genealogy-related...look forward to hearing about it in a fortnight! Such well put together outfits as usual, with great colour combinations and jewellery. Love your Sainsbury sale rail trousers. Your photos make Ireland look very appealing...despite the weather, although I often think contrary weather gives an area character! Florence Court looks full of interesting detail but that staircase takes some beating.

    1. Thank you Erika and yes you're right! All will be revealed in a fortnight I hope....

      Wasn't the staircase amazing?

  4. Wow, what a fab post, lots of lovely outfits and some lovely walks and landscapes too!.
    Firstly, I love to see you in your walking gear, which is totally my kind of walking gear too!. Looking fab and very dynamic!. Also love those zebra print trousers, such cool colours!
    You totally rock in your denim jacket!. But also look fab in your moto jacket with that animal print skirt!
    And so fantastic photos of your Irish walks. Love the way they have preserved the friary and always lovely to see any National Trust property, so beautiful house is that Florence Court (the stairs, the kitchen!!). Also admiring the Georgian architecture!.
    Lovely post and looking forward to read about that mistery message!

    1. Thank you, Monica. I had a great time in Ireland but it's also good to be back and at least the weather is lovely for the past 2 days...

  5. thats what i call a dramatic cliffhanger! you should write for a telenovela! ;-D
    welcome back - dear vronni! ireland looks beautiful in your photos - those stunning cliffs behind Raghley Harbour and Gleniff Horseshoe especially - i´m a mountain girl as you know :-D and white stucco on seafoan green walls are the most pretty interior ever in my books......
    we had this 5 days torrential rain too - i had problems to get all the washing from our brandnew airb&b done......
    love the photos from you on the group walk - fab blouse! and you look absolutely stunning in that leather jacket/leo skirt outfit!!! in your jewely close ups one can see that you always styles your hair a bit differently - you have the most cool short hair style i know.

    1. Thank you, Beate! Re the hair; my cousin did cut it for me whilst I was in Ireland because in fact I bought myself a hair clipper to trim the sides and back myself and ended up chopping two big lumps out it!

      I hope airbnb is proving successful. One day OH and I will come and visit it and you!

  6. Kathryn and the Ancients

  7. Argh! We are having troubles here with the comments...the fact that I have ten tiny arthritic hands all scrabbling to "help" me hurry up and send a greeting is making it difficult! Five of the Ancients are here and they all want to be the one to press "Publish"....even before they get their comment set. I am typing too slow they say...

    A quick synopsis before they send this off too soon...we are happily and slowly devouring each little bit of your travels in Ireland and if they all got their say on here I'd be typing all day. 1) They LOVE the fact that you are "back in action". 2) They each have a super-favorite ensemble 3) I am reading the entire thing out for the new members who are visually impaired and cannot read the typeface, so progress is slow and 4) They want to know how your foot held up in Ireland! I am losing the battle with Aggie who insists on pushing the butto

  8. Kathryn and the Ancients11 August 2023 at 14:37

    The last two efforts were from us, as I am sure you can tell. There is much merriment here as five of the crabbier ladies are at my place and are examining every tiny bit of your blog. Aggie is going to get that publish button again....cheers! Welcome bac

    1. Hello Kathryn and the Ancients; thank you for your comments; glad Aggie got to press the button! My foot gave me no trouble at all in Ireland I'm pleased to report. Til the next time...

  9. Like Vix and Erika, I'm guessing that the mystery phonecall is genealogy related ... Talk about a cliff hanger ... I can't wait to read all about it!
    Sounds like you had a most wonderful and relaxing holiday on the Emerald Isle, even if the weather wasn't always cooperative.
    Your garden - unlike mine - is looking fantastic, and as always I loved seeing your round-up of outfits. The one with those fabulous Sainsbury trousers is a particular favourite. xxx P.S. I recently found six Barbara Pym books in a chazza. I'd never read anything by her, but remembered you were a fan. Are you still missing some? If yes, do let me know which ones ...

  10. And you guessed right, Ann! More will be revealed...
    Thank you for the comments. Our garden looked awful when we got back; over grown plants or dead plants everywhere but it is almost back to normal now bar the chopping down of the buddleia tree. OH is reluctant but I've assured him he can't kill it; it grows out of cracks in the wall and rain gutters, for goodness sakes!
    As for the Barbara Pym's; I'm missing 3:
    Quartet in Autumn
    The Sweet Dove Died
    A Few Green Leaves
    All published, I believe, after she had gone out of 'fashion'.

    1. I've got all 3 of your missing Barbara Pym's!
      Do drop me a line with your address at, and I'll send them to you! xxx

    2. Wow - that's fantastic- thank you so much!

  11. Thank you for sharing your wonderful holiday. I'm looking forward to hearing your news.

  12. Well, colour me intrigued, Vronni! I'll be back soon to see what the mystery is.

    Loved coming along with you on your trip - Ireland is so gorgeous, it's been on my "someday" list for a long time. I liked seeing all your earrings and jewelry together - fabulous outfits, especially that denim jumpsuit - I would wear that in a heartbeat!

    1. Thank you, Sheila! Ireland is well worth a visit...

  13. Oh, I am loving all of these walks you have been taking! Ireland is one my list of countries to visit one day! I am loving all of your outfits especially the dresses and skirts (I am loving those lately!).

    1. Thank you, Mireille! Would highly recommend Ireland...

  14. Had a setback recovering from my surgery two weeks ago but finally found the men. Here is a brief bit about each of them, WO Lloyd Upshall age 24 born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is fortunate to be in a marked grave in IRVINESTOWN (SACRED HEART) R. C. CHURCHYARD
    County Fermanagh, United Kingdom.
    FO Clarence Scott age 21 born in Nanton, Alberta, Canada. Remembered on the Runnymede Memorial as he has no grave.
    FO Norman Gzowski age 24 born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Remembered on the Runnymede Memorial as he has no grave.
    FO Vladimir Adamic age 27 born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is fortunate to be in a marked grave in IRVINESTOWN (SACRED HEART) R. C. CHURCHYARD
    County Fermanagh, United Kingdom
    FO Frederick Dawson age 19 born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is fortunate to be in a marked grave in IRVINESTOWN (SACRED HEART) R. C. CHURCHYARD
    County Fermanagh, United Kingdom


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