There So much SUNSHINE around

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I have the Stupendous honour to have been nominated for The Sunshine Bloggers award by two of my Blogging friends at once!

Firstly, Belle of Wandering Belle has nominated me, see the post here:

Belle started her blog in September, reach out and say HI to a relatively new member of our blogosphere.

Secondly, Laura M Bailey of All the Shoes I wear has also nominated me, see the post here:

Laura has just one question that requires a full answer:

Share a special holiday memory with me.

I recently posted about a family holiday to Ireland.

I’ve had some nice comments about this, and so I thought I would elaborate further on this.

This holiday occurred in the early 1990s and was before the age of digital photography, and so I can’t share any photos of the trip, however, I have visited some of the same sights since and so will share a couple of more recent photo’s.

My Parents bought a Caravan back int he late 1980’s and we used to like going for a weekend away all over England. As I got older and bigger, rather than share the space in the caravan, I would pitch a tent in the awning outside, which gave them more space and privacy.

My Dad decided that he wanted to visit Southern Ireland, as his ancestors came from there and he retained a certain appearance and also the Irish name, Fogarty, that had derived from O’Fogartaich, apparently. We had a coat of arms too.

There were still troubles in Ireland, between the Irish Republican Army and The Ulster Paramilitaries. It wasn’t long after the IRA had set a bomb in a Manchester shopping centre, killing many innocents. They had also blown up a Hotel in Brighton and London was frequently on high alert. The problems were mainly in Northern Ireland, but my Mum and I were still a little worried that we would be Denounced in Southern Ireland for being English. The Ulster paramilitaries had committed atrocities in the Republic of Ireland, particularly Dublin.

We found that contrary to our worries, we were welcomed with open arms by people all over Southern Ireland. They were outraged at the extortionate cost of catching a Ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dun Laoghaire in Dublin and seemed to want to encourage more visitors.

We spent some time in Dublin, which is a fantastic city and also County Wicklow, which is sunny and has less rain than other parts of Ireland. It has a similar Climate to the South east corner of England, where I’m from.

We then drove around the south coast to County Cork and Bantry Bay.

I remember, we arrived at our next destination, a bit travel dusty and decided to go to a local pub for a meal. In the reception room next to the public bar there was a wedding going on. Ireland is a musical place, there’s always someone in a pub playing the violin, or flute or drum. The music coming from the wedding was really marvellous. After we’d eaten, a man came into the bar and invited everyone there to join the wedding party. As we were only visitors and were not really appropriately dressed, my parents declined. Then the father of the bride came over and personally invited us in to join them. We all had a bit of a jig and couldn’t have had a nicer evening.

Another time, we were in a bookshop, and I spotted an old Hardback version of an Agatha Christie book that I hadn’t read. It was marked up for £10 for sale. The owner of the bookshop asked how long we were staying in town, which was five days then said “Oh, well you might as well borrow the book. Drop it back when you’re finished before you go.”

I couldn’t believe it! He didn’t know us from Adam, and yet would let me borrow this rare edition book. After a few days, it became clear that I wouldn’t finish it in time. We went back and My mum said she’d buy it for me. The owner then said he couldn’t charge us the £10 so sold it to us for a Fiver instead!

It was such a lovely trip, and of course, I’ll always have a major soft spot for Ireland. I’ll tell you a national secret too. Most English people love the Irish people, it is just such a shame that our governments just don’t seem to feel the same way sometimes.

Blarney Castle – I didn’t kiss the stone, I didn’t think I needed to.

Questions from Belle

  1. What makes you the happiest about your blog? – I love getting inspired by a word or a picture and letting my imagination run wild. I love writing stories and poems and sharing them with others. I love getting responses that indicate other people like what I am doing. It is all very gratifying. I have also loved the added bonus of meeting so many lovely and supportive people.
  2. What is your all time top goal? – Once I wanted to rule the world, I thought I could do a better job than the current World Order. Now I would be content to write and be published.
  3. What is one thing on your bucket list? – To meet the Queen of England. I’d like to have a nice informal chat over a cup of tea and a sandwich.
  4. Where would you suggest someone go visit? – Budapest is a fantastic city, I would recommend people visit and go to one of the many Turkish baths that are in the city.
  5. What do you think would make a difference to this world? – Proper education. Ignorance leads to being easily persuaded by others, with Knowledge comes truth and freedom.
  6. What is a hobby you wish you had more time to enjoy? – Gardening and walking in nature. 
  7. What is your favorite song right now? –  There is nothing from the charts at the moment, its all rubbish. 
  8. What would you like others to know about you?  – Nothing really, a mystery is more enigmatic. 
  9. Have you ever written a book? What is the name of that book if so? – I was sharing on my blog a fantasy fiction story I wrote about 18 years ago. It was never published though.
  10. What is one thing that would make you happy right now? – A nice Cup of Tea
  11. List 5 things you love. – Tea, Trees, Daffodils, My Chickens and Holidays.

There you go:

I will only be asking three questions.

  1. What will you be eating on the 25th of December?
  2. What would you like to see happen in 2019?
  3. Name three things you are grateful for.

My Nominees:

The Haunted Wordsmith

A Guy Called Bloke

The Britchy One

Kristian from Lessons from around the dinner table

Hinoeuma

Jade M Wong

JP the Wide-Eyed Wanderer

Paula Light at Light Motifs II

Irene from A Slice of Mexico.

Thank you again to Laura and to Belle,

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

🙂

Scenes of Ireland – 2011

These are some pictures I took on a holiday to Ireland back in April 2011. The Title picture and the picture below are of the Cliffs of Moher on the West coast of Ireland in County Clare.

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The picture above is of the famous Blarney Castle. People still queue up to dangle backwards from the battlements in order to kiss the blarney stone and receive the gift of the Gab. As I’m scared of heights I didn’t bother. Plus I don’t really need the gift of the gab as I talk too much as it is.P1020711P1020727P1020738

This picture above is of the sunken garden on Garinish Island of the coast of County Cork near Bantry Bay.

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This picture is of the Rock of Cashel, said to be the ancient seat of the Kings of Ireland. One famous tale from the past is that one fierce warrior king who was being crowned king of Ireland was taken by surprise when the bishop who was proclaiming him king accidentally dropped the sword and it pierced his foot. He didn’t scream though because he thought it was part of the ceremony. P1020967

If you happen to be a fan of old films, you may recognise this ruined church yard from a rather famous film set in Ireland.P1020956P1020865

An actor by the name of John Wayne sat on this bridge.

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And this was the cottage used for some of the scenes. The film is The Quiet Man. In my view, the best John Wayne film ever made. With the lovely Maureen O’Hara. P1020954

 

I hope you liked my pictures.

🙂

Picture of the Day – The Cliffs of Moher

This is a photograph of the Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, Republic of Ireland.

They are a spectacular sight. It is invariably very windy at the cliffs, whether the weather is fine or not.

The geology is mainly Sandstone and shale in near horizontal layers.

If the sight appears familiar to you, it may be you have seen these cliffs in a film. They are a popular location because of the drama they invoke.

Any fans of the film The Princess Bride will remember the Cliffs of Insanity. Where here they are.

Likewise the cliffs can also be seen in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

A fantastic site to vist if you happen to be in that part of the world.

 

Picture of the Day – The Garden of Bantry House

This picture was taken a few years ago on a trip to Ireland. I first went to Bantry Bay in County Cork in the early 1990’s with my Parents in their caravan. I have since been back twice.  If you are ever in that part of the world I recommend it.

The gardens of Bantry house are very lovely, a little overgrown and wild but I like that.

The weather is wet but mild and so you can get sub tropical plants growing in sheltered spots. The garden also has a beautiful view out to sea.

No far along the coast is another beauty spot, Glengarriff, where you can take a boat ride to see the seals and visit the amazing Garnish Island and its fantastic sunken quarry garden.

I hope you like this picture.