Saturday, June 29, 2013

Return To Allihies - Latest Wanderings!

To continue from where I left off last time, hubby and I have left Skibbereen where we spent a wonderful four months and have now moved into our lovely rented house in Allihies in the Beara Peninsula, West Cork. I've probably declared this many times but since our first visit to Allihies twelve years ago, it's been drawing us back time after time to the point where we now know this is where we want to live out a good deal of our retirement years.

Our plan is to divide our time between West Cork and Dublin, probably spending a fair amount of time over the coming months with the family in Dublin because as I mentioned in the earlier post, we are to become grandparents in August.

Each day here brings its own beauty - early morning thick mists wholly enveloping land and sea, horizontal rain with gale force winds and sunshine that casts a golden glow across the fields, coaxing the foxglove and fuchsia flowers into full bloom - all that sometimes in one day!  Rarely are two hours the same.

Since we arrived here three weeks ago we've been walking the bohreens and back roads to Allihies village almost on a daily basis and when the swirling West Cork winds permit, we cross the rugged Ballydonegan landscape.  For what seems like miles we walk along the cliff edge, where, far below, blue-black waters weave and crash their way between the dark, mountainous rocks.  I find it terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived back down here after a two year break is that everywhere seems the same, nothing has changed, for that I am so grateful.  Not a property developer in sight!

Over the weeks we have made new friends, these two little guys find shelter from the winds just outside my writing room window, usually early in the morning and on warm sunny days, they relax on the lawn with their mother.  They're so used to us now that if we come out they just glance up then continue chewing the cud!

I plan to write regular updates on life in our little haven in Allihies.

All images taken by me, June 2013.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Remembering JFK - First U.S President To Walk On Irish Soil

I'm not quite sure where you'd need to have been hiding for the past few months not to realise that, at this very moment, Ireland is in the midst of commemorating President John F. Kennedy's 50th anniversary visit to these green shores.

Although Dublin, Cork and Limerick were honoured with his visit it was his "homecoming" to (The Kennedy Homestead) Dunganstown, New Ross in County Wexford which drew the greatest media attention and indeed, the massive outpourings of "Cead Mile Failte" from family and locals alike. It was from this place in 1848 that the President's great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy, left for the United States along with the many other emigrants aboard the Dunbrody Famine Ship.

I was exactly eleven and a half years old on that evening in June 1963 as the presidential cavalcade moved slowly along Westmoreland Street, Dublin.  Standing tall and tanned in the open-top car was the President of the United States, JFK, as he was affectionately known to one and all.   Deciding I wanted a good view of this exciting person who had traveled from a far off land (well, actually Germany that morning) to be with us I gradually inched my way out to the front of the crowd, my mother within grabbing distance behind me.

I'm not quite sure if it was his brown skin (I'd never seen anyone with a tan before!), dazzling smile or his amazing presence, probably all three I suspect but I went weak at the knees when he passed by.  I'm even certain he made eye contact with me as he waved, well, I live in hope!

As we didn't have a telly until a little later on, mother and myself would head over to our neighbour across the street to view on her Bush or Pye 17" box all the comings and goings of the President as he traveled around the country giving, what became, his historic speeches.   Yes, for me, the summer of '63 was a good one.

Above image: President John F. Kennedy in New Ross, County Wexford, 27th June 1963 via Wiki.