Connemara scene.

The Quiet Man House

‘The Quiet Man’ is one of those films that made a significant impression on me as a child. I first watched it at my Aunty and Uncle’s house, marvelling at the fact that here was John Wayne, in a role that didn’t require a cowboy hat or studded boots. He seemed more vulnerable somehow, still with that dry sense of humour but showing a little more emotion than usual. As for Maureen O’Hara, she was so beautiful and headstrong. I loved the combatitive quality of the relationship between the two, played out against green fields and the chatter of local gossip.

New boots really do make a birthday! Read on to find out more . . .

A Happy, Hearty Birthday

If this year’s Birthday Celebrations have taught me anything, it’s the true value of a hearty dinner. Hubs and I and headed to Clonmel in rather defiant spirits. I was battling a sore throat and bad chest, but had powered up on Lemsip and was determined to enjoy the day. He, (as the driver) was slightly deterred by the constant downpour of rain, that stayed in force for the whole day, but this was a rare Saturday off work for him, and he too, was eager to make the most of it.

Hay Castle.

Book-Browsing in Hay-on-Wye

My husband and I don’t seem to be able to visit Wales without dedicating a day to Hay-on-Wye and all its beautiful bookshops! This time, myself and ‘bump’ prepared ourselves for much walking and browsing, with the blessed relief of comfy reading chairs along the way . . .

Finding the perfect wedding shawl.

Christenings, Weddings and a Special Anniversary

Christenings and Weddings – two of the purest, most joyous occasions we celebrate. How lucky am I to have a christening to attend this Saturday and a wedding to go to in two weeks time? Very lucky, but slightly tortured by multiple fashion dilemmas . . .

Mumbles Lighthouse

Dylan Thomas and a Swansea Silver Wedding

I’m just back from a heartwarming trip to my hometown of Swansea, where I caught up with family, dipped my toe into the Dylan Thomas Centenary Celebrations, and ate a ridiculous amount of food!

Books and Hanging on the Telephone

Last Thursday (March 6th) was World Book Day and I celebrated by treating myself to three new books: ‘The American’ by Martin Booth, ‘Killing the Shadows’ by Val McDermid’ and ‘Ghost Light’ by Joseph O’Connor.

Day Trip: Swiss Cottage and Cahir Castle

Having battled the rain for days, it was a blessing to see the sun for a few hours last week, as Hubs and I brought my visiting sister to see Swiss Cottage and Cahir Castle. Of course, we had our rain coats at the ready, but as we admired the outside of the cottage, its charms were highlighted by the warmth and glow of sunshine.

Boats in Schull Harbour.

Schull and The Harvest Moon Festival

My husband and I don’t go out that often, as we live in the countryside. But we do love live music and had been talking about going to West Cork for a couple of years. When I saw that the ‘Harvest Moon Festival’ was taking place in Schull, I thought ‘Hey, this is our excuse!’

Spanish dance company Delreves, performing the opening moves of their Alice in Wonderland Inspired routine: 'Repite Conmigo' begin their dance at the top of the Menapia Building.

Sky Dance! Delreves at Waterford Spraoi Festival

I’ve lived in Waterford for nearly five years now, and up until last weekend, I had never experienced the Spraoi Festival. I had heard lots about it and had been intrigued, but I must admit, I’m not a big crowd person and I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to outdoor events plus torrential downpours. But this year, I took a good look at the Spraoi programme (and the weather forecast), determined to find a suitable event to attend. I found Delreves.

The Wolverine hits Japan with a roar . . .

Filmfest: The Wolverine & Wreck it Ralph

This summer is turning into a bit of a filmfest for me! There really is nothing to watch on TV, so hubs and I have been settling down in front of a mix of fims, including The Wolverine and Wreck it Ralph.

Mount Congreve House.

The Secret Gardens at Mount Congreve

We were in Waterford when we got the call. It was Mum-in-law, phoning to tell us that the gardens at Mount Congreve would be open to the public, that afternoon. As we were on the way back from a business shopping trip to my husband’s office, work beckoned. But the gardens demanded our attention. We had never seen them. It would be something to blog about.

Lismore Castle

The Lismore Immrama Experience

I got my first taste of the Lismore Immrama Festival of Travel Writing at the weekend. Despite the name, the festival is not just about travel and offers a wide variety of events, with something to interest everyone. As I’ve recently been reading ‘The Famine in Waterford’, I decided to attend a lecture by Donald Brady, who assisted in the editing of that particular publication. The lecture focused on the Watercolour Society of Ireland, a group of 6 strong and talented women, led by founding member: Frances Currey.

alice in wonderland wire sculpture

Hill Watching, The Clancys and Ormond Castle

My weekend was pretty different, inspiring me to write about a cluster of experiences. I have been surprised by the weather, intriguing landscapes, an historic building and a local festival. The fun began with a picnic overlooking stunning views on the way to Clonmel (see pic).

All the white horses . . . a new act at Circus Gerbola.

Circus Tricks, Walks and Plaice

I’m a regular at the circus, since moving to Ireland four years ago. My Mum-in-Law’s field provides the perfect base for visiting circuses and means that Hubs and I get free tickets! Circus Gerbola was the latest troupe of entertainers to settle in for the weekend.

Orange Sunflower used as the emblem of the Sunshine Award for Blogging

All Smiles here: The Sunshine Award for Blogging

I’m feeling extra sunny today, having been awarded the Sunshine Award for Blogging by fellow writer: AK Andrew. Big thanks to AK, who writes poetry and fiction and is the author of the novel: Radio Echo. Find out more here.

Shot of Flaming Sambuca

Birthday Celebrations, Bond, and Biryani

I’m congratulating myself on a birthday well celebrated! Taking my cue from Usher, who recently announced on the Graham Norton show that he has ‘a birthday week’, I began my birthday celebrations on Sunday 28th October and ended them on Sunday 4th November!

The World's Biggest Bowl of Porridge being created at Waterford Harvest Festival 2012

Harvest Festival: Crafty Foodie Heaven

When I was 12 years old a Harvest Festival meant a meagre scraping together of tangerines, potatoes and a tin of beans. Items would be deposited at the front of the school hall by each bewildered child, wondering why they had to part with their lunch. Many years later Waterford has shown me exactly what a Harvest Festival should mean.

Books, Cake, Weddings, what a perfect mix!

One Wedding, One Day-Trip, One Olympic Ceremony

I’m just back from a trip home to Wales where I attended the wedding of a close friend, took a day-trip to Hay-on-Wye and experienced ‘spectating gold’ by watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony!

They were going for the wet look . . .

Diamonds are a Queen’s Best Friend

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is upon us (in fact it has been for the last four days), talk about making the most of an occasion! Despite the enthusiasm of the British public I do wonder if it’s a case of ‘God Save the Queen’ or ‘Thank God for an extra Bank Holiday’.