Thursday, 30 April 2009

West Cork

Thank you for all your good wishes for our holidays. We had a lovely time. West Cork is so very beautiful and the first two thirds of the week were sunny. Elby's cousin has rebuilt a beautiful house set in 50 acres running down to the sea. He has a vegetable garden I covet in the extreme and I spent a little time digging, just for the sheer pleasure of it. We had luscious Guinness and yummy beef and a bath next to a real fire...wow. On the last night we had a bottle of Penfolds 407, followed by a Paulliac, a St Emillion Grand Cru and a bottle of Grange. I had a Montecristo No.2 Cigar. No hangover at all.

Pig had a grand time chasing rabbits and our host's mutant corgi/sheepdogs.

Very few photos got taken. Too busy gazing at all the beauty. I did take this one of bluebells


and this one of a grave stone next to that of my niece in Bantry, because I liked his name.


I would love to move there. No cctv. No CSO's.

22 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

Ireland is lovely. It's a bit like going back in time but with all the modern technology too.

idle said...

The idea of lil sitting in a bathtub beside the fire in the front room, smoking a cigar and drinking claret whilst conversing with her hosts is quite Irish.

lilith said...

Hahaaaahaha, Idle. Just so.

lilith said...

Yes, Blue Eyes and nobody seemed to be in a hurry on the roads. There is so little traffic that you can walk the roads and not see a car.

electro-kevin said...

Have they forgiven us for the famine yet ?

lilith said...

I got no sense of a grudge or grievance, Kev, on this trip or on others I made before. Just friendly folk.

Philipa said...

Glad you had a lovely time. The weather has been marvelous. Just the weather for adventuring.

idle said...

If the McOstrich family had had a sense of humour, they would have just buried Cyril's head and left the rest above ground.

Elby the Beserk said...

EK. My first visit to the Republic was in 1970. Hair down to the small of my back. Used to get abuse in the streets in the UK, indeed, an old woman hit me with a handbag in International Stores (remember them? They did the best deal in Jacob's Club Biscuits, essential to have when the munchies hit). Kicked out of pubs, generally harassed.

Not one single incident in Ireland. Indeed, the only person who even commented on it was an old bloke in a pub, who simply asked, noting us longhairs, "So what is it? Is it that you want to see poetry in each others' eyes?". This in some one horse town in the middle of nowhere.

The Irish long ago forgave "us" (I'm half Irish) for our sins; add to that that they are the most convivial of people - conversations break out everywhere, people say hello unprompted - and it is always a delight to go there. I always return imagining how I might live there.

And the Guinness is exquisite. As is the seafood. We bought freshly landed haddock from a wonderful wet fish ship in a tiny port village. Shut when we got there, so off for a pint of creamy velvet and a gorgeous smoked salmon sandwich, all very reasonably priced, and more to the point, utterly gorgeous.

Last truly civilised country in Europe, IMHO.

Raedwald said...

Elby, echo those experiences.

For donkey's years I've taken up the offer of an open bed, a trout rod and the company of good people on the shores of Loch Corrib in Galway. Parts of Ireland are still about the only truly unspoilt wild areas of Europe.

Just Porter and Whisky rather than fine vintages for us, but a people with a healthy dismissal of any attempt to overly regulate them, and the Garda genuinely police by consent.

electro-kevin said...

It sounds idyllic, Elby.

electro-kevin said...

Wasn't that comment by Idle absolutely hilarious ???

Scrobs said...

'Oh, to be in Ireland, now that springtime's here...' (anon)

Not stuck in this corrupted state of unease.

I'd go like a shot, if I could get JRT and Mrs S to agree to buying a caravan and a new horse.

Philipa said...

You're half Irish, Elby? Is that an American half Irish? You know where half their ancestors were Polish right back to the Norman conquests but one lucky chap must have swam across the pond around the same time as the founding fathers so they're Irish, or Scar-dish, or some such but not American and definitely not Polish.

Or is your mum or your dad Irish in that they were born in Ireland to other people that were born in Ireland and so on back to God-knows-when, and they married an immigrant and had you, in Ireland, where they lived but then half way through your formative years they moved to the UK?

Sure now that's alright then. I think I'll be Jewish today. I used to be half werewolf but we don't like to talk about it nowoooooo

Elby the Beserk said...

Absolutely not American half-Irish m'dear. Indeed, my grandmother was witness to the Post Office burning down, and it was the troubles that led them to leave Dublin (my grandfather served with an Irish brigade in WWI, and wasn't too popular on his return with some folk) and settle in Manchester.

Have an old Irish mate in Canada, who I used to work with; he worked in the States before Canada, and left with an intense loathing of the "American" Irish, I'm afraid to say.

Raedwald - have you sailed around West Cork? My father (RIP), who had a good friend with a Swan 32 way back, sailed with him a lot. They did the Irish Sea race a few times - Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire, and would then piss off down the coast stopping at all the harbours in West Cork - Baltimore, Schull, etc. etc. A merry time was had by all.

It was my father who gave me my taste for Powers Gold Label oaver all the other whiskeys. Still love it - slight tinge of smoky peat in there.

Philipa said...

Sure now that's alright then. But you knew what I meant about the American Oirish then ;-) One even served me with at least 2" of head on my Guinness in Alabama and when I asked him to top it up he gave me a lecture on how he was Irish and this is the proper way to serve Guinness. I didn't like to tell him that if he served a pint like that where I came from he'd be wearing it. I did remark it was a lot of money for half a pint of stout but he knew better - he'd been on a day trip once I think. I couldn't give a tinkers how the Irish rip off the tourists, I wanted a decent pint. I didn't get it.

Tuscan Tony said...

Sounds fantastic, and as I imagine England was 50 long years ago.
Never been outside of Dublin myself, sadly.

Elby the Beserk said...

TT- for heaven's sake man! Take a month off, grab the family, and motor slowly around the south west and then up the west coast. The place is spectacular, the hospitality the same.

Tuscan Tony said...

There are direct flights from Pisa to Doblin; plus I feel considerable heat to head over there from the Tuscana, who it would seem has a couple of pounds of oranges in her family crest.

Old Holborn said...

To quote Spike Milligan:

"Follow me, Mr Milligan, Oi'll be right behind you"

I worked in Galway for a while. The Irish consist of two classes. Genius and Feckwitt.

Both are enormous fun. And don't get me started on the black haired, blue eyed, white skinned freckled Colleens who know all the tricks to get a pound of bacon and a pint of guinness off an unsuspecting tourist....

Mick said...

Hi Lilith,

It sounds like you really know how to holiday here in West Cork, and always good to hear about someone enjoying themselves.

Just for your readers the Swansea Cork ferry is being resurrected next year, so there's a perfectly civilised way to arrive again! Roll off the ferry early morning, the sun will be shining! and take a nice run up the coast roads into West Cork.

Bliss!

lilith said...

That's great news Mick :-)