Leaving the In-Charge and the dogs to looks after each other, I went to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.
It was lovely.
Our dentist is in Enniskillen, but even that hasn't managed to put me off the pretty little town.
I wasn't visiting the dentist yesterday - just doing odds and ends and taking time out.
I got up early and set out as it was getting light. Stupidly I forgot to take the camera with me, a shame as it turned into the most beautiful day, starting with a pink dawn in a washed, cyan sky still littered with bright stars and half a moon. The mountains, Benwisken, Benbulben, King's Mountains and Knocknarea were a clear cut half circle against the horizon in front of me - a welcome change, as only two days ago, on that same road, they had all been surgically removed by lowering skies and mist.
Here is Knocknarea at dawn on another day. The cairn on the top is affectionately known as Maeve's Lump. It is the fabled site of the ancient Queen of Connacht's grave.
|Knocknarea at dawn|
As I drove along the road on the hip of the mountains above Glencar Lake, I realised what a mistake it had been to forget the camera. The early sun was warm on the trees that clothe the hillside opposite, and golden on the still, calm lake below. It was quite beautiful, as were the rocks of Hamilton's Leap above me.
They are called Hamilton's Leap because some dastardly Captain or Colonel or some-such, after setting fire to Sligo Town, led his troop in a triumphant charge northwards, but racing through the darkness they came to an ill-fated but well deserved end as they plunged to their deaths over the sheer, cliff-like rocks.
Or that's the story, anyway.
To be strictly honest, I'm not exactly sure which specific bit is Hamilton's Leap, but the heights above Glencar on the Sligo side of the valley lend themselves admirably to the tale.
|Benbulben lies opposite Hamilton's Leap, separated by Glencar Lake on the valley floor|
In Enniskillen - filled with sunshine and happy people about their Saturday business - I meandered lazily from one end of the town to the other, starting off by selecting and engraving dog-tags at the wonderful do-it-yourself machine in the pet shop. One for our new canine friend Millie, and one each for Model Dog and the TeenQueenSuperModel who both lost theirs on the same day, although both deny any knowledge of what happened. Job done, I carried on - trawling through the numerous charity shops for interesting second-hand books to add to my bed-side pile; buying some cut-price wool for my knitting basket, bumping into two friends from Sligo; snapping up rose food and slug pellets at a third of the price I'd pay south of the border, and stocking up on cartons of long-life goats milk for the cats and custard tarts and crumpets for the In-Charge - all items unavailable at home.
I also succumbed to these.
I haven't seen any for an age.
Unfortunately I ate rather a lot of them on the two-hour drive home, which just goes to show: nostalgia is fattening.
Later on we went to our friend DodoWoman for a DoDelightful supper party, taking with us Millie's Mother, of Talentui fame. It was DoDelicious and a lovely way to end a happy day.