Sunday, 3 February 2013

There and Back Again

Yesterday I took a day off.
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.

Hamilton's Leap?

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.

Remember them?
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.


  1. Lovely pix, especially as you didn't have a camera! I haven't been to Enniskillen since I was eleven. Looks like it si time I returned. I shall be in co Derry in a couple of weeks for a few days, staying with Cousin, and snapping up cheap cat collars if I see them as MasterB is losing them at the rate of one a week. Our local pound shop oinly has ones with very dodgy clasps at the minute, though usually they have a fairly good choice.
    And the chocolates! What memories they brought back. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Isobel - glad you have overcome my gremlins! The pix are 'ones I took earlier'!
      Do try and get down to Enniskillen - I am very fond of the town, and the people are all so lovely. You'd enjoy revisiting, I'm sure.

  2. Hello Lorely:
    This all sounds to have been one of the most perfect of days. It all serves to remind us that even in our daily lives carrying out the simplest of tasks, there is wonder all around us in the world. You do live in the most glorious countryside and, even without a picture, we can well imagine that 'pink dawn in a washed cyan sky'. How beautifully you describe this!Can there be anything more lovely?

    Cadbury's Miniatures, no we have not seen them for decades...nor they exist?

    1. Hello - I am always very pleased to see you both as I feel you add a touch of vicarious elegance to my blog just by visiting!
      Thank you for the compliment - we do have lovely skies around here, and our neighbouring village is actually known as 'Enniscrone of the Sunsets'. A trifle purple, but there you go. And in truth, they can be lovely.
      The Miniatures were a real trip down memory lane, but I can't remember when I last saw Spangles - probably when I was a child visiting Britain!

  3. Yes, I'm partial to a bit of cross-Border shopping myself, stocking up with pet supplies in Jollyes and groceries in Sainsburys. not forgetting all sorts of bargains in TK Maxx. It's a good few years since I've been to Enniskillen but I found it a very attractive town- we stayed a few days but the weather wasn't great so we didn't get out on the lakes. Now maybe that could be an idea for this year's holidays!

    1. Jollyes was the very shop I was in, Mairead! Isn't it great! Sadly no Sainsbury's in Enniskillen, but lots of other things, and an absolutely fab butcher, anmongst other things.
      The lakes are wonderful around there, and there is also Florence Court and the Marble Arch Caves, so I'm sure you'd enjoy your hols if you plumped for Fermanagh!
      (Mind you, Sligo should really be your first choice - 110 miles of coast, lakes, rivers, mountains, woods, Yeats, Countess Markievicz, surf, golf...)

    2. I've been to Sligo a good few times - shared a flat with a girl from there when I was at college (a long time ago) - but certainly a visit is overdue. Have a mad idea that I would like to pack everyone, Lab included, into the car and travel around the Ulster coast, Down, Antrim, Derry, Donegal, onto Sligo, maybe Mayo and then home!

  4. We used to get those miniatures as prizes for essay writing ar prep school in competitions sponsored by Cadbury's. I won with an essay entitled 'I am a cocoa bean'. Hold the next Booker award!

    1. Consider it held!
      I can't think how they have been giving it out to such paltry also-rans all these years, and can only suppose no one knew of your magnum opus!
      (We could probably organise for you to receive a box of Cadbury's Miniatures alongside the cheque...)

  5. I used to love those little Cadbury's, I had a money box full of them...I used to keep putting money in just to get the chocolate.
    Lovely photos by the way :)

    1. Thanks Val!
      Having eaten so many on the way home, I can tell you they are still just as good as ever!


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