On an idle Sunday, husband at the wheel, we took off for a day out in West Clare. Heading west from Ennis the road to Kilrush & Kilkee is a straight one, more or less, with some gorgeous new houses settled into the landscape. Sitting at their side one can see the their parent’s homes. They may be older & smaller but were adequate for their time. The memories of growing up in Ireland in the 70s & 80s as a child are still on display around them. Perhaps they are somewhat shabbier or discarded from over use they still peak up here and there, up & down the yard. Although they may not have the shiny look of trampolines or quad bikes, their everlasting charm is in their detail. An old bike in the hedge, a gable end full of scars from pucking a ball, a path to the haggard to find the way to the cubby house. Simple games were of the day.
Taking a cross country route we arrive in Kilkee, a seaside resort today and back then too! As I pass by, I love to see hula hoops & spades on display outside the shop. These are the seaside games that will never die. It’s good to know the kids of today can still play with the simple toys at the beach, somewhere you won’t find a playstation or a laptop nearby. It’s like a little bit of your childhood is still being enjoyed by Irish kids without notice.
Further along we arrive at our destination, The Seafood Festival in Carrigaholt. This simple village’s street market had a lot to offer on the day, colourful preserves, beefy burgers & freshly baked cookies. But the star attraction is the Oyster competition which we stumbled upon. We seen a lady, defend her title as Carrigaholt Oyster Champion of the year. As we laugh & enjoy the street’s fun & games it’s like we are now part of a lifelong festival & it’s success for another year. Something our parents would have visited on a random Sunday just like us back in the day.
So we set off for Kilbaha, set out on Loophead on the way to it’s lighthouse. Not knowing our exact way, and after a few hairy turns we finally got our bearings and got on the right road to visit the Loop! As we turned the bend, the beauty of this Irish day had us in awe of the splendid setting that is Kilbaha Bay. We decided a cuppa tae was due, tea on the loop they say, and fancied a visit to Kilbaha gallery. Although it is only my third visit to Loophead I meet up with some twitter friends… finally! and without necessary introductions we sit, laugh & tell stories for awhile. The girls from Kilbaha gallery are just lovely and the tae & the craic is just mighty.
As we headed home & our phone reception returned, our kids began to ring wondering where we have been and when will we be home, I realise how lucky we are! To head over the road, relax, reminisce, make friends and spend some time in real Ireland and what it has to offer – great people & places. I hope someday our kids can realise a wonderful childhood, country & friends they will have forever in memories.