I don’t want to give the impression that we talk about the weather all the time, but… the weather has been fantastic since St. Patrick’s Day! I’m not sure what we’ve done to deserve it, but we’ll take it! Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, the Dublin Parade organisers pulled a masterful stroke in inviting Joanne O’Riordan as the Grand Marshall. She’s usually referred to a ‘disability rights campaigner’ but when you listen to her on the radio you know she’s so much more than that. Was it Nietzsche who said ‘when you label me you negate me’?* Anyway, it was actually the first time I’d actually heard Joanne talk (as opposed to just read about her) and she comes across as a vibrant, witty and smart young woman who definitely doesn’t allow herself to be constrained by labels. More power to her.
But back to the great weather… we were ambling around Strandhill on Friday and I thought I’d explore a different path and came across this lovely old building right on the shoreline, and another small disused cottage further along. Now this is something I have to get the history of – what is the story behind these buildings, built right on the edge of the sea? My grandmother came from Ross, and my father used to tell us of the water coming into the kitchen in high tides, and they were at least 50 metres from the sea!
I’ve been told I have to stop putting up pictures of abandoned houses (I’m sorry Debbie, I just can’t help myself – I’d love your feedback on this!) but they always make me think about that tradition in parts of rural Ireland in times of mass emigration, when people were closing up their houses and leaving they would take an ember from the fireplace and put it in their neighbour’s fireplace. In those days of course the fire was always lit not only for heat but as women cooked over the fire and the kettle was always boiling over it to supply the hot water for washing etc. not to mention the tea… So when they left their ember with their neighbour, it meant that their own fire would be kept lit for when they came back. As many of these old, abandoned cottages show, many of them never did. I often wonder if anyone is keeping their embers lit for their return.
Maybe too poignant a note to finish on, so I’ll end with a few pictures I took yesterday of the beautiful Lough Talt as we drove down to Mayo yesterday to catch up with family and pop into the Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina. More of that another day. For now, I’m off to enjoy another day of sunshine 🙂
*It was Kierkegaard (I googled it…), neither of whom I’ve read to be honest, but it was a quote my brother always used and I like it. We can so easily define ourselves in one way, and worse, allow others to define us and we’re all capable of so much more.