Happy Hour ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 227

It was a spur of the moment decision; pile into the car with son and a black and white flurry of dogs.  I had been deep in thought about ‘opposite sides of the same coin’ ( of all the crazy things)  so I suppose it shouldn’t have come as any great surprise that we ended up at the far side of Tramore Bay ~ the Brownstown Head side ~ looking right along the beach and sand dunes, getting a whole new perspective on ‘our place.’

There was a sunny haze and a lovely warm breeze blowing gently into our faces.  Just one man fishing a long way down. Were we disturbing his peace or he ours?

Fishing at Saleens, Co. Waterford

It seemed like we had reached an impasse when faced with huge rocks but we were bursting to see what was round the corner. Having clambered up onto what seemed like a cliff path, we were stunned to see three ladies totally engaged in collecting something.

The Gatherers near Brownstown Head
The Gatherers near Brownstown Head

As we drew close, we saw that they were picking mushrooms, and suddenly it all came back to me ~ this week in 1974, searching for mushrooms in the very same sort of August heat out near Mellifont Abbey a few miles from Drogheda, Co. Louth.

It was only then it dawned on me that we had obviously strayed onto private land but I just had to see that basket of mushrooms.  The women were as friendly as could be and could obviously see that we were as happy as they were.  All was forgiven that we were walking on their land as they drew close to let me take a photograph of the fruit of their happiness.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

10 thoughts on “Happy Hour ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 227”

  1. LOVE this! It is mushroom season- was out at Lough Gur yesterday and we came upon a great clump of mushrooms – people gathered them and were delighted to tell all of us how they would be serving them for dinner later in the day 🙂 My husband’s aunt used throw them on top of the hot range and let them cook there,unadulterated ! Fruit of happiness indeed!

  2. Jean, I rushed right in when I saw your title. Here, you see, “Happy Hour” refers to a brief period of time when the bar will serve refreshments at reduced prices, and absolutely nothing else. Now I must tell the crew there will be no grog unless they’d wish for a spot of portobello tea.

    1. Ah Van, I knew I’d catch your attention! We have the same kind of ‘Happy Hour’ here but, no doubt, you and your friends will see that an hour spent with son and ‘dawgs’ in glorious sunshine feasting on Tramore Bay and the sight of mushrooms beats the normal ‘Happy Hour’ any day!!

  3. A nice encounter Jean. I hope the ladies see themselves on your blog. I wouldn’t dare gather and eat mushrooms though for fear I’d soon be gasping my terminal breath.

    1. Oh Roy, did you not gather mushrooms in your Irish youth and learn to sort out the ‘men from the boys?’ I think it’s something that we Irish do pretty well ~ though maybe living in rural areas is a big help!

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