The Houses that Call Me Every Day

Cove Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Cove Road, Tramore, Co. Waterford

If I had to pick the houses that evoke sense of place for me more than any others in the whole world, it is this row of four that are at the top of the road that runs down to The Pier in Tramore.

They are on a slip road that is to my left as I drive out to Newtown Wood with Stan every day.

I don’t know who lives in the houses but it is the buildings themselves that never fail to glint over at me and cause me to pause and admire their charm and brightly painted faces.

These houses epitomise Tramore for me ~ solid, colourful, on the road to the sea; houses that have been there since I was a child drawn down to The Pier look at the boats; listen to the birds in full cry in the tall trees half way down the road, and, of course, flit with a little terror passed the ‘haunted well’ that’s down there too.

No doubt YOU have a house or houses that smile at you each day?


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.

31 thoughts on “The Houses that Call Me Every Day”

  1. They are indeed pretty! I can only say that I walk past this house regularly and sigh… it would be PERFECT for us but waaaay too expensive! So I look at it, sigh and walk on!

    1. I can identify with that, Dale, and experienced that feeling only this morning, when walking around the edge of a golf course by the backs of some houses with huge gardens and fantastic views. But also, I love those really characterful little houses, like those ones in Tramore, although they might be a little too dark inside for me, as I love light.

      1. I hear you! I’m torn between smaller and more charming (but with a good-sized yard for my garden and Zeke) and larger to have my official kitchen separate from my family one – then I could truly start my business legit!

        1. I think we spend most of our lives torn between this and that, but it’s good to have dreams occasionally. Mostly I’m contented with my 3-bedroomed house but would like to have some repairs done on it and a bit of redecorating. Anyway, the trouble with big houses is that they have extra rooms to keep clean.

      2. Sarah, interesting that you and Dale are at one about particular houses.
        It’s not so much that I want to live in the houses that I pass each day; it’s more that they make me feel totally at home in the town.
        They certainly get a lot of light in the front ~ I hardly ever seem to see them in the shade.

  2. I happen to live next door to a lovely old ( at least in this country it is considered to be old) a three story Dutch Gambrel that has atleast 12 rooms. I have always loved this house with it’s stained glass turret window that faces our driveway..It has been vacant for a number of years due to the sister and brother passing. It is in their family but too big for the average family to live in and maintain…so instead of selling it to someone who could make it into an investment property it is slowly deteriorating becoming the haven for squirrels etc. The siding that was put on years ago is slowly coming off and the roof should be fixed ( I think because it’s costly to do that’s why it isn’t being done). I remember how the sister and brother were so proud of it and it’s sad to watch its demise..Hopefully it will be redeemed before it’s too late. I have had the pleasure of seeing the inside which boasts beautiful wood through out all of it in its original condition. The rooms are big with alot of builtins (bookcases, window seats etc.) Even though we have 7 rooms in our home (it seems dwafted by this neighboring house. If walls could talk it would tell many stories…

    1. Try the link I left for Jean that shows the Jelly Bean Houses in Newfoundland. If they don’t make you smile, nothing will Willow. 😀

    1. Paul, did you know that there is a HUGE connection between Newfoundland and Waterford here in Ireland as thousands of people from Waterford emigrated there back in the day. It’s said that there is quite a touch of the very distinctive Waterford accent still alive and well in St. John’s. especially.

      1. As a Newfie would say: Now that there is what you call a Social Bridge me son. Ha! That’s neat Jean. I wasn’t aware of the connection. There is a certain resemblance in architecture that would certainly be explained by that fact. I knew that there was Irish and Scottish blood in Newfoundland, but not that there was a connection to Waterford. So cool.

        Fun post Jean. Thanks.

        1. I was in Chicago last year and met an Irishman, named Tony (which was so weird because we were in an Italian restaurant..) and couldn’t get over how much like a Newfie he sounded! I had never realised that before (or maybe it was him in particular) but I could truly hear the resemblance in the accent. Now you tell us this story which explains so much! 😉

          1. My grandfather was actually from County Cork but I don’t have any Irish accent. I’m from Halifax. Nova Scotia and lived in a city most of my life. When rubbing shoulders with many others constantly, the accent soon disappears. However, I owned my own tractor-trailer and hauled frozen fish from the seafood plants all over Newfoundland for six years. Most of our backhauls into Nfld were into St. John’s so I spent a lot of time there. The accent there is noticeable but no longer great. The outports were a totally different story. The more isolated the population, the greater the accent. I recall clearly loading at a plant that was 120 miles from any other settlement- on the south coast of Nfld, and trying to get something to eat at the local store. We could not make any vebal communication at all – I had to literally point at what I wanted in order to purchase it. Many of those fishermen’s ancestors in those outports came to “Canada” long before my ancestors did and yet retained the accent because of the isolation of the population. It was only in the 1940’s that Nfld became a part of Canada and 1955 before a road connected the eat and west coast. Some of the south shore outports still get their supplies by boat because there are no roads. Many have had roads put in over the last few decades, but still seldom interact with outsders due to the long empty distances between communities. Some years ago I used to haul from Burgeo which had a 120 mile road of blast rock for access – to keep the truck tires whole , it was necessary to keep speed below 20 mph – or a 6 hour drive one way. Not condusive to population mixing.

            Anyway, neat topic Dale. ha! My soap box. Sorry.

            1. No, no, Paul! I totally enjoyed it. I’m Canadian to the core and sadly the only two provinces I’ve yet to visit are Newfoundland and Nova Scotia! What is UP with that??? They are up high on my list of must visi.t (Don’t you find that ironic that you live in Nova Scotia and have worked in Newfoundland?) My husband’s family are from Nova Scotia so it is doubly sad I’ve not been yet. Big emphasis on the YET! I’ve seen various shows where they go “deep” into Newfie territory and man oh man… cannot for the life of me understand what they are saying! Fun stuff… can’t wait to experience it in person! Thanks for sharing!

              Don’t mind us, Jean, we’re just using your blog to get acquainted! 😉

            2. Paul, I’m amazed to that it has taken this long for me to learn about your grandfather being from Co. Cork ~ next county to us here in Waterford.

        2. Paul, the connection is extraordinarily strong between Newfoundland and Waterford. There’s even a plaque on the Waterford Quay showing where the people used to leave from. Some would go for maybe 6 months to work each year and return home to Waterford. Others stayed permanently. I must do some more digging about it all.

        3. Paul I watched a short film recently where descendants of Waterford and Wexford emigrants in Newfoundland were featured. Quite a big community, but these days few identify with the ‘old country’. If I find the link I’ll post it up.

          1. Roy, that’s interesting as there is a very strong sense of connection from the Waterford side and there’s lots of to-ing and fro-ing with Newfoundland. I’m sorely tempted to head off there one of these days.

  3. Old properties are comforting in that they are one of the few things that really don’t change much over time. I was (am) distraught when our old McCarthy homestead in West Cork was eventually knocked down to enable development without even a nod to all the family history that had gone before.
    Jean, Howard Davis Park here in Jersey used to be the gardens of a grand house called ‘Plaisance’. All that remains of the old building is the billiards room which now houses a small exhibition.

    1. Roy, that’s just plain sad about your homestead and I can more than understand how you feel.
      I never knew about ‘Plaisance.’ It must have been gorgeous. When was it in its prime?

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