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I was in Waterford City very early yesterday morning and couldn’t take my eyes off the sculpture of a tall ship which now stands in the middle of the famous Quay.
It brought me back to The Tall Ships Festival which took place here in Waterford in 2011.
It was a glorious few days, full of colour and joie de vivre. The ships were moored along the Quays in Waterford for a couple of days and then sailed up the estuary early on a very sunny Sunday morning. We bade them a hearty farewell from every vantage point in Dunmore East as they sailed off towards the horizon, leaving lasting memories for so many.
I hope you enjoy watching this Slideshow which I put together back then to capture those happy memories forever.
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Tramore, Co. Waterford in the sunny south-east of Ireland is the place where I was born and the place that has been home now for the last twenty-five years.
Yesterday morning I was woken by puppy, Stan, who lured me out for a walk at dawn. It was one of those golden mornings and I felt absolutely blessed as we strolled along a route which is beyond familiar to me but which is ever-changing.
Rather than heading to the three mile long beach, from which Tramore takes its name, we stayed at the top of the town. This took us passed the two churches, which merge in my mind as the child of a mixed marriage.
The Victorian Doneraile Walk, which has such wonderful vistas of Tramore Bay, called us. It is the place where my mother walked every evening when she was pregnant with me and I just love the views it provides of Tramore Bay. From there, we went to the Pier where the boats were tugging and waiting for the tide to rise. One man, though, was up bright and early paddling in his kayak.
The Cliff Road is the place that I associate with my own pregnancy almost twenty years ago now. I walked it daily for the nine months and got to know every nook and cranny along the way.
And our final destination was Newtown Wood which has the little bridge that I consider to be my very own social bridge.
I hope you enjoy this short slideshow of the photographs which I took on Sunday. I know that Tramore will never, ever look exactly the same because its beauty is ever-changing with the time, tide, light, weather, season and, I suppose, the mood and interests of the beholder.
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Sunday was special like so many of the Sundays of my childhood. We used to go for walks on country roads, just like the road from Annestown to Dunhill Castle, here in Co. Waterford.
Childhood walks were always fun, but now that I look back on them, I can see that our parents, more subconsciously than anything else, brought us to places that would be educational in all sorts of ways.
Mother had a passion for nature, especially trees and wild wildflowers and Father was very keen on history as well as landscape photography.
I didn’t really mean to go for a walk on Sunday but found myself in the little village of Annestown with swimming on my mind. My eyes were drawn, as always to Dunhill Castle, which is about two miles up the Anne Valley from Annestown. The castle has a long, long history, which is well summarised here. In short, the site stretches back to pre-historic times but the first castle was built by the hugely influential la Poer (Power) family in the 1200s.
The ruin that stands guard over the Anne Valley today is very imposing and it is intriguing to think that the castle and the remains of an old church and graveyard were once centre pieces of a whole village. It is also quite amazing to think that the sea used to flow right up to the Castle whereas now there is but a narrow river.
My walk on Sunday had me thinking of the battles that raged between the Powers of Dunhill and the City of Waterford in the 14th century, but it also brought me back to Summer Sundays when Mother would delight in lifting us up to smell honeysuckle, pick juicy blackberries, play with buttercups and daisies, climb gates, run through bracken, listen to grasshoppers, watch fish jump in the river, blow dandelions, pick long grasses and gently press the seeds to sail in the breeze …..
That road from Annestown to Dunhill has hardly changed since I was a kid and here’s how it was as I walked from the beach at Annestown up to the Castle and the ruins of the old church and back again…..
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I am reblogging this Slideshow of Trinity College, in my Gatherings from Ireland series, because today April 4th marks the day on which one of Trinity’s famous graduates, Oliver Goldsmith, died.
Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) was a novelist, playwright and poet whose great works include the novel ‘The Vicar of Wakefield ‘ and poem ‘The Deserted Village.’
A statue of Goldsmith stands at the entrance to Trinity College and has been part of the beauty, history and inspiration for the hundreds of thousands of students, including myself, who have been fortunate enough to follow in Oliver Goldsmith’s footsteps and study at this wonderful university which is such an oasis in the centre of Dublin.
I found it really interesting to take a look back at the Ireland Calling! Slideshow which I put together for March last year. More than anything, it reminds me of the wonders of nature and how significant March is in the Irish calendar. I hope you enjoy it.
Here we are 'deep in December', but Ireland is full of colour and the promise of more and more ..... I hope you enjoy this slideshow which I put together after a visit yesterday to the wondrous, historic and inspirational National Botanic Gardens in Dublin.
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