A while ago, I noticed that a brick in the wall hidden behind a light post on my round the block walk has a very inspiring little mural on it. It took a bit of doing to grab a photograph of it as the pole is pretty much obscuring it and I had Puppy Stan pulling impatiently to trot on.

It catches me by surprise every time I pass and that could be three or four times a day!

Coffee Days

The Happy Grind

Ireland has seen the growth of a wide variety of coffee haunts in recent years.

There was a time when it was almost impossible to get what I call proper coffee but now we are spoilt for choice and the names of the coffee places are great too.

The Happy Grind is my favourite name at present but I am always on the look out for competitors. Are there any interestingly named coffee places in your life?

It’s an Ill Wind …

The Promenade here in Tramore has become extremely popular during the Covid period and the Bay has been buzzing with surfers for the last few months, especially.

This evening it was all a lot quieter because the weather had been iffy all day but the strong wind had brought out some wind-surfers who added extra colour to the scene that is ever-changing and divine in all weathers.

Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

Every time I look out towards the horizon, I think of lines from John Keats’ Ode to the Sea:

Oh ye, who have your eyeballs vexed and tired,

Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;

-John Keats-

Sense of Place

Tramore has a new lingerie shop and I simply love the name:

Queen Street, Tramore, Co. Waterford

The Ladies’ Slip has been part of Tramore’s history for years and years and is one of the swimming places for changing and sunbathing.

It is part of the lore of the town at this point as men and women mix.

Here is how the Ladies’Slip was looking yesterday:

Ladies’ Slip, Tramore

I’m hoping that the new lingerie shop attracts lots of customers when our non-essential retail opens next Monday as Ireland takes yet another step out of the Lockdown that has been in place since the beginning of the year.

Say ‘Hello’

I still find it quite incredible that some people can find it impossible to bring themselves to say ‘hell0’ to a stranger. I greet everyone I meet when I am out for my daily constitutionals and it is about a 50% response rate. Men tend to be a lot better at acknowledging my existence but women are very hit and miss, especially pairs of women.

I am not asking anyone to do more than acknowledge my existence; I’m not asking them to stop and give me money or listen to my life story. Just a simple ‘hello’ or a ‘smile’ can make the world of a difference.

I am often reminded of the story of the man who was headed to jump off a bridge but had the proviso that if someone said ‘hello’ to him on the way that he would return home happy.

Who knows what anyone is going through and how much a simple smile or acknowledgement can change the entire look of the world.

I would much prefer to go where there is no one than to be ignored by people, especially when I have made the opening move of greeting them.

I know that greeting everyone in a city context is impossible but not out on a walk in a rural setting or small town when you might encounter a maximum of maybe 20-25 people.

Thank goodness, there are still friendly farmers in Ireland who say ‘hello’ to everyone and even have a kindly few words like: Great day for drying.

A Friendly Farmer with a Little Wave

Ireland #5

I feel in the mood for music tonight and realise how much I miss going to live gigs. I would have said that I don’t go to very many but I realise now how much they actually mean to me and how much I look forward to them. They are something that I will never, ever take for granted again once Covid is behind us.

It’s hard to beat an Irish gig, especially if it’s held in a pub or small intimate setting.

The song that has been playing on my mind today is one from Christy Moore, one of Ireland’s best known singers. It’s a fun song really and relates to the town of Lisdoonvarna, which is known for its match-making festival and spas.

Lisdoonvarna is in Co. Clare, my father’s native county, and he talked a lot about how he spent holidays there with an aunt of his when he was in his early teenage years. They used to stay in a hotel and he was thrilled to be her companion on those trips.

I hope this gets your toes tapping and lightens your heart: