Things I Adore about My Ireland

Last night, a quick walk with puppy Stan, turned out to be a two and a half hour stroll that brought home to me many of the things I absolutely adore about the Ireland ~ and especially the Tramore, that is both my native heath and the place where I’ve now lived permanently for 23 years.

It was a very drizzly evening and when I popped into our busy, vibrant local Centra shop, I just loved the way the cheery guy who was stacking  shelves said: Sure we get all four seasons in one day in this country.  I’d never thought of it that way before but he’s right and the four seasons can also, of course, mean meeting with people from all generations. Tramore is a town with a population of around 11,000 which swells, like the high tide, during the tourist season and on sunny Sundays.

I didn’t meet a soul out for the walk that  took me down passed the beautifully named Glór na Mara school ( Glór na Mara translates into Voice/Sound of the Sea). It is just at this point that I catch my first glimpse of  Tramore Bay. Yes, I could hear the whisper of the waves and see the lights of the more than inviting Promenade.

My Ireland abounds with glorious choices ~ drop down to the seafront or take a higher route along the Victorian Doneraile Walk, with its vistas of the Bay and views right along the cliffs to the Metal Man and beyond.

Last night, the Doneraile called, with its beautiful old walls, sweeping terraces and the feel of the salty breeze from the sea in my face. Tramore Tennis Club, that played such a huge role in my life looks down onto the Doneraile and, as I approached, I heard the last rally of a friendly game with the sounds of the echoing tennis ball and laughing players ringing out in the gloaming.

Out on the Cliff Road, it seemed as if the sea was rising up to meet me I had to stop to watch the bobbing boats in The Pier ~ not yet alseep, but wrapped up well in the arms of the harbour.

Though damp, there was a warmth in the air, as we made our way down through Newtown Wood towards Newtown Cove. Sea Pinks adorned the cliffs and I couldn’t resist casting a Wishing Stone into the gentle waters.

Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford

There’s an old saying that Faraway Hills are Greener, but I’ll let you into a secret. My wish last night was that Tramore will always be ‘home.’

 

My Local Shop in Tramore ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 363

Where would you get a pound of butter, if you lived around here? was one of my late father’s regular questions when we’d be driving around in the middle of nowhere.

Those drives and his question flash into my mind almost daily as I walk up to our local Centra shop which is just around the corner. We just call it The Tank because it was originally called The Tankfield Stores  and you know the way you have a tendency as you get a tad older to call shops by the names they had when you got to know them first? 

Hickson's Centra, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Hickson’s Centra, Tramore, Co. Waterford

The Tank is all about ‘gatherings,’ for me. The staff are like old friends;  it’s a place where I’m bound to meet someone I know; a place that has seen me in every conceivable mood; a place where I’ve shared in the highs and lows of community, town, county, national and international life; a place that I’ve seen change hands over the years but somehow retain that sense of being fundamental to my family, neighbours and local community generally. Apart from all that, it’s the landmark that I use to direct people to our house and a place where everyone, local, visitor or passer-by is greeted with a smile.

I suspect most people have a ‘local shop’ of some description ~ and here’s where I hand over to you!