The Climb in Co. Waterford

There’s a bit of a back story to the waterfall post of yesterday or maybe I should say ‘back-breaking’ story.

It was another of those Mother and Son excursions that always end up being a lot further and more strenuous than I anticipate and I should have learned by now. But, after a day’s rest, I definitely think it was well worth it.

We went to Mahon Falls, which is Co. Waterford’s best known waterfall. It’s up in the Comeragh Mountains and is a very popular spot for walkers. Thing is I’ve never gone to the top of the waterfall before ~ some of the way but never to the top.

Here’s son, Harry, striding off with a great sense of purpose towards the waterfall:

The Path to Mahon Falls, Co. Waterford

I couldn’t resist the odd little detour to take photos of the mountain sheep so kept getting left behind. (Little did I think, I was going to be up on the high curvy peak a while later when I was concentrating on the sheep!)

Comeragh Sheep

Fast forward, or take a look back at the video of the waterfall from yesterday’s post.

I find myself persuaded to climb up and have a look at the waterfall from the top rather than just admiring it as it splashes down. It was tough going, I can tell you, but here’s how it looked from the top. I’m still a little dizzy as I look at this one:

Mahon Falls Pouring Down

There’s a sense of being on top of the world ~ at least the world of Co. Waterford when you’re way up at the waterfall. Here’s a sense of the vista and it’s hard to believe that a path can become so narrow and the course of a river so defined:


As always with Harry, we came down a different way to how we went up and it involved more climbing before the descent. The views were great as we looked down the valley towards the sea:

The Wilds of Co. Waterford looking towards Dungarvan


Back on terra firma, the setting sun was drenching the side of the mountain with burnished red beams:

Homeward Bound

No matter where Harry and I are climbing, we always find ourselves thinking of the song, The Climb, that we have both loved since 2009:



Sons and Sunsets

Today brought one of those excursions with son, Harry, that I always enjoy so much.

We went walking in Portlaw Woods which are about twenty minutes drive from Tramore.

Walking in woods is something I associate very much with Christmas time and it’s something Mother and Father introduced us to from when we were very young.

A hauntingly beautiful feature of Portlaw Woods is  De La Poer Tower which was built in 1785 by the First Marquis of Waterford, George De La Poer Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, in memory of his son who died in a horse riding accident. The tower is 70 ft high and is very much a local landmark.

Here’s how it looked as the sun was setting:

De La Poer Tower, Tower Hill, Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

The tower certainly is a remarkable memorial to a son and it made me all the more appreciative of having my 6ft 3in towering son walking along beside me.


Irish Intoxication

Drink to me only with thine eyes …  (Ben Jonson)

What was a quick walk at sundown yesterday after a long day at the computer turned into a feast of soothing light out by Carrigavantry Lake, which is just a couple of miles from Tramore.

It brought thoughts of lines from  W.B. Yeats’  wonderful Lake Isle of Innisfree:

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

Carrigavantry is a place that holds all sorts of memories for son, Harry, and me and we often go there when we crave tranquillity. Yesterday, though, was different as it was an ordinary day for both of us ~ that is, if any day can ever be called ‘ordinary.’

We didn’t go there for any emotional reasons or with any inner longings but it was like as if Carrigavantry hadn’t been told that and was determined to envelope us in magical light.

Welcoming Eyes
Welcoming Eyes

The green of Spring seemed tinged with Autumnal gold as we caught our first view of the nestling blue lake:

The First Glimpse
The First Glimpse

The rusty old bath that serves as a water trough fitted in perfectly with the golden hues. There was a softness in the air that made the ordinary exude extraordinariness:

Golden Gate
Golden Gate

The lake itself was high and the dying sun melted into the trees that frame it:

Carrigavantry Lake
Carrigavantry Lake

As we left for home, a well-coated grey horse gazed a pensive farewell:

Goodbye Eyes
Goodbye Eyes

Vision of Mother Nature

It was dark and dank all day last Friday and then just as it seemed that night had closed in early, the grey blinds on the horizon were slowly opened:

Light on the Horizon over Tramore Sand Dunes
Light on the Horizon over Tramore Sand Dunes

Son, Harry, and I, were treated to a magical sunset:

Harry: Feasting his Eyes
Harry: Feasting his Eyes

Through the mists, the steeple of the mid 19th century church in Tramore that is such a familiar sight from our kitchen window, rose up into the inky sky:

Skyline of Tramore from Saleens
Skyline of Tramore from Saleens

As the sun was setting out in Tramore Bay, the profile of Mother Nature, wearing an elegant wide-brimmed grey hat, appeared before us in the sky:

Mother Nature
Mother Nature

The afterglow has remained with us from a mother and son evening never to be forgotten:





Light of My Life

On days like today, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

It’s all about ‘time well spent,’ and I couldn’t have asked for more than to be at the ocean with son, Harry, and Puppy Stan at sundown.

Nature was out in all her glory:


and the the colours were ever-changing.

Light and Half Light
Light and Half Light

The bond between man and dog never fails to warm my heart:

Harry and Stan
Harry and Stan

As I let my gaze wander

Touch of Ireland
Light of Ireland ~ Green, White and Gold

I hear a voice calling

My Boy on the Glowing Cliffs
My Boy on the Glowing Cliffs

as the tints change yet again …

2016-01-27 20.36.45
Burning Embers of the Day











Mother, Son and Bridges

The Barrow Bridge
The Barrow Railway Bridge     Photo: Harry Fox

Mystery tours with son, Harry, are always fun and well-thought out.

Yesterday, he brought me up a little woodland path out near Cheekpoint, here in Co. Waterford, and there below us was The Barrow Bridge which he knew I’d been wanting to see for a good while.

The Barrow Railway Bridge was built between 1906 and 1910 and is the longest railway bridge in Ireland at 2,131 feet long.  It carried the railway from Waterford to Wexford and on to Rosslare Harbour and closed to passenger traffic in 2010.

It was designed by Benjamin Baker (1840-1907), an eminent English Civil Engineer, who is best known for his design of the Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, which was one of the first cantilever bridges and which was the longest bridge in the world for several years.

Benjamin Baker     Source: Wikipedia
Benjamin Baker
Source: Wikipedia

As we stood together, mother and son, admiring The Barrow Bridge, this quote from Richie Norton kept crossing my mind:

“Action is the bridge between thought and reality.”





New Year’s Eve ~ Remembering, Being and Wishing

Wishing Stones
Wishing Stones

New Year’s Eve is one of the most significant days of the year and I can remember practically of them from when I was very young. That New Year’s Eve party that we had when I was twelve ~ I’ll never know if the midnight kiss was a ‘real’ kiss ~ I’m sure it was. It has to have been. Neil Diamond was big that year but it was posters of  Jimi Hendrix that adorned the walls and looked great through the dim light of the bulbs my brother painted dark red.

Starting work as a Pantry Girl in a Dublin Hospital on a freeeeezing cold New Year’s Eve in 1979 and being ticked off severely for parking my bike in the Reception area ~ what else was I to do with it??

The New Year’s Eve in 1980 which marked the last day that my beloved boyfriend, who died from cancer, was able to sit up with me in front of the fire. He had only 5 more days to live.

Flying to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 1983 for a three month stint ~ a whole new beginning …..

The New Year’s Eve when I was pregnant ~ full of anticipation of what early Summer 1995 would bring.

New Year’s Eves ringing Mother and Dad on the stroke of midnight ~ knowing that they would still be up and expecting the phone to ring.

And this New Year’s Eve ~ filled with memories, wonderment and Wishing Stones.

The sea gulls were all excited in when Stanny and I were out in Kilfarrassy at noon:

Partying in Kilfarrassy, Co. Waterford
Partying in Kilfarrassy, Co. Waterford

We just had to stop to gaze at this wondrous horse looking towards 2016:

What Lies Ahead?
What Lies Ahead?

The back road from Waterford to Tramore (the Ballinamona Road) ~ always catches me with its beauty and it was full of questions about comings and goings today and, indeed, it begged me to just STOP and take it all in:

The Ballinamona Road, Co. Waterford.
The Ballinamona Road, Co. Waterford.

Time to witness the last sunset of 2015 and it had to be from Tramore Beach ~ my beach:

New Year's Eve Sunset 2015, Tramore, Co. Waterford
New Year’s Eve Sunset 2015, Tramore, Co. Waterford

Harry and I are  just back from casting the Wishing Stones. We chatted, we laughed, we picked the stones ever so carefully, we laughed, smiled, I shed a few tears, we hugged, we cast the Wishing Stones, we remembered, we wished and we were together ~ mother and son.

I promise I cast a stone for everyone who asked me to. I picked them as well as I possibly could and I hope, hope, hope that they help your wishes come true. I decided to cast one for everyone in blogland, ‘cos everyone, everywhere must have a special memory and/or wish.

Nature's Presence
Nature’s Presence

Softly calmly, immensity taps at your life.  (Jane Hirshfield)




One of the things I most associate with November is what I think of as sunsetting with son, Harry, at the seaside. It’s something we’ve been doing together since he was a toddler.

When he was five or six, I had no concept whatever of a time when he would be twenty and driving me from beach to beach to make the very most of day’s end.

We had a glorious few hours this evening soaking in the delicious colours as they unfolded. We played around taking photographs and here’s a glimpse of a couple we took:

Memory-Making on Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford
Memory-Making on Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford  (Jean)
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford
Day’s End at Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford  (Harry)

Shared time is a curious thing and I wonder to what extent either H or I will remember the intensity of this evening in years to come.


Another Kind of Sunset

Tower Hill, Porlaw, Co. Waterford
Tower Hill, Portlaw, Co. Waterford

Today was one of those golden mother and son days. He wanted to go running up in the woods near Portlaw village and the Curraghmore Estate of Lord Waterford.

As he disappeared into the haze, the setting sun played with  the undergrowth keeping my heart warm until he came jogging back with that glowing smile that has mattered so much to me for twenty years now.

Golden Hues

Climbing Co. Waterford

When son, Harry (now 20), suggests an impromtu excursion, I’m never able to resist. There’s always that little voice inside me that says: Make the most of the time that we can share.  I also know, from experience, that these outings bring me to wild and wonderful places.

Yesterday, it was a trip up the glaciated Comeragh Mountains here in Co. Waterford to see one of the many lakes that shimmer majestically up there. Our destination, I was informed, was Coumshingaun Lake.

Heathery Climb with the Co. Waterford Coastline in the Distance
Heathery Climb with the Co. Waterford Coastline in the Distance

The air grew purer and purer as we climbed and, as my heart pounded, I envied the sure-footed fitness and balance of the curious sheep:

Natural Habitat!
Natural Habitat!

Just as we seemed to be reaching some kind of summit, dark clouds came sweeping round the mountains followed by ‘relief rain’ that hopped out of the mists of boring geography classes in the early 1970s.

There was sublime compensation for the total knicker-through drenching with the magical appearance of a rainbow bridging what seemed like the whole of Co. Waterford:

The Perfect Rainbow
The Perfect Rainbow

As we made our way up the mountain, I couldn’t but think of the song ‘The Climb,’ sung by Joe McElderry, which Harry and I often play in the car and which both of us have long found inspirational:

We stood in awe as Coumshingaun Lake came into sight beneath us and, yes, we agreed that  we would  come back soon and climb higher and higher so that we would get to see its wonder from all angles.

Counmshingaun Lake, Co. Waterford
Coumshingaun Lake, Co. Waterford