Festival of Bridges #12 ~ A Jersey Tale

The Festival of Bridges brings us to Jersey today, courtesy of Roy McCarthy whose blog Back on the Rock is a real favourite of mine.

Roy has a myriad of interests and is a writer. One of his books is the wonderfully named: A Jersey Midsummer Tale. 

Here’s what Roy sent, and as a person who both honeymooned in Jersey and holidayed there for ten years, I feel like I’ve been transported back to a place I absolutely adore.

The Jersey Eastern Railway opened for business in 1874 but closed in 1929. Here is a secluded little bridge, unknown to many, behind St Clement Parish Hall just before the former Le Hocq Station.

Photo: Roy McCarthy
It’s an easy leap of the imagination to imagine local people walking underneath the bridge 100 years and more ago as the train chugged on its way out towards Gorey.

  An extract from ‘A Jersey Midsummer Tale’.

They picked up speed as they skirted to the south of the sports fields and headed out into the St Clement countryside. At Samares two passengers alighted and two more at Pontorson Lane. The train was clattering along merrily now, along the embankment and through the Le Hocq Lane crossing, up through the cutting, under the coast road bridge before rattling down into Pontac Station.
The Festival of Bridges runs until October 31st. Submissions are now closed unless you have a bridge that you feel you simply HAVE to share. If so, send it on to me at jeatubridy@aol.com. I can never get enough bridges!!






Happiness Spills Over

That post I wrote on International Happiness Day has kept my spirits raised  thanks to the great response that it got and the sense that it resonated with people around the globe.

I want to thank writer Frances Macaulay Forde, who lives in Australia and blogs on the lovely site Exploring Possibilities, for following up on her comment and sending me this happy, happy photo of herself and her niece among daffodils which was taken in Ireland in 2003.

Frances Macaulay Forde with her Niece, Ellen.
Frances Macaulay Forde with her Niece, Ellen.

Thanks also to writer Roy McCarthy, who lives in Jersey and blogs at Back on the Rock, for jogging me into ‘count your blessings’ mode through his comments. He succeeded in catapulting me back to absolute basics and, even though I thought I didn’t take much for granted, I’ve realised that I absolutely do and this is something I plan on changing.

Here’s a little example of  how Roy sent me into reflective mode early yesterday morning!

Ballyscanlon Lake, Co, Waterford
Ballyscanlon Lake, Co, Waterford

It is quite astonishing where counting blessings takes one!

My Birthday Weekend ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 277

Birthday Card from Big Bro!

Given that my birthday is falling on a Friday this year, I’ve decided to make a weekend of it. Yes, today, is the big day and one that I’m delighted to share with two of my all time idols ~ Chuck Berry and Martina Navratilova.

Birthdays were hugely significant events in our house when we were kids, undoubtedly because Mother placed great emphasis on them. It was only when I had my own son in 1995 that I realised the extent to which a child’s birthday is a day that a mother is unlikely ever to forget and hopefully likely always to celebrate.

Mother has been very much on my mind this week and I can only smile when I think of the last birthday we shared on this day in 2008. I always hated birthday parties but in 2008 Mother decided it was time to put an end to this and organised a surprise party for me. I really felt I could read her every thought at that stage but she caught me out totally and I landed into a party in full swing which I have to admit I enjoyed immensely.

There is a helluva storm blowing here in Tramore today but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to go for an early walk around the beach. The rain and wind were blowing furiously into my face on the outward journey and if ever there was ‘living in the moment,’ this was it. I almost flew home and couldn’t but think of these lines from a traditional Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields …..

Thus far, it’s been the walk on the beach, a long steamy bath, lunch of mackerel with spinach and grated nutmeg, and cosy dessert of hot juiced apples with cinnamon; a quick trip into Waterford to my mecca of Irish produce ~ Ardkeen Stores ~ and a visit to Amazon to download recent books of two of my favourite bloggers for weekend reading ~ Roy McCarthy’s (http://backontherock.com/Tess of Portelet Manor and David Millington Croft’s (http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/Love is Blood. 

Birthdays, for me,  are all about remembering, sharing, enjoying, plotting, planting, smiling, creating memories ….. What do they mean to you?