Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Our First Adventure of the New Year

The day was bright, the sun low in the sky and the road surface was wet, making driving conditions difficult for our first adventure of the year. Despite passing over my peak cap to give some extra shade, Mrs H was dazzled but keen to be on our way!

We journeyed at a safe speed, allowing for sunlight conditions, passing the looming remains of O’Moore’s Castle on the Rock of Dunamaise.

The Rock of Dunamaise, a site of many battles, was an important fortification throughout Ireland's history. It was plundered by the Vikings in the 9th century, became a Norman stronghold in the 13th, was rebuilt by the O'Moore's in the 15th and was finally destroyed by Cromwell's guns from the east in the 17th century.

We stopped in Carlow for some freshly made sandwiches and coffee as break-fast had only been a single banana each, insufficient to travel on for long. 
Our destination was to visit to Clonegal, an attractive village that sits on the boundary of Counties Carlow and Wexford. Our last visit was in 2013, so it was good to see the changes that had taken place since then.

Where I was disappointed by not having my thirst pint of the year!

I had hopes of having a glass of stout in Osborne’s but unfortunately it was closed, probably for them to rest up after the previous nights New Year’s Eve celebrations.  My thirst was quenched by Adam’s Ale (water) instead.

The smallest building in Clonegal known as The Weigh House

 The 1916 Memorial

The Derry River which always attracts me and so good to see the new railings.

Looking up  The Derry river and the garden with the protective stone bank.

Number one is one of the three stone pigs that sit next 
the Weigh House.

Number two is the sleepy pig who ate too much perhaps over Christmas ?
And number three 
is missing because he got away !

We shall return in May when the blossom is out to visit the gardens of Huntington Castle, a place where I spent many a happy hour in the company of Olivia Durdin Robertson and her associates in the Fellowship of Isis. https://www.huntingtoncastle.com

This shop is in the small town of Stradbally in Co. Laoise,
we often pass it on our journeys. It is the large ice cream cone that attracts me.
This time we stopped because Mrs H wanted a mineral drink and I an ice cream,
The message that she returned with made me laugh.
For she said that the man in the shop said that there was no ice cream to be had and
that there was only a cone on the roof because he was unable to take it down...
So I had a pipe of baccy instead.

Finally, I wish you all a very happy New Year and the courage to face up to the many changes that may come your way.


  1. Well you didn't have much luck with your wants did you? The Huntington Castle and Gardens look very interest (in the summer!).

    1. Well. No perhaps not ...though at least my desire to visit Clonegal was achieved :-) !

  2. It all looks so very, very charming! Too bad about the stout though.

    Happy New Year to you! All the best in 2018!

    1. I will get a pint of stout in eventually when the dark moon arrives.

  3. Hi Mel - happy New Year to you both ... and that looks a delightful outing - with the future delight of seeing similar in the Spring greening and blossoming later in the year. Pity about the first pint - but that first one will be special ... take care and all the best in 2018 - cheers Hilary

    1. Many thanks Hilary and if you come across the delinquent pig you know where to send him :)

  4. Nice tour of your bit of Ireland at New Year.

  5. Another wonderful drive. Such a beautiful area. I love those pigs.

  6. Thank you for your appreciation and should you ever decide to visit Ireland (?) Then Clonegal would be a hospitable place to stay for a few nights.

  7. Happy New Year to you both, and glad you enjoyed your first trip of the year.


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