Bits and bobs

Random thoughts about random things by a random person


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Day 11 (Sept 22/19): Another brother dinner and some live music

Before I get into today, I should finish yesterday by saying that dinner with Bill was grand!

It was fun to see someone I know, let alone family, after 9 days with strangers. (Nice strangers, but still strangers. 🙂 )

Turned out that because of the rain, he opted not to walk from Cahersiveen to Waterville. Instead, he roamed around the former and caught a local bus to the latter. And his injuries from his tumble a few days ago weren’t too bad and, other than some bruising in his eye socket, were mostly healed.

Today didn’t have much on my menu. I did some reading mixed with staring contentedly over the bay and watching a little Netflix. (I watched the first episode of the new Netflix show “Criminal UK”. I enjoyed that episode. Not sure where the show is going so I’m reserving judgement at this point. 🙂 )

Then I met Bill at The Lobster (restaurant/pub) for dinner as they were having live traditional music starting at 6:00. It was the same place where I had the Guinness stew and Guinness chocolate cake for lunch a few days ago so I knew the food would be good.

I was not disappointed and the music was great, too. There was a nice mix of traditional instrumental music, some folk songs and an older man who sang some classics, like Danny Boy. He also did my favourite – The Fields of Athenry – and, of course, I sang along. 🙂

Traditional music session, The Lobster, Waterville, Ireland

At one point three women came in and sat at the table next to ours. It turned out that Bill had run into them in Cahersiveen, too, and we all started chatting.

Two of them are from New Brunswick and the other is from PEI. Lovely ladies and it was fun to meet them.

The music eventually dried up and we all went our separate ways. Bill is heading out tomomrrow to Valentia Island, which is where he spent three months a few years ago.

I’m now watching (well, half listening to) the UK version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and listening (as I always am when I’m here 🙂 ) to the waves roll onto the beach.

Life, my friends, is good!


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Day 10 (Sept 21/19): And now I’m golden!! Hello 50!!!

The day has come! The reason for this trip – my 50th birthday!! Woooohooooo!!!!!!!

After a full week of fabulous weather, it, of course, rains today.

I snapped the photos below during a pause in the downpour. No sooner had I taken them than it started up again. Good timing! There won’t be too many tour buses stopping today, I expect. Mind you, the Irish are built of sturdy stuff. Like Newfoundlanders, you don’t stop just because it’s raining!

And I’m not complaining. The view is still fabulous!!

Plus, the rain on the windows in the sunroom area sounds fabulous, too. So even though the patio door is closed so I can’t hear the ocean very well, I still have the soothing sound effect of the rain. Winner!!

The sunroom area – the whole space is open-concept, so it’s not really a “room” on its own, per se.

My brother Bill arrives today. He is doing a walking/hiking tour around most of the Ring of Kerry and arranged things so that he would be here in Waterville on my birthday. Isn’t he a great brother?!?

He’s also going to be a very wet brother by the time he arrives. He has the right gear for it and the company he used to plan it takes his baggage to and from the places he stays, so he doesn’t have to worry about his whole kit getting soaked.

But his feet…He already had a bunch of blisters from a few days ago. Being soaked won’t help that. He has another day of walking tomorrow, too. Ugh.

He had a bit of a spill one day, too, and got a bit scraped up. Sounded pretty bad so, being the older sister, I’m a bit worried about just how bad it was. I’m bracing myself for what I’ll see when he shows up!

Dinner is booked for 7 pm this evening at Dooley’s. Bill will be going to his B&B first to get cleaned up before coming here and then we’ll go for birthday dinner.

Thankfully, the restaurant is just down the road from me, so even if it’s still raining, I won’t get too wet!

Selfish? Yes…but it’s my birthday… I’m allowed to be!! 🙂


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Day 9 (Sept 20/19): A Friday night learning about the ecology of Lough Currane

Remember yesterday when I stumbled on the community garden?

Well, when I went online to find a link to Tech Amergin for the post about it, I poked around on their site and found out that tonight there would be a talk about a nearby lake – Lough Currane.

Snip from the Tech Amergin website, explaining the talk this evening

I fully realize that this is not most people’s idea of a fun night out on a holiday. But I was quite excited to see it! What an interesting way to learn about a place!

And it was. Quite interesting, in fact.

A bit of a downer, though. It wasn’t so much a presentation of the environmental history of the lake as it was of scientific evidence of the increasing levels of phosphorous in the lake – starting around the 1970s.

The lake provides a lot of income to the area, so this can have quite a devastating effect on the economy.

As Dr. Treacy presented possible causes, I half expected people in the room to dispute them – to kind of defend themselves if they were in one group or another. But nobody did. Of course, I have no idea what the make up of the group was.

In any event, it was really interesting and I’m really glad I went. 🙂


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Day 9 (Sept 20/19): A 19th-century church

There’s an old church near where I’m staying – St. Michael and All Angels, Church of Ireland. It is also doubles as the Waterville Heritage Centre.

I’ve passed it a few times over the last week and today I decided to pop in.

Interestingly, there wasn’t anyone there. There was a bottle of juice and an open book on a desk, so someone had been there. It was nice, actually, to have the place to myself.

It’s not very big, but is still quite lovely.

Below are some pictures of the Church itself. The windows are really quite beautiful. Enjoy!

St. Michael and All Angels, Church of Ireland, Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland

The pulpit

Beautiful windows


Some information about the church itself




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Day 9 (Sept 20/19): Met a local artist today!

In my little walk-about after lunch today, I went into a building I’ve walked past several times since I’ve been here. I had no idea what it was, so I had no real inclination to swerve off my path to check it out.

Today, though, from the direction by which I was approaching it, I saw an open door and a little sign referring to gifts. Not having anything else on the calendar until 8:00 tonight, I decided to pop in.

Turns out it is the studio/gallery of a semi-local artist, Leo Quinlan.

I say semi-local because he was born and lived in (or near) Galway, but spends about six months of the year here in Waterville and his dad was from here.

I like to support local artists, so I looked around till I found an original that I liked and which I purchased (see below). Sort of unfortunately, the one I picked was actually by his daughter, Elaine, and not him. Oh well! (If you’d like to see more of her work, you can find her on Instagram at @elainequinlanart – I can’t find a regular Web link to give you for her.)

The piece I bought – It’s maybe 5″x7″, so not big but I really like the colours and movement. I’m sure I’ll find a place for it. 🙂
(clearly igned by Elaine and NOT by Leo,
but I didn’t notice the signature till later)

Anyway, we had a lovely chat. He had served in the Irish military back in the day and was quite happy to hear I am originally from Newfoundland. He regaled me with stories of a fellow he had met from NL when he was serving in the military somewhere. (He told me where, but it escapes me for the moment.)

We talked a fair bit about painting, too, and he was quite motivational to me. I get too much in my own head (as I think I may have mentioned in a previous post), thinking that everything needs to be perfect right out the gate.

That is such a bad approach to take with probably everything. It can be paralytic and make you afraid to even try.

I’m very glad to have run into him and will take his advice of getting lots of “brush mileage” in.

If this spurt of motivation stays with me after I get home, I might even finish a painting that I started well over a year ago!

You never know when or how that spark is going to be lit… Ain’t life grand??


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Day 7 (Sept 18/19): A perfect night

Well, folks, the cloudless sky of earlier did not disappoint.

The sky tonight is, if you’ll pardon the pun, stellar.

Even though I’m still inside the village and there are a few lights around, the light pollution is really quite minimal.

If I walked just 10 minutes to the right of my place, it would be much darker, but like I think I said before, I’d also end up in a ditch or down over the cliff (it is the Cliff Road, after all). Even dressing in reflective gear wouldn’t help really.

And, really, who cares? The sky here is still beautiful. I know it would be even more spectacular if it were completely pitch black, but if we constantly chase whatever we think perfection might be, we miss out on what we already have.

And what I had tonight was fabulous. I stayed out looking up, wayyyyy up, until I got a kink in my neck!

The binoculars my brother and sister-in-law gave me for my birthday allowed me to see even more, too, which was great! (I had no idea how shaky I am, though!!! Even with my arm resting on something, it was hard to get it to hold still. I’ll be looking for a tripod adapter and tripod before too long!)

When Mother Nature decides to put on a show, she really puts on a show.

There was a star fairly low on the horizon, over the entrance to the bay that was so bright, it even reflected off the ocean! It might even be a planet. Venus and Mars are out and about tonight, apparently, so Mr. Google just told me.

I love looking at the sky and appreciating the beauty, but I am absolutely not at expert at deciphering what I see! Well, I can recognize a plane or a satellite…cuz they are moving, and I can find the Big Dipper and sometimes Orion’s belt, but that’s about it.

Anyway, it was spectacular to me. The beautiful show in the sky, complete with the Milky Way Galaxy, the ocean rolling gently onto the beach…

An absolutely wonderful way to end the day!!

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Day 5 (Sept 16/19): In and out today, like the tide!

It’s been a day of not sitting very still.

This morning, I went for a few groceries that I didn’t think of on Saturday. I had also planned on going to the tourism office, but it was closed till noon. So I just went for a little walk before picking up the groceries and coming back home.

I then did the boring, but necessary, check in on the budget. It’s not my forte and if I’m not careful, I could spend the works of it within days and have nothing left for the rest of the trip. That would make for a very boring time!!

After that, I headed to the tourism office where a lovely gent named Barry gave me some really good tips and suggestions for things to do while I’m here. If I do only half of what he suggested, my FitBit will be very happy!

From there I headed to An Corcan restaurant for another late-ish lunch. I had the chicken panini and fries. The panini was delicious but the fries were meh.

I think they maybe had been through quite a rush during the regular lunch hour (I had counted at least 5 tour buses in town on my way to the tourism office). It seemed a strain for the owner to be friendly.

I don’t mean to imply that she was rude. She wasn’t. She just seemed…frazzled. Bless her heart.

After that, I popped into the post office. I had bought two postcards there this morning on my sojourn, but couldn’t find them when I got home. So I checked in and yup, I had left them there. (See…when I say I’m forgetful and easily distracted, I’m not joking!)

I came home again then, postcards and all my pamphlets from Barry in hand, and caught up on a few emails.

I opened the windows for a while, but dang…there were a kajillion little flies all over the place! I massacred a goodly number of them (they wouldn’t shoo out the window) and closed everything up. New investment idea: Window screens. One good marketing campaign and you are in the money!

We were heading towards 5:00 by then and I thought about putting the chicken in the oven. But then I figured that by the time it’s done and I’ve eaten, it would be dark.

I wanted to go for a walk and doing that in the dark isn’t the smartest thing. The roads, as you may know, are very narrow and there aren’t shoulders to speak of.

Ending up in a ditch (or the hospital) is not on the top of my list of things to do on a holiday (or any time, truth be told!), so I opted for the walk first.

I went to the south/east this time, on a path along the bay for about half of it and then along the road. I went as far as the Currane River and it felt like it might rain so I turned back.

I’m in now for the evening, I think. That’s enough in-ing and out-ing for one day I do believe! Except now (7pm) it’s a bit late to put a chicken in the oven, so I might need to go out again for supper. 🙂

Speaking of in and out, below are a couple pictures for you showing low tide and high tide today. (NOTE: They might not be the actual lowest and highest points – just the lowest and highest that I saw today.)

The third picture is for my cousin Juanita who is following along. 🙂

Low tide, Ballinskellig Bay, morning Sept 16/19

High tide, Ballinskellig Bay, late afternoon Sept 16/19

For the O’Reillys!!

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