Bits and bobs

Random thoughts about random things by a random person


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Day 13 (Sept 24/19): Crappy weather, but that didn’t stop me – today :)

As you may have read, yesterday’s weather was not what we would call great.

Today has been no better. In fact, I think it’s been worse. The wind has been a lot higher and more constant and the waves have been rolling in a lot harder, too. The rain hasn’t been as hard, but it’s lasted all day with only minor lulls.

In the morning, I still hoped it might clear up, but unlike yesterday, I was under no delusion today that it might really happen.

In any event, I would be going out today.

I have one day left in Waterville and the forecast for tomorrow is no better, so I don’t have enough time to be choosey about the weather.


I had garbage to bring out and there were several things on the Waterville Heritage Trail that I still hadn’t seen and I also wanted to check out the exhibit about the trans-Atlantic telegraph cables at Tech Amergin.

So, when the rain tapered off a bit around noon, I got ready and went out.

I brought the garbage to the disposal site at the community centre first, to get that done. Then I went across the road to the Waterville Cable Station Exhibition.

Left side of placard with key dates for the Waterville cable station

Right side of placard with key dates for the Waterville cable station

It was really interesting. Firstly, because of Newfoundland’s connection to the whole Atlantic cable thing. I’ve been to the  site in Heart’s Content, NL that was connected to another cable site near here on Valentia Island. It was neat to be at a site on this side of the Atlantic. And secondly, it was interesting because of where telecommunications are nowadays. It’s a really neat vantage point from which to look at it.

For example, I am writing this on a device the size of a paperback novel and, once I publish it, people all over the world will be able to see it at practically the same time. That is astounding!!

Especially when you think what was involved in getting international cable communication going. The Atlantic is a big place. It’s not just the distance as the crow flies, but also the depth of the ocean. And all the potential threats all along the cable. It’s amazing.

And that technology was state-of-the-art at the time for international communication.

Before that, it was snail mail, which could take weeks or months.

After it came wireless telegraph communication, which was also almost instant, but without the bother, risk and expense of the cables.

And look where we are now!

What will it be in another 100 years?

It’s worth the time every now and then to sit back and appreciate the perspective a reflection on the past gives us.

After the exhibit, the rain had picked up again, but I carried on to the other cable-related spots. They were near Tech Amergin and, as I said, tomorrow’s weather doesn’t promise anything better, so there was no point putting them off.

Two of the three main buildings (the “new” offices and the superintendent’s house) are up for sale. They are lovely stone buildings, but would likely need a lot of capital to make them habitable or useable. It’s a shame, but they will probably stay empty.

The original building is a B&B and restaurant, so it’s at least in use, and the homes that had been built for staff were sold and, I think, are still in use as residential homes today.

With those sites visited, and the fact that I had seen some of the other spots on my other jaunts, the only thing left on the Trail for me to see is the Charlie Chaplin statue.

I’ve actually passed it umpteen times, but never saw it. Even when actually looking for it. I only figured out where it is on one of my night walks, from behind. Of course. Why would I notice it in broad daylight from the front??

Anyway, by the time I finished with the cable-related sites, I was sufficiently drenched (only my legs and a bit of hair that refused to stay inside my hood, thanks to Eddie Bauer!). I didn’t want to go any further to see Charlie today. Instead, as it had been about 5 hours since breakfast, I went to Beachcove Cafe (which was on my way home) for another yummy, albeit late, lunch.

My lunch! I also had some fries (I forgot the salad was included) and a DELICIOUS maple walnut cake.

I had planned on going to The Lobster for supper this evening, and I would go see Charlie then. But it was just too gnarly out there and I couldn’t convince myself to go from cozy and dry to damp, cold and wet again.

So, I’m in for the night. Charlie will just have to wait till tomorrow!!


Some photos of the bay today. They don’t look as bad as it really was. It got worse this evening, but I didn’t take any pictures then. I snuck these during breaks in the rain. I tried to upload a video, but it didn’t work. You can see then on my Instagram account, though: @heresmeg1111


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Day 12 (Sept 23/19): Yucky weather so I mostly stayed in

I didn’t write yesterday because I didn’t do anything besides read, watch TV and do a bit of colouring. Not exactly edge-of-your-seat kinda stuff. But to provide a complete record of my trip, I might as well tell you a bit about the day. 🙂

The weather was miserable. Heavy rain for a good portion of the day. It let up a bit at one point and I was optimistic that it would clear up to a decent day. At least decent enough to do some stuff I still wanted to do.

Most days have been like that – even if it’s not great earlier in the day, it becomes nicer as the day goes on. So when it started to improve a little, I thought we were on that trend and decided to wait till it cleared up a bit more before going out.

But it didn’t. In fact, before an hour was out, it got worse again. It was a day of pelting rain.

It was better in the evening so I went for my walk at about 8pm. There was only a light mist and sometimes not even that. It was still a bit windy, but for all that it was warmer than I thought it would be from how it looked.

I was glad to have gone for the walk, too. I do enjoy days in, but the fresh air is always welcome. The promenade isn’t a long walk – only about 20-25 minutes there and back, but it is safely off the narrow roads, which, as you know, I’m quite happy to avoid!!

And so…there you have day 12!


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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 8 (Sept 19/19): You’ll never guess what I found when I dropped off my garbage

One of my planned outings today was to dispose of a bag of garbage. Not exciting, I know, but necessary all the same.

A notice here in the kitchen says that it’s to be dropped off at the community centre. That was easy enough to find on the ol’ Google machine and off I went.

I actually decided to take a different route than Google maps had suggested. The route it proposed was mostly the same route I’ve done for most other places I’ve gone whereas the other one would bring me somewhere entirely different.

Uh huh.

It brought me to the police station.

Not exactly what I was going for so I backtracked and took Google’s original route. Not that it mattered much. Yes, it almost doubled the time it took, but that only meant it took about 11 minutes instead of 6. Hardly enough to put a crimp in my day.

Anywayyyyy….on with the story!

On the other side of the road from the garbage/recycling/community centre is a place called Tech Amergin – a community arts and education centre.

When I crossed to that side of the road to head further back into the village, I saw a sign that they have a community garden and visitors were welcome.

I thought, “Hey! I’m a visitor!” So in I went.

If you’re thinking fancy botanical gardens of large urban centres, get that thought out of your mind. You’ll only be disappointed.

But if you adjust your expectations you’ll be charmed.

It was lovely. Nothing fancy and a bit unkempt in parts, but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.

In any event, it was a lovely and tranquil spot to poke around and sit for a little while. I’d have stayed longer, but it was quite warm out today and the garden was in full sun, with hardly any breeze – the trifecta of things that send me inside. 🙂

I snapped a few shots before I left, though.

Hope you enjoy them!

A babbling little waterfall
A chair being reclaimed
A dragon protecting the garden
Some of the miniature houses that were throughout this part of the garden
A seating area at the top of the garden
Not part of the community garden…just some palm trees I saw on my way to or from lunch

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