Living in Lockdown!

Main Street, Ballydehob: 4 April 2020. You’ve never seen it like this before on a Saturday morning. We are only out because we have urgent shopping to do. We are permitted to go to the shops, the dispensary and the dump (we live too far out of town to have any waste collections). Oh, and we can exercise within a two kilometre radius of home (here’s Finola’s account of that). It’s a strange life – but we are gratefully alive…

We completed our last ‘long’ walk on Friday 27 March – to the summit of Mount Corrin, for my Mizen Mountains post. On that evening the government announced the ‘lockdown’ and we are now isolated in Cappaghglass for the foreseeable future, although the 2km restriction will allow us to trespass into our adjacent townlands of Stouke, Cappanacallee, Foilnamuck, Rossbrin, Ballycummisk and Kilbronogue, provided we keep our distance from other walkers. We see very few.

When the sun is shining, there’s no better place to be than home – looking out over Roaringwater Bay! We have plenty to occupy us. Not least, keeping up with this journal and my new venture Swantonstown Sessions – compensation for the enforced adjournment of the weekly traditional music meetings in Ballydehob. It’s an online forum for sharing tunes, songs and related ‘chat’. Please join in!

There’s not much activity in Schull, our other centre for essential supplies, either. The main street (upper) and pier (above) are deserted on Saturday morning, when it’s normally buzzing. All the businesses in our villages and towns rely on customers: we hope for their sakes (and ours) that the situation doesn’t last too long, although we do all understand how necessary the restrictions are.

Join us for one of our walks – along to Rossbrin – to look at the water and the always changing scenery as spring gets under way. That’s the boreen leading down to it, above.

Rossbrin Castle, the home of the ‘Scholar Prince’ Finghinn O’Mahony in medieval times, is the local landmark which always draws us towards the Cove. It has stood for centuries, although very gradually returning to nature: parts of it will remain for generations to come, and will intrigue those who chance upon it, as I first did some thirty years ago. It is on private land, remember, but it can be seen from many accessible vantage points.

It’s no hardship to be ‘marooned’ out here in rural Ireland. The one thing we miss above all else is meeting and chatting with friends and neighbours: that’s unnatural. But we will survive it. After our walks there’s always the road home to look forward to (do you see the celandines lining the way?):

Roaringwater Journal wishes to heartily thank all those in our communities who are supporting the rural population through these abnormal times: medical teams, pharmacies, shopkeepers, producers and suppliers . . . All who keep our facilities and utilities going . . . They are helping us to stay healthy and upbeat in times of disquiet. We appreciate all of you.

28 thoughts

  1. Thanks for the words and images .
    Its a good time for writing and reflection on our life. The past and the present for now. It seems like a dream, is this really happening? I have to ask myself over and over again?
    we stopped to enjoy the world around us. To enjoy our nature walks to read, to write and sing. It sure is rich if we are blessed to live in west cork..
    Beautiful west cork I live here ….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your images and words bring a wave of homesickness. We are so far from home but grateful to be with family, safe and loved. But there is always a nagging worry – “when will we be back home?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If I ever have to move, or leave my beloved island, I’m not sure whether I would pick Mull in the Inner Hebrides or western Ireland. We (you all and myself) are so fortunate, so blessed to be where we can have long vistas over gorgeous scenery, lovely views and Mother Nature. I was just out and about and over at my family’s farm stand getting cheese and yogurt and leaving off some applesauce, quahog chowder (from the freezer) and a few other goodies for my family. From there I did spend some time down by the Great Pond that I call my center for spiritual healing. When I imagine what is going on in cities and other places I, once again, thank my lucky stars to live where I do. If I lived in a city I would be popping valium; instead I know that this virus will pass — leaving death and sorrow in its wake it is true, but I can dial up in my memory pictures of views like from your terrace. We shall overcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Each empty shot has the serenity and the austere feel of an Edward Hopper painting. As has already been mentioned, what a heavenly place to ‘ride it out and reflect’ Love from Kathie, Jake and myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you were given a place to be in isolation you could hardly have chosen a better one. This virus will pass and life will return to normal. Here, we are fortunate to have our garden to pass the time, weather permitting, and are three weeks confined at this stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely to see sunshine out, locked down down here in London as well; only release is my garden, thank the Lord .
    Keep up the good work. Yes, have a brother who lives just outside Schull. Never seen Schull look like a ghost town.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wandered around these beautiful lanes when I visited last May and can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be locked down. Hope you both keep well.

    Liked by 1 person

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