Note of explanation from Finola and Robert: the Blog has taken on a mind of its own and decided he needs to make some resolutions for 2019. He has asked us, his
slaves faithful staff, to record these, as a means of keeping him accountable. Ours not to question why, ours but to do or die, so here goes, in his own words. . .
The Black Valley, Kerry
1. Spend more time in Kerry
It’s only next door, after all, and it’s in Finola’s blood, since her grandmother came from Killarney and she still has lots of lovely family there. So I’m determined they will take me there on outings a bit more often this year. There’s an ulterior motive too – you, my faithful readers, know that I often cosy up to that cheerful little Bloguette Holy Wells of Cork: she’s running out of wells in Cork but is enthusiastic about the idea that we can go jaunting off together on Kerry adventures.
2. Incorporate more music
I have to let you in on a secret – Robert is forever promising to learn new tunes for me, but then he comes up with all kinds of excuses why he’s not getting on with it. He’s too busy, it’s too hard, it’s not in the right key, blah, blah, blah. He’s finally sort-of learned this one, after weeks. We live in the heart of Irish traditional music – come on, people!
Staff member Robert trying to get it right – it’s called Pearl O’Shaughnessy’s Barn Dance, learned from Clare concertina player Mary MacNamara
3. Get on with that Saints and Soupers story
Honestly, that Finola, she leads us deep into this fascinating study of whether or not that Fisher guy was a saint or a souper, and then she goes off on one of her tangents about stained glass or wildflowers or whatever. I’m dying to know what happens next, so I’m going to have to lean on her to put the nose to the grindstone and get back to all those Protestants and Catholics and the actual famine part.
Michael the Archangel fights the devil – a powerful good versus evil metaphor in Altar Church
4. Get out to the Islands
It’s called Carberry’s Hundred Isles, for goodness sake – we can see them from the house (like Sarah Palin and Russia). Time to travel to more of them and get to know them.
South Harbour on Cape Clear
I’ve been polishing up my Irish (or Blirish, as we Blogs like to say) and I need the practice, so Cape Clear needs to be on the agenda. I hear they have a good Blirish program out there, so ar aghaigh linn!
Staff member Finola and her sister on Cape Clear this summer
5. Finish the Fastnet Trail walks
This is a bit of a hangover resolution from previous years when I vowed to do all the Fastnet trails, but got a bit distracted with other walks and other projects. Besides, they’re adding to them all the time so if I don’t get off my desk and get out there soon the job will just get bigger and bigger.
Kilcoe Castle can be seen from several of the Fastnet Trails
6. Find more places to have breakfast
My staff loves going out for breakfast and I must say I am very partial to a nice plate of avocado toast and smoked salmon, with a good pot of tea to wash it down (although those two insist on lattés). They took me to the Box of Frogs in Bantry recently, and despite my misgivings about the name (I had a bad experience with a toad once) I had to admit the food was excellent. But, like all the humans I meet recently, I’ve been toying with the idea of eating less meat so I will persuade them to go to Antiquity Bookshop Café in Skibbereen for their tasty vegan food more often. BUT. . . see next resolution
Nicola surrounded by her stock in trade in Antiquity, West Cork’s first vegan café
7. Read the books!
The staff keep bringing more books (especially from Antiquity) into the house and they pile up beside me, making me feel guilty that I’m not keeping up. They built a new set of shelves and they are already filled. Honestly, in this day and age, you’d think someone would have invented some kind of scanner-to-brain technology so that Blogs like me wouldn’t have to work so hard.
Just one shelf – yikes!
I have more, but the experts say not to make too many. Right, friends – a little encouragement and I’m sure I will be fine, despite all the malingering and complaining of my staff. Onwards and upwards into 2019!