Bonny Shores of Ireland

All my life, I have wanted to go to the bonny shores of Ireland.  One may ask why? Mr. H repeatedly asks why? An Irish Catholic girl growing up in Boston, with an Irish surname starting with 'O' who then marries and has four children named Patrick, Christine, Claire and Connor, might give a clue.

My father only had one demand request when I started dating. He must be Irish Catholic.  When I dated a boy with the last name O'Grady, I was the golden child.  When I eventually came home to say that I was marrying a boy who had all those good Irish qualities (like him) and even looked Irish (like him) he knew I was up to something. There really was only one small minor detail ...his surname was Portuguese. Lucky for me there were five other siblings behind me to pin his hopes on.

So..history aside, I still feel like it is something I just have to do. We are the closest we have ever been to is a hop, skip and a jump from England compared to when we were living in New Zealand. My children want to go, I want to go and we just need to get Mr. H to want to go.  This is going to problematic. He has already been. His answer to my insistence is 'Think New Zealand, think England and that is Ireland'.  I don't know about you, but that does not quite do it for me.

I am moving on to Plan B.

My plan is to clarify what it is that I hope to accomplish by this trip.  I am going to start with photos of Ireland and all the things that appeal to me. I am hoping over time I will be able to identify what it is I am yearning to get from this trip. 

First port of call: National Geographic

Misty morning in Dublin County..

of course...

for the B-Weller in me..

Can one ever get enough of rocks?  I can't....

So tempting...or maybe not, but still captivating..

Second port of call: One of my favourite books,  Ireland by Frank Delaney

"One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller, the last of fabled breed, arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside. By the winter fireside he begins to tell the story of this extraordinary land. One of his listeners, a nine year old boy, grows so entranced that when the old man leaves he devotes his life to finding him again. 

Ireland travels through the centuries by way of story after story, from the savage grip of the Ice Age to the green and troubled land of tourist brochures and news headlines. Along the way, we meet foolish kings and innocent monks, god-heroes and great works of art, shrewd Norman raiders and strong tribal leaders, poets, politicans and lovers. A novel of huge ambition, beautifully told, Ireland is the unstoppably readable story of a remarkable nation. From the epic sweep of its telling to the precision of its characters, it rings with the truth of a writer passionate about his own country."

Third port of call: You
I am hoping that you have been or have suggestions as to what I should consider in my quest. 
I will continue to work on this and hope to one day present a plan. If you are considering a trip yourself, just hold on, I may have a few ideas for you:)

My last request for vacation apartment rentals in Paris is coming together nicely. I hope to post on the results soon.....I just have to get the brain to move from Ireland back to France!

Image 1: 
 O'Brien's Tower on the Cliffs of Moher in County Claire. 
(Photographer-Ryan Donnell)
Image 2: 
Killiney Beach in Dublin County 
(Photographer-James OGorman)
Image 3: 
A Dublin Pub
(Photographer- Fantuz Olimpio/SIME-4Corners)
Image 4: 
Pastoral countryside 
(Photographer-Jim Richardson)
Image 5:
 County Claire's Poulnabrone 
(Photograper-Ripani Massimo/SIME-4corners)
Image 6: 
Cliffs of Moher
(Photographer-Jim Richardson)



  1. That top photo has me mesmerized. Can't you imagine being there, by a fire-during a storm? I'm sure you can be very clever in your hints for that holiday in Ireland.
    I could offer some pointers as I am always dropping subtle for a trip to Italy!!!

  2. Hello! I have just found your blog and it's so funny..I posted something about Ireland last month. I strongly wish to go there, Ireland is such a magic country in my imagination!

  3. I hope your travel plans work out. Oddly enough, the English don't consider Ireland as a holiday destination - I guess it's just too easy, possibly not exotic enough. I moved back to Ireland after periods of living elsewhere because I found that people here were happier and more capable of the inconsequential banter that keeps us all afloat.

  4. Hi Jeanne
    Well that last picture does it for me... you are so close i think you need to force the issue.. haha...

    I just watched a movie last night with scenes of Ireland and the beauty does make one yearn for a visit!!

    good luck with Operation Ireland.. xx Julie

  5. Hi Jeanne! Beautiful Would love to travel in Europe! Funny, blogger must be confused. I'm not getting your posts like you mentioned. Weird!! Have a terrific day!!

  6. Oh, you have to go!
    There is nothing quite like visiting the land of your heritage. I feel a connection with Scotland that is stronger than the one I feel here at home in the states. Weird, I know. But trust me, you have to go!!

  7. If you're English you don't even need a passport to go between Britain and Ireland. As they didn't sign up to the Schengen Agreement abolishing border controls between EU countries who are signatories it is still problematic going further afield. Otherwise I am bemused at the image of Ireland portrayed abroad - it is indeed lovely and the photos are all beautiful, but it's as if Tourism Ireland want the old Ireland to be the stereotype - fairly backward at times, you know, donkeys and turf fires, and I see that in so many of the developing countries I visited where progress was often frowned upon as homogenising a nation, while the citizens chose progress, and it's quite patronising and neo-colonial of those who would hinder progress in the name of culture. That's how I feel anyway - although I do not want to disown my Irish culture, there's a lot good in it. I lived abroad for 20 years and now am happy to be here but I hate the political corruption that's gone on in recent decades, and the vulgarity that went with the boom years was appalling too. Conspicuous consumption that's left half the country in negative equity and now we have to bail out the greedy bankers.I also agree with Mise's comment. Lots of banter here!
    after all that - I love Ireland and am happy to live here - if we had good weather it would be heaven, and if the costa living were lower it'd be better. It isn't all like PS I love you portrays!
    PS I try to portray the Ireland I know in some of my blog posts. Have a look at some old ones and see what you think.

  8. You can do this Jeanne - use your feminine charms and convince Mr H that it's his brilliant idea for a visit to Ireland and you'll be there. Good luck!

  9. You have to go to Ireland. Ireland (I imagine) is Ireland not NZ and not England and it is something you have to experience for yourself. The culture, the streets, the atmosphere, the accents..I am sure it is something you will only find in Ireland. I remember talking to someone about Italy (we had both been) and I asked if they had gone to Rome... the answer was 'No...I've seen it in the movies'. I was flabbergasted!!! You don't see Rome unless you have been to Rome ditto for anywhere in the world. Good luck, remember you have the numbers on your side xx

  10. Jeanne:

    What can I say now? Are you talking only about the Republic or part of Ireland that is under UK? Is Belfast on your mind?

    I loved the photos though. Come to Belfast. It's part of UK but it is Ireland still.

    Joy always,

  11. I suggest you insist upon watching Riverdance every evening after dinner until he agrees to an Irish sojourn. Also, singing Danny Boy every morning upon waking might do the trick. He really has only himself to blame.

    Looking forward to catching up on all your recent posts when my computer is fully caffeinated! Meredy xo.

    p.s. thanks for you know what.

  12. I have never been to Ireland, but have wished to ever since reading Maeve Binchy's lovely novels in high school. Tell Mr. H that he absolutely must. The land is enchanting!

  13. Ooh Mr H, is getting a severe ticking off from me!
    I am English and have been to Ireland and to New Zealand. Ireland is not like England or New Zealand, it is unique with it's own identity and personality.
    If you can't persuade Mr H, leave him at home and go with the children!

    The wonderful bag came yesterday, I am thrilled! Thank you so much.
    I have taken photographs and will be doing a post about it.

  14. Ireland has a mystique about it - just look at the photos. I too have an interest in visiting Ireland, partly because of the beauty, family history, and the music. We have a local entertainer that sings/plays Irish music on various instruments around the county and is such a joy to listen to.
    Perhaps you and Mr. H. could both pick out a vacation spot. One time you go to his choice, and the other, you go to your chosen location. Your both happy.

  15. Could always try luring him with promises of guiness and irish whisky?! Failing that golf? great gardens? impossible accents? harps? there must be something he likes that you could find in Ireland!
    Have a happy persevering weekend

  16. I think it would be wonderful to go to Ireland - I am ashamed to say I have never been and would like to one day.... I will be lazy and let you do the leg work for the perfect trip!! x

  17. I'm with you - him going does NOT count as YOU going! No way! I think you have to tell him this is the closest you will ever be, and it is the very best time to go.

  18. Wonderful images. I can see why you are drawn to such a beautiful place.

  19. All those little pubs along the highways & byways - ahh, be still my beating heart!! I reckon we should arrive at Mise's place unexpectedly, all at the same time. I'm sure Mr. H. would be won over in a second.
    Millie ^_^

  20. That's a great idea of Millie's! I'm buying more wine and cushions, just in case. And Galway is about as nice a part of Ireland as there is.


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