Monthly Archives: July 2013


THIS IS THE WEEK THAT WAS…

Ever think “darn it but my life is boring”! Or words to that effect. Well here’s the précis version of my week and I present it as my evidence that mine is of mild interest but only to me and possibly chronic insomniacs. Sunday We arrived home to Ireland from […]


LISTENING TO THUNDER

On Thursday evening I sat in a French garden listening to huge peals of thunder rolling across the fields and vineyards and watching the rain clouds slowly head on collision courses through the heavens and I thought of two people and two lessons they taught me. The first was my […]


ALBUM UPDATES

       The FRANCE 2013 and PEOPLE-WATCHING albums have been updated.


FRANCE 2013: BEDENAC

At the end of news broadcasts there’s usually a lighter item preceded with the words “and finally..” and I suppose this is it for our holiday in France 2013 (although we still have the 8 hour drive to Roscoff tomorrow and the sailing). We rented a gite in Bedénac in […]


FRANCE 2013: ARCACHON

In my mind there are Beach People and for the record I’m not one of them. Beach People thrive on finding a spot amongst hordes of other sun, sea and sand worshippers and laying out between swims like seals basking in the sunshine. They have mastered the knack of dressing […]


FISH & CHIPS – FRENCH STYLE

Fish and chips are, well, fish and chips, but if you’re in France and cooking an evening meal why not put a spin on the traditional and try them with La Difference. We used Ray for the fish, bought frozen and quite inexpensive in the local Auchan supermarket. The chips […]


BASTILLE DAY 2013 (BORDEAUX, FRANCE)

Just in case you weren’t already aware Bastille Day is the French national holiday when the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789, which resulted in the French Revolution and the birth of the Republic, is celebrated across France and in French communities across the world. For The Ban […]


BOOK REVIEW: HOUSE ON AN IRISH HILLSIDE

TITLE:  The House on an Irish Hillside AUTHOR: Felicity Hayes McCoy BLURB: ‘From the moment I crossed the mountain I fell in love. With the place, which was more beautiful than any place I’d ever seen. With the people I met there. And with a way of looking at life that was […]


THE BLARNEY STONE – BORDEAUX!

Something we don’t do on holiday is frequent Irish Pubs, mostly because we can do that at home and frankly the “Irish Pubs” abroad are often dark and scruffy places that don’t reflect actual pubs in Ireland (not since the early 20th century anyway). However, we were on a short […]


THE LAURALYNN HOSPICE FOR CHILDREN

LauraLynn Ireland’s First Children’s Hospice opened in September 2011 and that was a significant milestone in the life of not only Jane McKenna the founder of the LauraLynn Foundation, a brave woman I had the great pleasure to work with for a short time, but in the lives of many […]


FRANCE 2013: LA ROCHELLE

I have to admit I have a soft spot for La Rochelle despite its typical touristy feel and constant throng of people. We have stopped off in La Rochelle on almost everyone of our 5 trips to France, sometimes just for a few hours and on one occasion staying for […]


FRANCE 2013: ROCHEFORT

I have to admit Rochefort on the west coast of France had little to show for the two hour drive from our rented gite in Bedenac just north of Bordeaux. The main attraction is an exhibition based around what appears to be a very slow restoration of an old fashioned […]


SPEED OF THE SOUND OF LONELINESS

Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper


ALBUM UPDATES

     The FRANCE 2013 and PEOPLE-WATCHING albums have been updated.     


BOOK REVIEW: WRATH OF ANGELS

TITLE:  The Wrath of Angels AUTHOR: John Connolly BLURB: In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an aeroplane is discovered. There are no bodies. No such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. Hidden in […]


FRANCE 2013: BLAYE MARKET DAY

  Wednesday and Saturday are the big market days in France – although there are various types of market held on other days during the summer months but they’re specific to certain towns and villages. We decided it was time to have that market experience once again and so The Ban […]


BOOK REVIEW: HEAVEN’S SHADOW

TITLE:  Heaven’s Shadow AUTHOR: David S. Goyer & Michael Cassult BLURB: In 2016 a pair of amateur astronomers spot an unidentified object – an object one hundred kilometres across and heading towards Earth. As it approaches, NASA and the Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition race to land vehicles on the unexplored surface. With power, money […]


FRANCE 2013 – COGNAC BLUES

My Ban-Cheile* and I took a trip into Cognac to catch some of the ambiance of the Blues Festival. The festival runs from July 2nd -July 7th and attracts people from all over the world and not just France. The one hour drive north from Bédenac took us through undulating […]


BOOK REVIEW: THE ANGEL’S GAME

TITLE:  The Angel’s Game AUTHOR: Carlos Ruiz Zafón BLURB: In 2016 a pair of amateur astronomers spot an unidentified object – an object one hundred kilometres across and heading towards Earth. As it approaches, NASA and the Russian-Indian-Brazilian Coalition race to land vehicles on the unexplored surface. With power, money and politics […]


FRANCE 2013 – ANGOULEME

Captain Haddock: I thought you were an optimist. Tintin: You were wrong, weren’t you? I’m a realist. Captain Haddock: Ah, it’s just another name for a quitter. Tintin: You can call me what you like. Don’t you get it? We failed. Captain Haddock: Failed. There are plenty of others willing […]


9 THINGS I LIKE ABOUT FERRIES

 I must admit I was never particularly enamoured with flying and only ever saw it as a means to an end, so making a list of things I like about ferry crossings could easily be renamed “why I prefer a boat to a plane”. After an almost 10 year hiatus […]