Thursday, July 14, 2016
Side Trip to Ireland
While staying in Berlin, I used the opportunity for a quick trip to my old haunts in Ireland. As you may know, I used to have an organic farm in Ireland in a previous life. My daughter had requested this journey down memory lane.
Not much has changed in Ireland since I moved away. Certainly not the weather. We had one sunny afternoon and one sunny morning during our 8 days stay. This was in the middle of June. The lovely green island stays so green because of all the rain- as one of my clever students at the University of Limerick where I used to teach found out. I was right in bringing a rain coat, brolly and long johns.
The pic at the top gives a beautiful view of Killaloe from our hotel where we were staying. Actually, the only hotel in Killaloe, hence THE Killaloe Hotel & Spa. It had just opened, was still going through some teething problems but can highly be recommended. The staff was extraordinary and made up for any shortcomings. Plus we got an excellent rate! In my time, there used to be a real big marina which had made Killaloe famous. Situated on magnificent Lough Derg, Its location was unique: where the River Shannon bursts out from the lake. We were floored when we saw that it had totally fallen into disrepair, in fact had literally fallen into the lake. The new owner, a lottery winner of EUR 145 Million, let it go pieces.
The trip to our farm broke our hearts. It was totally overgrown. My meticulously planned and executed ornamental garden couldn't even be traced anymore. Our glasshouses had broken apart and the new owner proudly said they had done some renovation to our classy conservatory: They had put on a corrugated roof!
Here's the entrance. I was happy I had stayed in the car while my daughter asked to have a look round. She came back in tears. I was melancholic too but I knew: THERE IS NO GOING BACK.
In my farm book I tell the story of a haunted local house which we now revisited. Here's the house and the tree in question which saved a little boy's life during the Troubles of 1923 when the Black and Tans killed his family.