Sunday, July 7, 2013

A perfect day!

I know a lot of you think I am this brave person for blogging about breast cancer etc but I'm not.  On some days I handle it better then others and that is really how it should be viewed.  The sad passing of Bernie Nolan really affected me.  I just coming out of treatment when it returned in her and I can remember her saying that the drugs she was now on could lead to 12 years or more.  Sadly, this wasn't the case. And she only had two years between diagnosis which is too short. 

 I want to clarify two things here.

The first is that when  you are under 50 you are never given the all clear.  You are told you are clear as far as they can tell.  You have to survive 5 years before you can be classed as being in remission.  The second point is that if the cancer is found in other areas of the body as it was in Bernie's case: she was never clear.  It is the same cancer that just wasn't mopped up by whatever treatment she was on.  And it isn't necessarily the treatments fault: sometimes we are just resistant to it and there is no way of knowing that is the case until it is either found or not.

That sadly is the truth about breast cancer.  Some of us chose to say we are clear: others stick with the factual line: we are clear as far as we can tell right now.

Bummer hey?

So this on top of my son leaving home to find work in the Uk I have been kindda down.  I am really really proud of him but he should be home.  I dare any Irish TD (MP) to step foot on my land because if they do they will get a few home truths!

My wonderful hubby, sensing my slide downwards into that darker place which is always lurking but is not usually noticed, took things into his own hands.  He is my voice of reason: my common sense angel who stands by my side and tells me things like ' You have to let him go and make his own mistakes; we are just there to help clear up the mess if there is any' and ' if you make him come back he will resent you'.....and I know he is right.  My son is 18.  An adult.  And at least he has the gumption to try and find work. So I am really, really proud of him but I miss him so much.

And yesterday my wonderful hubby said enough is enough!  And so he whisked me into the Morris Minor Traveller and off we toddled to Galway for a day of R and R.  Well not so much R and R as it turns out because we walked for miles.

We didn't get any sunshine but that was good; nothing worse than walking and melting at the same time. It was warm and dry and we had a lovely day.

First we stopped and looked at a ruined castle: Ireland is full of ruins like this. When Ireland was rich it couldn't be bothered to make them touristy: in fact they built over a lot of them.  Now Ireland is poor it realises what treasures these places are but can't afford to make them touristy.  Such a shame!

 If you look close there is actually an elderflower tree growing on the top of it!

We parked at Salthill beach and treated ourselves to lunch in the Gourmet Tart.  It was lovely.  Hubby got a posh latte.

 He slurpped it before I could take a photo but you can see what is left of the leaf in the froth!

I had cajun chicken breast with pinapple and sweetcorn relish (home made) and the salad had pomegranate seeds in which was lovely.  The bread was home made olive was gorgeous.

If I'd have known we were going to eat out I would have put some makeup on!

We walked along Salthill into Galway past the docks.

Going this way means you walk through the Claddagh: the original village from which Galway grew.  Also home to the famous claddagh ring.

The little church on this side of the river has a Grotto dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

It was very pretty.  The Virgin Mary can be found all over in one form or another as Ireland is a predominantly catholic country.  I have a faith in God but not in organised religion of any kind: I see wonders everywhere in nature more often than I do in any building but even I can appreciated this pretty little Grotto.  The fact it involves nature helps I guess. The roses were beautiful.

Then we wondered into Galway's museum.

There is a hooker hanging up which was quite impressive.  I know! What is this blog coming to?  First C words, then F words and now Hookers!  Well it says more about your minds methinks!  This is a traditional Irish Hooker.

T'is a fishing boat!

We also had a look at the war memorial.  Ireland has a cloudy past when we consider the first and second world wars. It is far too complicated for me to go into but you can look up the Connaught Rangers to see how initially Ireland's men both fought for the British forces while they also openly trained their own civil army and on the whole no one minded this.

Then during the second world war, many Irish men were in the British forces because 1. it was a job and 2. if you lived in the UK which many did, you had to do conscripted services.  Some Irish saw the threat Germany posed and joined up anyway.  Sadly, after the war, these men were considered traitors to Ireland and were treated very badly.  Movements are going through the Irish courts at the moment to get these poor men pardoned.

It is alleged that some Irish were German sympathisers and helped by lighting fires etc to help the German planes find the Uk..not sure if that would have worked, and a German sub has been found in the sea near Cork.  On the other hand, when Belfast was bombed by Germany, Dublin and may other areas all sent their fire engines up there to help so it is a confusing mess which is heart breaking really. I am sure there were sympathisers for both sides as there probably was even in the UK.

There still are some issues regarding attitudes to the war.  My son's history teacher claimed that WWII was started because England was late in helping France ergo it was all England's fault.  I did of course go in and have a wee word with her, took lots of history books and pointed out that what she was teaching her class went against what was in the schools own text books.  Ah, I had fun that day.

Anyway, I digress!  We found a list of people who passed in the First world war and my husbands relative is named!

John French

My husband's family originates from one of the original Tribes of Galway who all actually came from France with William the Conquerer (see: we are all mixed up really: no such thing as English or Irish..just part norman/saxon/viking etc etc)

Also named are three Gorhams which was amazing as Gorham or Goreham as some chose to spell it is a very old English name, from which I am descended!  It just shows how intermixed English and Irish actually are which makes the politics all the more heart breaking.

We then went and showed dh the Red Earl's Hall.
This is a really nice piece of conservation as you can get right in and have a really close look.

The cross on the right hand side has no religious significance: it is where iron was smelted!

Then we wondered through Galway and had a look at the street entertainers.  Galway was full of Americans, French and Italian tourists.  It felt lovely and cosmopolitan.

This wee lab is made from sand!

These guys were playing really fast Irish (diddly diddly) music and still kept their balance!

Not sure what to make of this guy..I kept wondering what chemicals were in the green face paint!

Then we went for icecream at my favourite Italian Ice cream piccies as I was having far too much fun stuffing my face with pistachio and fruit and nut icecream!

The last medieval window in Galway: the rest were knocked out for double sad!

 The last fully medieval street..sadly all boarded up and left to ruin.

This is Lynche's Wall.  It was rebuilt and is named after the Judge who hung his own son who had murdered a house guest.  It was suggested that this is where the phrase Lynching comes from, but it isn't true.  Hubby wanted a romantic piccie..I felt the need to relive history though. That is me hanging...supposedly!

A quick wonder around Galway's little artisan market....

And then a long walk back to Salthill and home again.

I feel so much better for going out and just wondering around.

And just for the Pride and Prejudice fans out there..I will leave you with one of the roundabouts named after Galway Tribe members (and yes, there is a French roundabout as well, so hubby is pleased).

And as this is a crafting blog really, here is my June page for the Needlework Masters SAL.  I kept this page nice and simple.  It is my own design with crochet trim.

 Today I feel fresh and upbeat again.  I am my own worse enemy sometimes; I stay in at home and brood and loose all interest in the outer world which is silly.  I really feel so much better for going out and having fun with my family.  It wasn't an expensive day: the food was reasonable and soooo good and the icecream was a real treat but psychologically it really has hit the spot.

We're going to try and get out once a week: if we have to we will take a picnic.  I think Dublin is next on the list!

Enjoy what is left of the weekend and thank you for getting this far! It has been a bit of a long and picture heavy post!


  1. What a wonderful day out Gaynor! Thank you so much for taking me with you. It is so great to see all of these places.
    I hope that the blues stay away.

  2. wow so perfect and so beautiful x

  3. thank you for sharing your day with us. I love Irish music so would have loved to listen to the three guys (two on posts).

    Sad to hear of Bernie Nolan's passing. Spent a lovely half hour on Youtube reliving my youth by listening to the Nolan Sisters songs the other day.

    Gill in Canada

  4. Being just over 6 years surviving--yes, it never leaves us. Every ache and bump makes me worry. But life is too short, and we must move on and live in the moments as you did going to Galway! How lovely! But also how sad for the history and the medieval parts deteriorating every day. I will email you more... Hugs!

  5. Such a wonderful post. I still think you are an amazingly strong woman ~ everyone needs those down days. What is important is being able to get picked back up and I think your hubby did a fantastic job of that by the looks of your day out! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us ~ looking forward to seeing the next trip!

  6. So happy to hear you are in better spirits. I really enjoyed the photo tour and I think you are right just getting out and seeing what's around you can keep you from going to that dark space. Bear in mind it is allowed once in a while so that your wonderful husband can pick you up:) Best Wishes!

  7. So glad your honey knew just the right way to bolster your spirits - kudos to him! And what interesting history; just wish along with you that it were better preserved. Hang in there, Gaynor!

  8. Gaynor,
    awwww! Your husband is a great guy and a wonderful person for knowing what you need...My husband would have done the same thing. You are blessed.

    Glad to hear you had a great time and you are in a happy place. These are the moments you need to hold dear to your heart.

    Thanks for sharing this trip you took. I love history and it helps to hear it from those who live there.

    I love your June Page. The colors are beautiful.

  9. Isn't it fun to get out and play "tourist" without really leaving your home? And I am so grateful that you did - for through your day out, I got to see some sights that I probably will not get a chance to ever visit (although I should never say "never"). You and your hubby look so cute as you are enjoying the outside world...PRICELESS! I am so glad that you took us along with you on your adventure. Take care, my friend! I look forward to your next trip out!

  10. What a lovely day out and what a wonderful man you are married to. It was lovely read and see where you ventured.
    (((Hugest of hugs)))) xxxx

  11. Brillliant day, fab caring hubby.
    Your boy is stretching his wings you helped him grow but he can use those wings to fly home too.
    I agree sometimes looking inwards and not getting out can start to bring us down. Glad your day out put a smile on your face.
    Carol xx

  12. Oh my! Looks like a wonderful time away and sounds like it was much needed. Hugs

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed following along with you on your day trip. It looks like you had a wonderful day which sounds exactly what you needed :)

    Lovely June page finish too. I'll email you back shortly :)

  14. Glad you had a lovely day out. I think you're lucky to have the non-touristy tourist places to visit. A lot of places over here have lost their charm because of catering for tourists.
    Hope you have a lovely week

  15. Glad you had a busy day out to recharge your batteries!!! Looks like it has been fun & interesting too x

  16. Lovely post. Hope you are doing some research for visitors next year! Lol

  17. Hello,
    I stumbled across your blog while blog hopping.
    I just wanted to say I have been reading through some of your posts and while you may not think you are strong. I think you are. I have family and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer and I know how much of a struggle it is. You have inspired me with your strength to live everyday to the fullest. I understand that there will be downs but it's nice to see how positive you are. I look forward to reading your future posts. Have a great day!

  18. What a lovely day you had. You're right when you stay at home too much you can get down.

    I didn't have any real health issues but found that after I retired my husband was diagnosed with cancer & after his treatment was finished & he went back to work, I got a bit depressed as I was in the house all day. So I started volunteering for things which takes me out quite a lot. I've hardly been in this week so today I'm catching up with the ironing & getting a double dose of Foyle's War & in this heat too. Must be mad.

    Take care. Hope your son's job goes well & I think this sunny weather is good medicine for depression! So just get out again for days like you've described.


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