The beautifying of the van continues….this week’s task was to remove the really skanky carpet in the footwells and around the gear stick and replace it with black rubber. Here’s how:
Pull up the carpet from around the gear stick. Stop a moment to admire how smart the footwells look now they’ve been covered. Don’t angst too much over the hole you accidentally poked in the rubber bit around the gear stick with the scissors. Not sure what that does anyway.
Lay the carpet over the rubber and draw a rough template in chalk CSI-style. Cut out and glue down.
I’ve never quite managed the art of the ‘capsule’ holiday wardrobe – you know the sort of packing advice you get in women’s mags where you are assured that with a few carefully co-ordinated pieces you can glide from beach to poolside cocktail party with one artful twist of a sarong and an accent colour cardi. But the big trip is getting closer and the challenge involved in packing enough clothes for a year on the road with no space is clear. So how do I get this….
With all the other stuff we’ve got to carry inside the van, it is looking like my clothes storage is going to consist of one and possibly half of another of these plastic boxes. That ain’t much. Apparently the secret is to squash everything into these Tardis-like Eagle Creek zip up holders. We’ll see.
Driving on the N52 to Tullamore in Offaly, we pass these four 25 feet tall figures watching from the hills overlooking the motorway.
They are part of the Irish Per Cent for Art scheme which sees 1% of the cost of every new road in Ireland set aside to fund a piece of art. These figures are by sculptor Maurice Harron and depict the theme Saints and Scholars. One carries a chalice, the others a book, bishop’s staff and flock of birds or souls. Continue reading Irish Road Art→
Over the years, spinning for mackerel from the shore has provided me with either famine or feast. Somehow, fishing near Clifden Eco beach on a rising tide, I managed to catch but a single lonely fish. Continue reading The last mackerel in Connemara?→
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em..’ We knew when to walk away from the beer tent where the band was doing a pretty good cover of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler because the race was about to start and we had a few dead certs at the Kilbeggan races.
The Brighton Breeze sounded fantastic – a VW convoy, gather on the seafront with the cool surf vans, zz top lookie likies and, eh us, take the opportunity to drop son off back to uni for the start of term, then check into the campsite and crack open the wine for a nightcap before the morning’s big gathering. Continue reading Breaking down is a breeze→
We had fish and salad in the van fridge to eat but trudging down Croagh Patrick’s holy mountain in the drizzling rain, it wasn’t the faith of our fathers keeping us going but the thought of a carb-heavy hot dinner. After an exhausting climb, it had to be something solid and comforting. The fish and salad would have to hold. And so this was the pilgrims’ dinner of choice – sausages, mounds of buttery mash and onion gravy. Continue reading When fodder is what you crave→
“It will take you an hour and a half to get up and two hours to get down”, said the woman in the sports shop in Westport. We were buying waterproofs ahead of our climb up Croagh Patrick, the 700 or so metre mountain in Mayo which has been a place of pilgrimage since St Patrick spent 40 days and nights there not eating and contemplating how to banish snakes from Ireland. Raingear is essential for a summer holiday in the west of Ireland (“Put the wipers on when ye get to Portumna” as the fella sez) but more especially when it is the wettest summer on record (fact courtesy of the man in the Clifden gift shop). And she was about right on timing but don’t let the photos of elderly pilgrims climbing Croagh Patrick in their bare feet fool you. It’s a hard slog going up and down. Think steep mounds of loose shale and boulders, not grassy ‘Sound of Music’ uplands. It looks like this…
and three-quarters of the way up…. the really bizarre sight of a display area for a company selling artificial grass. Really? Is this just a really great bit of entrepreneurial advertising or terribly bad taste? Can’t help thinking it is like something from Father Ted.